Alex Retains Title on Finals Day

22nd Sep. 14

Herne Bay tennis club held their Finals Day on a sunny but breezy day last weekend. There were 7 finals played in both the main and plate events. The day started with the 3 singles finals. The men’s singles was between last year’s winner, Alex Kazakeos, and James Ley. The 2 players exhibited contrasting styles with Ley’s fast serve and powerful ground shots up against Kazakeos’s heavy, consistent topspin. Despite Ley hitting many aggressive shots Kazakeos was able to keep getting returning the ball and wait for a mistake. He won the match 6-1, 6-1. The ladies singles was between the same 2 ladies as last year, Danielle Miles & Nicola Mileham, and everyone looked forward to another 3 set thriller. The 1st set lived up to expectations with the ladies exchanging fast and furious rallies and every game was keenly contested. The set came to a climax at 5 all when Mileham broke Miles’s serve and then held her own to close out the set. Although the second set contained many thrilling rallies Mileham held onto her initiative and took the set 6-0 to regain the title that she had lost to Miles the previous year. The men’s singles plate was between 2 players who are relatively new to tennis, Guy Farmer and Mark Townsend, and proved to be an epic. The 1st set was full of long rallies, wonderful retrieving and multiple service breaks! Townsend was the first to have an opportunity to win the set when he held his serve at 5-4 but Farmer produced some excellent play to hold his service game and tie the match and then immediately broke Townsend so that he was now serving for the set. After Farmer missed several opportunities to win the set it seemed as if a tie-break was inevitable but suddenly he won 2 points in succession and secured the set. The match continued in the same fashion with Townsend taking the 2nd set on a tie-break and with Farmer now suffering from cramp he closed out the match 6-3. The match had taken over 3 hours to complete and outlasted both the main draw singles and doubles finals.
The ladies doubles featured the same 2 pairs from the previous 3 years, Louise Tucker/Anne Gibbs and Nicola & Kay Mileham. Tucker & Gibbs made a strong start coming forward and finishing rallies with well directed volleys or smashes and won the set 6-1. In the 2nd set the Mileham’s powerful ground-shots and accurate lobs kept them in the set until it got to 4 all. Tucker & Gibbs then won the next 2 games to retain their title. The men’s doubles final was between defending champions, Peter Elsden & Ian Cooke, and the new pairing of Graham Miles & Jerry Loader. The match followed the same pattern as the ladies doubles with Elsden & Cooke taking the 1st set 6-1 with their more consistent and accurate play. In the 2nd set the faster paced shots of Miles started to take effect and they stayed on level terms until Elsden & Cooke broke serve when they were 5-4 ahead to claim their 3rd title 6-1, 6-4. The men’s doubles plate was between Bryan Packham/Bob Toye and Dave Lawrence/Gary Smith. Packham & Toye started well and were soon 5-0 up in the 1st set only to have their lead slowly pegged back but they held their nerve and took the set 6-4. The 2nd set was very quick and one-sided with Lawrence & Smith having now found their feet winning it 6-0. The 3rd set was very close and eventually after some exciting rallies Lawrence & Smith took it and the title 7-5. The last final of the day was the mixed doubles which featured the defending champions, Louise Tucker/Peter Elsden, against the father and daughter pairing of Graham and Danielle Miles. The match was a contrast of styles with Elsden & Tucker’s use of angles and consistency contrasting with the more erratic but hard hitting ground-shots of the Miles’s. The 1st set was close until Elsden & Tucker broke serve and took it 7-5 and then went 5-2 ahead in the 2nd set. The Miles’s then staged a dramatic fight back saving several match points to level the set at 5 all only to then lose the next 2 games leaving Elsden & Tucker as champions for another year. It was a fantastic day of tennis and thanks go to club captain, Peter Elsden, for organising the event and everyone who came to watch and helped make it such a great day.