The climax of the club’s 2023 championships turned into a feat of endurance. There were some enthralling matches at the Blackboy Lane courts in front of a big crowd.
Champions included familiar Fishbourne players and new members led by first-time Fishbourne men’s singles winner James Youell. His opponent Eliot Millman put on a brave display of classy tennis but struggled to master the barrage of 100mph serves from James.
In a close vets men’s singles match, Dick Nicholson came out on top against Gerry Savage to chalk up the first of his three titles this year – after being a three-time losing finalist in 2022.
Susie Upton-Brown came through as Fishbourne’s ladies’ singles champion while Priscilla Pendle and Faye Jones emerged as ladies’ doubles champs. Priscilla added to her trophy tally with a win in an excellent singles match against Sandra Reidel in the vets competition.
A much-anticipated clash between previous champions Chris Gosden and James Crossman against JJ Bone and Joe Rawlings for the men’s doubles attracted much interest, with Bone/Rawlings too strong.
The mixed doubles final saw Dick Nicholson and Shaz Morris pip Bill Cove and Nikki Scott 10-8 in a tie-break.
Organiser Kate Gurl said: “Huge respect to all the players who fought extreme heat and scorching sun.” The trophies were awarded by Bob Murray.
Results: Men’s singles, James Youell def Eliot Millman 6-1, 6-1; Ladies’ singles, Susie Upton-Brown def Kate Gurl 6-1, 6-0; Men’s doubles, JJ Bone & Joe Rawlings def James Crossman & Chris Gosden, 6-1, 6-4; Ladies’ doubles, Priscilla Pendle & Faye Jones (walkover); Mixed doubles, Dick Nicholson and Shaz Morris def Bill Cove and Nikki Scott, 6-3, 1-6, 10-8 (tiebreak). Vets tournament: Men’s singles, Dick Nicholson def Gerry Savage 6-3, 7-5; Ladies’ singles, Priscilla Pendle def Sandra Reidel 6-4, 6-2; Men’s doubles, Bill Cove & Dick Nicholson def Gerry Savage & Ian Sturt, 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 (tie-break); Ladies’ doubles, Nikki Scott & Anni Lyon def Jill Walker & Judith Whittaker 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 (tie-break); Mixed doubles Phil Sowden & Shaz Morris def Bill Cove & Nikki Scott 6-2, 6-4.