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Cambridge Autumn Doubles Leagues 2021…

…are up and running. Schedule, tables, results MVP and more can be found here and by scrolling down a bit you can find out who pipped Hazard when Wet to the 2020 Tayabali & White Champions League title!

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Fiona Brown

Fiona Brown

It’s with great sadness that we write to tell you that Fiona Brown died on September 26th in the Arthur Rank Hospice. Fiona was a very long-standing member of CURTC, as a player, a supporter, a generous sponsor, and as a member of the committee. For many years she was a wonderfully efficient and hard-working club secretary, tolerant and wise, during crucial phases of the club’s development. She was much loved, admired and appreciated. We extend our deepest sympathy to Nigel.

Peter Raby and George Pearson

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Drum Roll(s), please

The first of our Summer Tournaments has concluded with the CU Alumuni taking the honours (pun intended) over the other place’s Alumni. Full results, notably for another Vix, 7-all, 40-all classic, can be seen by clicking HeRe
Meanwhile the Champagne Leagues have reached their Finals weekend, the draw is hErE including a first Super 6’s round.
Next week is CURTC’s very own Champions League where the Nomads, Hazards, Dedans Dynamos and Motley Crue will battle it out
Then next weekend sees the KO rounds of the Graduate Cup (here)
And meanwhile the inaugural CURTC Handicap Doubles Championship is coming down to the wire.

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The LRTA High/Low tournament hosted by CURTC

Anyone coming into the Club on September 4 or 5th, might have concluded an influx of (mostly) ageing lady tennis players had suddenly overwhelmed CURTC en masse. Not so – the Ladies Real Tennis Association (LRTA) was occupying the Blue Court for a tournament with the intriguing name of The High/Low: nothing to do with high v. low culture, or high v. low stature, but all about handicaps. The best player is paired with the weakest player; the second best with the second weakest, etc, which leads to some intriguing tactics as well as very close matches.

The High/Low is a popular event in the LRTA calendar – the first of the season, and of course this year the first for nearly 18 months. Not only is there the uncertainty of who your partner will be; there is also a lot of tennis played, as every pair plays every other pair over the weekend in matches of first-to-8. Older players conserve their energy (and knees) therefore; while the younger ones scamper around and do the leaping and scooting. Kees says that the format is not fair, as it penalises the best players; but maybe that’s the point – don’t bet your house against who will win, it could be any pair at all…

Local Cambridge players this past weekend included Camice Revier, Rosie Taylor, Jacqui Siu, Linda Fairbrother, Felicity Riddall Bell, and Vix and Bella Harvey (though alas the latter pair had to pull out at short notice when Bella ate a bad mushroom or something). Other players came from Paris (yes, indeed), Seacourt, Hatfield, Radley, Hardwick and so on, so a fair representation of LRTA members.

What was less usual was our youngest contestant – Felicity Riddall Bell, who has just passed her 14th birthday. She was a sensation, in a Little and Large duo (in stature, not weight) playing with Rebecca Kashti from Radley who was the strongest player in the tournament. Felicity may be Little in height, but Large in bravery – jumping, running, volleying and returning with delightful (and effective) enthusiasm.

Such is the maddening and possibly perverse format of the High/Low that the Felicity/Rebecca partnership did not get through to the semi-final knock-out stage, though another local player did. Rosie Taylor, the Belles captain, was in great form, paired with Di Wilson, a steady older player from Winchester. Their pairing showcased Rosie’s terrifying cannon-ball ground strokes, backed up by her partner’s steady safe play, to bring them through to the Finals and overall victory.

A special element of the event was the great support from the team of Kees, Adam and Ben who provided the backbone of a very complicated administration. Ben created a set of matrices that magically re-created themselves when entrants and results turned things topsy-turrvy; and Kees and Adam both went beyond kindness in donating vital marking time.

The usual bonhomie and supportive atmosphere was typical of LRTA events, which range from the British Ladies Open to coaching sessions for juniors held by Claire Fahey, and a very useful range of ladies’ tennis clothes. Our most popular event of the year is the British Ladies Handicap, which caters for singles and doubles, and a wide range of handicaps from 80 to 40ish. If you want to test or improve your handicap, it is a good place to do it. If you want to enjoy good competitive matches, in a fierce but friendly atmosphere, then there’s plenty of that, too.

Why not open the LRTA website ( and have a look at the “Join the LRTA” section which lists some of the benefits of membership and the events that we put on. All ages, all standards and even all genders are welcome. And talk to me if you’d like any more information.

Linda Fairbrother

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A Grand Day Out

CURTC vs RTC, 22/8/21

The first inter club match for a very long time took place on Sunday when some of CURTC’s finest travellers got up bright (well some of us were not too bright, to be honest) and early to visit Henry VIII’ s former digs at Hampton Court.

RTC-6/2-Kate Kirk

On Court Kate ‘MVP’ Kirk (assisted by Jacqui & Tom) spared our blushes by winning her two matches as CURTC suffered from the ‘6 is enough’ syndrome by easing off after winning 6 games in spite of playing sets to 8! Still a great day of tennis on and off Court. Many thanks to Giles and the RTC team for being such excellent hosts and we look forward to welcoming RTC to Cambridge in May next year.

A couple of shots of Bernie & Jacqui vs Simon & Stephen from the nosebleed seats

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2nds Varsity @CURTC, 4/7/21

Cambridge were (more than) generous hosts for this years much delayed Varsity 2nds match against (of course) the Other Place. That it took place at all is the result of the perseverance and due diligence of our Pros, our President Vix and the CU Sports Service, to all of whom many thanks are due.
Jacqui kindly provided the following

With lots of tense third sets, 40-alls, and of course the dreaded bounce dedans & balls that were flush to the wall, Varsity Seconds had an incredible atmosphere (albeit quieter, and socially distant). Many thanks to the Ludekens family for letting us invade their backyard, and Louise for the incredible packed lunches. Special shout out to the freshers and new players who really stepped up and learnt all about this game in the short time we had.

along with some photo highlights. These were taken with a GoPro so some of the perspective looks a little odd but hopefully they give a flavour of what must have been a somewhat unreal day of Real Tennis!

Women 2nds Varsity, 2021, from left, Maddie, Poppy, Cameron & Camice

Men 2nds Varsity, 2021, from left, Charlie, Ben, Ashwin & Oliver


…and Ben saved us from a whitewash!

Women: Cambridge- 0/6 -Oxford, Men: Cambridge- 2/4 -Oxford
Congratulations to the Oxford squads and many thanks for making the trip!

Link to Google Photos Album of the above and many more

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20 Category Tournament

Apologies but camera and cameraman being in need of a recharge meant that Jacqui kindly improvised a couple of shots from the last final on Finals Day. And here they are!

Thanks again to all the finalists along with Peter, Adam & Kees for their organisation and marking.

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40 Category Tournament

Another 8-7 nail biter! This match featured two very contrasting players, underdog Charlie, left-handed, gives the ball a fair old whack and imparts a lot of spin especially on his serve, vs Andrew, a little more measured, great shot placement and never gives up. Andrew had the better of the early stages but got stuck down the Hazard end as Charlie reeled off 3 (might have been 4) straight games en route to a 7-6 lead. Finally Andrew got a chase and managed to calm the frenetic pace a bit to get his side of the scoreboard moving. It is worth watching the final few games on the stream! (Sound is a bit dubious). But if you can’t Andrew edged a classic match 8-7!

Congrats to both players for a  worthy contribution to Finals Day!

Andrew Barker vs Charlie Foreman, 40 Category Final, 26/6/21


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T&RA Category Tournaments

Not had enough Category Tournaments? If  so consider signing up for the T&RA versions. They are in September at various different Clubs (50 at Prested, 30 at Hatfield, the others are a bit further afield).

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Varsity, this Weekend 2-4 July

Friday & Saturday
Firsts at Lord’s
Stream from Lord’s Friday
Stream from Lord’s Saturday

Sunday @Cambridge
Seconds Women
Stream Women’s matches (Blue Ct)
Seconds Men
Stream Men’s matches (Green Ct)
As ever we are very grateful to Pol Roger for their sponsorship and the MCC and T&RA for their support

**Apologies, but players and pros only, no spectators**


09.30  Womens 2nd Singles: Oxford
10.30  Mens 4th Singles: Cambridge
11.30  Mens 3rd Singles: Cambridge
13.00  Womens 1st Singles: Oxford
14.00  Womens 4th Singles: Oxford
1500  Mens 1st Doubles: Oxford
09.30  Womens 2nd Doubles: Oxford
10.30  Mens 2nd Doubles: Cambridge
12.30  Womens 3rd Singles: Oxford
13.30  Womens 1st Doubles: Oxford
14.30  Mens 2nd Singles: Oxford
16.00  Mens 1st Singles: Oxford
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60 Category Final

Another 8-7 classic! TK shot off to an early lead and looked as if he was going to run away with it with a range of measured shots down the sides of the court along with TK’s trademark volleys. But William hung in there and began to inch back and take a 6-5 lead with some great volleys of his own. It was then William’s turn to falter and suddenly it was 7-all but, perhaps crucially, William was at the service end and proceeded to hit the Grille for the winning point (see below, honest!)
Congrats to both players for another entertaining final!

TK vs William Waldock, 60 Category Final, 26/6/21

A well socially distanced presentation followed…

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30 Category Final

I don’t know what Stephen had for breakfast on Saturday but he was clearly on top form when he reached the Court to play Andy on Finals Day. In wasn’t so much that Andy had a shocker, he didn’t, but that Stephen snuffed out any attempt that Andy made to get back into the game with a complete ruthlessness. Stephen shot off to an early lead and frankly, that was that!
Congratulations, Stephen and commiserations, Andy

Andy Smith vs Stephen Doel, 30 Category Final, 26/6/21

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80+ Category Final

Congratulations to Marcus and Catherine for ‘serving’ up a splendid inaugural 80+ Category Tournament final. The match had everything: fantastic serving, great shots, not so great shots and some splendid rallies. Catherine shot off to an early lead based on her devilish bobble serve but Marcus hung in there. He finally got some serious time at the service end to demonstrate his own serving expertise and clawed his way back to 5-all. The lead then flip flopped a couple of times until 7-all but crucially, Marcus was serving at the start of the last game…
I hope (and pray) that I am not drawn in the same group as either of them in the Graduate Cup!

Marcus Streets vs Catherine Stewart, 80+ Category Final, 26/6/21

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Live Stream of Finals Day, Sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning

Apologies but the gremlins were out in force today. Streams of most of the tennis are available at the links below. (The 80+ and 60 are a bit ‘spotty and there are sound problems!)
Fantastic matches (3x 8-7, 1x 8-6) and way above handicap level tennis!

Stream 1: Green Court
10:45 am: 80+ Category Tournament Final (Catherine Stewart vs Marcus Streets)
11:45 am: 60-69 Category Tournament Final Start (William Waldock vs Tony Kennedy)
12:30 pm: 40-49 Category Tournament Final Mid way (Andrew Barker vs Charlie Foreman)
12:30 pm: 40-49 Category Tournament Final Finish (Andrew Barker vs Charlie Foreman)
1:30 pm: 20-29 Category Tournament Final (Marc Bonaventura vs Charles D’Oyly)
4:00 pm: CURTC Ladies Championship Semi-final (Vix Harvey vs Jacqueline Siu)

Stream 2: Blue Court
10:30 am: 30-39 Category Tournament Final (Stephen Doel vs Andy Smith)

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We can now sing his praises…

Ben Geytenbeek…apologies for the dreadful pun but it is great to announce that Ben is the winner of the University of Cambridge Sport, 2021 Unsung Hero Award. More HERE

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