By Graeme Coulter, Head of Tennis
Having recently won the Hampshire tennis county playoffs, Bedales Block 5 boys travelled to Oxford to represent Hampshire in the Aegon National Tennis Championships On Friday 6 October.
First up for Bedales was Bradfield College, situated in Berkshire. Playing in the most meaningful match in their lives to date, the boys showed some early nerves and fell behind quickly to a strong Bradfield team. Both Lev Borisovets and Angus Forbes fought back from 4-0 down producing quite a sensational display of mental strength and determination to level at 5-5. Unfortunately, both players fell just short to put Bedales 2-0 down.
Oscar Goldblatt and Barney Van Hoeken took to the court next and similarly showed early nerves with both players going down quickly. Barney fought hard throughout, but came up second best, leaving us 3-0 behind. Oscar then produced one of the best displays I have seen from a Bedales Tennis player, reeling off six straight games with winner after winner in a quite outstanding performance.
Bedales was 3-1 down going into the doubles and we needed to win both sets to force a match tie-break. We started brightly, going a break of serve up in both matches. However, Bradfield hit back and won two closely contested doubles 7-5 and 6-4.
This result put us into the regional 3rd and 4th place playoff against Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School from Buckinghamshire. The boys reacted positively to the disappointment of missing out on the final and both Angus and Lev put in mature and composed performances to put Bedales 2-0 up.
Oscar produced some more fantastic tennis against a very strong 1st seed, but fell just short. Barney fought for over an hour to finally fall 7-5 in an excellent contest.
We were 2-2 going into the doubles with all to play for. The boys stepped it up a gear and played yet more outrageous tennis. Two closely contested doubles were both taken by Bedales to secure a third place finish in the south central region.
The whole day capped off a truly excellent season of tennis that commenced in April of this year. The boys’ work rate, determination, etiquette and manner throughout has been outstanding. They were great ambassadors for the school at the regionals and I could not have been more proud to be there with them.