Welcome RMTC to 2012. We have just witnessed an enthralling and thoroughly enjoyable ROO TROPHY in which 60 players took part including friends from interstate and overseas. The singles event continued the use of the repechage system whereby all the 1st and 2nd round losers from the main draw went straight into the repechage (the final of the ROO singles is played between the winner’s of the main draw and the repechage). Played off handicap, we saw many matches going to the wire. In the main draw Nick Manby-Brown (yes, he is known these days as Namby-Pamby) did well, as did John Link and Fiona Hewson all reaching the semi-finals. In the repechage New South Wales current number one, Sav Cremona, as well as Peter Stanley and Richard Pagone all made the semi-finals but it was one of our newest members Jeremy Smart who defeated Sav in the repechage final 8 games to 4. Jeremy’s reward was to play Julian Snow in the 2012 ROO TROPHY singles final receiving the maximum handicap of owe 40 rec 30 banned most things and chases 2 and 3 or better. Despite the seemingly daunting handicap Julian won the final 8 games to 3 playing his usual brand of ruthless tennis. Never-the-less, Jeremy showed that he is a player to watch and as Julian said in his victory speech, “Jeremy will never play off a handicap of 58 again”.

In the ROO TROPHY doubles five pools of five teams each played round-robin to determine the best eight pairs to proceed to the knockout phase of the tournament. Those that made it through included Graeme Holloway and John Faull who were no doubt trying to peak in time for this weeks World Masters events, Sav Cremona and Ed. Kemp, Wendy Whitehead and Richard Pagone (otherwise known as the Blonde and the boy), Rob Falconer and Rob Whitehead, Mike MacAleavey and Charles Wright and Peter Estcourt and James Gould. An eclectic group of players if ever there was one, however, the final was played by four of our older members none of which have typically found themselves playing at the meaty end of RMTC tournaments. The final pitted John Link and Mark Miller against the crafty couple of Bob Malseed and Michael Rodd. If smiling won you tournaments the final would have been a high scoring draw. As John Link employed his now infamous lob attack and Mark Miller showed himself to be an early contender for Richmond’s steadiest player status the signs were good, but Bob Malseed had his eye on a trophy and Michael Rodd, playing in only his second tournament despite over ten years of membership, were not going to let the opportunity slip. Malseed and Rodd won 8 games to 5 but all four players had equal airtime during the evening speeches. Bob opened his tour de force by telling everyone he’d never won a tournament but then he remembered he had had a victory with Euahna Varigos. Not being sure of what he meant Michael Rodd interjected swiftly by asking if he meant on or off the court!

The tournament finished with everyone gathered for dinner in the marquee. If you are a new member of the RMTC I cannot recommend this tournament more highly as it offers both handicap singles and doubles as well as an opportunity to meet local and far away players alike. Well done to Frank and the team for operating the show and thank you to Annie Holden for her enormous generosity in providing lunch for the players each day and to Lizzie Brown, alongside Frank, Merrin MacKay and Annie, for the impromptu Pizza Night during the tournament.

Well done Julian Snow, well done Bob Malseed and Michael Rodd, the 2012 ROO TROPHY singles and doubles winners.

Owen Guest