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REAL TENNIS NEWS
UK Pro Doubles
July has flown by in the Real Tennis office. We’ve had an incredibly busy month considering the fact it’s the ‘off’ season! It has been great to see so many people play tennis throughout June and July, and we hope the training continues throughout August, ready for the season to start on September 1st. We have been busy running Summer League Doubles (social doubles) on a Monday and Wednesday evening, and also running Rob’s ever popular group ‘Targeting’ sessions.
The main event in July was the 2017 Professional Doubles. It was a brilliant 4 days of top fight tennis, and our home teams did us proud! A special mention to Rob and Ricardo who put on the most incredible final. It was utterly sensational tennis to watch, but the pair were narrowly defeated, 6/2, 4/6, 6/5, 6/4 by World Champion Camden Riviere and John Lumley. At one stage our boys won 8 consecutive games and we wondered if Camden had ever suffered such oppression! Once again, it was brilliant to have World class tennis being played at the Club. During the UK Pro Doubles the unofficial “Prested Tote” was in full swing and so few people managed to guess the scores in detail that a total of £105 was undistributed, and sent to Farleigh Hospice as part of our charity of the month. Many thanks to all those who participated.
As we move forward into August we have plenty to look forward to. Friday 18th we are hosting a second new members tournament and on the 26th/27th the Club is hosting the first ever Tri-Rackethon event, a team competition across all three of our racket sports – real, padel and lawn tennis. We have teams entered from all across the country and are looking forward to another brilliant weekend at the Club.
The Men’s Real Tennis World Doubles Championships 2017
If you would like to view the matches please visit our YouTube Channel: Prested Hall Tennis & Hotel
This event proved to be one of the most exciting and closest ever in terms of world class tournaments. It had everything, including, according to the many cognoscenti present,, the best doubles tennis ever.
In the last game of the semi-final featuring the reigning world champions, one of them (Tim Chisholm) suffered a severe stress to his foot. His partner managed to play singles for the last game and they duly went through as had been expected, in straight sets. The other semi featured our very own Richard Smith with our newly adopted pro, the legendary Rob Fahey. For reasons hard to explain they were only seeded 3, but saw off the No 2 seeds with a comfortable 3-1 victory.
The rest day was spent with Tim sitting glumly, foot up, almost unable to talk, until the evening when he was sent to a physio who “performed magic” (in Tim’s words). The best of 9 sets final was due to be 4 sets Saturday and the balance (up to 5 sets) Sunday.
The foot was certainly no excuse for the magnificent way the Prested Pair swept the champions away, Rich playing beautifully, volleying crisply throughout, while Rob, even now at the age of 49, demonstrated why he’s considered the greatest player ever by dominating the court, playing quite magnificently, leading Prested to a 4-0 overnight lead. Just one set would be needed from the possible five the next day. Easy!!??
Sunday was another day, however, and while Rob was obviously a little tired from his super-human efforts on Saturday, Tim’s partner Camden Riviere, the World (singles) Champion, stepped up a couple of gears. He took more and more play, and while the locals had hoped for maybe a couple of sets rather just the one needed, they did not reckon on the Yanks taking the first 4 sets. The ninth and final set struggled to 3-3, but the Prested resistance had been conquered and the last set went away at 6-3. An utterly remarkable, almost incredible match.
Huge thanks to our sponsors: Tiptree Jams, Inntel, Barber Jackson, Prime Appointments, Events Factors, Susan Newman Book-keeping Services, Water Direct, Haymans Gin, Anglia Produce, Birkett Long, Stringers World of Manningtree, Green Square Publishing, Saffron Laundry, Grape Passions, Derrick Wells Ltd, Silver Sparks Discos, and the many club members who generously gave both money and time to help ensure the event was the huge success. (Thanks too to Rob & Ricardo for making the tennis so memorable.)
Blakes Old Racket 2017
Blake’s Old Racket (handicap doubles with a family member/relation). We had 13 pairs including a junior section battling it out for the title. A huge congratulations to Archie and Colin Sprott, who played faultless tennis all day and were victorious in the final – winning a nail biter, 6/5 against Hannah & Vince Lucey. Well done to all those who played, so great to see so many families playing Real Tennis together.
Rob and Claire Fahey appointed as Head Professionals - February 2017
Prested Hall Real Tennis Club has appointed Rob Fahey MBE and his wife Claire as the head professionals.
The pair have dominated the sport of Real Tennis in recent years. Rob, who was world champion for an astonishing 22 consecutive years (only to lose his crown in May 2016) is considered the greatest ever player. His wife Claire, from Inworth, started playing at Prested aged 12, and recently has been unstoppable in the ladies game. Indeed she has amassed a vast collection of titles to rival her husband and (as assessed by handicap) is the best lady player ever, by a distance.
In an interview with Rob he said “After many years of involvement with the club, through the junior coaching academies, tournaments and ultimately meeting my amazing wife. I have already had many great years with the club and so it seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up, to join the club in an official capacity.”
This really is fantastic for our club, to have the finest men’s and the finest women’s players of all time as our professionals.