Eccentricities of tennis scoring system on show in weather-hit start to Portsmouth Summer League season

The vagaries of the spring weather meant that only half the matches scheduled for the opening week of the Portsmouth Summer League season were completed.

By Community Sport Reporter
Friday, 8th April 2022, 9:25 am

But amongst the five was one the best possible examples of the eccentricity of the tennis scoring system, writes ALAN BEST.

Ryde Mead ladies made a short hop over the Solent to take on CourtX in a Division 2 clash. And Ryde went home with all three points after winning all four rubbers. An easy win, then? Not at all!

Indeed, CourtX actually won exactly the same number of games as Ryde Mead.

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Ryde’s top pair, Kirsty Roberts and Carrie Drake, set them on their way with a straight sets win against Karen Claeys and Ashley Law.

Jikita Davey and Rachel Andrews carried on the good work by taking the first set off Caroline Hardy and Dawn Dewilde 6-4. But the latter pair took the second set 6-1, before losing their momentum and the match tie break.

They did the same thing against Roberts and Drake, ending up winning 20-16 on games in their two rubbers, but losing both of them!

To add insult to injury, Claeys and Law won 12 games in the final rubber, against Davey and Andrews’ 10 – but lost the rubber on a match tie break!

The men’s 1sts match between Warsash and Avenue was almost as remarkable, but for a different reason.

Avenue stunned the newly-crowned Winter League champions by taking both the opening rubbers. James Rosenthal and Luke Mendez (playing against his former club) scored a stunning three-set win over Ian Udal and Martin Wilkinson, taking the final set 6-0.

And they were backed up by Christophe Hardy and David Moakes who edged past Matt Pond and Andy Herrod Taylor, again in three sets.

But Warsash are not a title-winning team for nothing. Udal and Wilkinson regrouped and beat Hardy and Moakes in straight sets. Pond and Herrod-Taylor then repeated the feat to win their second rubber in straight sets, enabling Warsash to share the rubbers but claim the winning draw points by 6 sets to 4.

CourtX men’s 1 defeated Ryde Lawn 1sts 4-0, and this really was a comfortable whitewash! Meanwhile, in Ladies 4, Cheryl Goater and Gwen Isaacs led Abshot to a 3-1 victory over Chichester 2 while Alverstoke’s top pair, Sue Western and Nicky Heyworth, were just too strong for both Rowlands Castle pairs.

With Tracy Lazenbury and Sue Titterington backing them up with a win over Castle’s second string, Alverstoke returned home with all three points.

The focus this weekend switches to the annual Solent Cup challenge, when the winners of the respective Portsmouth and Southampton Winter Leagues play off for the honour of their district.

Having had a scare against Avenue, Warsash’s men’s team will hope to make a better start when they take on their club colleagues who represent the club in the Southampton League,

both teams (which are run independently) having won their respective titles.

The ladies are represented by Chichester, who take on Winchester. Both matches will be played concurrently, at Thornden School, with a 1pm start. Spectators are welcome.