Juniors triumph in tie break tens

July 30 2018

Thornbury Lawn Tennis Club has held its second annual Tie Break Tens competition, this year it happened to coincide with two more well known tournaments; the Wimbledon men’s final and the World Cup final.

Tie Break Tens is a quick fire format tournament which has been likened to 20-20 cricket and is being played at some major international tournaments.  The whole tournament can be completed within 3 hours, rather less than the 2 weeks for a Grand Slam tournament such as Wimbledon.

With no sets and no games, each match comprises a championship tie break (first to 10 points).  A handicapping system allowing men, woman and juniors of varying abilities to have enjoyable, close contests.

Eight adult pairs of varying ability and one pair of juniors braved the sun to battle out four preliminary rounds of tie break tens .  Nick Mason ran a very well organised tournament and set the handicaps which gave pairs different points head start depending on their ability.  For the more accomplished players, there was an additional handicap of having only one serve which encouraged them to serve reliably, not quickly.  There were further added challenges: There were no ‘lets’ on serve, even if the ball just trickled over the net and ‘sudden death’ at 9-9 which resulted in a tense conclusion.

As the tournament progressed, it was evident that there were clear contenders for the semi-finals with Linda Mantle & Claire Hawkins winning all four of their matches in the four preliminary rounds.  Gill & Mark Harrison, Jasmine Xu & Martin Scudamore, and juniors Toby Sturt & Luke Daniels won three of their four matches.

Jasmine & Martin fought off the preliminary round winners, Claire & Linda, with the help of a two point head start, winning 10 - 6.  The only juniors in the competition, Luke & Toby, both aged 13 and in their first club tournament, had a three point head start on Gill & Mark Harrison.  With consistent play the youngsters went on to win their semi-final 10 - 3.

Despite some initial nerves, the juniors held their own in the final, coping with Jasmine's lobs and Martin's well placed returns.  The youngsters grew in confidence and with the enthusiastic support of family and club members went on to win 10 - 7.

Toby and Luke were presented with the Tie Break Tens trophy and a Tie Break Tens towel.  It was a proud moment for their families and for Felix Boyes, a Taylor Tennis coach, who has been responsible for coaching the youngsters in the club’s junior coaching programme.