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Xmas Tournament 2023

Full Results

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Giraffe Club Cup Gallery

Full Results

Div 1 Final: Arthur & Charlie vs Jon & Ollie

Div 2 Final: John & Phoebe vs Richard & Mihir

Andy congratulates the Div 1 winners

Jon learns how many match points they had…

John in a state of shock after he and Phoebe win

Ed ponders on what might have been with a ghostly backdrop

and last…

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The Brooke Report: CURTC visit Lords

Simon Martin & Sidney Yankson vs Colin Clifton-Brown & Andrew Petrie

Hello again, it’s me, Brooke The Dog, with a report back from your club’s visit to Lord’s on 9th December. A Kennel Club Christmas lunch had me elsewhere but I have heard back from assorted club members. As ever, nobody was surprised when the day ended in a two apiece draw. It’s what Cambridge does on the road. What was a surprise was that no match went to a third set. However, given that each match was scheduled for 75 minutes, the matches continued, often with the servers changed. It was fun, I’m told, and it worked. There were rave reviews over the welcome and hospitality and it’s always a special place to play. I always took the tennis to be a by-product of their day out anyway. The day did have its disappointment. He (Mr Revier) smarted a little when he looked into the viewing area mid-match to see she (Mrs Revier) had left and was loudly enjoying lunch. He’s blamed her for his defeat since.

The day’s highlight, she’s been all too keen to tell me several times, was the day’s last match. With the hosts’ unable to supply handicap appropriate opposition, The MCC kindly provided court time and marking for a Cambridge Exhibition match between Riya (aged 12) and Marc (15) vs Mihir (20+) and Camice (tba). This was the day’s only three set match. Indeed, it went to 5 all, forty all and was entertainingly marked by our hosts. Mrs Revier has played here before and one day, perhaps, the other three will realise how special it is.

In sport, Brooke


…and after: CURTC, 2 – 2, MCC

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LRTA British Ladies Handicap Tournament 2023*

Outside, the grey rain..  Luckily, the inside of Prested Real Tennis Club is not glumly decorous like most RT Clubs, but glories in a vibrant clash of colours: pink floors, green and blue stripes, yellow lines – some find this a cue to go and lie down on the welcoming leather sofas, but in the weather conditions of the LRTA Ladies Handicap weekend, the bold décor was just the thing to get our blood racing.

There were twenty four players– with an age range from 12 year old Lexi to a select group whose age data is carefully locked behind an inscrutable password (we hope).

This year the tournament saw an exceptional French turnout of seven, all thanks to Bernie Bidouze’s tour operator talents. Among them, Amy Wintersteen, an American interloper currently living in Bordeaux, to make the tournament a truly global event. Huzzah!

Arriving en masse in a large van, the Bordelaises proceeded to first take over the club with French chatter, and then the tournament, with feisty, competitive tennis.  They also were extremely voluble supporters of their team, cheering not only the success of their own, but also every stumble or fault by the opposition – this cunning plan was very effective…

Bernie provided the gaiety on court – her long shorts billowing round her sturdy calves; hands waving at the penthouse to invite the ball into the right spot; a firm volley at the net into a far corner – and of course, the frequent ‘merde!’ coming – possibly – from her direction.

The French contingent played above their pay grade with Bernie (and Kate Evers) winning the Division 1 Final, Typhanie and Cécile also reaching the finals, and Amy, Jeannette, Florence and Emmanuelle all going knockout. through to the Not surprisingly, the group plans to come back next year to beat les Anglaises again.

Full results will be found on the LRTA website before too long.

Div 1 Singles Final
Sarah Sullivan had been playing excellent consistent tennis throughout, solid and safe and she continued this way in the Final, and with a hefty handicap in her favour, kept up with Ulla Petti whose athleticism had been very apparent in all her matches, But by 4/2 to Ulla, the strength and accuracy of Ulla’s shots into corners took their toll, though Sarah never stopped trying. 6/3 to Ulla.

Div 1 Doubles Final
Bernie and Kate Evers against Amy Pye and Cécile was a great prospect and so it turned out.  There were a number of great rests, with Kate and Bernie usually coming out on top.  Amy and Cécile were patchy at times, playing superbly for 2 or 3 points, and then over-casual for the next 3. No such favours from Bernie and Kate, who were solid throughout, and Bernie’s war dance told it all.  She really wanted to win, and she and Kate stayed ahead all the way, embracing French style after every difficult rest, winning 8/4.

But to finish, some particularly outstanding efforts:

Most consistent:
Sarah Sullivan, who won all her first round singles and doubles matches (plus adding more in further stages)
Best hair styling:
Saffron and Emilia, the Wellington girls, who not only played their socks off, but also had matching pony tails with an hypnotic bouncy life of their own.
Best Victory Dance: 
Bernie by a mile.
Best use of the tambour:  
Amy and Cécile in their semi-final
Most promising:     
Typhanie and Emily Wilson, who both began to play barely a year ago.
Most fearsome
A tie between Ulla and Kate who were obviously AI generated, hence able to run, reach and return any missile aimed at them.
One last thought:
Only two winning gallery shots were landed during the two and a half days….  Now why should that be?? Answers on an envelope, please.

Our thanks to the Prested Club and committee, and to the professionals, Levi and Vaughan, for their excellent marking. Also the catering staff, the kind hosts who offered beds, and all who made it such a successful tournament, especially Kate Evers, Sarah Sullivan and Candida Nicholls who did the organising, Ian for the scheduling, and all those others too many to mention.

Linda Fairbrother, LRTA & CURTC

*Many thanks to the LRTA and Linda for allowing us to post this splendid report!

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The Brooke Report – The Callender Cup At Wellington – 4th & 5th, November

The author surveying her weekend accommodation

Hello again. I told you I’d update you on the Revier’s progress in The Callender Cup. It won’t take long. With the winners of our own handicap doubles, Messrs Christie and Sharpe, unavailable that weekend, the Reviers, as losing finalists, stepped in. It should have been a two day event, the top two from four going through to the second day’s knockout. Should have been.

On the Friday we drove down, staying overnight at a Tudor pile twenty minutes from the club. The Reviers were the afternoon group on court at 12.30 on the Saturday so a late, rather good, breakfast and a cross-country walk was a great start to the bright, blue sky day. The Wellington club is in the grounds of the very private public school and the court is the other side of a manned, barriered gateway. Sadly, it was half-term so we never saw what you got for your money.

Saturday pm Group

The court staff were very welcoming while the court itself is bright, clean and very powder blue. And then there was the tennis. She wasn’t at her best while he was at his worst. First up were early twenties Messrs Swindon and Eaton (53) from Queens whose game was a mix of every racquet sport you’d ever seen. She played her usual game while he missed with what few chances he had. 6/0 came as a surprise to nobody. The came Prested’s father and son, the Dicksons (46). He never came to terms with the son’s serve that spat of the back wall in all directions but 6/3 was tidier. Lastly, in a long-dead rubber, came the more familiar faces of Hardwick’s Candida Nicholls and Derrick Wells (56) as both sides laughed their way to another 6/3 Cambridge defeat. Politely, we stayed until the end of the day’s play then slipped away.

2023 Callender Cup Winners

We didn’t go back on the Sunday but I was well walked in the Tudor grounds so I didn’t care. I heard the tournament was won by Hampton Court’s Katy Doy and Henry Dalton (75) playing off the weekend’s highest handicap so the Reviers, playing off the weekend’s third highest, had no excuse. Still, I had a fun weekend and the Reviers took their defeat well. After all, they’re getting used to it.

In sport, Brooke

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CURTC Handicap Doubles Final

A relatively recent addition to the pantheon of CURTC championships, cups, trophies and competitions is the the CURTC Handicap Doubles. This was stimulated by the Initiation of the Callender Cup, the national championship for club handicap doubles champions/runners-up, similar to the Chetwood trophy for Singles, by the good folks at Wellington. Last year’s winners, Joe Zygmunt and John Reid were sadly unable to defend their title due to injury (but have recently been spotted back on court). The group stage results are HERE which left myself and Alan Sharpe to battle it out with Brooke and the Reviers. But first we had a masterclass in how not to take a selfie. This was (by far) the best of the various shots of the ceiling, feet and 3 (or fewer) of the 4 of us.

After a brief warm-up, we lost the spin and decided on a tactic of ‘no mistakes’ facing a considerable handicap disadvantage. Our first stroke went straight into the net (the one in the middle of the court, not one round the periphery). But oddly enough, this was the last such stroke for some time as we shot (perhaps a bit of an exaggeration due to the prevalence of replacement joints on our side of the net) into a significant lead. TK found the nick with his service mercifully elusive and Camice high bombs needed just a bit more direct sunlight to be really tricky.
Mr Mo had a last laugh (giggle?) as TK found the nick and I dispatched a couple of Camice’s high serves firmly into the net (yes the one in the middle). But in the end we won a tight contest 8-3.
Now to find a place for another Honours Board… (BTW, we are still having damp issues which is why the existing Honours Boards have not all been returned to their rightful spots)

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CURTC Ladies at Hatfield House, Sunday, 29th October

Hello again. It’s me Brooke The Dog back from another real tennis awayday. On a soggy Sunday I had the Reviers drive me to the elegant and dog-friendly Hatfield House. It’s on what was a Jacobean housing estate and, the Reviers tell me, an hour down the A1 but I just slept all the way. Always do.

Cambridge’s tennis started rather well with Anna Chesca all too easily beating Hatfield’s Sarah Sullivan whose sole game brought a sympathetic cheer from the dedans. Once Anna left the court, more ordinary service was resumed. Sonja Badenhorst beat Hatfield’s Steve Sullivan 6/3 6/3 in an entertaining game. I could then only watch as the players enjoyed a rather attractive lunch but, sadly, not only was I not invited, I wasn’t given the plates to clear. After lunch Phoebe Fox looked set for victory until Hatfield’s Ros Emrys-Roberts rallied after taking mid-match potions that were probably leftovers from an Eastern Bloc athletics tournament such was her improvement and she won over three sets. Stacey Sandigurskaia then produced some of the day’s more elegant ground strokes against Hatfield’s Martin Hornsby. Sadly, they were into her side of the net and she, too, lost over three sets. This left Camice Revier and Tim Emrys-Roberts with the decider. Camice won the lengthy first set 6/4 but went 0/4 down in the second leaving us expecting the joys of a third and Jon, Hatfield’s scoring pro, could hardly contain his disappointment at missing out on one more set as Camice fought back to win 6/5.

I rather enjoyed the day as, I think did the players.

Next week I’m taking the Reviers to Wellington for a weekend of handicap doubles tournament. I’ll let you know how they get on.


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CURTC Annual Subscriptions

To make this easier and more convenient for members the Club will now collect all annual subscriptions by direct debit using GoCardless on or shortly after October 1st each year.
Read More

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Battle of the *URTC’s

The Millennium Court

An intrepid band of CURTC members battled the remnants of Storm Babet and Network Rail’s ‘brilliant’ strategy for dealing with aforesaid remnants to visit MURTC in Hendon last weekend. Nestled alongside a multitude of multi lane highways in various states of disrepair, the magnificent Millenium court is under threat of closure as many of you will no doubt have heard. Things may not look quite as bleak as they did before the pandemic hit but there is no solution in sight. MURTC currently have an enthusiastic set of students playing (they are looking forward to the Inter Unis at CURTC in March) and their current junior pro is an alumnus as was at least one member of their team.

The early shift saw myself and Charles Norbury take on Mark Hefferman and CURTC alumnus, Danny Leboff, in Singles and Doubles. Charles started off a storm until I started watching from the Dedans when a series of 40-all points went the Hendon Way and it was first blood to MURTC. The Doubles was a different story as while playing I could not watch from the Dedans but only admire Charles’ near faultless display of volleying from the Court. 1-all. Unfortunately Danny has two big advantages over me as I quickly discovered. He is a lot younger and quicker and perhaps more crucially at MURTC, closer to the ground and although I staged a bit of a comeback from 2-6 it was only enough to avoid a large loss on RTO.

Next up, was the biggest age difference of the day (and possibly ever at MURTC) of 65 years (give or take) as Felicity Riddall-Bell took on the experience of Alastair Hume. They traded the first 6 games in a remarkably cagey contest until Felicity unleashed a Dedans barrage which took the spectators and no doubt Alastair rather by surprise and suddenly Felicity was serving for and winning the match. The CURTC Doubles pairing of Felicity and Danny Lawrence did get off to a bit of a rocky start (it was Danny’s 2nd game of Doubles) but slowly the CURTC pair gained composure and control as a more relaxed Danny and Felicity played some impressive shots and avoided both the ‘double(s) leave’ and running into each other.

At this point the rumours started swirling that Kings Cross had been closed so I missed the denouement of Danny’s Singles against CURTC Country member, Colin Luke. The only 8-7 result of the day and it meant CURTC’s middle order had swept the board and put CURTC 4-2 up with 3 to play…


Sadly the 3 to play all went the Hendon Way as I struggled to find a way into Kings Cross where the Cambridge trains were running but empty as getting on them was such a challenge. The entire station was closed off both from ground level and below with supposedly several thousand people inside. Unbelievable.
Many thanks to MURTC for such a warm welcome and the Pros Jack Carter and Will Burns for organising, marking and lunch. Fingers crossed that a deal can be done to save their splendid Court!

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East Anglian Pennant 2023

CURTC opening with an impressive 4-2 away win at Hatfield Real tennis Club on Thursday12th October. This kicks off this year EAP tournament, matches involve 4 singles and 2 doubles with victories in the singles by Arthur Adams, Alan Sharpe and Ben Craig and a doubles win by Jonathan Wallach & Ben Craig. All matches were very close encounters with CURTC winning the crucial points that mattered.
Thank you to my team for the great efforts involved even though we didn’t get back to Cambridge much before 12.30am!
Looking forward to round 2 in November

That Serve!

Minty Oldham serving to Arthur Adams

Alan Sharpe – CURTC EAP (Capt.)

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Old Rugbeians take the spoils (and wine)

The Old Rugbeians visited earlier today and CURTC, gracious hosts that we are, allowed them to take the honours on court and then keep the wine at their end of the table!

Tim Bolton Carter


Photo Credits: Kees

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Champagne Leagues Finals

Division 1 saw Charles Harcourt giving up three points to someone whose face looks familiar but the name escapes me. The familiar face needed a quick start and, in spite of an effort at self-handicapping, succeeded and was quickly 2-0 to the good. Unfortunately the good didn’t last and Charles’ unerring accuracy didn’t err enough to give his opponent much of a chance. And so Charles reversed the score line to lead 5-2. Mr Mo(memtum) had one more laugh as the familiar one with either a touch of desperation or more purpose (your choice) smashed, framed and stroked his way to levelling the score at 5-all. But Mr Mo had had enough and the unerring accuracy stopped erring and Charles took the next 3 games.

Division 2 saw a resurgent John Bailey take on the ever improving Liam Guyton. There was a collective groan from the admittedly Bailey biased Dedans as John completely missed his first shot as the ball came down from an admittedly great height and fell for chase 2. It was quickly 1-0 to Liam and the Dedans were preparing for an early getaway. Maybe 1-0 is not exactly Lazarus territory but John grabbed Mr Mo by the scruff of the neck and traded games to 4-all. The Dedans were treated to some notable rallies and some frankly remarkable footwork from both players but, given recent history, John’s was surely the more remarkable. And suddenly JB had served himself to a 40-owe 15 lead in the crucial 9th* game. But after giving up a chase due to some frankly unremarkable footwork, Mr Mo decided he would stay down the server’s end and Liam closed out the contest.

Congratulations to our worthy winners and here are some more pictures of the bottles from sponsor Pol Roger seen in the post below.

CL Div 1 winner: Charles Harcourt

CL Div 2 winner: Liam Guyton

Photo credits, Kate Kirk

*Whereas the 7th game is normally seen as the crucial game in a set, this time it wasn’t…

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Champagne Leagues, sponsored by Pol Roger, Finals

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Real Tennis World Championship starts tonight, Sunday, September 17th

From the planet’s newest Real/Court Tennis court at the Westwood Country Club just outside Washington DC in the US of A, John Lumley takes on the World Champion, Camden Riviere

Day 1, 7pm

Day 2, September 19th, 10pm

Day 3, September 21st, 6pm

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RCC inaugural Rob & Claire Fahey Cup

CURTC hosted the Real Champions Club** annual(ish) tennis tournament which this time featured the rather splendid Rob & Claire Fahey Cup (or Trophy, depending on who you believe). A very, very hot and steamy weekend of on court action tested the stamina and (in my case) the number of vaguely respectable tennis shirts of 32 players from across the UK. Saturday saw the Box Matches (round robin of similarly handicapped pairs) followed by the KO rounds on Sunday. In between was a visit to an equally hot Cambridge University Rugby Club for some of Sebastian’s splendid catering and a complete absence of draught or cold beer.

CURTC was represented by some familiar names including the Reviers who romped, bobbed and weaved through the 60(ish) Box matches. Jon Speirs and Jin Lee survived a very tough group of high velocity tennis and my pair survived by the narrowest of margins to play another day. The Reviers came a bit unstuck by the ‘early night’ tactic of their Sunday opponents but Jon & Jin seemed to suffer somewhat from Jon’s different interpretation of ‘early’. So the final was CURTC member free but congratulations to Dan Worboys and Amy Pye (6th and 7th from left above) who took away the aforementioned cup/trophy presented by the great man himself. Dan & Amy only lost one match the entire weekend but modesty forbids me from mentioning their opponents.

Scores can be found here but please note they only reflect the games score, the winner being the pair ahead on points when the buzzer sounded.

Many thanks to Candida Nicholls, Martin Village and Carl Snitcher from the RCC and our Pros who manfully marked two days of intense tennis. Louise provided a memorable lunch on Saturday as did Vix on Sunday. We look forward to welcoming back the RCC sometime in the future, preferably when it isn’t quite as hot!

**The RCC was set up to help fund the ‘Investing In Professionals’ program which provides a structured program to deliver Real Tennis Apprenticeships and enhance the skills of Real Tennis Professionals. They provided support for our very own Jim Ludekens during his apprenticeship.

R&C F T winners, Amy & Dan

David Phillips & Giles Stogdon, runners-up

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