Last Sunday saw Bromley Lawn
Tennis Club travel to Ipswich Sports Club for the 3rd round of the
AEGON Team Tennis Championships. With a record 24 match unbeaten run in the
competition and their strength within the Bromley squad, a win for the current
National Champions against the newly promoted Ipswich SC should
have been almost a formality.
Unfortunately many of
Bromley’s top players were injured or competing elsewhere in the UK and around
the world and could not get back for this match. This left Bromley having to
field a much, much weaker side.
Playing at number one in the
line up was Bromley’s Head Coach and Britain’s former number 3 Andrew
Richardson. Despite being the under dog on paper these days, Richardson
showed just why he reached 133 in the world and despatched Ipswich’s
Jeremy Cowley 7-5, 6-1 in the singles.
Oliver Freelove, a former GB
Top Ten player, was at number two for Bromley and despite serving for the first
set eventually lost 7-6, 6-1 to Matt Kirby.
Rob Carter, who is ranked in
the top 100 junior players in the world, actually served to win his singles
match but ultimately lost in 3 sets to Myles Orton 6-1, 6-7, 7-5.
Playing at number four for
Bromley was Mike Tuson, a former club singles champion. Although he had been
called in to help the team out, Mike put up a valiant effort against the much
higher ranked opponent from Ipswich but lost to
Matt Hough 6-1, 6-2.
Bromley went into the two
doubles rubbers 3-1 down in matches with no way to recover the tie. Carter and
Richardson then paired up and lost to Cowley & Hough 7-6, 6-3 and Tuson
& Freelove went down 6-4, 7-6 to Orton and Kirby. Bromley lose overall 5
rubbers to 1.
Speaking afterwards Oliver
Freelove, Bromley’s Team Manager said “Whilst we are disappointed to break our
winning streak, this is an incredibly busy time in the tennis calendar and it
was just unfortunate that our big guns couldn’t make this match. A loss today
doesn’t mean that we are out of the competition by any means. With four group
matches still to play we are optimistic that we will qualify for the finals in Bournemouth and go on to achieve a hat trick of successive
AEGON National Championship Titles”.
In the South East division
of this national competition, currently six out of the eight teams featured in
the league are tied on the number of points achieved so far, with only the set
and games percentages separating them. Bromley are currently third in the
league and will compete against four of their rivals over the next five weeks.
Still everything to play for.