|July 2, 2016||2015/16|
|University of Cambridge Women’s 1st||10||Loss|
|Oxford University Women’s 1st||11||Win|
In 2016, the Varsity tennis match between Cambridge University and Oxford University took place at Moor Park Lawn Tennis and Golf Club. The match was held over two days, the 2nd and 3rd of July, and a total of 21 matches were played. Each team consists of 6 players and one reserve. There were many familiar faces on the opposing team as some players were back for their 2nd, 3rd and even 4th varsity matches! The format of the match was a singles and two doubles matches for each player on the first day, followed by a singles and a doubles on the second day.
The first round of singles saw Cambridge’s number 1,3 and 5 players taking on Oxford’s number 2, 4 and 6. The Cambridge women were victorious in all three rubbers with a very closely contended match at 3v4 ending in a 7-6(5) 6-4 win for Cambridge captain, Monika. The second round of singles saw the remaining players play the alternate number in the opposing teams. This was a more closely contested round with Oxford winning 2 out of 3 matches and only losing the third in 3 sets. After the first round of singles Cambridge were leading 4 rubbers to 2.
The first round of doubles all began after a break for lunch. The order of matches was Cambridge no.3 pair vs Oxford no.1, Cambridge no.2 pair vs Oxford no.3, and Cambridge no.1 pair vs Oxford no.2. The Oxford first pair won comfortably, the Cambridge 2nd pair won the second rubber 6-3 7-5 whilst the Cambridge first pair lost a very exciting and hard fought match vs Oxford’s second pair 6-1 4-6 4-6.
The second round of doubles started with the overall match score at 5-4 to Cambridge. Oxford played a very focused and determined round of matches with their second pair beating Cambridge’s third pair 6-3 7-5, their third pair beating Cambridge’s first pair to the same scoreline and their first pair losing out to Cambridge no. 2 pair narrowly with a score of 3-6 7-5 6-0.
The final score after day one was 6-6!
The second day brought lovely weather to the Varsity venue as well as many more spectators. Both teams arrived in time for practice before the 10.30 start for the first round of singles. This time each player was drawn against their equivalent number in the opposite team which lent itself to some very exciting matches. Again, Cambridge no. 1, 3 and 5 were up first against their Oxford opponents. Oxford were the successful team in this round – winning both the no. 1 and 3 matches, and losing the no.5 rubber 6-2 7-5. With Oxford now in the lead, the second round of singles matches began. Cambridge came out on top this time with wins at no.6 and no. 2 and a 3 set loss 4-6 6-3 4-6 at no.4. The overall score was now tied 9-9 with the last round of three doubles matches to play. The Oxford’s third pair played a very steady match, mixing up the pace to throw their opponents and win the first match of the final round. The middle doubles match went to Cambridge and so it all came down to the final doubles match with both teams’ no.1 pairs battling in front of a large crowd for the final rubber. The Oxford pair were leading but faced some hard hitting and consistency from the Cambridge pair trying to fight back. Unfortunately for Cambridge, Oxford just managed to hold onto their lead and out-rally our first pair to clinch the final match and win this 2016 Varsity fixture 11-10.
The Varsity match was, as always, played in great spirit and I know that despite the loss, my team thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and look forward to the challenge of turning round the result next year!
Oxford Team: Amy Partridge, Mallika Sood (Captain), Emily Laciny, Fran Benson, Annabel Westermann, Lizzie Johnson, Diana Van der Watt
Cambridge Team: Kadi Liis Saar, Cassandra Dix, Monika Kondratowicz (Captain), Lucie Astier Such, Jenni Mair, Jane Coombs, Sophie Morrill.
Written by Jenni Mair (Cambridge Captain 2016-17)