TENNIS: Rugby Evening Classic

The organiser's montage of the Rugby Evening Classic winners
The organiser's montage of the Rugby Evening Classic winners

Tournament attracts 91 players from 45 clubs

Last week saw Rugby Lawn Tennis Club host their annual Grade 4 tournament the ‘Rugby Evening Classic’.

It was in progress from 4pm until late on Monday to Thursday. In total 91 players from 45 different clubs played, with about a quarter from Rugby LTC. The majority of the players were from Warwickshire and the surrounding counties, but around 20 players had ventured to Rugby from as far afield as Yorkshire, Norfolk, Surrey and Buckinghamshire.

A total of nine events were played with players from Rugby LTC reaching the semi-final stage on nine occasions.

Although the first evening started relatively dry, the weather took a decided turn for the worse.

The under 9s (playing on slightly reduced sized courts) continued undeterred while the adult scorers allocated to each court became wetter and wetter and found it impossible to write on their soggy score sheets.

The 12 players in the 9U boys event hailed from seven different counties. The winner was Harry Smith from Solihull. Alfie Offord from Rugby LTC won through from the group stage to the knockout matches when he was defeated by the eventual runner-up.

The girls’ event was won by Kyla Garner from Buckinghamshire, but Emily Green from Rugby LTC came a commendable third.

The 12 and under event was held on a much drier evening. William McCormick from Frankton was the third placed boy with Rugby LTC’s William Garthwaite also reaching the semi-final stage.

In the final Leamington’s Sam Parsons defeated William Mottram from Milton Keynes. Sam also gained 3rd place in the under 14 boys event.

The under 12 girls event was won by Lucy Randal from Leamington. Rugby LTCs Samantha Delleman was in 3rd place.

Rugby LTCs Ben Stuchbury made it a double by winning both the under 14s and under 18 boys events. Local player Max Guo was 3rd in the under 18s. The under 14s girls was won by Nottingham’s Jessica Spencer, who defeated Rugby LTC player Charlotte Eaton in the semi-final. In the ladies’ event Anna Kirk from Dorridge was the winner, with Warwick Uni student Charlotte Littler in second place and Rugby LTC’s Sue Barnes in third.

The men’s event was the biggest field of the week with some players playing four matches in one evening.

The consolation final was between two Rugby LTC players with Liam Victoros defeating Thomas Barnes. Zak Buchli-Sagoo from Staffs and Rugby’s David Heathcote both reached the semi-final stage.

Rugby’s Daniel Heathcote played three matches to reach the final, with two of these going to three sets. His opponent and no 1 seed, Alex Griffiths of Solihull, had a bye in the first round and then narrowly defeated two Rugby LTC players Sam Barnes and David Heathcote in turn.

In a match very late into the evening Daniel took an early lead, but it was Alex who finally won the title.

Many thanks to all who helped make this year’s event such a success, especially those who stood out in the pouring rain helping the young players to score and those who helped out in the cafe.