Oratory Real Tennis Club held the Club Handicap Doubles Championship sponsored by Sotheby’s International Realty for the second year running. There was an excellent turnout with 16 pairs battling it out over 3 days. On the Friday and Saturday the pairs played in the round robin stages with the top 2 pairs from each group progressing through to the knock out stage on the Sunday.
With a broad mix of experience, the better players were always going to have tough games, giving away large handicaps. In the first quarter final Mikey Hennessy and Jono Mackay played Sarah McGivern and Diane Binnie. The chaps were giving away a large handicap to the ladies and couldn’t settle conceding 6-1. Olly Garland and Stephen Anidjah played David Dobell and Richard Boughton. The handicap was more reasonable and a closer game with Olly and Stephen taking the set 6-4. David Lambert and Mike Box had to overcome big handicap in their game against Sam Peates and Richard Dilger, the scores were level pegging at 4-4, before Sam and Richard clinched the last two games taking the set 6-4. The last quarter final saw Fergus Brownlee and Jamie Brownlee take on Brian Lambert and Mark Lambert. This was one of the closest games of the day going all the way to 5-5 and 40 all. It was the Lambert’s who clinched the final point and won the set 6-5.
The first semi final saw Olly Garland and Stephen Anidjah take on Sarah McGivern and Diane Binnie. A suspect call from the marker at the beginning against Olly and Stephen perhaps disrupted their game play. Sarah and Diane played brilliantly and took full advantage securing their place in the final with a 6-0 win. The second semi final match saw Sam Peates and Richard Dilger playing Mark Lambert and Brian Lambert in a close fort battle. A very even game to start with and some incredible pace on the ball and fantastic retrieving from Mark Lambert however Sam and Richard walked away with a 6-4 win.
The final was a very close fought match. To begin with it looked as though Sam and Richard were going to take the win taking an early 4-1 lead however Sarah and Diane had other ideas and played fantastic tennis getting themselves back into the game. At 5 games all it could have gone either way but it was Sarah and Diane’s tenacity which lead to a 6-5 victory and the championship! Philip Booth from Sotheby’s International Realty is pictured above presenting the prizes.
What is Real Tennis?
Real tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis, or tennis, is descended. Real tennis is still played at a small number of active courts in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and France.
It is also known as:
- “court tennis” (America)
- jeu de paume (France)
- and formerly called “royal tennis” (Australia)
The term real tennis is often thought to be a corruption of this last name and related to the game’s connection with royalty during its heyday in England and France in the 16th and 17th centuries. In fact “real” was first used at the end of the 19th century as a retronym to distinguish it from the then recently invented game of lawn tennis. Real tennis players often just call it “tennis,” describing the modern game as “lawn tennis.”
The Oratory Real Tennis Court was built in l989 and over the last fifteen years the School has developed a string of players who continue to compete in national and international competition. The Club has hosted many important tournaments, including the World Championships in April 2006. The Oratory School’s new Real Tennis Club Room was formally opened by one of the members, HRH The Prince Edward, in 2004.