Cambs U14 boys qualified for the County Cup Finals after a tense and nail biting finale in the qualifiers. The boys team comprised of Harry Wendelken, Ethan Lee, James Murphy, Zach Cox and Darius Fatemi-Ghomi and was played in Lincoln over the bank holiday weekend.
Cambs played Lincoln in their first match (each match consisted of four singles and two doubles) and James Murphy and Zach Cox were the first to play. Murphy playing some good consistent tennis to get Cambs into a 1-0 lead while Cox had to fight hard and battle back from a 1-6 1st set loss to take the 2nd 6-4 and the third 7-5 giving Cambs a 2-0 lead. Ethan Lee, playing at number 2 found it tough and lost getting only 1 game while Wendelken demolished Matthew Gedney with the loss of only a few points in a “double bagel” known in the tennis world - 6-0 6-0. That meant a resounding 4-0 lead going into the doubles - Wendelken and Lee teamed up convincingly to make it 5-0 while Cox and Murphy again had to fight and won 5-7 7-6(4) (6) to give Cambs a good 5-1 match win.
Norfolk were next up and the doubles were played first with the same pairings earlier in the day - both pairs won in straight sets against a weaker team with the singles being played the following day. Wendelken needed to rest a foot injury but the players came up with the goods and all won in straight sets to win 6-0. This meant that Cambs won Group A and would play the winners of Group B which was also being played at the same venue - South Wales.
With a poor weather forecast, all four singles were played at the same time - Wendelken who is currently ranked number 2 in GB, had little trouble even with a bruised foot beating Danny Flynn 6-2 6-3 before Ethan Lee followed it up with a 6-1 6-4 win over Henry Muxworthy. Cox counter attacked well and came out a 6-4 6-4 winner against Alex Hamer at number 4 for his singles win before a good comeback from 0-6 to a set all by James Murphy. However, James couldn’t see out the match tie break win and the tie was 3-1 with two doubles rubbers to be played.
The doubles was tense and very tight - Cox and Murphy taking the first set in their doubles 7-5 before Wendelken and Lee won theirs on a tiebreak - 13-11 in a very tight set that saw both pair have set points. Cambs couldn’t keep the momentum and both pairs lost the 2nd set, meaning both pairs would play a match tie break. Cambs needed just the one win from either to qualify for the finals. Cox and Murphy couldn’t get to the level they managed earlier and lost 2-10 very quickly. This meant it was down to Wendelken and Lee to send Cambs through. The atmosphere was fantastic as both sets of supporters got very involved and Wendelken came up with some big forehands to send Cambs through with a 10-6 match tiebreak win.
Captain Chris Johnson said "It was a great team achievement, however Wendelken made it possible with some convincing tennis throughout the weekend. All of the players played their part and it will be a tough challenge for them all in the finals. Wendelken will miss the first day as he is training with GB in Spain, and Derrick Chen will be in Slovenia for a two week GB trip meaning the squad depth will be challenged but one that I am sure they will be up for. It’s a good opportunity for Ethan Lee to represent Cambs at number 1."