British Seniors Closed Grass Court Championships 2022 Report
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We were delighted to return to the beautifully-kept grass courts of Aorangi Park for The British Seniors Closed Grass Court Championships, played from 14 - 21 August.
Given the inevitable inclement weather after the recent hot conditions, players also competed indoors at the marvellous Indoor Tennis Centre, The Wimbledon Community Sports Ground at Raynes Park and the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton. We were delighted to be able to complete the final three days on the grass courts at Aorangi and in glorious sunshine!
A total of 346 matches were played throughout the week, involving 461 players, competing for 39 age group titles.
The first title to be decided was the womens 35 singles and the finalists were Debbie-Louise Hale and Gemma Sgariglia. Debbie retained her title, in the week of her 40th birthday – a fitting way to celebrate.
The first of the finals to be played indoors was the womens 40 doubles, where defending champions Sophie Cockell & Caroline Joy took on Georgie Bartholomew & Clare Hudson in a very close fought match, being decided by a match tie-break. Georgie was able to add this title to the bronze medal won at the recent ITF World Masters Tour Team championships in Portugal. Georgie and Clare then faced each other across the net for the chance to win the womens 45 singles, with Clare emerging victorious to claim the double.
The womens 40 singles event has possibly the largest of the womens trophies, with Susie Azoulay defeating Esther Kitchen for the title.
A few finals were played indoors at the Indoor Tennis Centre, including the womens 50s singles and doubles, with Teresa Catlin 'doing the double' by defeating Bridie Amos in the singles. She then went on to retain the doubles title with Siobhan Nicholson against Sara Jenkins & Debra Schmidt.
In the mens 60 category, Chris Hearn completed the double when he defeated defending champion, Richard Jackson, to take the singles title, before teaming up with Stephen Walters to deny Graham Neale & Richard Walmsley the win.
Russell Howat & Bruce Young took the mens 65 doubles trophy, defeating Jeffrey Fairbotham & David Tien Robbins
Seb Jackson completed a 'double double' indoors when he retained his mens 50 singles and doubles titles, overcoming Charles Durham in the singles and then teamed up with Paul Salter to defeat last year's runners-up, Charles Durham & Ian Udal in the late evening final of the doubles.
Continuing our tour of indoor venues, necessitated by the bad weather, the mens 55 doubles final was played at the Indoor Tennis Centre, with Marc Hughes & Alan Jordan emerging victorious against defending champions and three-time finalists in this event, Neil Howitt & Andrew Hutchinson.
Paul French retained his mens 65 singles trophy, this time with a win over Alec Allen.
Back on the grass courts, Chris Clarke defeated David Shann in the final to take the mens 55 singles title and Godfrey Evans was able to complete the double in the mens 70 age group. Godfrey defeated his doubles partner, Boyd Brackstone in the singles final, but they then teamed up for the doubles title, playing Rennie Johnston & Alan Rayner in the final.
In the womens 55 singles final, Gillian Galloway regained her 2019 title, with a win over Jenny Stokes and the doubles event in this category was won by Jenny Hughes & Jackie Nesbitt, who overcame Gillie Turner and Me Young Choi in the final.
In a repeat of the womens 60 singles final from this year's Indoor Championships, Gillian Brook retained her womens 60 singles title, thereby ending Emma Bowen's hopes of adding the grass court title to her clay court title earlier this year.
Anne Clark defeated defending champion, Jane Rushby in the womens 65 singles final and the doubles title was claimed by Ann Brown & Diana Smith, defeating Mary Byrne-Leitch & Tri Drummond in the final. Mel Harling and Hazel Lindfield were champions of the womens 60s doubles event, playing Jane Gentle & Sally Holmes in the final.
Defending champions in the mens 80 doubles event, Hussain Shaida & Terry Stevens, lost out in the final to Michael Keat & David Trew.
Six doubles titles were decided on the penultimate day, the first being the mens 45 doubles which was won by Giles Cooper & Rupert De Laszlo over Ian Gillespie & Richard Santy. Soon after, the next presentation involved the mens 75 doubles event, with winners' trophies presented to Chris Ornstien & Richard Tutt, having beaten Peter Friedmann & Alan Purnell in the final.
Last year's finalists in the mens 35 doubles, Zane Cheeseman & Stephen Wheatley were able to go one step further this year, defeating Richard Furness & Peter Hall in the final.
The womens 70 doubles final featured a very familiar match-up, with Pauline Fisher & Shirley Fox taking the title over defending champions, Marjory Love & Christine Windmill. Defending champions, Frances MacLennan & Jenny Waggott retained their womens 75 doubles title and their opponents in the final were Dorothy Bamber & Carol Davies. In the mens 85 doubles event, played as a Round Robin, Gene Harris & Gordon Oates were crowned champions.
Earlier in the day, a very special presentation had taken place - Tom and Chris Baron had donated 'The Tom Baron Trophy' for the mens 90s singles event at the British Open Seniors Clay Court Championships. Unfortunately, Tom was unable to join us, but the trophy was presented to the inaugural winner (and Tom's good friend), Gordon Oates by Chris.
There were still 10 singles titles to be decided on the final day and many players were aiming to 'do the double' and/or defend their titles. We were delighted to be joined by Keith Bland, Seniors Tennis GB President, who was also involved in the presentations.
Joan Hassell retained her womens 80 singles trophy, defeating Dorothy Bamber, who had been competing in her second final of the Championships. Henk Nijeboer also retained his mens 80 singles title and his opponent in the final was Julian Tatum. The third player to retain his title and also completing the 'double' was Richard Tutt, who added the mens 75 singles to the doubles title he had won the previous day, when he defeated Olly Rogger in the final.
Christine Lockhart won the womens 75 singles event, which had been played in a round robin format. Another event played as a round robin was the first ever mens 90 singles, with Gordon Oates adding this title to his collection. Peter Boshier-Jones emerged the victor in the mens 85 singles final against Robert Milner.
Zane Cheeseman, who had been runner-up in the mens 35 singles in 2019 and 2021, moved up an age group to take the 40 singles trophy, beating Tim Webster in the final and becoming another player this week to 'do the double'.
The womens 70 singles final was won by Pauline Fisher, denying Marjory Love a third title in a row at this event.
Simon Roberts retained his mens 35 singles trophy, defeating Jon Maskens in the final and, in the final final of the week, Nigel Birkett took the mens 45 singles trophy with a win over Terry Coles.
Presentations were made throughout the week to the singles and doubles finalists and there is an array of photographs from these presentations available on our social media channels.
Full results are available on the ITF website and also on our Seniors’ Competitions page.