Photographs provided by Josh Dwyer
Those of us lucky enough to see the finals of the Tasmanian Amateur Singles last Sunday witnessed some remarkable, exciting and intriguing tennis.
In the top division, Hilton Booth defeated Graeme Blundstone (back home from Melbourne for the weekend) 6/1 5/6 6/1.
The first set saw a most remarkable display of accurate, power and controlled hitting producing for Hilton one of the best sets of tennis he has probably played.
Sitting in the marker’s seat I was ducking and weaving as the ball thundered into the dedans yet from the service end Hilton hit the Winning Gallery four times and the ‘Monk’ didn’t miss out either.
There wasn’t much Graeme could do to combat this and when he went 5/1 down in the second set things didn’t look too promising.
However, there had been a minor shift of momentum with not everything hitting the mark as in the first set and Graeme stepped up his weight of floor shot, started retrieving everything and having clawed back to 5/5 played a strong game to clinch the set.
Tough to maintain that momentum against a player of Hilton’s ability and Hilton, who at no stage lost his composure, was able to step up a notch to win a superb contest.
In the ‘B’ Division Nick Rooke was too strong for Justin Legg in the final winning 6/2 6/1. Maybe a combination of Nick starting to reach his potential and Justin not yet recovered from six weeks of ‘The Good Life’ in Europe!
The ‘C’ Division Final produced a superb and intriguing match between John Armstrong and John Herbert, which John Armstrong eventually won 1/6 6/2 6/2. John Herbert ‘s natural flair and ball skill when tamed and adapted to our game is very hard to beat and that is what happened in the first set.
John H. always seemed to be in the right spot, volleyed and half volleyed crisply and accurately and served a very ‘heavy’ ball which John ‘A’ was unable to attack.
In the 2nd and 3rd sets John ‘A’s patience was rewarded, he started to find room to ‘spear’ returns into the corners, John ‘H’ tired and was too upright going into corners and John ‘A’s retrieving and consistency plus his nagging demi-pique serves saw him home in a fine match.
The ‘D’ Division, Jackson Brand, who really found his ‘cut’ shot and used it very effectively particularly on return of serve, scored a tough victory over relative newcomer Francis Spilsbury who also showed that he has a lot more to offer as he gains experience.
Both players covered the court with the vitality of youth and I am sure will have many more battles in the future.
When talking of youth, mention should be made of the ever ‘youthful’ Iain Burrows. Iain is a great supporter of the Club who takes on all-comers, is a tad over 70years young and took Francis to three long sets in the semi-final eventually succumbing 6/2 5/6 6/4, a great effort.