Woodfield Grove Tennis Club took full honours at the Millennium Cup Masters on Saturday, 1 August, hosted by Telford Park Lawn a Tennis Club in celebration of fifteen years of the local team competition that has involved hundreds of members from the clubs of Streatham.
Fielding the bare minimum of a team, David, Aiden, Maggie and Anna stepped up the plate and came up trumps.
The late arrival of Snookie added Peter to the mix, who able assisted both as co-captain and bench sub.
It was all about celebrating fifteen years of the Millennium Cup and four of the five participant clubs took part, with Wigmore absent due to being unable to field a team, which was disappointing.
Three rounds of ties were played, with Grafton LTC, Norbury Park, LTC, Telford Park and Woodfield Grove playing each other during the course of the day in timed ties over singles, doubles and mixed.
“It was tricky, making sure you got all the matches played in the timeframe,” said Nigel, Norbury Park’s captain. “But the short format is fun because it engages everyone quickly!”
Fast4 was launched in Australia in January and allows players to play a quick match by winning four games to win a set with a short tiebreak at three games all.
For the MC Masters, each match comprised of one set and all games won (and lost) counting towards each club’s cumulative score line.
“The aim is to win as many games as possible,” said Steve, Telford Park’s Captain. “And lose as few as possible!”
WGTC established an early lead after the first tie lasting 90 minutes, defeating Telford Park 15-9.
The opening men’s singles went to a short tiebreak in favour of Telford’s Robin, who defeated Aiden 4-3, after which the eventual winners kicked in to lose just five more games in the next four matches.
A break for a fabulous barbecue lunch provided by Telford Park followed, which was enjoyed by all sitting outside in the glorious weather.
After an extended lunch break, the Tie Period was reduced to 75 minutes to increase the challenge and WGTC was up for it.
Second round opponents were Grafton and although they were pushed in both the doubles and got pipped by the clock, Woodfield still recorded a convincing win, 18-10.
Aiden found his range on the synthetic clay and 14-year old Anna, who proved to be the backbone of the team, came through their singles with the loss of only two games between them.
Grafton’s Rosie teamed up with Fiona and pushed Anna and Maggie hard but lost out in the short tiebreak, while Peter and Aiden proved too strong for Will and Paul (G) 4-2.
Murray and Julie proved strong challengers against Snookie and Maggie but ran out of time, 3-2.
Maggie was struggling with a bad back but since Woodfield only fielded the minimum two ladies, soldiered on bravely, pairing up with Anna to win the doubles in another short tiebreak.
“We thought of substituting Maggie but she was determined to play her part,” said David, WGTC’s Captain.
“She and Anna did really well!”
The final round of ties was played after a short break with WGTC leading the pack, just two points ahead of Norbury Park. There was all to play for…
Norbury challenged them hard but Woodfield ultimately proved too strong, winning through 17-12 when time ran out on them.
Terry McGranaghan and Andrew King (NP) snatched the men’s doubles from Aiden and David, despite the substitution of Peter mid stream, in the tiebreak.
As everyone repaired to the clubhouse for a sumptuous tea and the presentation, the final standings were confirmed by the referee:
First Place – Woodfield Grove [50-31]
Second – Norbury Park [41-38]
Third – Telford Park [37-41]
Fourth – Grafton [33-46]
The winners received a certificate and a bottle of Prosecco each for their efforts and everyone else on a team, a certificate of participation.
“Congratulations to everyone!” said Barbara, the referee and founder of the Millennium Cup as she made the presentations.
“This was somewhat of a pilot, using the new short tennis format [Fast4] and you all did very well.
“We saw some really competitive tennis, especially towards the end as you all became used to the format.
“The consensus seems to be that this has been a successful and enjoyable event, a good way to celebrate fifteen years of Millennium Cup competition and, maybe, we’ll do it again soon.
”I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts, Telford Park, and particularly Juliet and Steve and their team, for welcoming us so warmly and for providing such wonderful hospitality throughout the day.”
Juliet, Chair of the Millennium Cup Organising Committee added: “We have all really enjoyed today.
“When Barbara proposed this to the committee, we all got very confused and thought it would never fly but it has and it has been great fun!
“The committee will take a good look at how to tweak it for the future and we hope we can do this again soon.”
Murray spoke on behalf of all the participants: “I’d like to thank Barbara for all the arrangements and for running the show so smoothly, particularly providing all the materials to explain what we should be doing!”
All in all, a good day and a good way to celebrate the Millennium Cup’s 15th Anniversary year.
Once again, Finals Day proved to be a highly competitive affair on Saturday 20 June.
In a change from the normal schedule, play opened with the Men’s Singles, which saw the defending champion and top seed, Matt, pitched against the same finalist as last year, Joey.
A year can make quite the difference in this game and Joey has been working hard on his game, so much so that he was able to see off the player to whom he lost in three sets last year with a decisive 6-2 6-2 victory.
Mercedes was also defending her title, against the very same opponent as last year, Candice, and again proved the more consistent and innovative with her shot-making, winning 1-6 6-4 6-4 to take her third singles championships.
While the status quo was maintained in the ladies, the men’s doubles saw a changing of the guard as Joey teamed up with Andy to dispatch the top seeds, Mark and Tony in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.
The ladies doubles went in a similar fashion with top seeds and holders Lenka and Michele seeing off Mercedes and Barbara with relative ease, 6-3 6-2.
The mixed doubles, however, has yet to finish, having been interrupted by rain with Tony and Michele leading Mark and Nina by a set, 6-3.
As the deluge continued, the presentation of prizes was made by 19 Grand Slam winner Maria Esther Bueno, who is an Honorary Member of the club.
Lenka and Michele with Maria Bueno
Chairman Peter Risdon with Joey, Maria Bueno and Andy
During the day, over 40 members and their guests enjoyed a barbecue lunch and afternoon tea as they watched some fine tennis.
The mixed final will be concluded at a later date.
A full report with more photos can be viewed by clicking HERE.
Club Finals day approaches on Saturday 20 June when there will be a barbecue from 12 Noon until 2pm, followed by tea from 3pm to 5pm and, of course, some great tennis to watch…
Members are asked to sign up in the clubhouse for food and to assist with officiating if possible. If you are interested in doing so, please email John or Michele.
The Club Tournament hots up as it reaches the semi-final stages in men’s and ladies’ singles and doubles, and mixed doubles events and, over the coming week or so, we will be seeing some intense competition for the final spots.
Top seed and current men’s singles champion Matt is being challenged by teenager Ben while, in the other half of the draw, second-seeded Andrew faces another teenager, Joey, in his semi final contest.
In the women’s singles, trophy holder Mercedes meets Nina while Lenka, the second seed for the title, must overcome another former champion, Candice, if she is to make it to finals day.
Tony and Mark, both absent from singles play this year, combine again in the men’s doubles in search of a fourth title in a row together, and they will meet Matt and Neil in their semi final.
In the other half, the second seeds, John and Peter, who have notched up four titles together and have appeared in the finals on countless other occasions, meet the new pairing of Joey and Andrew in their semi on Tuesday.
The finalists in the women’s doubles are already set with Lenka and Michele, the top seeds, seeing off a strong challenge from Candice and Anna and winning through, 1-6 6-3 6-3, to face Mercedes and Barbara, the second seeds, who overcame Nina and Karin, 6-1 4-6 6-3, in a two-hour marathon at the weekend.
The mixed doubles has been dominated for nearly two decades by Michele, who is in search of her sixteenth title in this discipline and her sixth with Tony. Siblings Anna and Ben challenge in that semi final, while their father, Mark, teams up with Nina against David and Lenka.
Whoever gets through at the last, the finals promise to provide an entertaining day of tennis at Woodfield Grove Tennis Club.
Play starts at 10.30am with food for the barbecue costing £10 per person, including burgers, sausages, salads, strawberries and cream and cheeseboard, while afternoon tea is just £3 each for sandwiches, scones and cakes.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t sign up in the clubhouse by close of play on Wednesday 17 June as we need to know catering numbers.
Above all, do come along to the club’s biggest day of the year!
The final is between Maggie and Dougie, who are playing off +30 and still waiting for their opponents.
They have dispatched three scratch pairs to get there – Patrick and David, in the first round, then the second seeds, Nina and Ben in straight sets in the second, and latterly Anna and the other Ben in the semi-final.
In the top half of the draw Alex and Joe [+15] convincingly defeated top seeds Karin and Simon [-15] after winning through their opening round in three very long sets against Lenka and Peter [-15].
Their semi final opponents are Andrea and Mark [+30], who beat Ali and Edward [+30] and Candice and Matt [-15] on their way though the draw.
Whoever gets through, it should be a fun match to watch and with lovely barbecued food available and the bar open, it should prove to be a great day!
Members have had a busy time at the club of late, with the American Tournament last Saturday, the Surrey Winter Knock-out Final on Sunday and the AGM on Tuesday evening.
Congratulations to Lenka for leading her team of Michele, Mercedes and Nina to win the Surrey Ladies Knock-out in impressive style.
It is the first time WGTC has entered the winter edition, although the team has met with considerable success in the summer knock-out tournament.
On this occasion, they dispatched Godalming after a stuttering start, 3-1, turning a significant game deficit into a convincing victory.
With the help of Lucia and Karin in the semi finals, WGTC had taken out Wentworth away from home by a margin of only one game, while Godalming scraped through their last four round by just two, so the two teams were well matched in the final.
Surrey Chairman, David Cianfarani, was on hand to present the prizes and enjoyed a pizza lunch with the finalists afterwards.
“It was a close contest played in great spirit,” he said. “It looked as if it would go Goldaming’s way after they won the opening match in straight sets but Woodfield turned it around.”
And turned it around they did – Lenka and Michele eventually winning their marathon match against the first pair, 7-6 6-7 [10-8].
The reverse singles saw Mercedes and Nina find their range and confidence to easily overcome the same pair in two sets, while Lenka and Michele neutralised the vicious spin and booming overheads of the second team to also win through in straight sets.
Well done, gals!
Ten members signed up for the American Tournament on Saturday 21 April, which got off to juddery start after a confusion over the start time!
“These things are sent to challenge us!” laughed Karin, who organised the mix-in event.
By all accounts everyone enjoyed the occasion in spite of the chill in the air and, of course, the tea – thanks to Carole!
Annual General Meeting
Only fourteen members turned up for the AGM on Tuesday evening, with around a dozen apologies!
Despite the lack of a quorum, the Chairman, Peter Risdon, soldiered on, calling on the Treasurer, the Captains and the Secretary to deliver their various reports.
The overall message was that the club is doing well, having undertaken a series of important and necessary repairs and maintaining a healthy sinking fund for the future.
“The overall financial position is extremely positive,” said Alex Kyle, the Treasurer.
“We’ve made major investment over the last two years on both the balcony and the courts and have been building a sinking fund for just such a purpose.
“With no major investment on the horizon we have a few years grace now to continue to rebuild the sinking fund.
“It is also worth noting that we continue to keep a tight grip on costs.”
Men’s Captain, John O’Connor, and Ladies’ Captain, Michele Roberts, summarised the results of the various club teams, many of whom had met with considerable success over the winter period.
Ladies 1 had won Division 2-11 East while Men’s 1 had placed second in Division 2-10 East.
“Considering, as a club, we only have around 60 players all told, we are doing pretty well fielding teams,” said Michele.
“Sometimes it is a struggle but we have offered no walkovers!”
A small attendance but…
… a useful meeting!
Claire Lean, the Secretary, gave a run down of the current membership numbers and praised the fact that there were now 10 family members as it had been a goal some years earlier to attract more local families.
The Committee was re-elected for a further term and the Full Member subscription, set by the AGM, was raised just £5 to £275 in accordance with the club’s policy of generating adequate funds to cover both operating costs and laying in funds for the future.
All other category subs are determined by the Committee at its next meeting on 14 April in time for the renewal date of 1 May.
Vice Chair and Webmaster, Barbara Wancke, presented the proposed amendments to the Rules, stating these were to bring them in line with the current operation of the club and use of digital media.
Arrangements for Club Sessions were revised with the elimination of the old redundant pegboard system and all the changes were approved by the meeting.
She also gave a summary of the results of the recent member survey, which can be found within the member section.
“A 26% response return was pretty good for our purposes,” she said.
“Overall the membership is pretty happy with arrangements at the club and gave some really good suggestions, which the committee will consider over the coming weeks.
“Any criticism made is taken seriously and we will be doing our best to do an even better job, particularly in those areas that have possibly been neglected.”
The Chairman thanked all those present for coming and closed the meeting at around 9.15pm with a round of drinks at the bar.
The Team Quiz was very well attended on Saturday 7 March – a virtual full house, actually – with five teams of varying numbers applying themselves to a wide array of questions produced by Barbara, the Quiz Master.
Many thanks to all for making the evening such a great success on every level!
Around 30 had to use their little grey cells because smart phones were banned under the threat of a fine for charity and everyone eagle-eyed to earn a few extra points if they could whistle blow on another team – Sadly not a penny went to charity…
A full report with pictures can now be seen by clicking HERE.
Winter Mixed Handicap Tournament heads towards final
We have a pair into the final of the Winter Mixed Handicap Tournament that is nearing completion.
Dougie and Maggie, playing off +30, effectively wore down of the sibling pair of Ben and Anna , who were at scratch, 6-0 6-3, and now await the outcome of the other half of the draw, which is somewhat lagging behind.
The final will be played on Saturday 18 April at 2pm when there will be a barbecue for all players and supporters!
Spring tennis is coming, the weather is improving and the days are getting longer. Soon the clocks will go forward an hour and it will feel wonderful to play into the evenings again.
At Woodfield Grove, our thoughts are turning to spring cleaning! The website has already had a major revamp for members, making it easier to navigate and is full of topical and historical news.
The patio has been pressure-washed ahead of the next working party when volunteers will spruce up the club for the summer.
And we have our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 24 March at 8pm when we will review the past year’s activities, approve the accounts and elect the committee to run the club for the coming year.
The Ris Team Cup
We are introducing a new team event for members this spring – the Ris Team Cup – to be contested by four teams over just one day on Saturday 16 May using the new Fast4 short format, which should prove to be great fun and involves around 40 players. There will be a barbecue too.
In addition to the regular Surrey League matches now been played by some seven teams, there is the Summer Knock-out and, of course, the Millennium Cup, which starts in April.
Mixed Singles Ladder
Plus there is social tennis too and a mixed singles ladder to spice up the challenge. This has recently been switched online so players can track and challenge easily.
We also have online booking for the courts so tennis is now just a smart phone away!
Running alongside all this competition are a series of social events, which have already been slated for the diary so there is a lot going on at Woodfield Grove!
If you are not a member you have a chance to come down to try out the club on Sunday 19 April when it will be open to visitors from 2pm until 5pm.
You can, of course, drop in to be shown around whenever it suits you but during the Open Day you can play as well as meet the coaches and other members.
The club seems to be thriving, with an influx of new members and an expanding junior programme.
We are delighted to welcome several new members over the autumn and look forward to seeing them taking part in the Winter Mixed Handicap Tournament, the entries for which are now being taken ahead of its start in January.
Members can sign up now the tournament with the closing date of 19 December, after which partners will be randomly picked and the draw made!
The final will take place on Saturday 18 April at the club.
We are also approaching the festive season and will soon be putting up the decorations ahead of the Christmas Party on Saturday 13 December.
Members, their family and friends are welcome to come along.