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  • Frances Paul

Ups and downs, but smiles all round

L-R: Fran, Barbara, Imogen and Jo. Perhaps having to share one racket between us was the reason we lost?!

On a not-so-chilly (and fortunately dry) November night, Saxmundham Tennis Club's unstoppable Ladies 2nd team took on Woodbridge 2nd Ladies in a home match.

Date: Monday 20 November 2023

Saxmundham Ladies 2nd team v Woodbridge Ladies 2nd team

Venue: Home

Final score: 6-2 to Woodbridge

Match report by Frances Paul and Jo Davies

The evening's pairings were Barbara and Fran, and Imogen and Jo. The format for the Winter, or Floodlit, League, is that two pairs play two pairs - so four sets are played by each pair, and eight sets played in total for the match.

Barbara and Fran got off to a slow start but thanks to Barbara's mighty forehand, Fran's deft backhand, and super-slices from both, they managed to secure one set of their four and, believe it or not, no tie-breaks. There were also some very dedicated rallies with clever play, and admirable persistence.

Of particular note was Fran and Barbara's comeback during the second set they played - against the very strong Woodbridge pairing - which saw them lose out on a close 7-5 scoreline. Keen spectators will know that Fran has had a sensational year of tennis, and this was no exception - just very tough opponents on this occasion.

The same Woodbridge pairing, in sets three and four, sent Imogen and Jo off to the clubhouse to put the kettle on in super-fast time, after a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing.

However, the two sets before that saw Imogen and Jo get off to a flying start, roaring ahead in the first set to take it 6-1. Imogen's athleticism on the baseline was exemplary - coupled with the precision, power, and consistency of her forehand shots. She really played a blinder!

Complemented in part by a few cute volleys - well set-up by Imogen it must be said - and half-decent serves from Jo, this was their first pairing. However, their lead (and smiles) after the first set were short-lived; the opposition made a comeback, taking the second set 6-3. (What a baffling game this can be, eh...)

All in all, Sax won two, and lost six sets: Woodbridge took the match.

The Woodbridge ladies joined us for some tennis-related chitchat afterwards - we exchanged some very amusing anecdotes - and they complimented us on our array of chocolate biscuits and the offering of tea (including decaf!), coffee, and hot chocolate.

No coincidence, then, that our club Secretary was spotted in the vicinity of the Greencourt Pavilion kitchen topping up treats for the team at 6.45pm.

It was a very enjoyable evening of tennis - even though we lost - with some great rallies and a friendly opposition.

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