Cambridge LTC Boys Finish Second

Monday, July 28, 2014
Group photo with Sue Rich

Cambridge LTC boys finish second in nail biting final at the AEGON Team Tennis Final at the National Tennis Centre on 19th and 20th July.

Cambridge LTC boys 12 and under team won their Premier Group of the Aegon team tennis to reach the National Finals on 19th and 20th July at the National Tennis Centre, at Roehampton. The team of Harry Wendelken, Derrick Chen, James Murphy and Haadi Shah had won all their group matches to reach the finals.

On Saturday 19th July the boys played the National semi – final against Shrewsbury Tennis Centre. Due to bad weather the matches were shortened to short sets – best of three short sets. The matches were played in reverse order starting with the number four player.

First up was Haada Shah who played very well to beat Zac Carradine 4/0, 4/1. This set the team up for the rest of the day. James Murphy at number three then beat William Abbott 4/0, 4/1 with the loss of just 11 points. Number two Derrick Chen then played aggressively and with a good tactical brain to beat Tom Lockley 4/1, 4/0. Last up was number one player Harry Wendelken who gave a true leadership performance with an excellent 4/1, 4/2 win over Robin Bloomer. This meant the team were already 4-0 up in matches and the doubles were then not played. They were into the final.

Following on from a successful first day at the Aegon Team Tennis Premier U12’s-U18’s Finals on Saturday 19th held at The National Tennis Centre, Roehampton, the team of Harry Wendelken, Derrick Chen, James Murphy and Haadi Shah from Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club woke at 6:15 on Sunday 20th July,  knowing that they could become Aegon Team Tennis Champions for 2014. They had beaten The Shrewsbury Club the previous day without losing a set.

Play started at 9:15 a.m with CLTC’s number four player beginning the campaign. Despite early nerves, Haadi who faced Joel Good eventually battled  through to win 7-6(1), 6-1.

With CLTC spirits high, James Murphy, playing as number three for CLTC was up next.   He was coming back from injuring his wrist a few months previously and faced a very clever player in Matthew Blood, who played a strong volley based game, overcoming James 6-3. 6-3.

This meant a match each for Halton and CLTC with Derrick Chen next to play as number 2.  Derrick rated 5.2 and ranked 7th nationally for U12’s boys was the odds on favourite to win.  It wasn’t going to be easy, especially as Ryan Golesworthy rated 5.1 and ranked 17th nationally from Halton had played well the previous day against Thongsbridge TC from Yorkshire.  With some inspired tennis being played by Derrick it just wasn’t enough to secure a win for CLTC with Halton winning 6-1, 6-3.

This meant that Halton led 2-1 with Harry Wendelken , Cambridgeshire number 1 and U12’s nationally ranked number 1 next to play to level up the score. With 8 aces and sublime tennis, where it seemed nothing went wrong Harry kept his cool to beat Ben Smith from Halton 6-0, 6-0.  

This meant that both teams had to play their number 1&2 and 3&4’s in doubles. 

CLTC’s Haadi and James lost the first set of their doubles match 1-6.  They played better in the second set with an early 3-0 lead which slipped away from them, eventually losing 6-4 to Halton.

Harry and Derrick had to win their doubles match to force a tiebreak shoot out to determine an outright winner.

Derrick had picked himself up from his earlier singles defeat to play the doubles and was solid at the net, putting away winning volleys and working well with Harry, whose strong serving helped.  The first set was taken by the CLTC boys 6-4.  The second set was another close run one with Halton levelling up the score 5-5 after being 3-0 down.  Eventually securing the second set CLTC won 6-4. 7-5. 

Tiebreak shoot out to 10 had to be played.  Each team had to select a player from either 1&2 to partner a player form 3&4 to play the shoot out. It was going to the wire. CLTC captain for Sundays matches, Jack Howe made the decision to play Harry and James against Ben Smith and Matthew Blood. 

Halton took an early 2-0 lead which CLTC turned round to their advantage 3-2.  The early break from CLTC wasn’t able to be maintained and Halton levelled the scoe 3-3.  At 6-3 it all seemed over, but the boys won another point, 7-4 down.  Still optimistic about levelling the score line the boys from CLTC battled hard, but despite all their best efforts the shoot out was won by Halton 10-6. This secured them the title Aegon Team Tennis Premier U12’s boys champions after 8 hours of tennis.

In all sports there are winners and losers.  However, it cannot be said that CLTC boys were losers, merely Runner-ups.  All four boys had played their part in securing CLTC’s place in the finals as the number one seeds.  Since April they had played 4 other teams, winning 43 sets, losing only 6 sets along the way.  Congratulations CLTC boys. 



Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Purbeck Road
01223 210111