The inaugural FILA Senior English Indoor Championships concluded on Sunday with universal praise from players and officials alike.
Over 290 players competed indoors over 6 days of competition at the Performance Tennis Academy at Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City just north of London.
“We have been delighted by the player support for the event and are excited at the prospect of building the event into one of the most significant ITF indoor events in Europe”, said Tournament Director Marcus Stapleton.
Players from 16 countries competed with Kiwi Steven Cargo a French resident setting new records for daily commuting to play. Steve actually travelled daily from his home in Calais France to win the Men's 55 Singles. “I love the indoor acrylic surface which suits my game and coming from New Zealand I'm used to travelling long distance” mused Cargo who was victorious over top seed Britain's Tony King.
Local coach and relative ITF Seniors newcomer Damien Jackson overcame Philip Fowler 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in a tough, high class clash in the Men’s 40’s, whilst another winner included a experienced Top Seed in the Women’s 55’s, with Hazel Lindfield coming through a strong draw to defeat second seed Bim Newton 6-0, 6-2 in the final.
Great Britain player Rajiv Batra was a finalist in his own event in the Men's 55 singles and the 35 doubles, “It's been a great Team effort by all those involved and we are really happy and the outcome” commented Batra the Director of BBUK the licensee of FILA in the UK.
Senior Tennis GB Secretary Valerie Willoughby visited the event during the finals weekend, “We are happy that the players have enjoyed themselves and congratulate to all those involved in organising a successful tournament which looks set to become a popular event in the long term”.
Gosling Sports Park which staged the tournament is an LTA performance centre and the revenue generated from the event will be invested back into helping aspiring young players training at the facility.
Herts Tennis was very pleased and proud to support this wonderful event in the county and we look forward to its return next year