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The start of British Summer Time didn’t disappoint with perhaps the best weather of the year so far for the second Exeter and District Tennis League Pre-Season Tournament. 42 players representing 12 clubs turned out for some practice before the summer season begins in April.
The ladies’ event began proceedings with many of the visiting pairs keen to practice on the artificial grass courts which can prove difficult to adapt to. A mixture of established and new pairings, keen to get some match practice together, took to the courts with sixteen matches taking place. Perhaps the best match of the event was saved until the very end with Lucy Roberts and Annette Gigg (Cranford) battling past Eleanor Bucci and Vanessa Killick (Exeter Golf and Country Club) in the longest match of the day which also secured the runners-up spot for Lucy and Annette.
The only unbeaten pair took home the winners prizes. It was an ideal combination of experience and youth as Juliet Chenery and Millie Agutter (Exeter Golf and Country Club) won their three matches for the loss of only seven games.
The men’s event was run across three grades. The C grade was won by the youngest pair taking part in the competition. 14-year-olds Marcus Kay and Zak Wilton-Davies (Exeter Golf and Country Club) remained unbeaten throughout the afternoon to win their section.
The B grade, with pairs from Teignmouth, Tipton St. John and Exeter Golf and Country Club competing saw lots of tight matches. It all came down to the final match between Pete Clarke/Simon Hopper (Tipton) and Tom Slack/Max Goodison (Exeter Golf and Country Club). After splitting the first two sets, the B grade was decided on a very close Championships tie-break which was won by Pete and Simon 11-9.
Tim Agutter and Nick Bond (Exeter Golf and Country Club) took home the prize for the longest time spent on court. In the opening match of the A grade against Ben Sugg (Victoria Park) and Steve Patient (Exeter Golf and Country Club) the first set had only just finished on a tie-break by the time the other five courts had finished their rubbers. They went on to win in straight sets before finishing another long match against Jim Mcintosh (Exwick) and John Wilton-Davies (Exeter Golf and Country Club) to set-up a final against Simon Witts and Toby Harradence (Victoria Park).
The final match of the evening was decided by a second set tie-break with Simon and Toby prevailing 6-2 7-6.
Congratulations to all of the winners and good luck for the forthcoming summer season to everyone who took part.
Exeter Golf and Country Club will host the inaugural winter pre-season tournament on Sunday 9th September.
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