Oliver Beadle, Alex Hume, Ryan Caven and Lily Mills all won singles and doubles gold medals as 35 players from across the country contested the Tennis Foundation’s Learning Disability Tennis Regional Series South tournament at Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City.
Meanwhile, there was another double gold medal success for Robert Fisher, who finished on top of the podium with his respective partners in his men’s doubles and mixed doubles events as players took part in a series of round-robin events against others of a similar tennis ability using either yellow, green or orange balls.
Beadle claimed the men’s Division 1 singles gold medal in Welwyn for the second straight year after the Essex player won both his singles matches. He also partnered Michael Hartnett to win the men’s Division 1 doubles gold medal after Hartnett had finished as silver medallist behind Joseph Eccles in the men’s Division 2 men’s singles.
The Division 1 men’s doubles brought one of the closest finishes of the weekend, with three partnerships on two wins apiece and the medals decided by the percentage of games won against the percentage of games played. Beadle and Hartnett finished just 1 per cent ahead of silver medallists Joseph Eccles and Aiden Leighton. Matthew Chilvers and Michael Clarke won exactly half of the games they played in their three matches as they took the bronze medal.
In the Division 3 men’s singles Alex Hume won his second singles gold medal in successive regional series tournaments, having also won his event at the Regional Series North event in Leeds earlier this year. Hume dropped just one game in his two singles matches and was also undefeated in two matches when he partnered Robert Fisher to the Division 2 men’s doubles gold medal.
Gloucestershire’s Fisher won his second gold medal alongside London’s Lily Mills in the Division 1 mixed doubles when they overcame the challenge of Hume and Kerry-Alice Hartnett 6-1, 6-2 after Mills had also beaten Hartnett 6-1, 6-1 to win the Division 1 women’s singles gold medal.
Elliot Caygill edged his brother Fraser into silver medal position in the men’s Division 4 singles after winning the head-to-head between the two of them 6-3, while another successful tournament for players from the East Midlands saw Scott Brown finished undefeated in the Division 5 men’s singles.
Scott Brown, Ryan Caven, Steve Uttley and William Haynes all added to the East Midlands gold medal success with two wins apiece to win their respective Division 5, Division 6, Division 8 and Division 9 men’s singles events. Meanwhile, there was local success courtesy of Chris John, one of the players based at Gosling Sports Park, who won the men’s Division 7 gold medal with two wins from his two matches.
Caven’s second gold medal of the weekend came in the Division 3 men’s doubles as he partnered Dominic Hubner to three wins from their three matches, during which they dropped only two games in total.
The spread of gold medals saw two golds go back to Yorkshire as Laura Wells made it three wins from her three matches to win the Division 2 women’s singles. Three players also finished on one win apiece, including Wells’ fellow Yorkshire players Emma Lindsay and Mary Nolan and Kent’s Jane Weatherhead. However, Lindsay took the silver medal by virtue of having the better percentage of games won, with Nolan taking the bronze medal on the same basis.
Lindsay did finish with a gold medal in the Division 2 mixed doubles, partnering Alex Hopkinson, their three wins in three matches including a tense 7-6(7) win over eventual bronze medallists Lane Stow and Mary Nolan.