Nedmonds excels in UWMCC’s good performance in the mini-Tennis tournament
Friday saw UWMCC take part in Warwick’s equivalent to the Davis Cup, organised by Warwick Tennis. Matches were played in the format of tie breaks (first to 7), with two singles and one doubles match making up each fixture.
During the training session earlier in the day UWMCC were disgusted to learn that they would not be playing with real tennis balls, but in fact using sponge balls more suited to toddlers and small pets. However once our lovely coach Emily, who swiftly gained the approval of Nick Edmonds, showed us the ropes it became apparent that this format would be very difficult, yet prove huge fun to play.
It was clear to see that Nick Edmonds and Ben Marjot both knew their way around a court well enough to be the first choice singles players. This pair impressed so much so that they ensured UWMCC were seeded 4th, thereby avoiding other big gun teams such as rugby, football and hockey until later rounds.
UWMCC’s pool consisted of a potentially tricky encounter against Warwick Snow, and two seemingly certain wins in American Football and CMD. During the pre-match huddle stand-in-skipper Marjot’s words of wisdom – “this is not for charity, we’re here to win. If you’re not here to win fuck off and watch from the balcony” filled us with optimism and joy.
The first fixture against Warwick Snow got underway with Nedmonds coming back from a slow start to win 7-4 and Marjot securing the fixture victory with an assured 7-3 win. With this fixture won the decision was made to play Simon Knott and Jack Jewson in the doubles. The decision to give Jewson a run around backfired though, as he played some abysmal shots and displayed feeble technique much to the annoyance of an easily angered Simon Knott. It was all good though, as the fixture was won 2-1 and Jewson left for his lecture.
Team belief was high after our first win, and Nedmonds gained a further confidence boost upon seeing that his opponent was sporting a considerable gut. Our coach described herself as a bit*h on the tennis court, and advised Nedmonds who hit it at his body. Nedmonds felt this was too easy though, especially considering the size of this particular target, so was content to give his opponent the run around to win easily, playing some brilliant shots in between. A change of tactics meant a nervous Knotty made his singles debut, but these nerves were misplaced as he strolled past another below average tennis player. By this point reinforcements had arrived (Matt Howe and Luke Robinson), to replace the not so worrying void Jewson had left – Howe stepped up to partner Josh Thomas in the doubles, and an easy fixture win was confirmed with a thumping 3-0 victory.
By this point UWMCC knew they were through to the quarter finals, but victory over CMD would ensure an easier draw for the next round. Thomas kicked things off by defeating his opponent 7-3 and handed the racquet over to Matt Howe for the second singles match. It is at this point the club should be made aware of Howe’s claims as to his tennis playing pedigree: “I played tennis for years up until uni (Essex Mens Doubles Div 1/2) I’d be rusty but keen J .” Indeed he proved to be very rusty as before the spectators had taken their seats he was 4-0 down…to a girl. In addition his opponent was utterly useless, but by managing to hit the ball back over the net did more than enough as Howe sealed his own fate with a series of ambitious shots that either crashed into the net or sailed out of bounds. The final score was 7-1. For once Howe was left speechless whilst Marjot quickly turned to twitter to relay this shocking news to other club members. Luke Robinson recovered from an earlier fall whereby he came off second best to a tennis net and landed flat on his arse in front of everyone, to partner Marjot in a crucial doubles match. There was no need to panic though, as this pair used the tried and tested doubles tactic of serving and finishing off the point by coming to the net. Another 2-1 victory, meaning UWMCC progressed to the quarter finals where they would face Lacrosse.
Before the quarter final another pre-match team talk was delivered, this time by the President himself. The only words he needed to say were said – “they stole our gold off us” (re; the song we sing at circle and they claim as theirs). Nedmonds flew into battle and produced shots that were so brilliant you could as easily have been watching a young tim henman. Marjot stepped up – a win here allowed UWMCC to dream of the tantalising prospect of a semi-final against Men’s Hockey. Things did not go to plan at first as Marjot fell behind, but our fears were allayed as he came back to win 7-5. This left UWMCC in the luxurious position of having qualified for the semis with a game to play. UWMCC offered Howe the prospect of redemption in the doubles with Robinson. However, Howe once again was on the losing side as the lacrosse pairing used the angles well to rack up a consolation win.
In true hockey fashion, the ‘magmen’ bottled the chance of a showdown with cricket in the semis and slid to a pathetic 3-0 loss to an impressive Men’s football outfit. Tension was high for the spectators, but Nick Edmonds was seemingly playing a different game to everyone else as he calmly served out wide and smashed home point after point to give UWMCC an incredible first victory over football. Ben Marjot took to the court to potentially book a finals place, and send the UWMCC supporters into hysterics. However UWMCC crashed back down to earth as the men’s footballer served and volleyed effectively to send it into a decider. Josh Thomas and Simon Knott made the cut for the deal breaking game, but started poorly with men’s football racing to a 3-0 lead. However, when serving the 1s and 2s skippers made them count, with two unlikely aces being sent down to the astonishment of the crowd. However, they just could not get their passing shots going, and lost 7-4 in what was a valiant effort.
The UWMCC tennis players did themselves proud and lived up to their seeding. Special shout out goes to Nick Edmonds who maintained a 100% win record in all of his matches, and thanks once again to Warwick Tennis for putting on such a great event. UWMCC are sure to be going for gold next year.