For the second successive year Chris Baily and Callum Lock were in dominant form at the Cambridge Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis Regional Series, with Baily claiming singles and doubles titles.
Meanwhile, Roy Turnham earned the major honours in the B1 men’s singles to also claim a title in Cambridge for the second year in a row. This year Turnham also completed the event with B1 doubles honours, too.
Hosted by Vison4Growth, one of the blind and visually impaired tennis groups supported by the Tennis Foundation around the country, the tournament saw Baily and Lock, winners of different singles titles in 2016, reach this year’s B3 men’s singles final with relative ease. However, the final was far from straightforward as the two players went to a tie-break, with Baily narrowly prevailing 5-4(3).
The B4 men’s singles brought another dominant performance as Chris Blake and David Pickering both dropped just one game apiece in their respective semi-finals and Blake then raced through the final to defeat Pickering 4-0.
With Blake not contesting the men’s visually impaired doubles and Pickering bowing out in the first round, Baily and Lock joined Alex Wheen and Christian Bolton-Edenborough in reaching the final after 4-0 wins in the two semi-finals. Baily and Lock made it back-to-back doubles titles in Cambridge with another accomplished performance, taking the final 4-1.
With Baily playing in Cambridge after winning gold at the first ever international blind tennis tournament in Spain earlier this year, Brenda Cassell, another of Great Britain’s medallists in Spain, also enjoyed singles success in Cambridge.
Cassell reached the women’s B3 singles final against Sarah Fortescue without dropping a game and produced an assured performance to take the tile 4-2.
Meanwhile, Rosie Pybus also dropped just two games in winning the women’s B4 singles. Pybus achieved her success with back-to-back 4-1 wins in round-robin competition against Minerva Ainsworth and Susan Whelan. But the contest for runners-up honours was much closer, as Ainsworth claimed a tie-break to beat Whelan 5-4(5).
Despite their singles successes, Cassell and Pybus bowed out of the women’s visually impaired doubles in their opening match, beaten 4-2 by Ainsworth and Amanda Large. However, Ainsworth and Large found themselves on the other end of a 4-2 scoreline in the final as Fortescue and Laurence took the victory.
Turnham claimed a mixed B1 singles event in 2016, but with separate men’s and women’s draws this time he came out on top in the men’s B1 singles.
The first four matches, through to the completion of the semi-finals, were all won in tie-breaks. Turnham defeated Daniel Owen 4-3(4) in the last four, with Sidney Tambin edging his semi-final against Keith Turner 4-3(6). However, come the final Turnham was much more dominant and he wrapped up a 4-0 win over Tambin to claim another title.
Yvette Priestley, who also represented Great Britain in Spain earlier this year alongside Baily and Cassell, won the women’s B1 singles in much the same way as Turnham won his event. Priestley and Maria Oshodi both earned tie-break wins in their semi-finals, as Priestley beat Masuma Ali 4-3(7) and Oshodi took the points that mattered to defeat Monica Smith 4-3(5). However, just as Turnham had done in the men’s final, Priestley went through the women’s B1 final without dropping a game.
There was a second title for Turnham in the B1 mixed doubles, partnering Peter Bosher. Fiona Musgrove and Priestley and Turnham and Bosher all booked their places in the final with 4-2 semi-final wins. However, with Turnham having finished runner-up in the doubles in 2016, he left this year’s tournament with a brace of titles after he and Bosher claimed the tie-break to win the final 4-3(3).