Warm weather and long spells of sunshine greeted the annual club finals on 16 July, with an excellent turn-out of members and non-members enjoying some superb tennis, a barbecue, “high tea” and copious amounts of Pimms...
Spare a thought for Nic Mogford-Revess. After five and a half hours on court in rapidly rising temperatures, all Mogford had to show for his efforts were two runners up medals.
Mogford – title winner in 2013 and 14 – took on defending champion James Philpott in a thrilling men’s final. And after getting out of the blocks quickly to forge a 3-0 lead Mogford took the first set 6-4. Back came Philpott to win the second without dropping a game. And in a high quality deciding set the players traded service breaks to move to six games all. The 13th game proved unlucky for Mogford – Philpott broke him and then served out to love to win 4-6, 6-0, 8-6 in just under three hours.
The men’s doubles was another marathon, and a thoroughly entertaining one. Mogford and Lloyd Davey were aiming to improve on their runners-up spot last year. But Charlie Cade and Prav Reddy took a tight opening set on a tie break, only for Mogford and Davey to level at one set all.
The third set was just as evenly contested, with great net play and teamwork, and some thrilling chase-downs, with Davey at one point getting himself entangled in the side fence! Cade served for the title at 5-3 but was broken. Mogford and Reddy both held serve and then with the score at 5-6 Davey dropped his serve. So Cade and Reddy claimed the title with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 victory, and for Mogford it was another near miss.
Another busy player was perennial ladies single champion Pauline McFadden. She began an exhausting day by defending her doubles title with Margaret Bennett. In a tentative, attritional match against sisters Jo Naish and Micky Callcut, Bennett struggled to bring her legendary volleying into play – but when she did it was decisive. She and McFadden took the first set 7-5. Callcut had the chance to level things, serving at 5-4 and 30-0 up in the second. But she lost her serve and when Naish was also broken the defending champions prevailed 7-5, 7-5.
In a repeat of last year’s singles final McFadden looked up against it when she trailed 3-1 in the opening set to Sally Platt. But Platt won only one more game as McFadden pulled things round to win 6-3, 6-1 to take her 13th singles title in the last 14 years.
But McFadden’s hopes of making it a clean sweep were dashed as Bennett and Dan Hockley retained their mixed doubles title. Bennett and Hockley edged a close opening set, against McFadden and first time finalist Phil Williams. And then with McFadden understandably wilting a little after her earlier efforts, Bennett and Hockley completed a 6-4, 6-0 victory.