Letchworth Ladies' First Team prepare for 2020
Club Closed 2019 Results
September 8th 2019.
Junior Results 2019
National Team Tennis Finals
Ladies 1st Team Lose in Quarter Finals – Win in 5/6 Place Play Off
Report by John Watts
The Ladies 1stteam headed to the West Hants Club in Bournemouth on Friday 6th September to take part in the finals of the National Team Tennis competition.
The tournament is played initially in four regional groups – Midlands, North, South and South East – with Letchworth taking part in the South East group. The winners of the four groups automatically qualify for the finals. To determine the other four finalists the runners up and the four “next best” teams based on relative strength of the regions take part in a play-off at the end of July.
Letchworth’s group was won by The Cumberland Club from North London, but, by virtue of a great win in the home tie with Cumberland, Letchworth qualified for the play offs, drawn away to the Manchester Northern club.
Despite two of the team’s key players being unavailable due to illness and holidays, the team pulled off a great win in Manchester and qualified for the finals.
Friday 6th - Quarter Finals
The team was seeded third when the draw was made for the quarter finals on Friday. The luck of the draw didn’t go with the team and, rather than being drawn against one of the slightly weaker teams, they drew Cumberland (who were unseeded, despite winning the South East section).
The full quarter final draw was:
Letchworth (3) vs Cumberland
David Lloyd Raynes Park (1) vs West Bridgford
Holbrook Brook vs Edgbaston Priory (2)
Woodford Wells vs Halton (4)
The day did not get off to a good start as Catherine Hodge was sick overnight and could not be considered for selection.
Katherine Barnes, Sophie Watts, Annie Watts and Danielle Latter, the team’s highest rated players, were chosen to play the four singles rubbers.
Unfortunately, the team couldn't repeat their heroics from the South East group game against Cumberland and lost by 5 games to 1.
Playing at number 3, Annie faced Jessica Ren – a former British junior number 1 and top 100 world junior. Jess adapted quicker to the clay court surface and took the first set 6-2. However, Annie began to play some terrific tennis and edged the second set 7-5 before going on to take the third set 6-4 in a game which lasted over three hours.
Frances Hendry, with a career high WTA ranking of 838 and a top 200 world junior ranking, was Danielle’s opponent at number 4. In another tight match, Frances won the first set 6-3. Danielle started the second set strongly and got into a 3-0 lead. However, Frances came back strongly and eventually ran out the winner 6-3, 6-4.
In the number 1 position, Katherine played against Naomi Cavaday – a former pro and British Fed Cup player with a career high WTA ranking of 174. After a promising start Katherine suffered a recurrence of a previous knee injury and retired after losing the first set 2-6.
Sophie, playing at number 2, faced Pippa Horn - another former British number 1 junior – in a repeat of their match in the group section. Sophie had beaten Pippa on the hard courts at Letchworth, but Pippa proved too strong for Sophie on the grey clay at West Hants Club and won the match 6-3, 6-1.
At 3-1 down after the singles, Letchworth had to win both doubles rubbers to take the game into a tie break shootout. But it wasn’t to be and Cumberland won both games.
Annie and Sophie partnered in the number 1 doubles game against Naomi and Frances. The twins made a good start and took the first set 6-4. However, Cumberland came back strongly in the second set and took it 6-3. The third set took the form of a championship tie break and, again, Naomi and Frances proved the stronger pair, taking it by 10-3.
In the number 2 position Katherine Barnes tried to play through her injury and partnered with Catherine Hodge, who was feeling better by this time, against Pippa and Jess. The two K/Catherines tried hard but could not match the Cumberland pair – going down 6-2, 6-0.
Saturday 7th– Play Off for 5th/6thand 7th/8th places
The losing teams from the quarter final round each had another game on Saturday to determine who would be placed in the 5th/6thplace. With £250 extra prize money going to the two winning teams, it meant there was still plenty to play for.
West Bridgford were the other losing side in the top part of the draw and so they squared up against the Letchworth ladies.
Katherine Barnes’ injury ruled her out for the day so Letchworth lined up with Sophie at number 1, Annie at 2, Danielle at 3 and Catherine Hodge at 4 for the singles matches.
The threes and fours played first. Danielle was paired against Anna Buckley. The first set went to a tie break, which Danielle won 7-4. She then went on to dominate the second set, winning by 6-3.
Catherine, still feeling slightly unwell, played extremely well and completely outclassed her opponent, Melissa Maddock - winning without dropping a game 6-0, 6-0.
This gave Letchworth a 2-0 lead in the tie. However, in the other two singles matches, West Bridgford came back strongly. Sophie’s opponent was Amelia Rajecki who is a very promising young player currently ranked 30 in the UK. Sophie competed well, but Amelia’s big serve proved decisive as she won 6-3, 6-4.
Annie could not repeat her heroics of the previous day. She played Sarah Wright – who plays on the ITF Seniors tour and is currently ranked 21 in the Over 35 category. Sarah’s game is quite unusual and she has a wicked drop shot. Annie coped well initially and won the first set 6-3 but Sarah came back strongly to win the second set 7-5. For the play offs the third set was replaced with a championship tiebreak, which Sarah won convincingly 10-2.
So the rubber went into the two doubles matches with the score tied at 2-2.
Catherine Hodge and Danielle paired up for the number two team playing against Anna Buckley and Jessica Spencer. The West Bridgford team were totally outplayed by the dynamic young Letchworth pair who won the tie 6-0, 6-0.
That win meant that if Annie and Sophie could win, then Letchworth would win the rubber and the £750 prize money. Annie and Sophie paired up against Amelia and Sarah. In a match which was much closer than the score line suggested the West Bridgford team won 6-2, 6-4 and levelled the rubber at 3-3.
This meant that the tie had to be decided by a tie break shoot out. This comprised of two singles championship tie breaks with a deciding doubles breaker if the teams were still level after the singles.
Danielle played the first singles round against Anna Buckley and kept her composure to record a comfortable 10-6 win. Sophie then took on Amelia again in the other singles tie breaker. In a tense, tight, match, both players held the lead at different times until it got to 9-9, then 10-10 before Amelia finally came out on top 12-10.
So with the rubber still level it went to the final doubles tie break for the teams to be separated.
Annie and Catherine Hodge teamed up for Letchworth, with Sarah and Anna facing them for West Bridgford. The West Bridgford pair started brightly and moved into an 8-3 lead, but the Letchworth pair started to play some great tennis and, with the pressure getting more and more intense, levelled the score at 9-9. With the momentum now well and truly in their favour, Annie and Catherine kept their nerve to take the next two points and clinch the breaker 11-9 to win the rubber – giving Letchworth a share of the 5th and 6th positions and the accompanying prize money.
The team were supported superbly by Diana and Dick Hensman, Sue Allenby, Dad Watts and partner Sarah who made the trip down from Letchworth and thoroughly enjoyed the terrific performances over the two days despite the horribly cold weather. All the players want to express huge thanks to Diana, Dick and Sue for coming and hope that their hearts have recovered from all the stress the team put them through.
For photos of Friday’s play please go to:
Saturday’s photos can be seen at:
For more details see the LTA’s results website at:
Ladies’ First Team in National Team Tennis Finals in Bournemouth 6-8 September 2019
The Ladies First Team are to the national Team Tennis Finals in Bournemouth after winning 8-4 in the Manchester play offs.
They made it through to the play offs by winning three of their five games in the South East regional group. The team of Annie Watts, Sophie Watts, Catherine Hodge and Lizzie Hodge finished this with the win in Manchester.
Danielle Latter and Catherine Hodge have also put in some great performances for the team this season and when they have not been available Sharna McNally or Katherine McPhie have deputised very ably.
LSTC will play on Friday and Saturday in Bournemouth, with the finals taking place on Sunday September 8th. Good luck to the team.
Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club enjoys the privilege of playing in a wide range of county, regional and national leagues.
Club members are able to access these leagues at an appropriate level.
Current leagues are:
Singles and doubles national/county/regional competition providing players of all ages with regular league matches against similar standard players.
For ages Red – Adult
Hertfordshire Summer Doubles League
County men’s and ladies doubles league-3 pair format.
2 pair men’s and ladies friendly doubles league, with a quick final short set at the end if the score is tied.
County based-teams of 3 singles players
A friend based competition with 2 men and 1 lady playing 2 matches against each opposing pair. Playing a total of 13 games on a Monday evening.
2 pair ladies doubles friendly league, often played in the day
Junior Chiltern League
U12 mixed singles and doubles. U12 – U18 singles and doubles-teams of 2 or 4 single sex teams.
County men’s and ladies 2 pair league
If you are interested in being a part of any of these teams, please contact our Match Secretary at matchsecretary@LSTC.org.uk