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American Tournaments 2021

Sunday 4th July – Wimbledon American

It has been traditional for the Club to hold an American tournament on the middle Sunday of the Wimbledon championships, however no tournaments could take place in 2020 due to covid. Thus it was a great relief that by the time the 2021 championships were underway the country was coming out of lockdown and the Club was able to run their first tournament for over 18 months.

The weather though seemed to want to conspire against us as heavy showers were forecast for the day. The decision to go ahead was only made at 10:00 on the Sunday morning when tournament organiser Dave Smith spotted a break in the showers which with luck would allow some tennis to be played. There was obviously a pent up demand for some fun filled tennis as we had sixteen members who turned up to take their chances. It was great to see not only some old faces but also some brand new ones who had never played in an American Tournament before and with ages ranging from 16 to 70

The gender split was almost equal but not quite necessitating tournament organiser Dave Smith to reprise his role as Davina for the afternoon ably assisted by Richard Perry who also agreed to don a metaphorical skirt. Partners were drawn and given the likelihood of showers disrupting the play, the decision was made that there should be two groups of four pairs. This meant there would be an initial set of three rounds per group, with each round consisting of eight games, ladies swapping after 4 games but keeping individual scores. With the even split of players it also meant that no one would have to sit out at any time. Once the initial rounds were finished the intention was to play a final between the winners of each group.

Playing three rounds each of eight games meant, of course, 24 games in all, which was enough for some players after such a long time without playing in a tournament. Fortunately apart from a very quick three minute shower which caused a very short pause in play, we managed to get through all the initial rounds. Normally, at this point, players would go back into the clubhouse for tea and cakes but unfortunately this was not possible due to the ongoing covid restrictions. Nevertheless the competitors stayed to watch the final which was to be contested between Christine Cooke and Artur Stankiewicz (who won group 1) and Wendy Franklin with Michael Simpson (who won group 2).

The first two games were played and some very good tennis was on display when the weather decided to interfere again in the shape of a very heavy shower. This time the rain looked as though it was set to stay and so it was agreed to stop play and call it an honourable draw. Despite not having a final outcome players departed in a good mood after enjoying some fun filled tennis and the feeling that things were finally almost normal again.