Fishbourne vets ‘elbow’ their way up the LTA league

The debut of team captain Luke McEwen into our first division Vets match against Carlton Green was celebrated with a 3-1 victory (writes David Holmes). But it was Luke’s doubles partner Katy Bracher who supplied the apposite tactical advice.

Luke was returning to tennis after a number of weeks off court because of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis, for those taking notes about our members’ ailments).

As a result he wasn’t able to use his full range of serves (four at the last count) and returns (countless) so Katy suggested that they would have a better chance if he just got the ball over the net without trying to win the point.

The plan worked and they won their mixed 4-6, 6-1 and 1-0 (a deciding American tie break)

Our second pair, David Holmes and Sue Lord, took a while to hit their form and ran out winners 4-6, 7-6 and 1-0 (another tie break)

The format then switched to men’s and ladies’ doubles and Sue and Katy combined well to win 6-4, 7-6. Luke and David had to contend with the unexpected arrival of unseasonal sunshine and breezy condition to finish 4-6, 6-3 but lost the American tie break 0-1.

The fact that the match started at 10am and was still going in the afternoon showed how close and competitive all the games were.

Three out of the four matches played went to a tie break against a club that is a masters league amalgam of Sarisbury Green Lawn Tennis Club and the Carlton Club (the tennis club near Southampton, not the gentlemen’s club haunt of Tory MPs in London).

Fishbourne is now mid table in division 1.

In the Portsmouth and District LTA Masters division two, Fishbourne is also doing well. The most recent match was played against Southsea, at Southsea, on 26 November, with Sue Groves, Lesley Kelly, Derrick Nordern and Tim Groome representing Fishbourne.

The match couldn’t have been any closer. The score was two rubbers apiece after wins by Lesley and Tim in the mixed and by Lesley and Sue in the ladies’ doubles, all sets being won 6-3. With four sets each, it all came down to number of games won…and with Southsea on 36 and Fishbourne on 33 it was the closest ever victory to the home team. Well done Southsea!