Handicap singles winner Hugh McDonald

Level singles winner Daniel Williams

RMTC’s best young (U26) players contested this event, and its handicap version at the week-end. I was disappointed that I had been unable to attract any entries from Hobart or Ballarat, but we otherwise had a full field.

Daniel Williams, seeded 1, won the level event for the first time; he beat Simon Carr in a fluctuating match played at a quick pace and a decent level. Daniel dominated the first and third sets, wiining each of them 6/1, with a strong mix of fast railroads and aggressive volleying. He also scrambled well from the hazard end, keeping the ball in play until he got a chance to play an offensive shot. Extraordinarily, in between these two sets, Simon won the middle set to love, when Daniel temporarily lapsed into error. It was to Simon’s credit that he was able to capitalise to the fullest possible extent with some determined and effective play of his own.

Thirteen players ranging from 12 (Daniel) to 65 (Isabelle Carr) entered the handicap event, spurred on by the lure of the winner’s prize of a Day 1 dedans seat at the forthcoming world championship. Daniel’s younger brother, Michael, reached the final but was unable to give 30, owe 1/2 30 (1 serve, banned tambour) to Hugh McDonald, eventually succumbing 8-5. Hugh is comparatively inexperienced at our game, but clearly has racket skills and ability. He took full advantage of his mark of 51 handicap, improved through the week-end, and in the end missed very little that came at him on the volley or half-volley.

It was an encouraging week-end of junior tennis for the club, in which all competitors played well and behaved immaculately.