Summer County Cup 2019: Kent Men and Hertfordshire Ladies crowned champions
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From Monday 22 to Friday 26 July, 44 counties across seven groups competed across 13 grass court venues up and down the nation, with Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park once again staging the pinnacle of the competition.
This year saw over 200 ties and almost 2,000 rubbers played throughout the week, as counties battled to earn promotion and avoid relegation from their respective groups. The 123-year-old doubles-only tournament attracted some of Britain’s best county players, as well as former GB No.1 Andrew Castle, who dropped down to Cromer Lawn Tennis & Squash club for a couple of days to represent Somerset.
During the week, six men’s and six women’s teams competed on the pristine grass courts at Devonshire Park, with the pride of representing their county to play for. The competition concluded emphatically for Hertfordshire Ladies who defeated Warwickshire on the final day to win the event, with Emily Arbuthnott performing outstandingly for Hertfordshire winning 15 rubbers out of 15. Meanwhile Kent Men secured the men's trophy after being newly promoted into Group One this year.
Essex Ladies and Warwickshire Ladies were relegated from Group One, whilst Middlesex Men and South Wales Men will also contest the 2020 Summer County Cup in Group Two.
Check out all Summer County Cup results throughout the week here.
Who said what?
Julie Piper, LTA Tournament Director
"There has been some hard fought battles at all 14 groups. My thanks go to all the venues, volunteers, officials, and of course, players for their continued support of County Cup tennis. Overall it has been a great week of tennis. I am always amazed at the commitment some of the players have, some putting their professional or coaching careers on hold for a week, to turn out for the pride of representing their county. It is a tough week of tennis for all players but is played in good spirits."
Sarah Donovan, Deputy Team Captain for Hertfordshire Ladies
"It’s been a great week and played in great spirit by all players with great sportsmanship which is the essence of County Cup tennis. Right from day one, the team all worked together and were focused. I am very proud of them all."
Andy Burgoyne, Team Captain for Kent Men
"I'm so proud of my team this week at Eastbourne, but also over the last two years. We won in 2016 and then were relegated the year after, so it was a two year effort to get to this point. Our team regularly describes Summer County Cup as one of the best weeks of the year and this was one of the best of those weeks. Everyone played their part - we fought, won and lost together, a true team that I was proud to Captain."
- Over the course of the week, a county plays a maximum of 45 rubbers (nine per day) so if a player competes in every rubber, it's possible for them to win 15/15. Hats off to Emily Arbuthnott (Hertfordshire), Jacob Fearnley & Euan Macintosh (East of Scotland), Ben Calnan & Jon Maskens (Oxfordshire) and Nirva Patel & Grace Piper (Somerset) who joined the 15/15 club after winning all of their rubbers
- 2017 saw the introduction of the County Cup Race so counties have an extra incentive to perform to the best of their ability. Valuable points are tallied up at County Cup events throughout the year and as it stands, Middlesex are currently 15 points clear of Hertfordshire at the top the leader's board
- Surrey Men, East of Scotland Men, IOW Ladies and Leicestershire Ladies finished top of Group 2, which means they will be promoted to Group 1 in 2020.
Want more tennis this summer?
There's still time to sign up for the County Championships, running throughout the final week of August in each county across Great Britain. There are singles and doubles events for players aged from 8 to 88, with fun, social activities that run alongside the main tournament - from family doubles competitions to well-deserved BBQs. Sign up now.