Avon Closed Report 2016 (by Dave Reeves):
A bumper field of 46 players took part in the Open Singles event last Sunday at Civil Service. After 10 groups and preliminary knockouts were completed the quarter final line-up saw all the top players against each other. Martin Gunn (Failand) saw off Michele Reeves (Failand) 3-1, while Joe Ratajczak (Portishead) beat the 2014 and 2015 champion, Dave Reeves (Failand), by the same scoreline. Louis Price (Portishead), having played all morning in the Junior events, showed no signs of fatigue as he defeated Adam Ratajczak (Portishead) 3-1. The highlight of the quarter’s was Anthony Kent (Thornbury) v Bhargav Chandra (Almonds) where Bhargav went into a 2-0 lead before Anthony made a stellar comeback to lead 5-1 in the fifth and deciding set. It was then Bhargav’s turn to up his game and he eventually won 11-9 to set up a semi final with Joe. This proved one step too far as Joe’s consistent attacking game saw off Bhargav 3-0. The second semi final was the standout game of the day – Martin raced into a 2-0 lead and was also ahead in the third before Louis slowly got to grips with Martin’s hard bat and managed to win that game, plus the fourth, to take it to a deciding set. Both players were displaying high quality skills and the momentum swung either way and, almost inevitably, the game went to deuce. Both players had match points before Louis took the match 13-11 and a place in his first county senior final.
The final took part in front of a large crowd and they were treated to a textbook topspin display from Joe, who never let Louis get into any rhythm. Despite his best efforts Louis couldn’t stop Joe dominating and he took his first county senior title 3-0.
The Ladies Singles was a round robin format featuring five players. After four matches each, 2014 and 2015 winner, Michele Reeves, and Emily Standing (Thornbury) were both unbeaten, so a winner takes all match followed. Emily played superbly to take the first two games and was in control before Michele staged a fightback claiming the third and fourth games with a change of tactics and a more attacking display. Momentum swung again in the fifth and Emily took a commanding lead which she held all the way through before Michele had a good run of points, finally ending with Emily taking the game, and the title, 11-9.
The U-18s went with the formbook with Louis Price beating Joe Sheppard and Gregory Small defeating Nina Kadir in the semi-finals. Louis then went on to win the final 3-0 with a comprehensive attacking display.
Louis continued his dominant form in the U-15s with a straight sets win over ever-improving Olly Newton in the semi’s, while Leon Kashdan-Brown had a close battle with county team mate Izzy Khan. Leon found Louis in top form and couldn’t stop him from coming out on top 3-0.
Cal Levitt won the U-13s after overcoming Tommy Franklin-Adams in a close semi-final, 3-1, and followed that with another close 3-1 win against David Boozari.
Thanks go to Martin Moore for organising the day, assisted by David Hockney and Tony Small, and to June Watts for presenting the junior trophies. Also to Dan Ives, who streamed some of the matches on Facebook enabling a much wider audience to view some of the finals.