Fiona Hewson

The Exhibition St. Cup 2009

There were 44 entries in the Exhibition St. Cup singles, which concluded yesterday. Although nominally an RMTC members’ tournament, the rules were sufficiently flexed to allow us to welcome 5 players from Sydney as well as a prial of Williams from Ballarat.

Encouragingly, the event proved to be a triumph for the junior section of the club. Myself apart, the ages of the semi-finalists were 16, 19, and 21, and it was the youngest competitor of all, Michael Williams, who came through to win. Michael, who played off 29 (a mark he won’t see again), started Sunday by defeating our aspiring young professional Chris Chapman (2.5) by 8 games to 3, and then showed that he paid no heed either to age or reputation by bashing me up by the same margin. In the other half, Ed Welch (28.4) progressed to play Simon Carr (22.9) in the semi-final. It was a very good match of contrasting styles; Simon played fast with a traditional railroad service, whereas Ed played more carefully and relied on a sidewall serve. In the end the classic game got the better of the faster game, the match ending with Ed playing an exquisite cross court backhand to the base of the tambour.

The final was a wonderful match, with so much to commend both young players, who demonstrated an exceptionally mature understanding of match play and strategy. I might also add that the match was played with flawless court manners from both boys, and in an excellent spirit. Getting only owe ¼ 15 as a handicap, in the end Michael ran out a convincing 8-4 winner. Not only does he have a good eye for the ball, but also Michael is extremely strong and quick. One or two of his forehand volleys, as well as the occasional rocket-like force were genuinely unreturnable. I had no doubt that I was watching a future champion. Michael shared with me afterwards that he is keen to emulate his older brother Daniel who won the U21 Ford Strachan Trophy in 2007 and 2008 (but is no longer eligible); he would not have to improve much more to make that a realistic target later this year. Then he can start chasing some of the overseas youngsters – there is a 17yo at Seacourt, Hayling Island, with a handicap of 7.7.

There was also doubles – for early singles losers and doubles specialists. Josef Brunhuber, the winner in 2007, generously donated a most intriguing trophy, which was won by Andrew Gould and Owen Guest, who beat Fiona Hewson and Vince Scopelliti in the final. The P and VP were much too steady and experienced for their newly paired opponents.

The Anzac Day Trophy 2009

Anzac Winners

ANZAC Day Winners Lee Pessall & Vince Scopelliti

Eight pairs contested this event, ranging from Tony Miach off 30 handicap through to players in the mid-sixties. There was plenty of competitive tennis; all pairs won at least one match.

In the end, the day was a triumph for the Pessall/Page household. In the semi-final matches, Lee Pessall, paired with Vince Scopelliti, readily defeated the experienced pairing of Steve Wood and Peter Stanley, while Julia Page and Natalie Tricarico held their nerve to edge out Julie Davies and Fiona Hewson by a single point.

Many spectators felt that Lee would do the right thing, and allow domestic dominance to continue, but he clearly harboured thoughts of an entirely different nature; Vince and Lee were unrelenting in the final, winning it 6-0. They served extremely tightly, never allowing the ladies into the rallies on an even keel, then Vince, in particular, played some very solid ground shots.

It was a entirely successful day for Lee Pessall, who had started (pre-tournament) with a win in the John Poolman Trophy.

Richmond Cup Club Championship For Handicaps 60+ Sat/Sun 21st/22nd March

The dedans filled on a glorious sunny day, wine glasses filled and the usual friendly banter started amongst friends who had turned up to watch the final of the Richmond Cup!

Thanks to the eight players that entered and to the pros, particularly Ruaraidh for marking all 3 finals.  We all enjoyed the different format of playing best of 3 set matches, which we don’t usually get the opportunity to play.  Thanks to all that stayed to support both players in the final. It was nice to see so many people in the dedans! 

Fiona.

Fiona Hewson defeated Julia Page 5/6, 6/3, 6/2

The first day of the tournament went well with hot cross buns and easter eggs going down well with all!
Day 1 results: Sat 21st March
Roger Blythman defeated Chris Williams 3/6 6/3 6/3
Fiona Hewson defeated Carla Story 6/3 6/1
Julia Page defeated Isabelle Carr 6/2, 6/2
Peter Fenwick versus Terry Padden, walkover

Sunday 22nd March:
Semi Final 1, 10am Fiona Hewson defeated Peter Fenwick 1/6 6/0 6/2

This first of the semi finals was a great battle on again a hot day, seeing both players put in a great effort and covering alot of court to participate in some very long rests. I believe every game except one went to deuce in the first set although Peter managed to clinch it quite convincingly 6/1. Peter looked to be stealing the match, having had a ‘rest day’ yesterday due to a walkover.  At the beginning of the second set the match turned around and with both players playing some great tennis and long rests, Fiona refusing to give up then appeared to find her groove winning the next 10 games.  It was Fiona who got through to the final, finishing the match off 1/6, 6/0, 6/2.

Semi Final 2, 11.30am Julia Page defeated Roger Blythman 6/0, 6/2

Roger certainly looked to be on form having to dig deep yesterday to take Chris Williams to three sets after dropping the first set.   Julia came out on court today all guns blazing finding good length on her ground strokes and serving very well, she played a great match which lasted only 45 minutes, defeating Roger 6/0, 6/2.

Final 2pm Fiona Hewson defeated Julia Page 5/6, 6/3, 6/2
Julia looked to have the edge having had a shorter semi final and serving very well from the beginning of the final.   During the first set Julia raced away to a 4/1 lead with some tight serving as Fiona struggled with her own serve.  After a slow start Fiona levelled the score to 4/4 but it was Julia that won the set after it went to 5 all.  Well played Julia.  The second set started very even and then Fiona took the lead, at 1/5 down Julia won a couple of quick games on serve before Fiona closed the set (after a string of favourable mullets!) 6/3. The last set was a tough fought battle with a combination of high lob serves and gentle bobbles perhaps being the difference. Fiona won the tournament in a match that lasted over two hours in the 3rd set 5/6, 6/3, 6/2.

Quarterly Medal, 28th February 2009

The first Quarterly Medal competitions for 2009 were held at RMTC on Saturday, 28th February.  A full complement of 20 players competed in four round-robin groups, with first matches on court at 8am and the final matches wrapping up at 6pm.

The morning competition saw Fiona Hewson and Brendan O’Brien run out winners in their respective groups, each with three wins from four matches.  The winners in the afternoon groups were even more dominant, with Sophie Johnson and Owen Guest completing their four round-robin matches undefeated.

All four winners from Saturday’s Quarterly Medal, as well as those from the upcoming Medals later in the year, are invited to compete in the elimination “Medal of Medallists” competition on Finals’ Day in December.