Juniors challenge for tennis honours

October 27 2017

There has been a glimpse in to the future at Thornbury Tennis Club, with youngsters challenging senior players in four out of five finals at the club’s main tournament.

There has been a glimpse in to the future at Thornbury Tennis Club, with youngsters challenging senior players in four out of five finals at the club’s main tournament.

The Thornbury Lawn Tennis Club Tournament stretches over a month and the finals were a case of youth taking on experience.

The Men’s singles final was between 12 year old Leo Lazarides and Steve Pikett.  

Leo has been playing tennis for only 3 years but competes in county and regional tournaments.  His ambition is to become a professional tennis player.  Despite being relatively small, he hits the ball with of power and spin and is quick around the court.  

By contrast, Steve has a lot of experience: he has played tennis for most of his life and is an extremely consistent player.  He plays tennis in the higher divisions of the Avon Leagues and is the reigning Men’s Singles champion at the Olveston & Tockington Tennis Club.

The clash of styles promised an exciting match.  Steve took an early lead, but after some very accurate hitting, Leo grew in confidence and gained the upper hand, taking the first set 6-3.  The second set was much tighter.  The match went with serve up to 5-5.  Leo managed to break Steve’s serve and then clinched the match by holding his serve.

Between the preliminaries and the finals, Susanna Ogden, another of the club’s young players, seriously injured her hand whilst playing netball.  She had made it through to the finals of the women’s singles and the women’s doubles but was unable to contest the finals.  As a result, the singles title went to Sarah Hurley and the women’s doubles champions are Jo Hargreaves and Sarah Hurley.

The Men’s Doubles was another contest between adults and juniors.  Felix Boyes and Freddie Savage are both in their twenties, but Luke Johnson and Leo Lazarides are half their age.

There was some extremely big hitting in this match, with most of the rallies being very short and the scoreboard see-sawing one way and then the other.  Luke and Leo were leading the first set 5-4, when Felix and Freddie broke Luke’s serve to make it 5-5.  The next two games went with serve leading to a tense tie break which Felix and Freddie narrowly won 7-5.  The second set was also very tight but the strong net play by Felix and Freddie began to pay big dividends and the senior pair went on to win the second set 6-3.

The mixed doubles was the only all adult final, featuring Megan O’Connor and Brendan Wilde - winners of the President’s Plate tournament for the last 3 years -and Jo Hargreaves and Felix Boyes who were winners of the doubles title in 2015.

Jo and Felix made a strong start, reaching 3-0 before Megan and Brendan levelled the score at 4-4.  Another break of serve saw Jo and Felix take the first set 6-4.  In the second set, Jo and Felix again started strongly, taking an early advantage, but Megan and Brendan fought back to a 5-4 lead.  The match then went with serve to 6-6 and a tie break.  In the tie break Jo and Felix made fewer errors and ultimately won the tie break 7-5 to take the title.