TERRY MARSHALL HANDICAP SINGLES COMPETITION 2021
As the pandemic lockdown eased, much to our delight we were able to restart the normal playing activity within the club, including this annual event. However, our timetable had slipped and a later start date resulted in the competition taking place after the best of the summer weather had passed, so well done to those hearty souls who battled it out in some less than ideal conditions.
Thirteen entries were received, although regrettably due to injury one withdrew without playing a match and a couple of others only managed one or 2 matches. Those remaining were split into 2 groups of 6 with each player in the group playing all others. It was nice to see several newcomers to the event, including Ed Legard, Ian Towning, Thomas Archdeacon, Felicity Cunliffe-Lister and Stephen Hopkins. The group matches are an opportunity for players who don’t regularly play singles, to experience this aspect of the game, and from their comments it appears that some energetic and enjoyable tennis was played.
In Group 1 playing some excellent tennis Frank Kucera topped the group winning all his matches, although being taken to 3 sets by Ed Legard in a tough hard hitting battle. Ed won all his other matches, including a couple of close encounters against Stephen and David Butterworth, and thus qualified for the semi-final as group runner-up. Group 2 saw Simon Kitching top the group after a consistent run of strong performances to win all his matches, with Peter Misevic playing some inspired energetic tennis to qualify as group runner-up. Thus the semi-final line up was decided.
The first semi-final, between Frank and Peter, was a close run match with Frank proving the stronger in a 6–1, 6–3 victory. The match between Simon and Ed was something of a classic. Simon won the first set 6-2 and had a 5-1 lead in the 2nd. Ed then came back to take the set in a close tie-break, and thus the match went into the 3rd set, this being a Champions Tie-Break (up to 10 points), which Ed won narrowly by 10-7.
Our final between Frank and Ed took place on 6th November, a windy Saturday morning, starting at 10 am. For the first time ever the final was played in front of a full capacity crowd of 11 at the club. Despite the conditions, the match was full of high quality shots and long rallies. The first set went the distance into the tie-break which Ed secured by 7-5. In the second set Frank managed to take the advantage and took the set 6-2. The competitive tennis continued into the final set, which was a Champions Tie-Break, with Frank taking firm control and eventually running out winner by 10-3. This was an excellent final, which was enjoyed by the capacity crowd, who then retired to the MSA Club House for light refreshments and to warm up. Below left, Frank raises the cup, while Tom presents runner-up Ed with his trophy.
Congratulations to our 2 finalists, and in particular to Frank who becomes the first person to win this cup 3 times (no Frank you don’t get to keep it!). Congratulations also to all those who took part in the competition this year, we hope you enjoyed the experience and will enter again for next year’s event. Sincere thanks to all those who came out on a cold windy Saturday morning to support our finalists, who I am sure, appreciated your efforts and also your contributions to the light refreshments on offer in the club house during the trophy presentation. In the 2 pictures our finalists can be seen together in one, with Frank celebrating his win in the other. Finally, a sincere thank you to David Miller who organised the competition, along with all the club team selection business that keeps him busy. His efforts are much appreciated by us all.