Bucks Girls 10&Under County Cup Report
Team: Tessa R, Papaya D, Charlotte D, Molly D, Clara C, Chrissie K
Captain: Tom Edis
Group H: Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire
Venue: Nottingham Tennis Centre
Despite some threatening-looking weather going into the weekend, the strong Bucks team at this years’ county cup event were extremely excited and optimistic after being able to get in a series of valuable training sessions post the covid lockdown. Nottingham Tennis Centre was an excellent venue for the occasion, and the only disappointment was in this particular year there would be no ‘finals’ stage for the group winners. However, this would neither dampen Bucks spirits, nor detract from some outstanding displays from the off as the girls flew out of the traps on day 1.
Oxfordshire were dispatched with minimum fuss as Tessa, Papaya, Charlotte and Molly all came through their singles barely dropping a game between them. In the doubles, Molly and Chrissie held firm as Oxfordshire began to provide a little sterner resistance, and Charlotte and Clara were super sharp at the net to come through their match in a match tie break, having unfortunately dropped the first set – the only one of the day. This gave Bucks a clean sweep in their opening fixture.
Against Notts the impressive tennis continued, with Papaya showing aggression and nerves of steel in sweeping aside her opponent dropping just a single game, and Chrissie as well giving a very mature display with some smart tennis that her opponent struggled to live with. Clara was perhaps the first to come up against a sterner test, but she too was able to ride out the storm with another straight sets win. With Tessa completing the rout in typically economical style, the girls could relax ahead of the doubles on the Sunday knowing that a second overall victory of the weekend was in the bag.
With confidence now riding high, the doubles vs Notts was a formality. The pairings of Tessa and Papaya, and Molly and Charlotte were too strong again and it was great to see the growing improvement of movement, communication and closing the net. 6-0 to Bucks!
This set up a grand finale against Warwickshire (who’d also dispatched Oxon and Notts comfortably), which the girls knew was going to be the biggest challenge of the whole event. Chrissie played brilliantly in an entertaining match that went the distance - only to lose on a match tie break having had 2 agonising match points herself(!), and Papaya too came mighty close; defeated in 2 tie-break sets.
Unfortunately, Tess and Clara came unstuck themselves in their singles, meaning overall victory in the group wasn’t to be for Bucks. Still, there was a chance to end the weekend on a high in the doubles. Molly and Charlotte took their opportunity - once more looking assured in the process - winning in 3 sets, while tiredness began to set in for Tess and Papaya in the final match of the weekend as they lost in 2 close sets – albeit again with spurned chances to take it to a decider.
Overall a brilliantly encouraging competition for Bucks, and one that bodes extremely well for next year. The team spirit, competitiveness and outstanding attitude of the team was evident throughout as the girls gained invaluable experience both individually and collectively.