Most active players at Radley are also members of the Tennis and Rackets Association. Please do consider joining if you have not already done so. In addition to supporting the wider game in Britain, it gives you access to the booking sheet at Radley, so that you no longer have to appear on that sheet as ‘guest’.
….. there are a number of options on the fourth page. While we would recommend full membership, giving you a wide range of benefits, all you need is ‘Associate’ to access the booking sheet.
Club Pro News
Having spent over seven weeks working long hours and spending little time away from the court (just the way he likes it, of course) Chris is off for a fortnight’s break. Welcome back to Nino, who spent five weeks in Australia, but is over his jet-lag and back in harness.
Nino set off for the Australian Open with firm resolve to do his best-ever, but the draw was cruel to the man who had travelled round the world to get there. His first-round draw was against Chris Chapman, the number one seed and eventual winner of the title. Poor Nino was not much luckier in his draw for the Doubles, and he and partner Lewis Williams (Head Pro at Leamington) lost in straight sets to Levi Gale and the top Australian amateur, Kieran Booth, in the first round. Onwards and upwards… The US Open is Nino’s next tournament in a week’s time and we wish him good luck and kinder first round draws.
Changes on Court
There is high-tech and there is low-tech, but we have favoured an entirely manual, no-tech solution in response to some members’ request for a scoring aid. It may be simple and not aesthetically very pleasing, but it seems to do the job.
Game Board Mark 2 has additional, coloured magnets to count sets. An abacus would be better, probably. There is no telling what heights of sophistication and ingenuity will be reached by Game Board Mark 3, which is still at early design stage.
An altogether more beautiful addition to the fittings of the court is a gong in the Winning Gallery. This is a Prince’s Club-crested gift from our friends at the Westwood Court, as they have a fine new one and so have kindly given us the old gong from the now-closed Washington court. This was a ‘thank-you’ to CJR and MH-T for helping with the court opening last year.
Changes Off Court
It has been decided that the second water fountain, down by the court, really should not be there at all. It has been well used and we know it will be missed by some. Rather than using bottled water and paper cups, and the van, fuel and man hours needed to supply them, we feel we ought to revert to using only the water fountain in the club room. It filters and chills tap water perfectly well, and so, when the current bottles of Blenheim Water run out, they won’t be replaced.
Members and guests are reminded to bring their own water bottle with them and to fill it before going on court.
The National Inter-Schools Doubles Championships 2023
These championships are played in groups according to age and standard, with the A and B Grade U18s, U16s and the U15s all played on 5 February at Queens, the Oratory and Radley respectively.
There has already been considerable success for Radley College pupils and club members. Finalists of the U18 category were Henry Henman and George Lythgoe (representing Magdalen College School) and Radley’s Hugo Acheson-Gray and Ambrose Garson, who were one of the five Radley College pairs taking part, which was more than any other school.
In the U16 category, played at Radley, the Radley College pair of Mikolaj Rutka and Theo Henman appeared in their first Final, but were beaten by the duo from Wellington, Algie Nottingham and Seb Edwards.
The U13s was played at The Oratory, with teams from Westbourne House, Summerfields, the Oratory and OPS taking part and was won by Summerfields, represented by young Bewes and our own Laszlo Garson.
The British Amateur, which started in 1888, has historically been one of the most hotly contested titles and prestigious titles. Old Radleian Julian Snow’s record haul of 20 Singles titles stands as an impressive example of the sustained quality of his match play over decades. It is extraordinary that Julian was the Runner-up as little as 10 years ago, having first done the same in 1986.
The tournament runs from 11-19 of February and live streaming and archive footage can be found on the T&RA’s YouTube channel. Live coverage of the first Singles Semi Final, which starts at 6pm on Thursday 16 February can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta6qS7A7Io4.
That is all for now, but there is more, MUCH MORE, to come in March!
Firstly, I have been asked to help restore the fortunes of the Bristol Real Tennis Club. Radley College has generously agreed to allow me to take a working sabbatical and Maggie and I will be working at BRTC for a few months from early October. I will remain on the Radley books, while Maggie stays as Club Captain and will continue to oversee the refurbishment of the off-court areas of the club, due to start on 1 October. The club will not close while the work is carried out.
Secondly, and to ensure that Radley continues to hum along nicely, Josh King and Victor Till will be joining us from 1 October as Trainee Professionals and will be working with Nino, who will be in charge on a day-to-day basis. Some of you will have already met Victor, who has been a fairly regular player at Radley over the past year. After several challenging and rewarding years with the Royal Marines, he has decided that his future lies in Civvy Street and is winding down his service commitments. Josh began playing tennis as a student at Middlesex University and, having been an intern there, he is taking the next step on the road to becoming a professional. We are delighted that these young men will be joining the team. Please give them a warm welcome.