James Currie and Monica Smith earned singles and doubles titles at the North East Blind and Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament over the weekend. Nearly 40 players contested nine singles and doubles events at the latest Tennis Foundation Regional Series at the Northumberland Club, in Jesmond, Newcastle.
At the end of a memorable week for blind and visually impaired tennis, Nikhil Nair and local North East players David Deas and Wendy Glasper were among the impressive entry. All three played in Jesmond after returning from representing Great Britain at the 1st International Blind Tennis Tournament in Spain.
Nair’s ambitions of retaining the B1 men’s singles title started well. He progressed from his round-robin group unbeaten, with Sidney Tambin also unbeaten at the top of the other pool.
Nair went on to defeat Daniel Owen 4-2 in his semi-final. Meanwhile, Tambin edged a marathon semi-final tie-break to beat Saqib Hussain 4-3(12). Another tie-break saw Tambin beat Nair 4-3(4), therefore winning his first title.
Smith’s B1 women’s singles success came as she remained unbeaten in four round-robin matches. She needed just one tie-break throughout, defeating Laura Grant 4-3(4). All four of Grant’s matches went to tie-breaks, a 4-3(5) loss to Masuma Ali securing Ali runner-up position.
Currie took the major honours in the B2 men’s singles for the second successive year. While remaining unbeaten in his four round-robin matches Currie’s toughest challenge came against Art Malik, Currie winning 6-3 and therefore handing Malik his only defeat.
Paul Ryb and Neil Fradgley eased through their B3 men’s singles round-robin matches to top their respective pools. Ryb made it four 6-0 wins as he also powered through his semi-final against David Donnelly
Steve Trewick finished runner-up to Ryb in their pool. After Ryb won their round-robin contest without dropping a game Trewick had more success in the final. However, Ryb still took the title 6-2.
Sarah Fortescue also dominated the B3 women’s singles to earn victory. Fortescue won three of her round-robin matches 6-0, taking the other two matches 6-2, one of which was against runner-up Andrea Logan.
Rosine Pybus gained victory in the mixed B4/B5 singles with four wins in four matches, including two 6-1 wins. However, two of her matches proved much more challenging and ended in 7-5 victories, one coming against runner-up Lydia Wightson. Pybus, therefore, gained victory in Newcastle for the second successive year.
After finishing winner and runner-up in the B1 women’s singles, Smith and Ali combined with great effect to win the mixed B1 doubles. Both semi-finals were decided in tie-breaks, Smith and Ali edging past Nair and Lara Green 4-3(5).
Owen and Hussain beat Nadeem Mughal and Tambin 4-3(3) in their semi. However, they were no match for Smith and Ali, who went on to win the final 4-1.
Currie and Fradgley’s victory in the visually impaired men’s doubles came for the loss of just two games. After a 4-0 semi-final win, Currie and Fradgley beat Arif Malik and Ryb 4-2 to therefore take the title.
Logan and Wightson earned back-to-back 4-2 wins to take the visually impaired women’s doubles. They sealed the title with victory over Gillian Currie and Fortescue in the final.