The British Open Seniors Indoor Tennis Championships returned to Tipton Sports Academy
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The British Open Seniors Indoor Tennis Championships returned to Tipton Sports Academy in the West Midlands for the third year and, once again, player feedback was positive.
The Centre had installed LED lighting since last year's event and replaced some of the curtains surrounding the courts, both of which were a welcome improvement. It is always a pleasure to return to Tipton, as the centre staff make everyone feel so welcome and enjoy hosting the tournament.
The entry level at entry/withdrawal deadline was higher than last year, with 401 players accepted into the tournament, in comparison with 380 in 2019. The increased entry meant that 408 matches were played, which was also an increase to the 375 matches played last year. This is the absolute maximum that can be accommodated for within the schedule and due to court capacity and so unfortunately not all players who entered were accepted.
A total of 22 Singles and 17 Doubles events were completed over the course of the tournament, with some Finals played earlier in the week.
Details of all Winners and Runners-up in all age group events are available in the Roll of Honour and a round-up of the tournament and results are shown below:
Nicola Slater marked her first entry in the Women's 35 event with the Singles title, defeating former winner, Holly Mowling, who was making her 4th Final appearance in five years. Nicola partnered with Claire Powell to reach the Doubles final, where they were defeated by Ali Blackett & Eleanor Shearman.
Eilidh Smith defeated 2019 Champion, Millie Shah in the Women's 40 Singles final and, in a repeat of the 2019 Final result, Jo Shepherd beat Gillian Brown to take the Women's 45 Singles title in a match which lasted over three hours.
There was a new Champion in the Men's 35 Singles event, with Simon Dickson defeating the 2019 runner-up, Tim Webster in the Final. Anthony Perkins, the 2019 Men's 35 Singles Champion moved up to the Men's 40 Singles age group and took the title, defeating his doubles partner and 2019 Champion, Tom Wride, in the Final. Anthony and Tom also attempted to retain the Men's 35 Doubles title, but lost out to Zane Cheeseman and Stephen Weatherall in the Final.
A few players marked a move up in age groups with titles, with Jeffrey Hunter adding the Men's 50 Singles title to the 45 Singles title he won in 2019. Paul French continued his impressive run of titles, after winning the Men's 60 Singles title for five years, by taking the Men's 65 Singles title against Martin Cornish. Paul had cause for double celebration, combining with Jeremy Trafford to take the Men's 65 Doubles title, winning the final against Boyd Brackstone and Jasper Cooper. Paul and Jeremy had previously won the Men's 60 Doubles for the past four years.
Pauline Fisher and Shirley Fox won the Women's 65 Doubles title for the 4th year running, with Shirley adding the Women's 70 Singles to her collection, after beating the 2019 Champion, Marjory Love, in the Final.
Having previously won the Men's 45 Doubles title three times with Timor Shadiev, Seb Jackson partnered Pieter Van Houten to win the 2020 title, against Nick Boys and David Mills.
John Andrews took the Men's 80 Singles title in his first year in the age group, defeating former Champion, Tony McBride in the Final. He then partnered Peter Bretherton to take the Men's 75 Doubles title, against Nigel Barker and Derek Bradshaw.
Henk Nijeboer retained the Men's 75 Singles title for an amazing 5th year, defeating Nigel Barker in this year's final.
Teresa Catlin also repeated her 'double' of 2019, winning the Women's 50 Singles and Doubles titles, defeating Bridie Amos in the Singles final and partnered Nelleke Van Velthoven Weijermans in the Doubles.
Alistair Alexander continued his winning ways, retaining the Men's 55 Singles title in a close final against Ronnie Terras. Alistair has now won this event in three of the past four years.
Women's 55 Doubles partners, Rosemary Dennis and Sue Webb, faced each other in the Women's 55 Singles Final, with Rosie emerging victorious. They later combined to take the Doubles title, over Bim Newton and Susie Reid.
There were also a number of 'new' Winners this year - in singles, Nigel Birkett won the Men's 45 title and Martin Gillam did the 'double' by winning the Men's 60 Singles final against Mike Appleton. He then combined with Nigel Mann to defeat Jeff Fairbotham and Chris Nicholls in the Men's 60 Doubles Final. Wilf Jessop defeated the 2019 Champion, Alex Templer, to take the Men's 70 Singles title, having previously partnered Neil McPherson to take the Men's 70 Doubles title. The pairing of Adrian Hyde and Marc Hughes defeated Alan Jordan and Scott Martin to take the Men's 55 Doubles title, in a Final where both pairs were looking to win their first Indoor title in this age group.
Jane Rushby had a successful return to the Indoor Championships, moving up into the Women's 65 age group and taking the Singles title, defeating Diana Smith in the final.
Wendy Scalinger and Rosemary Wilson defeated 2019 Champions, Marjory Love and Christine Windmill, to take the Women's 70 Doubles title.
In the Women's 60 Doubles, Anne Clark retained the title she won in 2019, this time with 2019 beaten finalist, Patricia Wire and they beat Hazel Lindfield and Alice Shimmin in the Final. Judith Horn had earlier taken the Women's 60 Singles title against Alice.
2019 finalist, Frances MacLennan took the Women's 75 Singles, defeating Melita Froelich Jorgensen in the final. Melita then combined with Phyllis Bentham to take the 75's Doubles title over Christine Lockhart and Felicity Thomas.
John Barnett added the Men's 80 Doubles title to the 75's Doubles title he won in 2019, partnering Michael Everitt when they defeated Roy Henderson and Tony McBride in the final.
Joan Hassell defeated 2019 Women's 80 Singles champion, Jean Porter, to take the 2020 title and Jean then partnered Patricia Birch in the Women's 80 Doubles final, losing to Carol Davies and Ruth Weston.
June Pearce was the first ever winner of the Women's 85 Singles title, moving into this category for the first time this year, with Anne Williams as runner-up. Leonard Phillips also retained his Men's 85 Singles title, defeating Gordon Oates. Gordon then joined Tom Baron to win the 85's Doubles Final against Michael Cottee and Peter Ellison, in a reverse of the 2019 result.
As previously mentioned, a number of Singles and Doubles Finals were scheduled and played throughout the week and Seniors Tennis GB Chairman Keith Bland, was kept busy with presenting duties for Finals played on Sunday 26 January.
Photos of the Presentations for each event are available on the Seniors Tennis GB Facebook page and Seniors Tennis GB Instagram page or can be found under #seniorstennisGB. Full results are available on our Seniors’ Competitions page.
A busy, successful week at Tipton with so many players supporting the event. Next up in the Seniors Tennis calendar is the British Open Seniors Clay Court Championships, to be played at the West Hants Club, Bournemouth from 23 to 30 May inclusive.