For the first time in the history of the National County Mens Seniors tennis, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Over 70s mens tennis team became the National champions after an unbeaten season, beating clear favourites Surrey in the final at Dudley Indoor Tennis Centre West Midlands on November 1st.
To reach this final victories over Norfolk 5-0 Kent 5-0 Middlesex 4-1 Essex 4-1 and Sussex 3-2 had to be achieved during the summer season, this despite injuries and absences of some key players.
The victory in Dudley was hard fought, over a team fielding 2 internationals, and involved 5 rubbers of best of 3 sets, 2 singles and 3 doubles matches. One match involved coming from behind to win the the final set championship tiebreak, and another by a similar margin after being one set up. The final result was 3 rubbers to 2 for Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
Because of the length of the season a total of 6 players took part, and all made an important contribution to the eventual successful outcome. Team spirit was paramount, and on the finals day, practice sessions totalling 3 hours proved hugely significant, as the courts and lighting were unfamiliar to our players.
The following individuals represented the County in 2013, showing their Clubs and number of rubbers played – Roy Henderson - Portsmouth (12), David Brazier – Queens (5), Peter Friedmann – Winchester (8), Peter Corbett – Petersfield (7), Brian Birch – Winchester (4), David Trew (captain) - Winchester (12). They are all highly delighted, and have been together for 6 years, having previously made the finals together for the Over 65s in 2008, losing to Surrey – revenge is sweet!
Report by David Trew, Captain.