Feast Represents the QMC Team in the AOC Singles Competition

The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) team, who train at Totally Tennis, competed in the AOC South East Regional Singles tournament played at the indoor centre on 12th November. Both the boys and the girls draws were round robin groups, where the top two progressed to the semi-finals.  The boys draw has fourteen players and the girls draw seven players.

QMC was represented by Totally Tennis performance player and assistant coach Harry Feast and Matt Berry and in the girls event, former Totally Tennis player Aisling McGrane, who was the top seed.

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The boys event had some great matches in the early group stages, Berry gained an early victory 4-0, 4-0 against one of the Bexhill players but subsequently lost his second match against Mironovic from Havant & South Downs 3-4 (6), 1-4.  In his last group match Berry beat the Richard Collyers player, 4-2, 4-1, to earn himself second spot and progression to the semi-finals.

QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson said,”Having watched Matt play in a number of matches at College during his first year, this was unquestionably the best tennis I have seen him play in competition.  He served exceptionally well, and was aggressive throughout, it really was an impressive level of tennis.”

Feast only had two group matches due to the withdrawal of one of the players prior to the start of the competition.  He had a comfortable win against Taylor from Richard Collyers which effectively put him in a good position to qualify, with his second and final match in the group against the seeded player in the group.  He lost this match 2-4, 1-4 but his level was improving, and he ultimately played his best tennis in the final stages.  

In the quarter finals, Berry was beaten by the number 2 seed, 4-2, 4-0 but Feast had a highly competitive match against Mironovic which he won 4-2, 3-4 (6) and 1-0 (10).  This was a great match from Harry, his defensive skills in particular where excellent and he continued to play aggressively in the deciding tie break, despite the disappointment of losing a close tie break in the second set.  His next opponent, was the number one seed, James Ardley from Peter Symonds, and Feast was disappointed to lose the match having started well and found his form and lost in a ten point tie break. The final was contested by the two Peter Symonds players, which Milan Bharadia won in two tie break sets.

Goldson said’ “I was really impressed with how Harry played.”  

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In the girl’s event, McGrane (pictured left) won through to the final comfortably with the loss of just a handful of games.  In the final, she faced the Peter Symonds player, Magda Konicjzuk and although the initial set was close, with McGrane taking it on a tie break; she raised her level in the second set and closed out the match 4-0 with some excellent serving.

Goldson said, “It’s great to have someone of Aisling’s calibre representing the College at the regional competition and we look forward to see how she gets on at the National Finals in Nottingham.”

AoC Sport, formed following the merger of British Colleges Sport, English Colleges FA and the Association of Colleges sport policy team, is the membership organisation for colleges, leading the development of sport and physical activity in 16+ education. Sport and physical activity are essential components of college life, giving students significant advantages in education, employment and health. The AoC vision is for every college student to participate regularly in sport or physical activity and their purpose is to promote, support and deliver college sport and physical activity.

 

Read more about AoC sport on their website www.aocsport.co.uk

Victory For QMC Boys Against Bedales At The Indoor Centre

The Queen Mary’s College boys tennis team were action last week in a friendly match against Hampshire’s Bedales School at Totally Tennis’ indoor centre, winning with an impressive 8 – 0 scoreline.

IMG_3620(L to R) Ollie Brown, Jonathan Duggan, Chris Bundhoo & Matthew Berry

The team of Totally Tennis squad player Ollie Brown, Matthew Berry (who is coached by Liam Hignett) and former club players Jonathan Duggan and Chris Bundhoo won all their matches convincingly. In the singles, Berry won 6-0, Duggan and Brown 6-2 and Bundhoo 6-3 and in the doubles matches Brown/Duggan won 6-0 and Berry/Bundhoo won 6-3.

Sarah Goldson, QMC PE teacher and Tennis Team manager said, “It was good to get a match in as have not had many competitive opportunities since going out of the senior students group stages.”  She added. “Our next match will be in the National Cup, where we await the winner of Bradfield College vs. Clare’s Court having been given a bye in the first round.

Coaches and Players train with Wimbledon Boy Balls and Girls

Totally Tennis coaches Ben Jubin and Shyam Vithlani were joined by fellow Totally Alumni and current players at Wimbledon last weekend. The players were there to play while this year’s ball boys and girls candidates practice their skills ahead of the start of this years Championships in early July.

Steph Catlin, Simon James, Ali Olrog and Alex Dawson all played with Rubin and Vithlani at the famous SW19 location. In her other role as manager of the Wimbledon Championships ball boys and girls (BBG’s), Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE Teacher Goldson invited the coaches and players to participate in the training process.

QMC Players Ready for the Spring/Summer Season

The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) tennis team who train at Totally Tennis have new tennis kit ready for the Spring/Summer season. The players have started training outside on Totally Tennis outdoor courts in the War Memorial Park making the most of the March sunshine.

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The boys team have their first match in this year’s Team Tennis Schools National Championships (previously the Glanville Cup) playing in Group 10 (London South) away against Hampton School from Middlesex tomorrow (29th March).

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The National Championships provides players with the opportunity to compete for their school and become the best team in the country. The winners of the National Championships win the Aberdare Cup (Girls) and Glanvill Cup (Boys). Matches are played from March through to July. Teams first compete in a knockout stage and the finalist play in the four day national final.

QMC Mixed Team will play in National Finals

The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) tennis mixed team travelled to Aldenham School in Hertfordshire for their latest match of the knock out stages of the Senior Students competition.

The team of Luke Watts and Jordan Mosquera (pair 1) and Andrew Dingwall and Dessi Bratinova (pair 2) had a bye in their first match so needed to win this fixture to qualify for the National Finals in Bolton. Both pairs made a great start with Watts and Mosquera beating the opposing team’s top pair 6-3 and Dingwall and Bratinova defeating the second pair 7-6 (3).

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The QMC mixed team who will play in the National Finals in Bolton (L to R) Luke Watts, Jordan Mosquera, Dessi Bratinova and Andrew Dingwall.

QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson said “Both pairs served well in the first matches and both Luke and Jordan played well up at the net to cut off any long baseline exchanges.” she added,  “Andrew and Dessi had served for the match earlier in the set but were pegged back to a tie break, but lifted their game once again to take the tie break-relatively comfortably.”

Going into the second matches, the QMC team needed just one win to qualify, Dingwall and Bratinova were the first to finish but unfortunately lost to the top pairing 6-3.  Watts and Mosquera got off to a great start winning the initial few games to lead 3-0 but again the opposition fought back but the QMC pair battled on breaking serve to win the match 6-3 and securing the mixed team’s qualification for the national finals in Bolton.

Goldson said “This will be a fourth appearance by a QMC mixed team in Bolton and a sixth appearance for the College overall.  This was an unexpected surprise for the QMC team this year and we have certainly made the most of an advantageous draw.”

The team along with Saul Irwin (who played in the earlier round) will head to Bolton on Saturday 11 March to compete against Millfield School, Felsted School, Ellesmere College,  Strathallan School, Rugby School, Sevenoaks School and local rivals Peter Symonds College from Winchester.

This will be a great opportunity for the players, we have nothing to lose and as such will hopefully play with a sense of freedom and no pressure,” said Goldson “All five players are certainly capable on their day and it is great that QMC have a place back in the finals after a couple of years where we have just missed out.”

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The 2010 QMC Mixed Team who won the National Title and a masterclass at Totally Tennis from Judy Murray (L to R) Ben Jubin, Jack Nicholson, Steph Catlin and Aimee Paterson

The team are following in the footsteps of the QMC Mixed Team who won the National Title back in 2010. Totally Tennis performance players Steph Catlin, Ben Jubin, Jack Nicholson and Aimee Paterson were the dream team who brought the trophy home to Basingstoke. Goldson said “It may be 7 years ago but I still remember it well!  I am very much looking forward to see how our players this year get on.” J

ubin is now a full-time tennis coach at Totally Tennis and Catlin is a sports nutritionalist and contributor to this blog.

Busy Fortnight Ahead for QMC’s Sarah Goldson

Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson has swapped her teacher duties for the next fortnight for her other role as manager of the Wimbledon ball boys and girls.

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Alongside her job at the local college Goldson has been working as the Ballboy/Ballgirl Manager at the Wimbledon Championships since 2011 after referring for several years for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) alongside her teaching duties. Goldson’s position at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) involves selecting, recruiting and managing the training of all the BBGs. The job as Ballboy/Ballgirl Manager involves working at the All England Club approximately one hundred days a year, including the Championships fortnight.

On the even of this year’s event Goldson said “This is my fifth championships in charge of the ball boys and girls. It has once again been a busy year combining this role with my teaching post at QMC but I enjoy the challenge“.

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Goldson starts training with the selected boys and girls in February at All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). Each prospective ball boy/girl will train once a fortnight and also attend four brief court training sessions at the covered courts before Easter and after the Easter break all training takes place at Wimbledon (mainly on the Covered Courts) and lasts until mid June apart from school holidays. 250 Ball Boys and Girls (BBGs) from around 700 applicants work at The Championships, Wimbledon and most of them spend two years as a BBG. Four teams of six selected to be responsible for Centre and No.1 Courts and six teams of six rotate around the other show courts.

It is a real privilege to have this job and watch the selected candidates progress through training.” she added, “There are always tough decisions to make about who does and who does not progress through the programme but ultimately the sacrifices they make are thoroughly rewarded when they step on the world’s most famous courts.

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The current college tennis team as well as ex-players/coaches also benefit from Goldson’s involvement with Wimbledon as they have the opportunity to play during some of the training sessions so that the BBGs can practice their set pieces that they work on in insolation in actual match situations (tie break, ball change etc). The QMC tennis team will be at the Wimbledon today watching the action on Court Two and Centre Court, a great way for all the players to celebrate the end of the college tennis season with a day out at a Grand Slam event.

Some of QMC’s players and ex tennis team, who are now coaches, have once again assisted by playing during some of the training sessions and it has been of great help. I am looking forward to seeing the BBGs on court tomorrow and like everyone am hoping for some sunshine.”

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Play starts today at 1pm on Centre Court where top seed, world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic kicks off his 2016 campaign against Britain’s James Ward. British number one, second seed and 2013 champion Andy Murray will play his first round match against fellow Brit Liam Broady on Tuesday. For all the up-to-date Wimbledon information, daily schedule and results visit www.wimbledon.com

All photos used in this post are from the Totally Tennis blog archive.

For more information about this year’s Wimbledon Championships read previous post Tennis Talk: Brits at Wimbledon Preview

Coaches Play At Wimbledon

Queen Marys College (QMC) PE teacher Sarah Goldson invited four of the Totally Tennis coaches to play at Wimbledon, former college players Shyam Vithlani, Ben Jubin and Ali Olrog were joined by fellow coach Jamie Jordan to play at famous SW19 location. In her other role as manager of the Wimbledon Championships ball boys and girls (BBG’s), Goldson took the coaches to this year’s selection session for the prospective candidates, six guys played across two days during the weekend.

Goldson said “It was great to have such a high standard of play, it means the candidates raise their level and this year we saw some excellent performances from the applicants.”

She added “It was also good to catch up with so many ex-QMC tennis players and relive some past golden moments!  Great to see they are all still enjoying playing Tennis.  I know they like playing during the BBG sessions, and the instructors think they are a great asset to the programme…….as do I.  Thanks guys.”

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Vithlani said “An enjoyable weekend competing against fellow coaches, great to feel part of the championships as part of the ball boys and girls assessment days.”

Goldson landed the BBG Manager position at the Wimbledon Championships in 2011 after refereeing for about seven years for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) alongside her job at the college. Goldson’s position at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) involves selecting, recruiting and managing the training of all the BBGs. The job as BBG Manager involves working at the All England Club approximately one hundred days a year, including the annual Championships fortnight.

South East Colleges Doubles Event

The Queen Mary’s College (QMC) players were in action again at the indoor centre at Totally Tennis. Run by QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson, there was a slight change to the format with the doubles event like the singles event.  This year the tournament was scheduled for one day only rather than two and as such the field was reduced to one pair rather than previous year’s two per event (boys, girls and mixed doubles).

Disappointingly, there were quite a few last minute withdrawals and therefore the boys doubles was only contested by four pairs, the girls doubles by three pairs and the mixed doubles also by four pairs. QMC was represented by Alex Wood and Saul Irwin in the Boys event, Mixed Doubles players were Kelsey Mosquera and Luke Watts but the college withdrew fro the Girls event due to only having one player available, Sarah Winkle.

Boys Doubles final (Saul and Alex to right)

In the boys event, the Peter Symonds pair of David Gwilliam and Will Coward were heavy favourites to take the title, both with ratings in Division 3.  This proved the case in their first two matches which they won comfortably against Worthing and Bexhill for the loss of 2 games.  The QMC pair also served and returned well, to secure two wins 6-2 and 6-4.  This meant the winner between QMC and Symonds would decide the title.  Whilst Wood and Irwin played well, the superior doubles tactics and interceptions at the net, especially by Coward made things very difficult.  The Symonds pair took quick control of the rallies and dominated the net area and making things very diffiuclt for the QMC pair, who lost 6-0.

In the girls event, despite there only being three teams, there were some great matches.  The very first match provded the deciding one, where the Highbury girls (Pink and Kabbani) had a great win over the Peter Symonds team of Gwaze and Craft, 6-3.  The girls then went onto beat Bexhill 6-2 to secure the overall win.  This was a great effort by the Highbury team both of whom who had competed in the singles event.

Girls doubles winners (HIghbury College)

In the mixed event, Goldson was confident that the QMC team had a chance to win the title with Mosquera and Watts, who play together regularly and have been past winners of doubles titles in Basingstoke.  Opened match was against Peter Symonds, which again proved to be the key match.  Mosquera served superbly throughout and was extremely consistent from the back of the court, where Watts also played with great confidence.  The pair soon found themselves with an early break and extended this when they broke the Symonds male player (Harris) to love.  It was a high quality match with probably more play from the back of the court by all four players than the net, somehting that worked in their favour, QMC won 6-2.  The QMC pair also beat the Barton Peveril and Worthing pair quite comfortably losing just one game in each tie.  This was a fantastic was to end the regional events, Mosquera and Watts will go on to represent the South East team in April at Teeside.

 Mixed Team (Kelsey and Luke to right)

Regional College Singles Competition

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.

Helen and Ellie

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.

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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.

Latest news from QMC tennis teams

As the summer term draws to a close the Queen Mary’s College (QMC) Girls Team reached the regional semi-final of the National Championships (previously known as the Aberdare Cup) but were defeated by Downe House 10-2.

QMC PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson said, “A great achievement by the girls, the first time they have got this far and one round further than the boys who went out at the regional quarter-final stage against Kings College, Wimbledon.”

IMG_1215QMC were the hosts of the Hampshire Sixth Form Doubles Competition run by Goldson at Totally Tennis’ Indoor Centre last month. Boys number one pair, Luke Watts and Joseph Lane finished second in their group as did second pair, Ellis Wyles and Matt Rennie, after a great win over the Farnborough’s B pair. The girls competition had less entrants and was won emphatically by QMC’s top Girls Pair, Beth Lowe and Kelsey Mosquera.

IMG_1219As manager of the Wimbledon Championships Ball boys and girls Goldson gave the QMC players the opportunity to play during the Ball boys/girls sessions at Wimbledon and have tickets for Day 1 through the Schools Ballot enjoying the days play on Court No 2 on the first day of the 2015 event.

IMG_1224Goldson said, “Another busy tennis season for the college which is drawing to a close, with just the Hampshire Sixth Form Mixed Doubles Competition to contest.”