Nottinghamshire County Cup Reports 2022
Below you'll find a list of all the County Cup reports for Nottinghamshire teams in 2022.
Team: Sophie Lager, Lisa Bolton, Rebeka Hodi, Isabella Smillie, Henna Quraishi (Saturday) and Emma Beale (Sunday).
On the first weekend of May 2022 we continued our County Cup campaign with the 14U Nottinghamshire Girls representing over at Caunton Lawn Tennis Club. As the home team we were definitely feeling at home and at ease with the support we had over the weekend. Nottinghamshire were going up against Suffolk, Staffordshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
On the first day we were welcomed with lovely weather and a huge crowd which supported us all the way. The group of girls in the team were prepared to fight through every obstacle thrown at them. We completed all our singles against Suffolk, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire with the girls not dropping a single set. Before we got to this point, all the girls had gone through mental, tactical and individual goals to ensure they had contingencies when things weren’t going their way. With this being said, the team started off very strong and continued to be dominant throughout the day. Notts were up 4-0 against the 3 counties at the end of day 1.
After Henna claimed 2 singles wins on Saturday, Emma came in for her on Sunday. She was promoted to vice captain as she knew the real meaning of supporting the team when it mattered! Day 2 had Notts going up against Cambridge, with Sophie playing as the number 1 seed. She had the toughest challenge against a heavy hitter and only lost out 4-3(5) 4-2.
Lisa came through in straight sets against a player who never gave in and gave her a hard time in both sets. This was definitely the match of the weekend based on the momentum shifts and how well Lisa kept her head in the game. Rebeka won comfortably 4-0 4-1 against a younger player. Respect to Rebeka for not getting complacent, no matter the outcomes of the other matches being played at the same time.
Isabella had the longest match and made sure to finish dramatically 10-5 in the final set tie-break to put the girls 3-1 up before heading up the doubles. One more rubber was needed to take the gold. With Rebeka/Isabella going up first as the #2 doubles pair, they applied their fantastic baseline play, movement and pure aggression to take the match 10-7 in the final set tie-break, after losing the first set 4-3(6).
It was a fantastic two days of great tennis with the girls coming out on top. We continued to finish off our doubles against the remaining counties to ensure everyone had enough minutes working on their craft before heading to the Nationals on the 13th/14th/15th at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
It wouldn’t be a County Cup without any drama, tight moments, and a team-driven philosophy in which the girls completely understood and delivered.
Thank you to all the parents, players and Caunton for supporting the team throughout the weekend.
Team Captain - Zef.
Team: Sophie Lager, Lisa Bolton, Rebeka Hodi, Isabella Smillie, Henna Quraishi and Emma Beale.
The Girls 14U County Cup National Finals were held at the Nottingham Tennis Centre in which Notts were up against Middlesex, Avon, West of Scotland and Dorset. As it was a three-day event, team captains James Harding, Andy Higham and Zeferino Antonio were present on different days. The same team that came victorious in their qualifying event at Caunton were yet again there to represent Nottinghamshire.
On the first day we were set to play Middlesex on the courts voted most windy in the country. It’s safe to say they lived up to their reputation. Isabella came out with the only win on the day, as the girls went down 5-1 overall. A special shoutout to Sophie playing at number one who took the number 3 in the country to a third set tie-break, only coming short 10-5. We all finished with a nice meal over at Nando’s and headed to Tenpin for some bowling and team building!
On the second day the girls reset and took all four singles rubbers against West of Scotland, followed by two out four singles rubbers against Avon who fielded a very strong team. With Emma/Lisa playing together for the first time, they showed grit and chemistry, but Scotland came out strong with nothing to lose and took the win.
After being 2-2 in the singles it was down to the doubles with Avon. Sophie/Rebeka were on as first seeds and took the one-set match 4-2. Lisa/Bella lost out in their match. It was then down to the tie-break shootout with Sophie/Lisa representing from each doubles pair. The match began with loud cheering from both ends and even Middlesex cheering on for Notts!
After Avon proved to be too strong for Middlesex in their shootout, the same story repeated itself as the same pairings took Notts down in our shootout. Amazing tennis was on display but Notts finished the day with one win and one loss. We finished third overall in our group, which had us set to play Dorset who came third in their group.
With the team morale needing to be spiked up after a very hot Saturday against the two counties, the girls dug exceptionally deep to show resilience and team support against Dorset on day three in the battle to come in fifth place. In the end Dorset took the win and the girls finished sixth. To put it into perspective, 44 counties compete in the county cup every year and for the Nottinghamshire 14U Girls to finish sixth at the nationals sums it all up.
An amazing experience for the girls throughout the weekend, a roller coaster of emotions and more drive to develop for the future.
Team Captain - Zeferino Antonio
Team: Clementine Rennoldson, Lucy Perry, Evie Pritchard, Chloe Hodes and Sofia Walton.
With World Tennis Numbers (WTN) becoming live the week of this event, the order of our team had to change as players first receive a WTN when 10 years old.
Cambridge was the first county we competed against. Clementine had a tough match against Megan Coliof, playing well but going down 1-4 2-4 in a match that didn’t reflect the score. Lucy lost the first set 2-4, but came back to win the second 4-2. In a tight tie-break, she won 10- 7. Evie played well to gain another win 4-2 4-1 against Isabella Barker. Chloe played a long match, making her opponent work hard. She lost the first set 2-4, won the second 4-1, and in a very tight tie-break won 11-9 against Lillian Ke. Clementine and Evie played well in the first doubles to win 4-1 4-3, with the second set going to a tie-break that ended 7-0. Lucy and Chloe had another tight first set tie-break 6-8, and sadly lost the second set 2-4.
Overall Notts won 4-2 which I wasn’t expecting against Cambridge. It was a great start to the weekend.
The second round was against Lincolnshire. Lucy played well against Lainie Graham, winning the first set 4-1. She lost the second and the third, which sadly went to the match tie-break 7-10. Evie had an easy win against Dakota Todd 4-0 4-0. Chloe lost the first set 0-4 but came back fighting to win the second set tie-break 7-1 and the match tie break 12-10. Sofia went to a tie-break in the first set 2-7, but sadly had to retire in the second set with an ankle injury. At 2-2 we went into the doubles. Evie and Clementine played some lovely doubles to win 4-2 4-2. Lucy and Chloe also performed well to win 4-0 4-1. The girls were so pleased to achieve a 4-2 win in this rubber.
The final round was against Leicestershire. Clementine played very well to win 4-3 (7-4) 4-2 against Lyla Clarke. Lucy also had a tight match but won 4-2 4-3 (7-10) against Tisya Rana. Evie won 4-0 2-4 10-3 against Gabriella Nemaura, with Chloe rounding off the wins 4-0 4-0 against Alice Chapman. With four singles wins the girls knew they were off to the finals. They managed to control their excitement to the win both doubles 4-0 4-0 and 4-0 4-1 respectively.
My congratulations to all the girls this weekend. The National Finals will be held on 10, 11, 12 June at Bath University.
My thanks to the parents for the great support.
Team Captain - Jane Stokes
Team: Chloe Hodes, Lucy Perry, Evie Pritchard, Clemmie Rennoldson and Sofia Walton.
After a great weekend winning their group at the regional qualifying event, the girlstravelled down to Bath for the National Finals to compete for a places 1-8 in the country.
Our first match was against Surrey, who we’re currently joint-ninth with in the overall county leader board. Surrey proved too strong for the team at this age group, winning every fixture on their way to a 6-0 victory. But tennis score lines can be cruel and sometimes don’t tell the whole story. Every Notts player fought hard for every point and 3 of the sets in this fixture went tie-breaks.
The next match against East of Scotland started with Notts’ first win of the weekend. Chloe won her singles match at number 4. The rest of the fixture contained many battles that didn’t go Notts’ way (a further 6 tie-breaks occurred) that led to East winning 5-1. Our final group fixture against Warwickshire was yet again a close one, with great competition within the points. Unfortunately it was Warwickshire who won 5-1.
Finishing bottom of the group meant we went into the 7th/8th playoff against Staffordshire. It was a much more evenly contested fixture with Notts taking a 2-0 lead, only for Staffs to level the fixture at 2-2 after the number 1 and 2 singles matches. The doubles were fiercely contested and it was Notts who won both to finish the weekend on a high with the 4-2 win.
It's important to note that the team spirit on show was so strong throughout the entire weekend. Even though the winning didn't come until the very last fixture, all players had a great time over the weekend, supporting each other and learning a lot that we hope will stand them in good stead for their development over the years to come.
Nottinghamshire Tennis is grateful to Brenntag for sponsoring our County Cup teams.
Below you can see all of the weekend's matches and scores:
Team: Jasper Riley, Ben Phillips, Elijah Killen-Smith and Oliver Melady.
The Boys 14U County Cup was held at Repton for Nottinghamshire, where they faced Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. Originally the format was to have 6 counties, where 2 groups compete in a round robin before playing off against the teams in their position from the other group. However, Bedfordshire withdrew from the group meaning the format changed to a round robin where every team played each other.
On the first day, Nottinghamshire faced Leicestershire and Yorkshire. Each fixture involved a minimum of 4 players, starting with 2 singles matches, followed by the other two singles matches before playing doubles. Nottinghamshire did fantastically well to start off with 4 singles matches wins, getting the first win of the weekend vs Leicestershire. The pick of the matches was a fantastically fought singles match with Oliver Melady having a total of 6 match points before finishing the match with a thunderous forehand! The boys won the doubles too, a great start to the weekend with a 6-0 victory.
Yorkshire, however, posed a more difficult challenge with their top 2 players both ranked in the top 10 nationally. The boys fought hard in the singles but it wasn't to be as Yorkshire opened a 4-0 lead. However, the doubles was a great story for Ben and Oliver who stole the second doubles rubber 10-6 to deliver Yorkshire’s only loss of the weekend. 5-1 to Yorkshire was the final results, who went on to qualify for the National Finals. We wish them the best of luck.
On the Sunday, Nottinghamshire had a late start (with only 5 counties, 1 county sat out each round) and played Lincolnshire, followed by Derbyshire. The Lincolnshire singles matches were split, and the two losses were great matches. Elijah lost a fantastically fought contest 2-4 4-3(7) 8-10 and Jasper lost 3-4(5) 3-4(6). Both of them can be extremely proud of their matches. Second pair Ben and Oliver won their match quickly to give Notts a 3-2 lead in the fixture. Jasper and Elijah won 4-0 1-4 10-7 in their doubles to seal another victory for Notts!
In the last match of the day, Nottinghamshire gained a small amount of revenge over Derbyshire (Derbyshire mens had beaten Notts mens last summer) with a 5-1 victory. This gave Notts second place in the group.
It was a great weekend for the boys as they enjoyed competing against all counties. A shoutout to their stamina as they were the only team with just 4 players (due to injuries to others), and all boys played 8 matches in 2 days.
Jasper and Ben move into the 18U age groups next year, but Oliver and Elijah will be practising hard to do one better next year and hopefully win the group!
Thank you to all of the parents, and fellow supporters, for being there throughout the weekend.
Team Captain - Andy Higham
Team: Brody Keegan, Archie Killen Smith, Alistair Jennings, Francis Hodi and Carol Dumitrescu.
On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June the Nottinghamshire 11U Boys were competing at the Leicestershire Club in Group B of the County Cup event.
The boys’ first match was against Berkshire. Archie and Francis managed to win their singles and Brody took their number one player all the way to 11-9 in a final set tie-break, unfortunately losing out. The boys then split the doubles leaving the tie at 3-3. At this point a championship tie-break to 10 is played to decide the winning team, which Brody and Alistair lost out.
Next up was a very strong Buckinghamshire team and group favourites. The boys competed well in all their singles but went down 4-0. After a long day it was time to head home and recoup for the following day.
The first match was against the home county Leicestershire. Alistair and Francis both put in a strong performance to win their singles matches and both pairings of Brody/Francis and Alistair/Archie managed to win their doubles to record the boys first 4-2 win.
The last match was against Northamptonshire. This time Archie and Carol managed to win their singles and Alistair and Archie put in an impressive performance to win their doubles, putting the tie at 3-3. This time Brody and Archie were to play the championship shoot out to decide the tie. It went right to the wire, but the boys lost out 14-12.
The boys showed a great fighting spirit and togetherness all weekend and can be proud of the way they represented their county. A big thank you must go to the parents for their support on both days.
Team Captain: Jamie Drummond
Team: Kai Yao Yung, Jibrael Niazi, Reid Dixon, Ethan Shoko, Fanus Kaliraman and Henry Anderson
The 10U boys were at Boston Tennis Club on this very hot weekend in which they played a best of three with FAST4 rules against Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Northampton.
First we took on Cambridge and were down 6-0 after all the rubbers. Cambridge were just too strong and out played the Notts boys. With Lincolnshire next, the boys had brand new goals to achieve and maintain throughout their next set of matches no matter the outcome. This showed with Kai going to a 3rd set decider but just losing out 11-9! Jibrael and Reid won their doubles in two tie-breaks, a really good effort from the boys. Finally we finished with Northampton losing out 4-2 overall but a special mention to Henry and Fanus who won their doubles 10-4 in the 3rd after showing some resilience on the court.
Not to be this year for the 10U boys, we go again next year! Thank you to all the parents that attended and fully supported the players from start to finish.
Team Captain - Zef.
Winner of PYWTW Girls County Final, Sophie Lager, on left with Rebeka Hodi, runner-up, on the right
The Play Your Way to Wimbledon, powered by Vodafone, junior tournament (previously called Road to Wimbledon) gives most players under the age of 18 an opportunity to follow in their heroes footsteps and compete for the title at Wimbledon.
The LTA is proud to be working with Vodafone and the AELTC to relaunch and expand the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK.
Players start by competing locally at an event taking place at a local club, park or school with the winners progressing through to the County and/or Regional Finals, and then onto the National Finals at Wimbledon.
In Notts, six clubs ran their own Play Your Way to Wimbledon singles events for boys and girls in the 14 and under age group. The winners and runners-up of each event were invited to the County Finals which was held at the County Ground on 25– 26 June.
Winner of PYWTW Boys County Final, Ben Phillips, on right with Oliver Melady, runner-up, on the left
The overall winner of the boys event was Benjamin Phillips, of West Bridgford Tennis Club, who played against Oliver Melady of Caunton Tennis Club in the final. The Girls event was won by Sophie Lager of Caunton Tennis Club, with Rebeka Hodi, from the Nottingham Girls High School, as runner-up.
So Benjamin and Sophie will look forward to playing in the National Finals at Wimbledon in August, using the facilities there and playing on the famous grass courts.
Many congratulations to both.
Team: Phil Peters; Patrick Foley; Tom Rowe; Jamie Drummond; Ben Mactaggart; Andy Higham; Donovan Cellupica-Towers; Jamie Praditngam; Ned Smith; Daniel Wright
Day zero – The journey
After somehow managing to get nine players, rackets, kit and a stringer into three cars we began the journey to West Worthing to sample the courts before day one. Spirits were high and although the mens team's in a transitional period, there was a sense of optimism for the week.
Day one – Warwickshire
First day, and facing familiar rivals in Warwickshire. We knew how important it was to get off to a strong start and set the tone for the week. After an incredibly tight few sets, we came out of the first round 2-1 down, but buoyed with confidence in some of the pairings.
As the day progressed, we started to feel the impact of the match breakers, but were ultimately beaten by a team playing incredibly well. The results may not have gone in our favour, but the silver lining of two wins and excellent performances from the newly-formed partnership of Foley & Praditngam.
Day two – Dorset
Tuesday was always going to be a tough day. Not only were we playing against Dorset, a strong and experienced team, but we had to contend with the 36-degree playing conditions! Play started, and despite Drummond and Higham closing out a convincing win over the Dorset third pair, Notts were facing a 2-1 deficit following a narrow third set loss for Wright and Cellupica-Towers.
Round 2, and Notts were looking good. Hard fought wins from both Drummond & Higham and Foley & Praditngam set up an intense final found with the score at 3-3. After some confusion around subs, and a slight delay, Dorset came out on top, claiming a 5-4 win.
Day three – Durham & Cleveland
A change in weather brought a different challenge, and to counter this, a change at third pair. We also saw the appearance of the Notts fan base (eight strong), who made the three and a half hour journey to come and support the team, giving us a real boost.
Unfortunately, it was a case of a different day, same result. A culmination of missing out on critical deuce points and coming second in four match breakers was ultimately the difference between the two teams. The slightly gloomier day also brought out the gloomier behaviour of a member of the D&C team, who somehow managed to avoid a code violation, much to the surprise of his team.
Day four – Berkshire
After a disappointing day three, we had our work cut out against promotion bound Berkshire. Another change at third pair saw Mactaggart partner with Wright. The pair came out of the blocks firing, closing out their match 10-4 in the match breaker. Mactaggart with what he thought was a broken finger (it wasn’t) was then replaced by Drummond who together with Wright took out Willis and Ireland 10-5 in the match breaker; Wright sealing the match with a phenomenal forehand, sailing past the aghast Willis. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end, we slumped to a 7-2 defeat, and confirming relegation into Division 5.
Day five – Somerset
With the fate of both Nottinghamshire and Somerset being decided before the match, Friday was a slightly more somber day. Mactaggart and Wright picked up a couple of wins, and debut county cups wins for Smith and Cellupica-Towers were the only highlights to cap an incredibly challenging week.
Overall there were lots of positives, and as captains, we were incredibly proud of how the team represented the county both on and off the court. This is the first time that lots of these players have represented Nottinghamshire at Summer County Cup, and as partnerships start to form, and players start to grow, we know we’ll be back fighting higher up the divisions again soon!
Team captains - Phil & Ben (joint captains)
Team: Sarah Wright, Millie Rajecki, Georgia Lawson, Livvy Tomkins, Mia Wainwright, Millie-Mae Matthews, Melissa Maddocks, Sophie Lager, Jess Spencer, Sarah-Kate O’Grady
Playing at the stunning Northern Club in Didsbury, just south of Manchester, was a first for Notts Ladies, but arriving on the Sunday for practice on beautiful green courts in the middle of a heatwave was most welcome.
On Monday we played Avon who are one of our favourite rivals. Matches are always played with good spirit and fairness. With sudden death deuce introduced for at least the first two days, we knew things could be interesting and the team had to be on it. Millie Rajecki, fresh in from the States, teamed up with Georgia Lawson to battle two match tie-breaks but securing all three rubbers. Sarah Wright teamed up with newcomer 15-year-old Mia Wainwright to take their first round against the Avon 3rd pair and Livvy Tomkins and Millie-Mae Matthews pushed Notts over the line for a 5-4 win, beating the 3rd pair in the middle round.
Against Gloucestershire on the hottest ever day recorded, we took an early 2-1 lead with Millie and Mia and Sarah and Georgia winning their matches. Livvy and another newcomer, 14-year-old Sophie Lager, battled hard against the 1st pair but ultimately lost.
Millie and Mia continued to secure all three wins during the day. Sarah and Georgia won two and Livvy and Millie-Mae secured a 7-5 6-1 win against the Gloucestershire 3rd pair to take us to a 6-3 win.
With a bit of let-up in the heat, we played against Middlesex on Wednesday. Having lost Georgia, another team change was required with Millie teaming up with Livvy, Sarah with Mia and Melissa Maddocks playing with Sophie Lager, and Jess Spencer and Millie-Mae (not all at the same time). Middlesex had won both the previous days 8-1 and looked incredible solid. However, a win from Millie and Livvy 7-6 6-2 and Sarah and Mia battling out to win 6-7 6-3 10-4 we took a nice 2-1 lead. Mille and Livvy continued their winning streak to put us 3-3 going into the final round. Mia and Sarah powered past the Middlesex 2nd pair 6-3 6-3 and Melissa and Millie-Mae made a gallant effort before losing to the 1st pair 7-6 6-1. This left us tied at 4-4 with Millie and Livvy playing against the Middlesex strongest pairing. Having taken the first set 6-1, the Nottinghamshire duo had to really dig deep and playing their best tennis narrowly lost the second set tie-break 7-5 before hitting some unbelievable points to take the match tie-break 10-7 and giving us the 5-4 win.
At this point I have to say that for the first time in my 42 years I dared to dream that Nottinghamshire could make it to Division 1. With two days left to play, we had to win one more match for the promotion.
Going in against Leicestershire on Thursday saw a start on the clay playing fast fours - not our idea of fun. Millie and Livvy got the win against the Leicester 2nd pair. Sarah and Mia had a tight match against the also unbeaten pairing of Abigail Amos and Tabitha Holmes and Millie-Mae and Melissa fought to a match tie-break before going down 10-3.
With Millie still unbeaten at this stage, unfortunately she and Livvy came up against Anna Chesca and Helen Thorpe playing the tennis of their life. Having lost the first set on a tie-break, the Notts girls held on the second set 6-4. The match tie-break was epic with Notts having most of the lead but the Leicester girls just pulling off some of the most amazing shots worthy of an exhibition match and taking the win at 10-8. Another great win for Sarah and Mia put us at 2-4 but unfortunately Notts didn’t manage to get the momentum back for the final round and the match ended 7-2.
So going into the final day we were second in the table but with an 8am start on the clay, fast 4s and sudden death deuce alongside a weather forecast of all-day rain, anything could happen. Notts were pumped and ready to go against Warwickshire who were fighting to stay in Division 2. Sadly, we never got the opportunity to secure the win as the rain had other plans and the referee called a halt to play before it even began.
Whilst it would’ve been nice to play the final day, I think we have to say that Nottinghamshire’s performance throughout the week proved they deserved promotion. Most of the team have worked hard to get there over the past few years and the new juniors also showed great maturity and hopefully will continue to enjoy county tennis for many years.
We are hoping to raise funds and get sponsors so that the team can have matching kits for their Division 1 experience next July. There will be more about this in the coming months as for now we bask in the glory that Notts Ladies are in Division 1 for the first time.
Team Captain - Sarah Usher