Day 6 Results from the Link Pumps Australian Open in Melbourne.

It was doubles semis day yesterday and what a match we had! The best match of the tournament and one of the best battles seen in Melbourne for years. Rob Fahey and Mike Happell fought off the toughest of challenges against an inspired Bret Richardson and Nick Howell to win a truly great game 6/2 3/6 6/3 4/6 6/5.

Fahey and Happell started strongly but were pegged back in the second set as their younger opponents became more aggressive and found their targets. In the 3rd set, Fahey’s serving was excellent, with very tight railroads matched by Happs’ solid returns. Two sets to one and it felt like the top seeds were on their way. But again Nick and Bret raised the bar, and won a series of crucial games to close out the set 6/4. The final set was a joy for the packed galleries, game for game to 5 all. It is hard to describe now, but the already high standard only got higher as the final set reached its conclusion. One pick-up off the tambour by Fahey was miraculous while Nick found the dedans at critical moments. Three match points to Bret and Nick, none ‘lost’, all won by their opponents’ great play. Mike played perhaps his very best game of the match in that last game, serving tightly and then ripping in a huge cut volley to create what was ultimately the winning chase. Even then,
defending worse than two, the WC was under attack on the floor for several shots before finally being beaten by a ball that fell better than three. Lost the chase, game and the match to the ‘silver foxes’!

The players were given a standing ovation by the packed gallery and every one of them can be proud of their efforts. Nick and Bret were no doubt very disappointed to have gone so tantalisingly close but they played exceptionally well. Happs showed all his experience at key times and Fahey displayed an indomitable will to win.

After all that excitement, we settled down for the second semi which produced an impressive straight sets win for Kieran Booth and Bryn Sayers 6/5 6/4 6/2 over Ricardo Smith and Ben Matthews. While lacking the drama of the earlier match, the second seeds put on a clinical display, dominating the service end and serving tightly. They will hard to beat.

Tomorrow night’s final will be a beauty!

In the women’s doubles semi, Kate Leeming and Sue Haswell (1) were just too strong for Pru McCahey and Rosie Snell, registering a straight sets win in fine style. In the final, they will meet the UK pairing of Alex Brodie and world champion Claire Vigrass. As for the men, the women’s final will be one to savour.

Order of Play Monday
Singles Finals
5pm Claire Vigrass (1) vs Kate Leeming (2)
not before 6pm Rob Fahey (1) vs Ben Matthews (4)

Order of Play Tuesday
Doubles Finals
5pm Kate Leeming & Sue Haswell (1) v Claire Vigrass & Alex Brodie (2)
not before 6pm Rob Fahey & Mike Happell (1) v Kieran Booth & Bryn Sayers (2)

Seats are selling fast so, please note that you need to reserve your seat for the finals if you want to sit in the dedans or side galleries. Viewing from the club room and top gallery is free. Call the club now to book your seat.

See you at the club tonight!

Alistair Curley
Chair of Tennis