Eastbourne area tennis special: Action at Meads, Hailsham, Hampden Park and Old Town Rec
It's a bumper time for tennis in Eastbourne and the surrounding area - and not just because some of the world's top players will be at Devonshire Park later this month. Here's the news from our local clubs and courts...
The Meads’ second team travelled to Amherst’s artificial clay courts and clinched an encouraging 3-1 victory.
The Meads were made to work hard for their points with three of four contests going to final-set tie breaks.
Noel Bennett and Andrew Taylor were in scintillating form in their first match dealing expertly with a hard hitting Amherst pair to triumph in straight sets.
Chris Kilroy and Mike Dixon were having a tougher time in their first match losing the first set 6-3 before bouncing back to take the second set 6-0.
The Meads pair took the third set tie break to give Meads a 2-0 lead at the halfway stage.
In the reverse fixtures there were more third set tie breaks with Bennett and Taylor combining well to win theirs 10-7 while Kilroy and Dixon lost their decider 10-8.
Captain Noel Bennett said: “I was delighted with the way the boys adapted so well to an unfamiliar clay surface ... to have two wins in our first two matches is just what the doctor ordered.”
The Meads ladies thirds won 4-0 at Plumpton with a dazzling display.
Clare Greenwell and Wendy Lambert won both their matches in straight sets while Glenda Pelling and Sue Boakes also triumphed in straight sets in both contests.
Hailsham TC’s ladies second team had their first match at home against Eastbourne’s David Lloyd Club twos.
In sunny weather Hailsham’s first pair, Narun Chea and Georgia Lee played Lise Carr and Louise Fairweather.
The Hailsham girls were in fine form, winning 6-0, 6-0.
Hailsham second pair Chris Packham and Mary Srey faced Marie Cooper and Kerrie Duinhoven. It was also a one-sided affair, the Hailsham pair winning 6-1, 6-1.
In the reverse matches, Narun and Georgia had a closer first set, winning 6-4, before taking the second set and the match 6-0.
The last match had Chris and Mary up against Lise and Louise, who found form to take the first set on a tie-break 7-6.
The second set swung more towards the home team, 6-1, which meant that match was to be decided by a championship tie-break.
The away pair managed to take that 10-8, resulting in a 3-1 fixture win for Hailsham Ladies.
HAMPDEN PARK TC
Hampden Park Tennis Club’s Len Travis adult and junior tournament was a great success.
It has been played since 2005 when the Travis family donated a lovely trophy in memory of Len, a long time member of the club.
In every round a junior and an adult face another junior and adult and after each round everyone changes partners.
Eight adults and 16 juniors played.
Winning junior was Lisa Tyrrell, winning adult John Portway.
Lisa received a £50 voucher for Intersport to buy a new racket.
This was donated by Jackie Travis, Len’s daughter who plays at Hampden Park.
Hampden Park TC is a small friendly club who welcome members of all standards. To find out more about the club and for details of membership offers go to www.hampdenparktennis.co.uk
The refurbished community courts next to the club are now available to hire. See www.hampdenpark
OLD TOWN REC
Tennis fans will have more opportunities to play thanks to a new partnership between Old Town Hub Community Interest Company (CIC) and Eastbourne Borough Council.
Old Town Hub CIC is a non-profit community company and aims to provide and maintain sustainable tennis facilities at Old Town Rec.
The tennis courts have been managed by Wave Leisure. Along with Eastbourne Borough Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), they have been working together to make tennis accessible to all.
Back in 2015, all the council tennis courts were resurfaced and fenced. Since then, the courts have been free; however the surface is deteriorating with funds unavailable to make the courts better.
Old Town Hub CIC have agreed with the council and the LTA to take on management of the courts.
Craig Wells, director of Old Town Hub CIC said: “The courts are in need of investment for the long-term. The court surface has had great use over the years; however, it is time for them to have some TLC,
“We are putting in new gates to the courts with funding from the LTA; these will be installed week commencing June 14. We are planning to replace the nets and the court surface will be fully painted.”
The courts will still have free tennis available in the week along with free weekly coaching. Courts can be booked online to guarantee play and each booking will get a self-generated code for access.
A Pay & Play fee of £7 will be in place as well as the option to have a £40 annual family membership. This money generated will be put directly back into making the courts sustainable.
Tennis coaching is also in place now on the courts. Download the free Set2Win app or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to look at sessions on offer.