MILFORD Tennis & Squash Club hosted their 19th LTA Grade 4 Open Seniors’ Doubles Tournament last week.
Over 160 players, including several veteran international and county players, contested men’s, women’s and mixed doubles events in Over-45, Over-60 and Over-70 age categories.
The competition was intense, giving rise to some wonderfully keenly-fought contests.
Perhaps the stand-out was the Men’s Over-60 final where, from one set, 2-5, and 0-40 down, second seeds Rennie Johnson (Bassett LTC) and Neil Abercrombie (West Hants) recovered to save a staggering ten match points, before taking the plaudits – and the title – 10-6 in a match tiebreak third set, from top seeds Rick Klein and Brian Roberts (Woodford Wells).
Scotland over-70 international Johnson was the standout player, with three event wins bringing his overall total at Milford over the years up to 15.
As well as his men’s 60 victory with Abercrombie, he won the 70 men’s and mixed championships with Milford stalwart Alan Gordon and England international Rosemary Wilson respectively.
Rosemary also won the Women’s 70s title with her Bourne club mate Patricia Wallington and demonstrated her class dropping just ten games throughout the ten sets she played over the course of her two events.
The women’s 60 doubles saw former England veteran player Gill Christmas and Surrey representative Nicki Lemon beat Milford’s Hants O 55 players Joanna White and Dee Flanagan 7-6, 6-3 in a closely fought final.
Joanna was also very unlucky to lose out with Milford’s Mick Barette in the mixed 60 final to Alice Shimmin (Harrow) and Neil Crawford (Avenue).
Milford resident Michael Moir, a coach at David Lloyd Southampton, won the men’s 45 event with Peter Grant ( Avondale).
Previous winners Jane Green (Byfleet) and Marian Sabey (Woking) retained their 45 women’s title and West Hants Simon Cambers and Wendy Hewitt won the 45 mixed.
Consolation events were arranged for all first match losers, with the winners in these events being: Men’s O-45: Mick Barette and Ian Morley (both Milford); Women’s O-45: Carrie Bateman and Zyrieda Denning (both Ryde); Mixed O-45: Ian Udal (The Avenue) and Pauline Udal (Forty-Five Club); Men’s O-60: Mark Goodridge (David Lloyd, Southampton) and Steve Johnson (Thornden); Women’s O-60: Anita Pearce and Rosie Rodley (both Ventnor); Mixed O-60s: Alister Heaphy and Jan Coombes (David Lloyd, Southampton); Men’s O-70: Dave Lander and William Thatcher (both David Lloyd, Ringwood); Women’s O-70: Beverley Cabot and Aileen Evans (both Milford); Mixed O-70: Steve Adams and Beverley Cabot (both Milford).
The tournament was sponsored by Moore Blatch (Solicitors), Solent Dental Care, and Hayward Fox (Estate Agents), whose representatives were present to enjoy each day’s play, and present the prizes to the worthy winners and runners-up.