Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Real joy at Hyde finals
9:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Sport
THERE was an exciting tournament at the Hyde Real Tennis court in Walditch, near Bridport, when the club held the annual February Handicap doubles tournament.
This highly competitive event, which was sponsored by Redferns Solicitors of Weymouth and Portland, included players of all standards and ages playing in four round-robin sections.
The winners and runners-up of each section progressed to the knockout stage, commencing with quarter-finals and culminating in a hotly-contested final.
Rather like golf, real tennis, which is played in a specially built indoor court, allows players to compete on an equal footing as each player has a numerical handicap, the lower the handicap, the greater their expertise.
This ensures that matches are closely fought and this handicapped tournament was no exception with 20 pairs competing for the title.
They were pared down to strongly competitive quarter and semi-finals, which eventually produced two pairs in a hard-fought final.
This was between the tournament’s sponsor, John Mackenzie, senior partner of Redferns and his partner Derek Fitzgerald who battled it out against Ian Potter and Kallin Davies, a relative newcomer to the sport and the club.
The former pair, with lower handicaps and immense experience had to give a generous handicap to their opponents, and were eventually tactically out-manoeuvred by the det-ermined winners, Potter and Davies.
The new champions later admitted to a last-minute coaching session on doubles play from resident professional Ben Ronaldson, that they had received a few days before.
A club spokesman said: “The tournament was played with its usual spirit of competitive fun with all entrants enjoying, not only the play, but lunches and teas produced by club member Sheila Harrison who club chairman John Mackenzie thanked together with the organisers, Ben Ronaldson and his assistant professional, Adam Barrett.”
There are less than 50 active courts in the world, if anyone is interested in playing or watching real tennis, contact Ronaldson or Barrett at the Hyde club on 01308 420777 or visit the club’s website hyderealtennis.co.uk