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European Inter-Universities Weekend Nov 25-27, 2011

Posted on November 28, 2011 | in Event, Tournament | by

A total of 35 students from 8 Universities participated in the tournament, which was hosted by the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club for the 4th successive year. There were two tournaments running in parallel, an Individual Handicap competition and a level Inter-University Cup (IUC); in which teams played two singles and one doubles in each round.

In the Individual Handicap semi-finals James Thomas (Cambridge) raised his game to beat an exhausted Tom Lewis (Bristol) 6-2. In the 2nd semi, Tom Playford (Cambridge) won a close encounter with Charlie Marlow-Thomas (Durham) 6-4. James proved too solid an opponent for Tom in the final and took the match 8-4.

In the IUC competition, Oxford produced a clinical display to win both singles matches 10-0 in their semi-final against Middlesex. Although, in the doubles, the Middlesex pair was far more comfortable, using their lawn tennis background to full advantage. The Oxford pair’s experience was again the difference and they progressed to the final.

Cambridge and Bristol shared the singles matches in the other half of the draw with Oli Watson (Cambridge) defeating Ian Finlayson ()Bristol) 10-3 and Tom Lewis causing Cambridge to be concerned by defeating Jules Camp (10-4). James Watson strengthened the Cambridge team in the doubles, by combining well with Camp, to defeat the Bristol pair and set up an Oxbridge grudge match in the final.

The first singles match between Jules Camp (Cambridge) and Alex Evans (Oxford) turned out to be the match of the weekend, with Jules winning 10-6 and taking revenge for his defeat in the Varsity match the previous year. The 1st string singles was between Simon Roach (Oxford) and James Watson (Cambridge), and after some close early exchanges, James came through 10-5. The doubles was a closely fought match in which Cambridge led at the beginning, only to see Oxford claw back and get to 7-games first. Then James Watson justified his superior ranking by leading the Cambridge team to save a match point and later to eventually win the doubles 8/7. Cambridge won 3 matches to nil.

Particular mention goes to Tom Lewis, who competed in the tournament for his 4th and final time and to the Oxford Brookes and the Royal Veterinary College teams who made their debuts in the competition. This year Scott Blaber, the Cambridge Assistant Professional, took a leadership role in organising the event which all players agreed was extremely enjoyable. In the speeches at the Saturday dinner the Cambridge team of pros and Sue Ecob (catering) were thanked. Special mention went to Simon Marshall for establishing the weekend to what it is now; a key T&RA event, through his seven years of dedication to this task. Gratitude was also expressed for the continued sponsorship by Pol Roger, Incognito and Polistas and the support from the T&RA, all making major contributions to the success of the event.

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