British Open Championships close the grass court season at Eastbourne


| Seniors Tennis

2019 British Open Seniors Grass Court Championships

The British Open Seniors Grass Court Championships (formerly South of England Championships) followed shortly after the Closed Championships which returned to Wimbledon after a three-year absence. This might well have affected entry numbers at Eastbourne, but they held up well despite the lack of entries in the Women’s age groups above 70.  Fortunately increased entries in the other Women’s age groups compensated for this.

Some 43 overseas players from 20 nations engendered a welcome international flavour as they settled in to experience grass court play, many for the first time.

A regular competitor, Doug Keen (USA), who lives locally but was once on the ATP tour, played well out of age group in the Men’s 35 singles beating two Spanish players in succession to take the titles and then went on to win the doubles with Joe Adams. In the Women’s 35, Rosa-Maria Andres-Rodrigues of Spain, who had played on the WTA tour, was too strong for all opponents in the singles draw and comfortably defended her 2018 title beating Elizabeth Bennett in the final. However, she and Nuria Beneito were overcome by Bennett and Kerry Quirk in the doubles. Other overseas singles winners were Laimis Gruodis (LTU) in the Men’s 40,  Frank Byrne (AUS) in the Men’s 60, and Carlos Boidi in the Men’s 65.

Wilf Jessop beat Omar Carminatti (ITA) to take the 70 singles title and was also successful in doubles with Peter Pharo while Andrew James won the 75 singles, and doubles with Norman Church.  Mike Harpin beat Gary Payton to the Men’s 55 title but missed out to Alistair Alexander and Rajiv Batra in the doubles.  The British Men’s 80 captain, Tony McBride held onto the 80s title. 

There was good competition in the Women’s events, too. Samantha Parker succeeded in the 45 singles against Georgie Bartholomew in the final;  Emma Bowen overcame Jenny Hughes in the long three-set final of the 55s; Alice Shimmin followed her win of the previous week by beating Hazel Lindfield in the 60s and Liz Bamber came through in the 65s against Myra Hunter.

Ever popular, six age-merged Consolations were held and were fought as keenly as the main events. Most doubles finals were held on the Friday, a move which was welcomed by those involved leaving just two to be held on the Saturday after the singles, enabling all the be concluded by 14:00.

View full results for the 2019 British Open Grass Court Championships.

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