British Veterans Indoor Championships
DUDLEY, GREAT BRITAN: The 2012 British Open Veterans Indoor Championships, held at David Lloyd Dudley from 21 to 28 January, once again attracted a top class field.
As usual, events for the women’s 35, 40 and 45 age groups were held over the first weekend. Many top players missed the event as they were busy preparing for the Seniors World Championships in San Diego but the level of competition still lived up to expectation. Kerry Pollard, Nina Topper and Alison Taylor went home with the trophies for the women’s 35, 40 and 45 respectively.
Events for the remaining women’s singles age groups began later in the week. Barbara Snapes and Hazel Lindfield, round robin group winners, contested the women’s 50 play-off final which Barbara won in straight sets. The women’s 55’s had a healthy entry of seventeen, headed by Frances Candy, who after a tough three-set match early on against Pat Wire, went on to win the title comfortably with a straight sets win over Jane Rushby in the final.
Pauline Fisher, in her first year in the women’s 60’s, beat Marjory Love 75 in the third set of the semi-final and went on to defeat Shirley Fox in the final. The 65’s saw a familiar final between Ellie Krocke of The Netherlands and Frances MacLennan who have met numerous times both at domestic and world levels. Frances offered stern resistance but her greater consistency meant Ellie came through a tough match to take the title in straight sets.
Jacky Boothman and Felicity Thomas contested a close match in the knockout stage of the women’s 70’s round robin which Jacky won on the second set tie-break. Alma A’Court was the clear winner of the women’s 75 by winning all four of her round robin matches.
The men’s events saw excellent tennis across all age categories. In the 35’s Colin Bennett was a straight sets winner over Jason Barnett in the final, while Seb Jackson, having dropped only four games on the way to the 40s final, had to work harder to overcome Christian Findeisen (GER) in two tight sets.
Neil Howitt worked his way through a strong draw in the men’s 45’s but came up against Matt Coombes in the final. Coombes was too strong and won in straight sets. Vince Gray continued his winning ways in the 50 singles, resisting a late challenge from Graeme Adams in the semi and completing a three-set win over Alistair Alexander in the final. The 65s final was predictably between doubles partners, Richard Tutt and Keith Bland, both of whom had a comfortable passage through. Tutt won the final after two close sets.
Top-seeded Henk Nijeboer beat Clive Hutchings in the final of the men’s 70’s conceding only six games in the process. Bob Milner took the 75’s title, needing three sets to beat Jimmy Wood and Tom Baron was the deserving winner of the men’s 80 singles with a straightforward win over John Draper in the final.