Over the week 19th-23rd of April Prested Real Tennis Club hosted the prestigious Men’s Real Tennis World Doubles Championships.
Players from America, Australia and the UK challenged to be crowned World Champions. This produced a superbly exciting and thrilling exhibition for all in attendance.
Along with the main spectacle there were plenty of other events over the course of the week for spectators and players alike to enjoy.
Wednesday 19th April
Quarter Final Matches:
11.00 – Virgona/Chapman (2) vs Lyons/Fowler
15:00 – Lumley/Taylor-Matthews (4) vs Eadle/Player
17:00 – Smith/Fahey (3) vs Durack/Gordon
19:00 – Chisholm/Riviere (1) vs Long/Greenhalgh
No massive upsets in the quarter final matches, but all were played at a furious pace and with excellent spirit, setting the scene for two superb semis…
Thursday 20th April
Semi Final Matches:
16:00 – Chisholm/Riviere (1) vs Lumley/Taylor Matthews (4)
18:00 – Smith/Fahey (3) vs Virgona/Chapman (2)
Friday 21st April
Friday saw a break to the competition, but not to the action. In the morning we saw several of the pros playing a fun doubles competition with some keen amateurs of the game. Some excellent play was had by both the pros and their partners, ending in an exciting final, with the eventual winners being Andy Keeley/Louis Gordon (Petworth) beating Derrick Wells/Craig Greenhalgh (Oxford) 8/4.
In the evening the Championships Gala Dinner was hosted at the Hall, with over 70 guests attending including guest speaker T&RA chairman David Watson. The players were also there to enjoy the evening, even Rob, Rich and Cam ahead of their eagerly anticipated final the following day! (Unfortunately Tim was unable to attend due to his determination to play in the final he was busy receiving physio on the injury he sustained in the earlier rounds).
Along with the dinner there was also a silent auction with some very generous prizes including: Theo Walcott’s signed boots, a limited edition Gold Leaf racket, a year’s full 7 day membership at Notleys Golf Club as well as much more!
Saturday 22nd April
Final (first 4 sets)
Play commenced at 14:00 between defending champions Camden Riviere/Tim Chisholm vs Prested’s Rob Fahey MBE/Richard Smith.
Sunday 23rd April
After an exhilarating first day Prested’s Rob and Rich had stormed to a 4-0 lead. It would take something special and unheard of for the defending champions to pull back.
This had been an epic final; 4 down with 5 to play and half the partnership injured; but there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. The Americans had overnight come up with a winning formula – allowing Cam to scamper around the servers-end retrieving everything and Tim could smash the winning overhead volleys – it worked a treat. There was little Rob and Rich could do.
Never had a pair come back from 4-0 down to win – Prested had never seen tennis of this quality or intensity; it had been a magnificent week of tennis and sportsmanship.
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.)