18&U County Cup Report 2020
Group 3B – Tipton, West Midlands
Team: Mila Burek (Halton), Jemma Bryson (Living Tennis), Millie Day (Halton), Juliana Ganendra (Living Tennis), Aneka Patel (GXBL, Living Tennis), Helena Ullyatt (Berkhamsted), Ella Widdowson (Hazlemere, Halton), Alexa Wilson (Halton)
Jemima King (Coach), Laura Deigman (Assistant Coach)
Friday 28th February
Buckinghamshire beat East of Scotland 9-0
With a fairly new team having lost five players out of the age group from last year the Bucks girls were keen to start the tournament with a win. Juliana Ganendra, 18, Mila Burek 16 and Jemma Bryson all on their 18s county cup debut started first. The opposition were no match for the girls and all three were won convincingly with each of them putting in professional performances. This seemed to set the tone for the rest of the day. Bucks won 6 out of 6 singles with Aneka Patel, 13 saving a set point in the 2nd set tie break with a fantastic volley point and clinched victory in two sets. Millie Day, 15 and Alexa Wilson 17 hardly lost a game at number 2 and 1 positions. East of Scotland were no match for Bucks in the doubles with Ella Widdowson, 17, and Juliana Ganendra dominating the opposition with tandem and switch set plays at the net and the pairings of Aneka/Alexa and Mila/Millie having no trouble at 1 and 2. Day 1 complete without losing a match
Saturday 29th February
Buckinghamshire beat Staffordshire 6-3
The singles line up didn’t change against Staffordshire and so Juliana and Mila went on first. Mila had too many weapons for her opponent and sealed victory very quickly. Juliana on the other hand played a very astute tactical match where it was nip and tuck throughout both sets. Juliana showed grit and determination plus a winning backhand pass to seal the victory. 2-0 Bucks with Aneka and Jemma taking to the court. Despite a heroic fight back from Aneka having lost the first set and getting to match point up in the 3rd, her opponent found the lines when she needed to and took the win. Jemma’s opponent found the upper hand from the beginning, unfortunately with some poor sportsmanship to take the victory. Suddenly we were at 2-2. Millie, was yet again far too consistent and controlled from the back forcing error upon error from her opponent. 3-2 Bucks. Then came one of the matches of the weekend with Alexa going point for point with her feisty opponent. From a set down Alexa found some inner strength, turned frustration into motivation, taking the 2nd set and putting herself into a winning position in the 3rd. Unfortunately, tennis is not just hitting a ball over the net and a player’s mindset plus your opponent’s mindset can shift momentum so quickly. Staffs number 1 found a way through and came out on top. Good news though, the Bucks doubles training that the girls have been doing paid off with a clean sweep of doubles 1st to 3rd pair. Jemma/Juliana, Alexa/Millie and Mila/Aneka cruised through. Well done girls. The celebrations carried on in the evening with the 4 newbies of the team committing to their initiations and putting on some good performances at dinner.
Sunday 1st March
Surrey beat Buckinghamshire 8-1
Straight shoot out on the final day between us and Surrey for promotion. We knew the day was going to be a challenge with Surrey bringing 10 players who were all ranked higher than most of our team if not all. Singles line up stayed the same and this is where we saw the only win of the day. Juliana came across a savvy opponent who just had a few too many answers for her. Mila’s match was awesome and again could have been the match of the weekend. Mila put in a very professional performance competing against a very strong opponent. Mila stayed in the moment, played brave tennis when she needed to and backed herself to the end. A win for Bucks, 1-1. Aneka and Jemma took to the courts but unfortunately no victories. Aneka played her best set of the weekend to go 1 set up. However it was always going to be tough to maintain and her older opponent came back fighting. Aneka showed such heart throughout the match but couldn’t quite find a complete clear mind when she needed it. Alexa and Millie then came across two opponents who were on top form and neither of them could find a way through. Onto the doubles and because the match was decided we were able to put Ella into the first pair with Alexa they couldn’t get the win but had fun trying. Mila and Aneka were so close and narrowly lost in a 3rd set tie break and Jemma/Juliana tried but to no avail. We were also able to play another doubles allowing Helena a chance to compete against Surrey in a friendly match. So, that was the end of the weekend. 2nd place for the girls in group 3.
A fun weekend, full of tennis, initiations and team games. A great event bringing the top girls in the county to come together and play as a team. We say goodbye to Alexa, Juliana and Jemma who are all off to university and look forward to some new players joining the team next year. I would like to say thank you to Laura for being a great assistant and to the girls for being positive, open to learning, putting the team first and supporting each other on and off the court (even for the dance challenge pre and post performance)