Familiar faces take the plaudits at Chichester tennis finals

Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club staged their annual closed senior and junior tennis championships in intensely-high temperatures.

Some of the trophy winners at the Chichester R&FC finals
Some of the trophy winners at the Chichester R&FC finals

More than 90 members took part in the five main events and the junior championships were staged at the same time.

Many of this year’s finalists were either defending their titles or endeavouring to regain them.

For the first time, mini-tennis was included in the finals’ day schedule. Mini-red (eight and under) and mini-orange (nine and under) members played their tournaments early in the morning in round-robin formats. Toby Toft won both events, James Pollard was the runner-up in both events, with Freddie Whitby and Katalin Johns winning the bronze medals in mini-red and mini-orange.

Matthew Spencer retained his 14 and under title in a repeat of last year’s final against his brother Luke. In the 16 and under boys’ event, Oliver Dixon played Louis Shaw.

Shaw tenaciously fought for every point but Dixon’s tournament and match-play experience and strength of play proved too much for Shaw and he ran out a 6-0, 6-2 winner.

The girls’ 16-and-under event saw Emily Dodd, Amy Wright, Hannah Emerson and Hope Edwards return to play their final round. After round two, Dodd and Emerson were in the top two positions and round three determined who would take the title - Dodd winning 6-0, 6-2.

The much-anticipated men’s singles final was staged on the front courts. Sam Kilhams, seeded three, faced Ben Horton (Sussex No3 and national 32 at 16 and under and seeded one) in a repeat of last year’s final. Horton was fighting to defend his title while Kilhams was out to take the honour for a fifth time.

Kilhams dominated the first set and broke Horton’s first two service games to take a 5-0 lead, forcing Horton to serve to save the set. He did save it but Kilhams served for the set and won 6-1.

Kilhams played brilliantly again in the second set and took it 6-2 - and the title.

Katica Robertson, defending her title for the fifth time, played Sue Foott and once again won the first of her three titles of the day, 6-3, 6-1.

The mixed doubles was another repeat of last year’s final - sister and brother Molly and Mat Worden were determined to win the title and topple the champions Katica Robertson and Justin Pollard.

The Wordens won the first set 7-5, Robertson and Pollard the second 6-3 - and it was Robertson and Pollard who showed great determination and strength to take the title with a third-set 6-3 victory.

Mat Worden and Sam Kilhams returned to play the men’s doubles main final and defend their title against rivals Chris Nicholls and Justin Pollard in yet another repeat of last year’s final. Worden and Kilhams proved too strong for Nicholls and Pollard and comfortably won through 6-2, 6-1.

Other 2012 champions also successfully defended their titles – Sue Foott and Katica Roberston beat Jill Street and Sue Hine in the ladies’ doubles.

Tony French, the club president, presented the prizes.

Other results: Ladies’ singles Plate - Kim Shaw; Mixed doubles plate - Kim Shaw/Louis Shaw bt Della Beard/Siva Pillai; Men’s singles plate - Justin Kingshott bt Chris Hayes; Men’s doubles plate - Hugo Frey/Siva Pillai bt Tony Goff/Martin Troy; Ladies’ doubles plate - Hannah Emerson/Amy Wright bt Susan Barratt/Debbie Shawcross; Boys’ 16 & under plate - Stephane Kondabeka; Boys’ 14 & under plate - Oscar McCall bt Will Broom; Boys’ 12&U - Will Broom.