Thank you to all the participants and helpers for making our first Swavesey tournament such a fun and enjoyable event!
We had around 40 entrants over the three competitions, Singles A, Singles B, and Doubles. The club vibe was so friendly and every match was played with excellent sportsmanship and positive attitudes from all players. Special thanks to the Pita family who produced such delicious baguettes to sate the hunger of the exhausted athletes!
We would first like to say a few words about Ted Shaw, a.k.a. 007. As the 7th member of Cambridge Squash Club, when it was first built on Histon Rd, he became known as 007. He organised a series of doubles tournaments which he dubbed the 007 Doubles. We ran this doubles event in memory of Ted.
In all the draws, but especially the Singles B, we saw lots of new faces competing. Hopefully some new friendships forged! Into the semis, we had Mariusz Nawrocki facing off against Mario De Matos. Despite Mariusz’s determined chasing of every ball, Mario’s experienced strokeplay led to a victory for the veteran. Ed Trotman and Debby Rushton faced off in the other semi; Debby feeling slightly fatigued from her four matches the day before (!), she succumbed to the youngster, but not before taking it to five games! The final was an exciting match, but the extra work that Ed had done coming up to the final slightly showed, as well as Mario’s excellent strokes, power, and attacking play, leading to Mario taking the victory and the prize. Well done Mario! -> To the A next time!
Singles A had some incredibly close matches. A couple of highlights from the earlier rounds: Terry Reynolds, former county champion, and veteran of the sport, took on Hannah Dixon, new to the area, an elegant and skillful player with light-footed movement. The contrast in styles made for an exciting match. The crowd were sucked in to watching the match which became more and more exciting with every game. Terry, despite his 70+ years of age, was moving well to cover Hannah’s boasts, and counterattacking with the familiar Reynolds trickle boast, with Hannah unused to playing such an unorthodox style. In dramatic style, Terry managed to squeeze the fifth, with Hannah gracious in defeat. A very exciting match!
Another nip-and-tuck match featured Maddie Walpert and David Orr. Both extremely quick athletes, with excellent drops and attacking shots, it was a fast-paced and high-octane game with thrilling volley interceptions and powerful strokes. It couldn’t have been much closer, with Maddie eventually taking the fifth after multiple games went to two clear points.
Into the later stages, we saw a new face in the semi, in the form of Rob Hutchings. Having had a short (17 year) break from the game, Rob has worked hard over the past few weeks to get back to form. He took a scalp in the form of Mike Ford in a tight-fought match to reach the semi, and faced James Buckley in the first semi. James has around 20 (30?) years on Rob, and has a compact stroke from which he generates significant power and consistent kills and drops. He also covers the court seemingly effortlessly. James put on a great performance, taking the match 3-0, but Rob did play some excellent rallies, with incredible power generated from his refined stroke, as well as some excellent attacking play despite the pressure James created.
In the second semi, we had another new pairing, Adam Prosser v Lee Palombo. Lee has been working hard on his game and his fitness, and has significantly improved since the last time we saw him in competition. Adam was perhaps taken by surprise by Lee’s excellent court coverage, clean striking of the ball, with good variety of short play. Adam certainly didn’t go down without a fight, but perhaps his efforts in the doubles took some of the sting out of his unrelenting court coverage, and despite some excellent shot selection as well as tricky volleys and deceptive play, Lee managed to secure his place in the final.
The final between Lee and James was highly anticipated, but this reporter felt that Lee let the occasion slightly overwhelm him. Nerves were on display, especially in the first two games, which James took comfortably. However, Lee made a big push and managed to take the 3rd 12-10. Could a comeback be on the cards?
James ‘buckled’ down and played a solid game, giving Lee no easy points, with a cool head on his shoulders. He took the match 3-1. Well done James! Fantastic play.
We saw many exciting rallies and a lot of fun across the two days, culminating in the final between Alistair Dawson and Joe Reeds v David Champion and Russ Lewis. Initial rallies between the two pairs were extremely high paced, with early volleys being taken and most shots being hit with significant power. The ball was extremely fast, and the court coverage impressive. Reeds/Dawson had the advantage though, and took the first two games.
Not deterred, Champion/Lewis managed to claw back the next two games. Increasingly, we saw the players fail to clear the ball, most likely due to weary legs, and increasing numbers of points ending in lets. This took its toll on the players, with fatigue setting in. The pace changed, with more sluggish movement, but no let up in determination. Eventually, Dawson/Reeds took the final game by a narrow margin, and were crowned champions of the 007 Doubles Tournament.
We feel pretty exhausted from the weekend, but we are so pleased with how it went. We hope everyone had as much fun as us, and can’t wait to host the next event!