From left to right : Rob, Harry, Krisnaa and Eliot
Many thanks to Clare Parnham for the latest update …
The Byfleet 18U boys team got off to a spectacular winning start to their team tennis campaign this year. Their first fixture was tough, to say the least, playing the West Hants Tennis Academy away on 31st March. West Hants is generally considered to be just about the most prestigious tennis academy in the country and they fielded a very strong team, headed by Toby Samuel, the no.2 ranked 16 year old in GB. Eliot, Rob, Harry and Krisnaa all travelled down to Bournemouth early on the Sunday that the clocks went forward. However, they soon shrugged off the early start and the long car journey with Eliot and Rob getting the team off to the best possible start with a superb 2-6 6-3 10-8 win against Toby and Luca McManus. Toby is a fearsome doubles player and Luca is very solid having trained full time in Spain and then in Bournemouth since the age of 13. Eliot and Rob did particularly well to come back from a 4-7 champs tiebreak deficit to win six out of the last seven points of the match.
Krisnaa made the match score 2-0 by winning the no. 4 singles against George Shields 6-1 7-6. Harry then saved two match points to come back from a set and 0-3 deficit to beat Louis Davey, their no.3 and a former 12U British Champion, 5-7, 7-6, 11-9. By lunchtime the boys were astonished to find themselves with a 3-0 lead with three further matches to play. That final win would however be tough to secure. Eliot played an excellent match against Toby and did well to secure seven games, going down 6-3 6-4. It was Rob however who took the boys over the line with a 6-4 2-6 10-7 victory over Luca. This was a notable win for Rob, who lost to the same opponent in recent weeks. On this occasion, however, Rob was on his favourite surface with the American style green clay giving him the time he needed to counter Luca’s powerful game. With an unassailable 4-1 lead, it luckily didn’t matter than Harry and Krisnaa just missed out on the final doubles, losing in yet another champs tiebreaker.
Eliot (serving) and Rob v Toby (receiving) and Luca
It is remarkable that the Byfleet boys, who train in Matt McCombe’s after school squads, were able to defeat the West Hants Academy, with its remarkable facilities, which is a magnet for some of the brightest talent in the country and whose players board and train full time. Matt is very proud!