New IW men’s singles champion Ryan Todd. Picture by Robin Crossley.
THERE is a new name engraved on the Westridge Garage and Sporties Isle of Wight Championship Trophy this week, after a consistent display by Ryan Todd at Ryde Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
With 2011 champion Ben Brading not defending his crown and some incorrect LTA ratings meaning the some of the seedings were wrong, the competition was blown wide open.
Jack Giles knocked out top seed Sean Furmidge, in straight sets 6-4, 7-6, and then met late entry Nick Searles in the second round, succumbing 2-6, 2-6. This brought Searles up against another of his pupils, number three seed, Corin Gibson, who had beaten George Steed 6-3, 6-0.
This lasted a similarly short time and resulted in Nick reaching the final with a 6-2, 6-1 win.
In the bottom half of the draw, Corin’s older brother, Adam, had reached the semi-final having eliminated David Pearce 6-0, 6-1 on the way. Second seed Ryan Todd had a tough match with his Ryde Lawn club mate, Harry Steed, with Harry being 4-2 up in both sets, but with Ryan winning through 6-4, 7-5. Todd then beat Gibson, 6-4, 6-3 in the semi-final.
This led to a much anticipated final with a good crowd applauding some first-class play.
Todd opened the match, crashing down four service winners, and similarly in the third game, putting on the pressure to break Searles in the fourth game and again in the eighth, serving out to 15 in the last. The second set went with serve to 2-2 and then Todd reeled out the last four games for a 6-3, 6-2 win.
Todd, 19, is currently studying business management at the University of Bristol, and is captain of the university’s tennis team.
Matthew Olive won an excellent consolation final against Paul Arnett in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
The men’s over-45s singles was played in a round robin, and was won by Dave Bell, who won all his matches, with Paul Rigby second and Roger Parrott third.
In the ladies’ over-45s competition, Anita Pearce was unbeaten, with Carrie Bateman second.
One of the largest entries this year was the IW mixed doubles, with 16 pairs taking part.
Top seeds were last year’s runners up, Adam Gibson and Kirsty Bennett, from Ryde Mead, with Luke Watling and Chrissie Fothergill second seed and Richard Hutchins and Christine Harrison ranked third.
Paul Rigby and Heidi Drew were fourth.
Richard and Christine started well against Corin Gibson and Jitka Davey, but then went down to the younger pair of Harry Steed and Emma Chambers who made their way to the semi-final, only to be beaten 6-1, 6-3 by Gibson and Bennett.
Rigby and Drew gained their semi-final place by beating Paul Arnett and Aileen Evans.
Unseeded Andrew Thomas and Phillippa Harrison beat Luke Watling and Chrissie Harrison 6-1, 7-6 (8-6), before defeating Rigby and Drew in the semi-finals. They completed a packed day’s play by beating Gibson and Bennett in straight sets.
The consolation final was held over to this weekend, and will be between the Gibson and Davey, and Karl and Carrie Bateman.
Another new event, the over-60 mixed doubles, won by Bob Greenham and Anne-Marie Babington, with Patrick and Heather Mill as runners up.
This weekend, the club hosts the consolation mixed doubles final as well as the open doubles and veterans’ doubles. Play starts at 10am each day.
• More pictures in the Friday, August 31, County Press.