|March 14, 2015||2014/15|
|University of Cambridge Men’s 1st||0||Loss|
|All England Lawn Tennis Club||6||Win|
The Cambridge Tennis Blues travelled down to Wimbledon on Saturday for the annual Oxbridge match against the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). Unlike previous years, this year’s match format was one round of singles and doubles respectively. Due to adverse weather forecasts, the match was played on indoor hard and carpet courts.
At no. 1 singles, Tim Prossor faced Jamie Baker, who was ranked inside the top 200 in singles before retiring 2 years ago. Prossor started well but was broken in the 4th game of the first set after missing a backhand volley long. For the rest of the set, Baker stamped his authority as he outhit Prossor. In the second set, Prossor remain undaunted, recomposed himself, and played more solid tennis. Nonetheless, Baker’s class shone through in the end as he defeated Prossor 6-1 6-2.
At no. 3 singles, Neil Cordon faced Stanford University graduate Richard Wire, who plays for Essex. Cordon started the match nervously and was reacting to Wire’s shots instead of imposing himself. In the second set, Cordon stepped up his game and used his forehand to carve through his Wire’s defence. Cordon’s efforts were rewarded when he broke Wire in the 10th game to seal the set. Unfortunately, Cordon could not carry the momentum into the match tie-break. Wire stormed to a 6-0 lead and Cordon could not mount a comeback this time. In the longest singles match of the day, Cordon lost 2-6 6-4 5-10.
At no. 5 singles, Sam Ashcroft faced Blake Hutchins, brother of Ross Hutchins. The match went with serve until Ashcroft broke Hutchins at 3-2 in the first set, and thereafter Ashcroft held serve comfortably. However, the Cambridge Blue found himself 3-0 down in the second set, but fought back to remain on serve. Hutchins then played better at the tail end of the set to break Ashcroft’s serve again. In the match tie-break, it was nip and tuck. Ashcroft held a match point at 11-10 but hit his forehand approach shot agonisingly long. Hutchins then played 2 solid points to close out the match 4-6, 6-4 13-11.
At no. 7 singles, Gerald Wu faced Cambridge Old Blue Paddy May. Both players held serve comfortably until the 8th game of the first set. May hit a couple of good returns off Wu’s second serve to seal the break and the set. In the second set, Wu inexplicably lost serve at 3-3 after going 40-0 up on the back of a few unforced errors and May’s aggressive tactics. In a closely fought encounter, May won 6-3 6-3.
At no. 1 doubles, Prossor and Ashcroft faced Blake Hutchins and AELTC captain Lee Childs. The Cambridge pair lost serve at 2-2 in the first set, and the AELTC pair held serve comfortably to seal the set. Despite mixing up tactics in the second set, it was not enough as Hutchins and Childs proved too sharp at the net and with their positioning to win 6-3 6-2.
At no. 4 doubles, Cordon and Wu faced Jamie Feaver, who played in ATP Futures events as recently as two years ago, and Paul Siviter. The Cambridge pair never got going in the first set as their opponents served well and piled on the pressure. Normal service was resumed in the second set until the 11th game. The AELTC pair played some good points to break serve despite Cordon and Wu being 40-15 up, then held out to seal the match 6-1 7-5.
Overall, although Cambridge lost all their matches, it showed the improvements still to be made in Easter term as the Varsity match approaches.