Alverstoke given difficult Ryde in the sunshine

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Blu Baker in action this season

Baker on the rise in Florida

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SATURDAY proved to be a real scorcher on and off the court in Portsmouth & District League ladies’ division on.

Alverstoke served up a match worthy of the weather before going down 3-1 to Ryde Lawn.

Ryde’s number-one pairing of Sarah Hill and Carrie Bateman shone in a 6-1, 6-2 win after the first set of rubbers were shared.

Melissa O’Rian and Lisa Andrews sealed victory but only after new Alverstoke pairing Sarah Huntingdon and Angela Gill fought back to ensure a final set tie-break.

The division two relegation battle between Rowlands Castle and Warsash III followed a similar pattern.

Alice Wilkinson and Michele Harpur came through to defeat Karen Kirwan and Claire Ryan to give Castle the upper hand after the first set of rubbers were shared.

Liz Marenghi and Maria Wren then outlasted Warsash’s pair for a vital 3-1 victory.

Chichester powered into the division three promotion race with back-to-back 3-1 wins over Southsea II and Sarisbury Green.

Wickham strengthened their championship hopes with a 4-0 win over Avenue III.

Ventnor recorded their first win of the season, 4-0, over a valiant Warsash II side.

Credit must go to Warsash, though, who fulfilled the fixture by handing debuts to teenagers Ella Keeling and Ellie Wilkinson.

Elsewhere, champions-elect PTA cruised to their seventh successive victory, this time by 4-0 over Alverstoke II.

The Solent was buzzing with tennis players crossing both ways for mixed matches at the weekend.

On Saturday, Ryde Lawn III visited Seacourt in mixed division two and came away 4-0 winners.

While on Sunday, Avenue II and Rowlands Castle did the reverse crossing with Avenue going down 4-0 to Ryde Mead in division one, thus sealing their relegation.

Rowlands, who ran into personnel problems, made the journey with just one pair to avoid conceding the match,

They surprised themselves, though, beating Ryde Lawn’s number-two pair in a two-hour, three-set marathon, having trailed 5-2 in the final set.

In the only men’s game, Priory A just shaded Warsash II, 3-1, in the third tier.

Warsash skipper, Mark Lance and partner Luke Mendez provided stern opponents for Priory.