Juniors in August and Seniors in April. In 2018 the Seniors tournament ran from16 - 20 April. Please see website calendar for this year's junior dates .
Milford Open Seniors Tennis Tournament 2018
The 18th Milford Open Seniors Tennis tournament was blessed with fine weather and a record entry of 168 players from 54 clubs. The tournament organising committee were delighted with the depth of the entries in all events with GB players Pauline Fisher and Shirley Fox and England players Carol Dickie and Alison Hockey heading a particularly strong field in the Ladies 60’s doubles.
The week started with some great matches in the Mens and Ladies 60’s doubles. Gillian Christmas and Nicolette Lemon, travelling down from Surrey surprised No 1 seeds, Fisher and Hockey in the semi finals and then went on to defeat Milford’s Jessica Wegeulin and her Hampshire County partner Lesley Johnson 6-4, 6-3 in the final. The consolation event was won by newcomers to the tournament Rosemary Hursell and Jennifer Pope from Andover.
In the Mens event, last year’s finalists, Bob Battersby and Rennie Johnston won a tight semi final against No 3 seeds Bill Herlihy and David Fothergill,10- 8 in the deciding tie break and then found newcomers to the tournament, Rick Klein and Brian Roberts too strong in the final losing 6-4,7-5. The consolation was won by Kim Stuckey and Andy Smith who defeated Milford player Brendan Gibbons and Malcolm Henbury.
Tuesday saw a hotly contested 60’s mixed doubles event with many of the competitors returning for a second day’s play. Number 1 seeds, brother and sister pairing of Jeff Gedge and Anita Pearce, were given a scare in the quarter finals narrowly beating Milford members Mick Barette and Jo White in a third set tie break. The quarter final between husband and wife team of Neil and Dee Flanagan and Nicolette Lemon and Rennie Johnston was too close to call. After just failing to force a tie break in the first set, losing it 5-7 the Flanagan’s stormed through the second set to win it 6-1,. The third set tie break went all the way before Johnston and Lemon won out 10-8. Unfortunately, Lemon had to retire in the semi final following an injury leaving Winchester pair of Gill Christmas and Nick Sibley to take on Gedge and Peace in the final. The match seesawed during all 3 tie break sets before Gedge and Pearce finally won the deciding tie break 10-8.
Play resumed on the hottest April day for many years with the Ladies 45 doubles which boasted a strong field of 18 pairs. Returning champions Merie Sabey and Jane Green were not really tested until the final where they met the IOW pair of Linda Jones and Anita Pearce, who won a close semi final against Southbourne’s Carol Dickie and Cleo Skilton. The Island pair were in great form in winning a final full of long rallies and sharp volleying 6-4, 6-2. In the consolation event, Milford were well represented in the later stages with Ros Clark and Jane Hellebrand edging out Mel Castagna and Kate Harris, Southbourne, in 3 sets.
The Mens 45 event saw Hale Garden’s James Lilley and John Lean, winners in 2016, return to great success in beating 2017 winner Shane Horsell and new partner Andrew Dickinson 6-1, 6-3. In claiming the crown Lilley and Lean conceded only 8 games playing some sublime shots with great power and accuracy. In the consolation event Milford players Neil Flanagan and Alan Gordon battled well before losing out to last year’s main draw semi finalists Nick Searles and David Fothergill.
The 70’s event saw some great court craft before newcomers to the tournament, Robin McDonagh and Robert Jamieson, celebrating his 71st birthday, outplayed the Winchester pairing and last year’s champions David Trew and Peter Friedmann.
A small entry in the ladies 70’s event was nevertheless hotly contested. In the final Hampshire County 70’s captain Gill Vaughan and Merete Collins saw off a second set fight back from Milford pair Aileen Evans and Anne Heathon winning out 6-0, 7-5.
The final day’s play on Friday showcased the Mixed 45 event with Linda Jones going for her second doubles title with fellow Islander Nick Searles. In the semi final they beat an on form David Fothergill and Sarah Hill who had upset the number 1 seeds Pauline Fisher and Neil Abercrombie before meeting number 2 seeds Simon Cambers and Wendy Hewitt, from West Hants Club. Spectators were enthralled by the match of the week with heavy hitting from all players and some great net play. Searles and Jones took the first set 6-4 before a come back by Cambers and Hewitt gained them the second set 7-5. The tie break third set saw Searles and Jones come back to take it 10-5. In the consolation event Caz Deacon and Simon Jillians lost out to Milford's Mick Barette and Swindon’s Jo Williams.
David Trew with partner Gill Vaughan went on to win the Mixed 70’s final against defending champions Peter and Bridget Friedmann on a 3rd set tie break. The consolation event was an all Milford affair with Aileen Evans and Steve Adams defeating fellow club members David Gautier and Beverley Cabot.
The sun made a welcome appearance on all 4 days of the well known local event that is becoming a well respected curtain raiser to the competitive summer season. Chairman of the Organising Committee Alan Gordon said:
“In its 18th year we attracted our highest ever entry and welcomed our strongest ever field to enjoy 4 days of tennis. We even managed to get the sun to shine. The tournament has gone from strength to strength thanks to the support of our sponsors, Moore Blatch and Solent Dental Centre as well as the club members who work so hard to make sure things run smoothly on and off the courts.
There is always a buzz during tournament week as spectators come down to see some first class competitive tennis and enjoy the offerings from Jo and her Solent Kitchen team who have supported the tournament with their Pop Up kitchen for the last 3 years. Next year the tournament is planned to take place at the end of April and we are already looking at ways to make it even bigger and better”.