Summer is officially here!….Well, according to Rye Lawn Tennis Club who marked the start of the grass court season on Saturday May 23 with a mixed doubles competition for club members. With eight lovingly tended and superb quality grass courts to play on, the players were divided into four groups with each group playing its own round-robin competition, meaning that no-one was knocked out early and all got to play the same number of games.
This now being summer, rain should have been expected but, unlike last year, the day was dry although with grey skies and a persistent and chill wind to deal with.
While the standard of play varied from high to somewhat less than that, there can be no doubting the enthusiasm with which the players entered into the spirit of the day. Those who had braved the winter coaching sessions under the experienced guidance of head coach and World Championship-winning G.B. team member Frances Candy, could now demonstrate their acquired skills while the less brave, newly emerged from their sports-hibernation of the winter and still dusting the cobwebs from their rackets, had to work hard.
Throughout the afternoon the courts echoed to the thump of ball against racket and the gentle cries of ‘love-15’, ‘deuce’ or ‘advantage’ from the white-clad figures as the games progressed. No tennis afternoon, however, would be complete without a good tea and that was amply provided by Katie and Bridget of Pink Kitchen . Although the wonderful array of scones, sandwiches and cakes nourished the inner person, there must be some doubt as to whether an over-indulgence by some, of scones laden with jam and cream, really improved the standard of their post-tea games.
Finally, as play concluded, the sun deigned to put in an appearance and the winning pairs of each group – David Preston and Penny Cunningham, Ellie and Steven Cochrane, Isabella Cochrane and Ollie Thomas, Alice Marsh and Tom Jenkins – were presented with their prizes – chocolate from the Wimbledon Championships.
Photos: John Minter