By Simon Corbishley, Tournament Referee
Over eight days East Glos played host to the 2019 Cheltenham Open Tennis Tournament sponsored by Autovillage.
The early days were played in near-winter conditions, yet by the end of the tournament, spring had arrived. The event started in 1930, and this long history makes the tournament stand out from many other regional tournaments. Tim Henman and Heather Watson graced the championship in their junior days.
In recent years the entry numbers have fallen as new tournaments have developed including a national competition in Nottingham. The aim has been to reduce the amount of travelling and nights in hotels for participants by creating more tournaments.
I’m pleased that this year entries were 331 compared to 292 in 2018. The extra entries were all female. Thank you to Autovillage for continuing to support the tournament so positively. The catering team, so well marshalled by Scott, did the club proud with the standard of menu and speed of service.
The dates were favourable with all schools being on their Easter Holidays. As such players were attracted from many different counties. From Derbyshire to Dorset, Isle of Man to Suffolk. A Spaniard and Swede were sprinkled in for good measure.
Despite all this competition, the home players enjoyed a good week. Chief amongst the successes were Monty Graveney in the Men’s Singles. In the final, Monty was able to withstand a dangerous Louis Manson (Oxfordshire and the nephew of club member Kate Fann) to land the title in the third set 10-3. An 18&U doubles victory with EG member Miles Ray made it an even sweeter week for Monty.
Equally impressive was the error-free performance in the final of the 18&U Singles by James Findlay. James convincingly saw off the challenge of James Vincent 6-3 6-0.
Congratulations to Sam Austin for reaching the final of the 12&U Singles. This was no mean achievement considering the time missed in recent months through injury.
Another singles finalist was Joe McCoubrie in the 16&U event. On his run to the final Joe needed to see off the challenge of Zach Essenhigh from South Wales who the day before had clinched the 14&U title. The match went all the way to the wire with Joe grabbing the final set 10-7.
Regi Ristic-North (finalist Women’s Singles), Reece Ihle-Matthews (winner 16&U doubles) and Rosey Townsend and Ella Everett-Morris (10&U doubles winners) were other home successes that deserve mention.
Some photos from the event.