Totally Tennis hosted the Regional College Singles competition again this year held by Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE teacher Sarah Goldson. There were some changes this year as colleges were allowed to have two singles players per event and although Goldson did not implement this scoring system at the regional event, the National Finals will use the FAST 4 scoring format.
Another change this year is the move from the southern region for the National Finals, with winners competing in Teeside next April. In the event held at the end of last month, there was a strong line up for both the boys and girls singles, with the latter on paper in terms of ratings looking especially competitive.
Both events were round robin groups (two per event) into knock out stages very much like the ATP Tour finals with the winner of one group playing the runner up of the other and vice versa. QMC were represented by their highest rated player Alex Wood (6.2) and our most experienced player from last year, Luke Watts (9.2). In the girls, Kelsey Mosquera (4.2) was looking to retain her title from the previous year but had a tough task ahead of her (on paper at least) with three players rated above/same as her; Holly Thompson (3.1), Helen Skingley (4.1) and Ellie Millard (4.2).
In the girls event, with the no show of the No 1 seed, it still made for a difficult draw to get through the group but Mosquera had greater consistency from the back of the court ensured she went through as the winner of the group beating Alice Wilkinson (Havant) 6-3, Grace Rowe (Barton Peveril) 6-0 and Sophie Pink (Highbury) 6-3. Alice went through in runner up spot with two wins out of three.
In the other group, the two highest rated players made relatively easy progress and their own head to head match decided the outcome of the 1st/2nd spot within the group. In a tight and extended match, Ellie Millard (Peter Symonds) beat Helen Skingley (Worthing) 6-2. In the semi-finals, Mosquera and Skingley faced each other, a rematch of 2015, where Mosquera just came through to win. This time however, Mosquera could not maintain the same consistency she showed in the group stages and the final scoreline was a surprising 6-0 defeat. The other semi-final was won by Millard by the same scoreline which meant Skingley and Millard faced each other again. This time the score was much closer and depsite serving for the match at 5-3, Millard was broken and Skingley held for 4-5, in a close final game which went to deuce, Millard finally came through as the overall winner 6-4.
In the boys event, there were ten players,with Watts and Wood being drawn in separate boxes. With four matches each, Watts had a 1-3 win/loss ratio, beating the Chichester player 6-1 and losing to the eventual winner despite playing probably his best match against him! In the other group, Wood had a 2-2 win/loss ratio, beating the other Chichester player 6-0 and one of the Worthing player’s 6-0. As such neither of our boys go to the semi-finals which was contested by Liam Seager (Peter Symonds) who beat Chalie Bartolo (Havant) 6-1 and Tom Woodcock (Barton Peveril) beat his compatriot Harry Dunnett 6-2. In the final, despite his best efforts, Seagar’s consistency and range/weight of shot proved too much for his opponent and he came through to make it a double win in the singles for Peter Symonds 6-2.