Tennis tournaments 2022

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The Rye annual invitation tournament took place over four hot and sunny days from Friday, July 29 to Monday, August 1. Celebrating one hundred years since the club was founded and the first tournament was held, some 210 players came together to do battle on the club’s outstanding grass courts.

The standard of tennis was extremely high throughout. The men’s singles final saw a repeat of last year’s match, with top Queen’s Club player Matt Brooklyn taking on eighteen-year-old Thomas Drayton, who recently joined the senior circuit. With some fierce rallying from both sides and great tactical play, Brooklyn’s experience won the day in a close contest (7-6, 7-5), despite some determined opposition from the talented teenager.

Men’s singles finalists Matt Brooklyn and Thomas Drayton

In the ladies’ singles, the last-minute withdrawal of Croatian former ITF player Iva Saric, the number 1 seed, left the field wide open. Last year’s singles runner-up, Marine Beugre-Guyot from France, a 2019 Rye ladies’ doubles winner and this year’s number 2 seed, powered her way to the final once again to meet former ITF player and Hurlingham first team member Camille Goodman.

Having come through a close semi-final against talented ten-year-old Milena Nahomaya, Goodman found herself up against a sparkling Beugre-Guyot who, having defeated her doubles partner Nicola Guzowska in the previous match, stormed her way to victory.

Club chairman Jonathan Jempson with ladies’ doubles winners Nicola Guzowska and Marine Beugre-Guyot

The ladies’ doubles final was a closely contested match between last year’s winners, Victoria Brook and fellow Surrey county player Natalie Haden-Scott, and Marine Beugre-Guyot and Nicola Guzowska of Cumberland Tennis Club. After some hard-hitting exchanges, Beugre-Guyot and Guzowska just got their noses in front to take the title.

Ladies doubles finalists Marine Beugre-Guyot, Nicola Guzowska, Victoria Brook and Natalie Haden-Scott

In the men’s doubles final, Queen’s champions Matt Brooklyn and David Scales faced previous Rye winners Mark Hadley and Lewis Burton. After some fearsome ground strokes and quick-fire net play, the Queen’s pair just gained the upper hand and took the match.

The mixed doubles saw Dusan Miljevic and Alice Keddie pitted against last year’s winners Henry Moore and Muriel Wacker, all Camden Hill LTC players, with Moore and Wacker retaining their title in a close contest.

Men’s doubles finalists Mark Hadley, Lewis Burton, David Scales and Matt Brooklyn

The B groups and handicap sections also witnessed an exceptionally high standard of play, with some very competitive matches and wins for Rye LTC members Jill Gradon in the ladies’ singles and Kitty Kittley, playing with Freddie Chambers, in the mixed doubles.

Hot on the heels of the invitation tournament this year came the Two Generation Tournament, organised by Christopher Stephenson, with a bumper turnout of more than forty pairs of parents, children, uncles, aunts and cousins filling every court in the club. This year saw perhaps the widest age gap between the youngest and oldest.

Theo Maynard stepped in for his first tournament, aged seven, and hero of the day Ben Hay, eighty, partnered his 6 foot 7 inch grandson Angus. The standard of the tennis was impressive, with shot of the day going to Florence Stephenson for a diving forehand pass down the line.

The junior tournament, from Wednesday 3 to Friday, August 5, was a packed-out event with some 325 entrants enjoying non-stop sunshine. There was a strong local presence among the entries, as well as visitors from Andover, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, London and Surrey. On the first day, in the boys’ singles, sixteen-year-old Alexander Johnson from Robertsbridge came through to win against Max Routledge, a member of the Le Tennis performance squad at Maresfield LTC.

In the girls’ singles, local Rye LTC member Esme Brady-Rogerson was triumphant in a strong field. The following day, Alexander went on to take the boys’ doubles title playing alongside William Liggett, from Sedlescombe, in a tight match against Tom Morton and Ed Patrick from London.

In the girls’ doubles, Esme Brady-Rogerson, partnering Kate Smith from Pavilion & Avenue LTC in Hove, narrowly defeated Honor Fox and Sasha Llewellyn, who both play at the Kings School, Canterbury. After an evening of pizza and music organised by the club on Thursday evening, the mixed doubles on Friday saw Rye LTC member Evie Hoffman partnering London resident Alfonso Ede Bray (the only Rye non-member in the final) beating members Will Mclean and Esme Brady-Rogerson.

The Rye LTC closed tournament, organised by Bob Thomson and David Goddard for members only, was held in hot sunshine on Saturday, August 6. Thirty-five entrants took part on a glorious day with perfect conditions for tennis. Dan Furnival was victorious in the men’s singles.  After meeting some stiff opposition in the early rounds, especially from Phil Harper, he overcame Simon Crispin in an entertaining final.

Ollie Bearcroft and Harry Whitfield, two junior members, also acquitted themselves well and impressed in the senior draw. Vicki Lowe retained her title in the ladies’ singles in a closely fought match, which sadly saw her opponent Melanie Baynton-Perret retiring after the first set. The early rounds of the men’s doubles were also very competitive, culminating in an entertaining final in which Scott Brotherton and coach Richard Pratt faced some spirited opposition from Phil Harper and Jonny Leslie, before taking the match. In the ladies’ doubles, Vicki Lowe teamed up with Heather Mott to win for a second time.

In the junior closed section, run by coach Suzy Larkin, Ollie Bearcroft won the junior under 15 singles without dropping a game, despite coming straight from the senior draw to play his first match in very hot conditions. He met Harry Whitfield in the final and continued his great form to take the match.

Will Mclean and Freddie Furnival had a very close match in the battle for third and fourth place, with Freddie coming back from behind to take the match 7-5. In the junior under 11 round robin event, Rohan Andrews won all his matches, only dropping one game overall. Bertie Furnival fought very hard throughout the day and was runner-up of the event.

The Farmer tournament, an invitation mixed doubles named in memory of RLTC board member John Farmer, took place on Sunday, August 7. The sun shone throughout the day on the 34 couples who had entered and the many spectators who turned up to show their support. The bar did an excellent job of quenching everyone’s thirst and the Pink Kitchen provided a delicious barbecue.

With all group matches completed, the semi-final saw previous winners Scott Brotherton and Vicki Lowe battle it out against Peter Ludgate and Tina Bird. Facing a fierce handicap against them, the former champions were victorious and went on to face Lucy Stephenson and Luke Alderwick, who had come through the other semi-final against Jim Ross and Katie Menzies. Local duo Scott and Vicki stormed ahead in the final to take the trophy, which was presented by club chairman Jonathan Jempson.

On Tuesday, August 23, Tim Henman and All England LTC Head Coach Dan Bloxham will be hosting an open day at the club as part of Rye LTC’s centenary celebrations. Visitors are welcome.

Image Credits: Zoe Richmond-Watson .

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