The 3-day competition had finally arrived. IAPS U11 Tennis Championships 2017, held at the amazing Millfield School. The Manor tennis team were raring to go! Lots of preparation has taken place for the girls to play their best tennis and have the time of their tennis lives!See the photos here
The first day, Monday 17 July, was the Doubles competition. Both pairs, Bea P & Athina S and Josie H and Erin F, played in a group of five competing against pairs from opposition schools. The format was for the top three schools to qualify for the main draw (Cup competition) and the bottom two schools play in the Plate competition. Both Manor pairs started strong winning their first round match. Erin and Josie battled hard with some tough opponents but were not able to win any other group matches so this meant that they would compete in the Plate draw in the afternoon. Athina and Bea played some good tennis, managing to win all four of their group matches. This secured them a place in the main draw in the afternoon. Erin and Josie made hard work of their Quarter-Final match in the afternoon, dropping to 2-4 down but after having a light bulb moment they were able to switch it on and came through, winning the next four games in a row to finish with a score of 6-4. An excellent performance which secured this pair a place in the Doubles Plate Semi-Finals! Athina and Bea came up against a very nimble and agile pair but these Manor girls played a strong and sensible match, not dropping a game, to come away with a 6-0 win to take them into the Semi-Finals on Wednesday too.
The second day, Tuesday 18 July, was the Singles competition and we had a lucky mascot in Mr Jackson who came to watch the children play. They were extremely excited to see Mr J turn up! This competition followed the same format as the Doubles on Monday but without the Plate draw. Bea came through her group with three straight wins; Erin and Josie each won one match in their group but unfortunately it wasn't enough to move through to the main draw. Athina didn't drop a game in her three singles matches and therefore Bea and Athina qualified for the Singles Quarter-Finals on Wednesday!
Finals day on Wednesday 19 July and all 4 members of The Manor Tennis Team are through!
A tough start to the day for Bea and Athina as they received a seemingly harsh draw. They were paired up against each other in the Quarter-Finals. Athina came through against Bea but both girls played some great tennis and neither of them gave up. Athina therefore went through to Semi -Finals later on in the day. Erin and Josie had their Doubles Semi-Final match and with a score of 5-3 down they came back to win 7-5, earning themselves a place in the Double Plate Final! Bea and Athina had extremely tough opponents in their Doubles match who made them fight for every ball. The Manor went to 5-2 up but then lost four games on the trot and was 6-5 down, and with the desperate need to change tactics. More assertive and dominant in their play, the girls climbed to make it 6-6 and into a tie break. Thankfully, Team Manor seemed to have the mental edge and stormed to a 7-2 victory in the tie breaker, securing themselves a place in the Doubles Cup Final! After all the tension and excitement of the Doubles competitions, Athina then had to play her Singles Semi-Final match which was against a St Hugh’s pupil. Athina dealt with the weather conditions well, as it was very windy, to play a smart game of tennis and she was very consistent coming through winning 6-2 to qualify for the Singles Cup Final!
First on were Erin and Josie. Both girls were feeling slightly nervous but this was put to bed after they stormed to a very quick 6-1 victory over St Hugh’s to claim the title of Doubles Plate Winners 2017!
Next on were Athina and Bea who started slowly, going 0-2 down after 10 minutes before remarkably not dropping a game after that and winning 6-2. I think it took them a little while to adapt to the windy weather conditions to find their groove and become solid with their tennis but they did it, to become Doubles Cup Winners 2017!
Athina then played her match against a Berkhampsted pupil who is known for assertive styles and strong game play. Athina started well and gained break points in the first game but she couldn't capitalise on those opportunities this time. This then made it hard work for Athina who lost 0-6. However, despite the score line, Athina played some great tennis and was mentally strong which is a huge positive, and she is young enough that she will have another shot at this next year.
Overall, this year’s IAPS trip has earned The Manor 3 medals and 2 trophies. This is the very best that The Manor have achieved at this prestigious competition for the Doubles and the Singles. The Manor Tennis Team – Bea P, Athina S, Josie H and Erin F should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and all the hard work that they have put in proves that it all payed off! Well done all!