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Sun shines down on Culford as 91st tennis tournament serves up a treat

WINNER: William Lamb won the Mini Tennis Red U8 mixed competition at the 91st West Suffolk Tennis tournament (Picture: Mark Westley)
WINNER: William Lamb won the Mini Tennis Red U8 mixed competition at the 91st West Suffolk Tennis tournament (Picture: Mark Westley)

The Bury & West Suffolk Tennis Tournament has been taking place this week at Culford School’s Tennis Centre in glorious summer sunshine.

Chair of the tournament, Susan Glasswell, said the event had been ‘excellent so far’ with two further days of competition today (Friday) and tomorrow to anticipate.

The LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) Grade 4 ranking tournament is in its 91st year but is always prepared to develop and change and has this year introduced a hugely successful activity in the ‘Speed of Serve’ competition.

Glasswell said: “It’s been very successful, I’m not sure we expected it to be so popular but everyone seems to want a go.

“It’s a bit of fun really and was a great idea, we will definitely be including this in future years.

“People have really got involved in it, and it’s helped add to what is already a brilliant atmosphere.

“We have a healthy number of entries this year and we are playing on the wonderful facilities that Culford offers, it’s been excellent so far.

“The weather has been very kind to us and everyone has been enjoying themselves, there has been a lovely atmosphere all week.

“We’re just so grateful to Culford, and all our sponsors for helping to make this happen.”

Assistant referee Richard Smith echoed this, and added that the tournament had attracted 171 entries across all age categories.

This will see exactly 370 matches take place across the week from Monday to Saturday, making use of all 11 courts at Culford’s Sports and Tennis Centre.

He said it was great to see 30 youngsters from the school take part this year, alongside 15 Risbygate Tennis Club youngsters, although there was slight disappointment that a Grade 3 tournament in Norfolk had played a part in some of the older girls being unavailable.

As such, there was no girls event at U14 or U18 or a singles event at U16.

But there has still been plenty of youth winners already decided, with the Men’s and Women’s events due to have begun yesterday.

In the U8 mixed event, William Lamb beat Leo Ahmed 10-4 in a short-format match, while Hugo Howe claimed victory over Charlie Dinmore in the U9 boys event by a 7-6, 7-6 straight sets win.

Jessica Staines, in the U9 girls event, beat Georgia Howe in a 7-5, 7-5 straight sets win.

Jomi Aminu claimed the U10 boys crown over Rocco Richardson while Samantha Blaydon took the U10 girls title ahead of Lily Godfrey.

In the U14 boys singles, Christof Schaertlin Coffey beat Joshua Mumford 6-4, 6-4 although the runner-up was later also able to claim a title as part of u14 doubles pairing alongside Logan Mcelfresh.

They beat the pairing of Charlie Barber-Lomax and James Ireland in a 7-5, 6-3 win.

Clara Saiu-Bell and Eleanor Widdows heavily defeated Gabriella Edwards and Emma Tribileock in the U16 girls doubles event, claiming a win with a 6-0, 6-3 scoreline.

And in the U18 boys events, Asa Sumner-Keenstook the singles crown over Samuel Winter with a straight sets 6-2, 6-1 score while Winter, alongside Frederick Barnett, claimed the doubles title.

Smith said: “The quality of tennis has been very competitive. It’s been played in the right spirit and bodes well for the remaining days.”

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