Michelle's title in first Windsor final
12:02pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in Penarth sport
EVENLODE Avenue has seen its fair share of nerves, tears and tantrums this September, with both the school returning for a new year and Penarth Windsor Lawn Tennis Club’s annual open tournament building up to the finals last weekend.
In a new format for the competition, the mixed doubles final took place at night and the floodlights were probably redundant as Lowri and Dan Hughes and Nicky Ritchie and Dan James lit up the court with some superb doubles. The first set went the distance, with Nicky and Dan holding their nerve to take an epic tie-break. The second set rivalled the first for quality as Dan and Lowri recovered well from the huge psychological blow of falling short in the first. However, Dan and Nicky strengthened as they neared the finishing line and closed out the set and match with great composure to pick up a 7-6, 6-3 victory and the trophy.
The next afternoon opened with the singles finals as Dan Hughes did battle with Tom Sidford for the men’s title and Michelle Lewis with Nicky Davies for the ladies’ crown.
Dan took to the court with a steely determination following his disappointment just over 12 hours earlier. Tom brought his trademark power and shot-making to the table but Dan wasn’t to be denied again and an impressive athletic performance earned him a 6-2, 6-1 win.
Michelle and Nicky treated the crowd to some quality hitting and showed why both have been integral parts of the ladies' first team’s rise to the top league in South Wales. Michelle showed no sign of nerves in her first Windsor final and her bold and powerful approach ultimately earned her a 6-2, 6-4 win.
Revenge was to be Nicky’s as she was joined by Nicky Ritchie to face Michelle and Charlotte Gore in the ladies’ doubles. The tennis produced by the four suggested they will have little to fear in Premier 1 next season, but it was the two Nickys who triumphed with their composed and near-flawless performance resulting in a 6-3, 6-2 win.
For the men, familiar final participants Dan James and Tim Dawes took on Dan Hughes and Ben Bellingham. Dan carried on in the form of his singles and Ben matched him, while Dan and Tim produced the quality the club knows to expect. With exquisite serving and volleying from both sides, a tie-break seemed inevitable and it was Dan and Ben who provided the explosive seven points needed to win it. From there, they couldn’t miss and rightly beamed with pride at the handshakes after claiming the second set 6-2.
As the presentations closed, the curtain went up on a 24-hour charity tennis marathon. The brainchild of Alex Brown involved a sponsored, unbroken run of tennis last an entire day with a wide range of members taking part. The event raised over £250 for Community First Responders and was overseen by Alex with only a brief break to grab a shower. "I’m as delighted as I am exhausted," said a clean but drained Alex. "I’m so grateful to everyone for coming out and supporting the event and cause. I’d especially like to thank the ball machine for keeping me company in the difficult 3-4am slot!"