By Steve Tiddy, Team Captain
We are immensely proud that, under the captaincy of Steve Tiddy (holding the cup in the picture), Sutton Tennis & Squash Club national men’s team have won the national title.
Aegon team tennis is the pinnacle of club tennis in Britain, with over 6000 clubs entering the event, and only one winner at the end, the national champions. Winning this event really does mark a club as the best in the country and attracts the country’s top players, many of whom have ATP world rankings in the mid 100s.
Having won the event twice before in 2008 and 2013, captain Steve Tiddy continues to lead this team with passion, energy and knowledge of the game and players like nobody you’ve ever seen!
Getting to the finals
Sutton excelled in the group stages, finishing top of a group which included previous winners A1 Pharmaceuticals and David Lloyd Raynes Park. This meant that there was no need for a play-off match, Sutton was heading straight for the finals in Bournemouth. A big thanks to all the following players, who played their part (in no particular order)- Andrew Bettles, Alexis Canter, Jack Carpenter, Tom Colautti, Tom Farquharson, Joshua Goodger, Alastair Gray, Jonathon Gray, Evan Hoyt, Emile Huddle, Jack Molloy, Brandon Murphy, Ryan Storrie, Jamie Whiteford.
At the West Hants Club, Bournemouth
After an emotional roller coaster of a weekend ST& SC won the National Tennis Title for the 3rd time at the West Hants Club in Bournemouth.
The support we enjoyed was a tribute to the commitment of both our players & members who watch our matches each year.
Our wonderfully vocal support team went through the ringer on Saturday when we played Roehampton in the semi-final. This match started at 930am on the clay and finished indoors at 8pm that evening due mainly to bad weather. After drawing 2-2 in the singles we went 3-2 down and then saved 5 rubber points in the other doubles played by Tom Farquharson & Jonny Gray. They won that match 16-14 in the doubles shooter to bring us back into the overall tie at 3-3.
Here is the moment that Sutton won that huge match........
Tom & Evan Hoyt then played Nik Snapes & Jamie Baker respectively. Tom was a convincing winner while Evan played an incredible shooter to defeat Baker10-8. The quality of Jamie Baker throughout the day was impressive and Evan was outstanding in coming through as he did. Be under no illusion, Evan won that shooter, Baker did not lose it. Playing also for Roehampton was Olly Hudson a former player of ours whose commitments to a new Club meant he had to leave us. Olly was great throughout.
Playing Raynes Park in the final was always a tough proposition especially after they had defeated A1, winners for the past 3 years in the other semi. Playing for Raynes was a former Sutton player in Josh Goodall who had helped Sutton to win our 1st title in 2008 when he defeated Jamie Delgado. Josh remains a very honest player of the highest integrity.
Our squad of Tom Farquharson, Jonny Gray, Ryan Storrie, Evan Hoyt, Jack Carpenter, Emile Hudd & Jamie Whiteford created a wonderful team spirit and the vibe coming off the players in their desire to win was incredible. After going 3-1 up in the singles it was again a very difficult selection to get the balance right for the doubles but the library of knowledge that I was able to draw on ensured we got the selection right. Evan Hoyt & Ryan Storrie sealed our 3rd title in defeating Josh Goodall & Lewis Burton 10-8 in the doubles shooter which put us into an unbeatable 4-1. The sense of relief and excitement was palpable and I am delighted for our players & Club.
We were described at the Presentation as ‘one of the Heavyweights of British Tennis’ which reflects so well on our Club and its members. The work behind the scenes of our Chairman, Peter Ward has been incredible and he has been influential in creating a good team atmosphere.
My last word goes to Ryan Storrie who while waiting for the doubles to start on Sunday said to me when does the singles matches start again? I replied, next April. Great he said – cannot wait.
Thank-you to everyone who came down and the numerous messages of congratulations that have come in from around the world.