Sunday 27th July saw a group of coaches and players leaving our Canterbury Centre to head towards Thriftwood Campsite which was to be their home during this year's Essex Open Tournament week. Although the tournament, which is hosted by Billericay Tennis Club and run by Tennis Services UK, didn't start until the Monday the campers set off early to setup their base ready for the week ahead!
Monday morning arrived and with Ciaran and Alex playing their first matches at 10.30am the group headed towards the tennis courts for an early morning hit. Overseen by Eb and Tim the youngsters were soon warmed up and ready to play their first matches of the week.
With Ciaran successfully winning his first match against William Stockford (9.1) 6-1, 6-1 the rest of the team were keen to follow in his footsteps. Alex had a close match but Oscar Bischaff’s greater matchplay experience showed through and he was able to take the win 2-6, 3-6. Next up was Marta who played Isabelle Eaton (G1*). Marta played some great tennis but Isabelle managed to pull ahead and win through 2-6. 1-6. Both Dushan and JoJo had much closer matches against higher rated players with Dushan just losing out to Ben Rowe (7.1) 1-6, 6-3, 7-10 and JoJo losing to Ouyoung Dinapuala (7.1) 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-10.
After his earlier win Ciaran now had to face his practice partner Oliver in the second round of the 12U draw. Both boys attend the Appeti Tennis School which is run in partnership with The Canterbury High School. Although they battled well Oliver left the court with the victory having beaten Ciaran 6-0, 6-2.
Our final matches of the day saw Marta Poriete against Chaaya Malik (8.1) and Jamie Wallace meeting Dean Swift (9.2) in the Mens draw. Again Marta played well but just lost out to her opponent whilst Jamie took just 40 minutes to see off his challenger with a 6-1, 6-0 victory.
The second day gave most of our youngsters chance to play up an age group with JoJo, Ciaran, Dushan, Morgan and Oliver entering the 14U event.
Dushan fought really well and after over two hours with some great points being played just lost out to Fredrik Collyer 6-7, 4-6. Morgan who was playing higher rated Ben Rowe played really well but didn’t quite have the experience of his partner so just lost out 3-6, 3-6. Ollie faced Kieran Williams (7.1) In the first set after some really close rallies Ollie pulled ahead and never looked back to win the match 7-5, 6-2 and secure his place in the next round.
Today Jamie was playing in the 18U boys draw where he met Max Chesher (6.2). Jamie made a slow start and the first set was a lot closer than yesterday however once he had taken the lead he confidently took the second set to win 7-6(3), 6-2.
It wasn’t long till Jamie was back on court against Drew Gibbs(8.1). This time the match was much closer but after losing the first set Jamie stayed focused and edged ahead to just win 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5.
Marta once again had two matches today. She played well in both and her consistent hard work paid off when she won her final one against Sophia Lubov Rudko 6-2, 4-3 (Retired).
Meanwhile Alex was playing his first round in the 12U consolation event. He played confidently to win by only dropping one game 6-1, 6-0.
Wednesday saw a visitor joining us for morning practice! It was great to have Ric with us and to found out how things are going.
Later the rest of our 12U consolation players took to the courts with JoJo beating Joshua Nelson (8.2) 6-1, 6-7(4), 10-7 and Dushan seeing off William Stockford (9.1) 6-1, 6-3. However these wins meant that the boys then faced each other in the semi finals. After a very close first set JoJo edged ahead to secure his place in the final with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory. In the other semi Alex played first seed Daniel Chamoun(7.1). Although Alex put in a great performance his opponent prevented an all Appeti final by winning 6-2, 6-3.
In the 14U consolation event Ciaran showed how far he had progressed since starting at The Appeti Tennis School in September by remaining composed and confidently beating Ross Stringer 6-1, 6-0.
The afternoon saw some of our younger players taking to the courts with Ulrich and Guy competing in the 9U draw. Both boys played some good tennis and showed their potential for the future but particular mention should go to Guy who was competing in his first Grade 3 event and stayed focused throughout running down every ball he could get to!
The latter part of the afternoon saw Jamie back on court in his Men’s match against Jaime Wright. Once again Jamie found himself having to fight back from being a set down. As yesterday he remained composed and focused on the match to turn it around and win 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.
It was now time for the doubles to take to the courts. Ciaran and Dushan put in a great performance against their older and much bigger opponents to win 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-5.
The last match was the one that everyone from the Appeti Team was keen to see when coach Tim returned to the competition court to partner Jamie in the Mens doubles event. As this was quite late and everyone was keen to stay a fish and chip supper was enjoyed by all the supporters whilst Jamie and Tim battled their way to take the match 6-4, 6-4.
A great end to the day!
Thursday morning saw Jamie back on court for his first match of the day where he faced Thomas Pudney(3.2), the number 1 seed in the 18U event. Jamie pushed Thomas all the way and after what proved to be an exciting match with both players producing some great tennis Jamie just lost out 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Meanwhile Morgan Moloney was making Daniel Chamoun battle for his place in the semi final of the 14U consolation event. Although Morgan lost it was easy to see how much he had progressed over the week by making the number 2 seed beat him in a third set tiebreak. 6-1, 2-6, 10-3.
In the next 14U event Dushan and JoJo had to face each other again. This time Dushan managed to take the win in an extremely close match which finished 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.
It wasn’t long till JoJo was back on court in the 12U consolation final. Determined to go one better than last year when he just lost out on the gold medal in a close match his eyes were set on the winners crown. This year he faced Daniel Chamoun but JoJo settled quickly and played some consistent tennis to win through and take the title 6-1, 6-4.
The afternoon also saw some new arrivals to the campsite with some of our green ball youngsters keen to explore and help with the evening preparations so before the last matches of the day the main group left to settle Toby, Will and Joseph into their tents!
This left Tim and Jamie to play their semi final against the number 2 seeds. After a very close match which could have gone either way Tim and Jamie just lost out 6-4, 7-6(6)! (We mention anything about the two double faults at the end Jamie!!!!!!)
The penultimate day saw the start of the 10U draw and gave Appeti youngsters Toby, Will, Joseph and Seb chance to take to the Billericay courts. All four boys played well and produced some good quality play in what proved to be a very high standard of 10U tennis. By the end of the afternoon they all had been able to develop valuable experience on different court surfaces and were all keen to use this experience in future matches.
In the meantime Ciaran Brewer was having a great match in his 14U consolation final. The youngster faced an interesting opponent in Matthew McDowell (7.1) who was much older and bigger than him but Ciaran played a great match staying focused throughout. Although the result could have gone either way he couldn’t quite convert the points and just lost out 6-4, 6-1. However it was a great start to his competing in 14U grade 3 events!
With our first earlier finish we headed back to the campsite for our final night barbecue which everyone enjoyed!
After a busy week which had seen 15 of our youngsters competing the last day of The Essex Open 2014 arrived. With Ulrich and George competing in the 8U event there was still plenty of interest for the Appeti Team.
The 8U event saw the players in a box of 9 youngsters with everyone playing 8 matches and the winner being decided by the most wins or games Both boys played well but Ulrich consistency, power, focus and experience showed through and he finished the morning without dropping a game and was therefore the undisputed 8U champion of the Essex Open 2014!
With our last match finished the week drew to a close. We'd like to thank David Fuchs from Tennis Services Uk for his great organisation and Billericay Tennis Club for making us all so welcome throughout the tournament
We look forward to seeing you all next year!