A TRIO of Redditch tennis talents joined local coach Tony Ravenscroft in successfully representing their county in the 18 and under Girls County Cup at Wrexham Tennis Centre over three days.
Latesha Grant, Paulina Jurkowska and Kiyyah Grant teamed up with five other players from across Herefordshire & Worcestershire for what proved to be a triumphant occasion.
Josie Ward (Bromsgrove), Caoimhe Guppy (Pershore), Sally Lewin (Malvern), Beth Pye (Malvern) and Georgia Marrett (Pershore) were alongside the Redditch trio in competing against Durham & Cleveland, Cornwall and Oxfordshire. Redditch coach Tony Ravenscroft was team captain, assisted by Natalie O’Brien from Malvern.
The format consisted of nine matches per tie – six singles and three doubles.
The team had a great start on the first day against Oxfordshire as Latesha beat Oxfordshire number one Patrisia Radan 6-3, 6-3 and Paulina beat their number two Hannah Denly 6-0, 6-1 which contributed to a 6-0 lead.
On to the doubles, Latesha paired up with Sally Lewin and defeated their number one pair in three sets with some effective net play during important points. Paulina paired up with Josie Ward and beat their number two pair in straight sets which led to a 9-0 victory for H&W.
Cornwall were the next opponents and another 9-0 victory was secured as Paulina beat their number two Annie Watson 6-0, 6-0.
Latesha was up against their number one Holly Drew who was aggressive from the start. This did not faze Latesha who soaked up the pressure and gave as good as she got to take the victory by a 6-2, 6-2 scoreline.
Another great start for the team, winning all singles matches, put them into a 6-0 lead before Paulina and Sally Lewin paired up against their No 1 pair Holly Drew and Poppy Kirkman and were ruthless in their execution of commanding the baseline and dominating the net to gain a convincing 6-0, 6-0 win.
Kiyyah Grant and Beth Pye were up against their No 3 pair Zoe Body and Kelly Laing and the Redditch and Malvern duo dominated the first set, winning 6-1. The second set was tougher and after going behind Kiyyah and Beth turned it around with some solid doubles play to take the set 7-5 and complete another 9-0 victory.
Sally, Caoimhe and Beth were first on court against Durham & Cleveland. Sally had a tough battle and lost out to Isobel Le Clerc and Caoimhe had to be solid on her backhand to fend off Francesca Simpson – producing some strong serves and winning more forehand battles to win H&W’s first rubber 6-4, 7-5.
Beth was up against Tanya Charu Sharma and took the first set 6-3 before losing the second set 6-4. Beth refocused and combined some attacking play, exploiting her opponents backhand as well as nailing her own backhand down the line to see off the threat, winning the third set 6-1.
Josie was next on against Farah Yossry and Josie’s consistency and quality from the baseline, as well as dealing with the lefty spin and angles, helped her take the victory 6-1, 6-2.
Paulina was up against Lydia Packer who defended well and had a good short game. However, Paulina’s attacking, first-strike tennis and perseverance in longer rallies helped her secure the win 6-3, 6-1.
Latesha fought hard against the power of their No 1 Halle Pringle and lost out in straight sets.
With the side 4-2 up after the singles, one doubles win would give H&W victory and them crowned champions. Caoimhe and Beth paired up to take on their No 3 pair Isobel Le Clerc and Isabella Paluzzi and the H&W duo won the first set 7-5.
Meanwhile, Paulina and Josie lost their first set 6-1 against No 2 pair Farah Yossry and Francesca Simpson. While these two battles were going on, Latesha and Sally took to the court to start their match against No 1 pair Halle Pringle and Lydia Packer.
With all three H&W pairs battling it out for victory, Caoimhe and Beth went 3-0 up in the second set before losing the next three games. The H&W duo had to up their game and be solid from the baseline as well as making the most of opportunities at the net to take the second set 6-3 and secure the title.
Seconds later Paulina and Josie also prevailed after winning the second set 6-3 and the match tie-break 10-6 with some much-improved doubles play in the last two sets.
With victory now confirmed, Latesha and Sally’s doubles match was stopped as the girls celebrated their 6-2 victory over a strong Durham & Cleveland team to take the title and secure promotion.
There are plenty of opportunities at Redditch Tennis Club for all ages and abilities. You can use the courts for free on your first visit and the first coaching session is also free. Contact Tony on 07969 649092 or email email@example.com.