STSC Ladies National Champions 2022

From Ladies' Captain, Terry Oakes

Sutton Ladies Team have had a great season culminating in becoming National Champions in their first-ever finals appearance at Bournemouth in September.

LTA National Team Tennis is split into four regional divisions with the South East generally being the strongest. The season began in April and we won five of our six regional matches with relative ease. The one exception was a 4-2 defeat at home to Roehampton when several of our strongest players were unable to play for us because of a clash with an ITF pro event. This meant that we finished second in the division and entered the play off round where we beat defeated Widnes Tennis Centre in what was, fortunately, a home match.

I then asked what I hoped was our strongest eight players to keep the second weekend in September free for the finals. All happily agreed  but then one by one the problems started to appear so that by the time of Gabby’s wisdom tooth operation we were down to three definites! Happily Danielle delayed her family commitment in Spain by one day so she could play on the first day. Tatiana joined us for the weekend and Gabby started to recover!

The finals weekend was a great success. I was pleased in advance to have two strong regular doubles pairs to select. We beat Taunton and David Lloyd Sunderland both by 4-0 without dropping a set and then came up against Roehampton in the final. The opponents fielded the same team as they had done in the divsional match. Our team was different as was the result-another 4-0 victory with no need at all for doubles! In the three matches over the weekend we didn’t lose any of the 24 sets and lost a mere 28 games in total. It was great to have the had the support of many Sutton members and the mens team who also played really well…as always!

I hope that all six of our ladies team will be at Sutton on Saturday 19th November for our celebration afternoon. Here are their names and a few details about them.

Danielle Daley is British and world ranked 1061 in singles and 916 in doubles. She was part of the Wilton and Halton teams who won the Nationals in 2017, 2018 and 2021.

Gabby Knutson is Czech and world ranked 470 in singles and 349 in doubles. Gabby has recently finished her studies at American University and as a postgraduate at Durham. This is her first year as a full time pro player.

Andre Lukosuite is Lithuanian and world ranked 784 in singles and 422 in doubles. Andre has lived in Essex since the age of 13. She made her successful debut for Lithuania this year in the Billie Jean King Cup winning all her matches.

Eliz Maloney is British and world ranked 387 in singles and 378 in doubles. Eliz has made huge progress this year and is now ranked 13 in Britain. She is top of the leader board in the UK Pro League and was No 1 player in the Halton team which won the Nationals in 2021

Katie Stresnakova is Slovakian world ranked 627 in singles and 438 in doubles. Katie won the British Tour at Sutton in 2021, Katie has recently finished her postgraduate studies at Loughborough University and is also in her first year as a full time pro player.

Tatiana Zheleznyak is Russian and is the only non full time player in the group. She studied at Royal Holloway College. Tatiana’s highlight as a junior was beating French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. She was part of the Wilton team which won the Nationals in 2015.