The Men’s Blues travelled down to Wimbledon in early March for the annual Oxbridge match against the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). This is a highlight for the CULTC players, with an enjoyable day of tennis at Wimbledon against the toughest opposition of the year. The match format was once again a round of singles followed by doubles, being played on the indoor courts. The Oxbridge team consisted of 4 players from each University, alternating in their singles and doubles order beginning with Oxford as they won the 2015 Varsity match.
At no. 2 singles, Tim Prossor (Girton) faced Stanford graduate Richard Wire. A confident opening few games from the AELTC player left Prossor down a break at 4-1. Richard continued to hold serve comfortably by varying the direction and spin on his serve. Despite the Cambridge number one forcing many long exchanges, Richard’s left-handed forehand continued to dictate play. Throughout the match Prossor altered his tactics, by approaching the net and utilising his forehand crosscourt. Despite this helping him through some close service games, it was not enough to get a grip on the match.
At no. 4 singles, Sam Ashcroft (Magdalene) faced the former Cambridge captain Paddy May. This was the first contest between the two players and throughout the first set it was looking likely to be a close one. Paddy showed his experience to break at the crucial moment in the first set to win it 6-4. Ashcroft fought hard in the second set, building confidence as the match went on. The second set was again closely poised, until the break came after a long service game from the Cambridge player. The AELTC player sealing the victory 6-4 6-4.
At no. 6 singles, Gerald Wu (Selwyn) faced Sebastian Jackson. The AELTC player is an Oxford graduate and a former world number 1 doubles player on the international ITF Seniors circuit. The Cambridge captain was well matched with his opponent as both players were incredibly consistent, who would falter first. Losing the first set 6-3, this match was to be a tough physical and psychological match for Wu. The Cambridge player varied his tactics in the second set but unfortunately the AELTC player was too sharp to break. Leaving him 6-3 6-3 down.
At no. 8 singles, Alex Cole (Downing) faced Mark George, a former Oxford captain. Cole began the match with a slow start on the carpet courts, with his opponent racing to a 6-3 lead. The second set was a more closely fought contest with the pair neck and neck throughout. At 5-5, Cole worked hard and produced some great returning to break serve. The Cambridge player produced some strong serves and held his nerve during some difficult exchanges at the net to force it to a third set. The AELTC player regained the momentum, taking a swift lead in the tiebreak and playing some great tennis to close out the match. The overall score was 6-3 5-7 10-4.
At no. 2 doubles, Prossor and Ashcroft faced Paddy May and Blake Hutchins. The first set was closely contested until their opponents ran away with the second. The Cambridge pair lost 6-4 6-2, with the AELTC pair being far sharper at the net and on their returns. At no. 4 doubles, Cole and Wu had a slow start and never regained a grasp on the match. Losing 6-1 6-0.
The Oxbridge team then enjoyed the match tea in their Blues blazers and a chance to see the centre court. The Cambridge team had a fantastic day and would like to thank everyone at the All England Lawn Tennis Club for hosting.