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A1 Men’s Tennis Team Reach Record 4th Consecutive National Semi-Final

11th September 2017

A1 Pharmaceuticals Men’s 1 got off to a great start at their 4th consecutive UK national tennis team finals in Bournemouth on Fri 8th Sept 2017 defeating the hosts West Hants in an exciting and entertaining National quarter final with a straight forward 4-0 win, the doubles rubbers were not played.

Captain Gary Lewis was quoted as saying;

‘”Although we were pleased to be the seeded no1 we still had a tougher route to the final than the no2 seeds facing previous winners & last years runner up David Lloyd Raynes Park in the Semi final ” rather than Roehampton against whom we have a 100% record.

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L to R: No1 Neil Pauffley, No3 Toby Martin, Capt Gary Lewis, No2 Peter Bothwell & No4 Matthew Short.

Our No1 Neil Pauffley played some breath taking tennis to over power Raynes park No1 and Scotland No2 Wimbledon doubles specialist Jonny O’Mara winning 6-4 6-1.

Jack Draper at only 15 showed quality beyond his years to over come our No4 Matt Short a former ATP world ranked player who came into the SF on the back of 10 consecutive singles wins was struggling with recovery. Matt’s admission that he should not have played British tour immediately prior to the national finals I would agree with, he struggled with recovery after the QF final and a fresher pair of legs would of been handy but 2 qualified players failed to make themselves available and this proved decisive and to our detriment.

Irish davis cup player Peter Bothwell was unbeaten for A1 in singles in 2 previous finals and with a vastly superior ATP singles ranking compared to Scott Clayton from the Channel Islands was the clear favourite.

The Ulsterman started well enough but the rain stopped play when was 5-3 up on the clay but when we switched indoors the momentum shifted in the Raynes Park man’s favour.

With Peter’s defeat we lost the opportunity of going to a shoot out which with our record of 13 wins from 14 I believe would have made us favorites.

The weather played into our opponents hands as did the lack of reserves and doubles specialist Marcus Willis, whose presence would have given us a strong chance of at least the doubles win and at 3-3 a shoot with our singles prowess I was confident we could have gone through with Marcus available 4-0 before the doubles but at least a shoot out.

On our positive note our No3 Toby Martin is now unbeaten for A1 in 4 consecutive finals P12 W12 no defeats, an impressive record and Neil Pauffley our sponsored player was also dominant and showed his class as the highest ranked player in the tournament.

Naturally we were disappointed not to make the final but winning 3 consecutive national finals and the national Semi finals for 4 consecutive years was still a cause for celebration on Saturday night at ‘The Cliff’ a lovely restaurant.

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Making the top 4 of over 1000 men’s team as well as our men’s 2 winning the Kent County title and gaining promotion to the Regional tier top 64 teams still made it a very successful tennis season.

We have a great core team and with our allowance for nominated players increasing next year from 12 to 21 a growing squad with some talented youngsters coming through I am sure we will be in a healthy position to recapture the title within the next few years.

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