Avenue ladies suffer surprise loss at Ryde – Portsmouth & District Tennis League round-up
Five years ago Emma Raducanu was playing local league tennis for her club in Bromley. Now she is the US Open champion. So, is the next Emma playing in the Portsmouth & District League? Who knows!
There are some 460 fixtures to be played over the winter, with a similar number in the summer season, so there is plenty of opportunity for any ambitious youngsters to take part and hone their competitive skills, writes ALAN BEST.
Of the 460 winter matches, 120 (over 25 per cent) involve teams from the Isle of Wight, equivalent to just under 1,000 Solent crossings over the season. As a result, the league is very grateful for the generous support offered to our players by Wightlink.
The ladies from Avenue 1 were the first team to make the crossing this season, and they would have been disappointed to return home empty handed.
Ryde Lawn 1sts took the three points thanks mainly to a surprise win for their second pair, Carrie Bateman and Kahren Barter, over Avenue’s No 1 pair Anna Newman and Emma Boucher.
Newman and Boucher recovered to beat Ryde’s top pair, but by then the damage had been done.
Ryde 2nds ladies made the crossing in the other direction, beating Chichester 2nds 3-1 with Suree Russell and Andrea Waugh winning both their rubbers.
In the same division, Ladies 2, Warsash 2nds got their winter campaign off to a good start, with a 4-0 win over Lee 2nds.
Ladies 3 saw a 4-0 win for CourtX 2nds against Ventnor, but it was not quite as straightforward as it looks.
CourtX had to win tie breaks in both the opening rubbers and were then taken to 7-5, 7-5 in a third rubber before securing victory.
In the same division, Seacourt secured a relatively straightforward 4-0 win over Avenue 3rds.
The final ladies match, in Division 5, went entirely the way of Southsea, who lost just three games in six sets until Caroline Baverstock and Janet Briggs fought back to win the final rubber for Chichester 2nds.
Men’s Division 2 looks like being very competitive this winter. Promoted Fishbourne 1sts started in style, beating Warsash 2nds 3-1, while CourtX 2 won 3-1 after 11 gruelling sets at Ryde Lawn 2nds.
CourtX men’s 4ths were also in action, where Carlton Green’s second pair, Chris Weatherill and Peter Hewson, surprised Court No 1s Tim Fielder and Rod Bailey; having lost the second set 0-6, they won the match tie break before claiming a 3-1 win overall.
Other Division 4 results saw Lee 4ths beat Fishbourne 2nds, again by 3-1, while Southsea 4ths and Rowlands Castle fought out a marathon with the rubbers shared 2-2. Southsea claimed the points by winning 6 of the 11 sets played.
The only mixed match involved Avenue 2nds and Ryde Lawn, Avenue edging home by 3-1 thanks to two victories for Lucy Smith and Doug Galley.
The midweek “masters” competition also resumed with two ladies matches.
Avenue 1sts’ Heather Halliday and Jackie Edney claimed a tie break win over Sara Smyth and Kate Hogan to clinch a 3-1 match win, Smyth and Hogan having beaten Gill Clarke and Nicky Woolhead to claim a consolation rubber.
CourtX midweek ladies swept all before them in the “restart” competition, but the IoW clubs were unable to enter a team in that competition due to travel restrictions.
Ryde are now back and they halted CourtX’s march, but only just. The rubbers were shared 2-2 and the sets 4-4, the two teams being separated only on countback of games won – and then only by four games.