2000 Ladies Championships
Howard Wiseman reports:
Twenty-four ladies took part this year, which included four players from Zuoz school in Switzerland. The Tournament date had been moved so that the Swiss Ladies could take part in both this championship and also the schools championships which would commence a few days later. This is an arrangement that will be repeated in future years, alternating with the date of the Mixed Championships.
Two large pools were formed, with each pair playing one another to decide the strongest two pairs from within each pool. Marianne Rees & Anneke Wells, Clare Elliott & Taria MacKay, Joanna Doley & Kerry White, Teresa Dunbar & Krystina Vargas all progressed comfortably to the semi-finals. Congratulations to Clare for making such a successful debut!!
The Olavian pair of Marianne and Anneke were simply too strong for Taria and Clare, who were defeated 10-0, 10-3. The other semi-final was a much closer contest. Krystina and Teresa lost the first game 6-10, but quickly bounced back to take the second 10-2 against Jo and Kerry. The final game was very close at first, and clearly capable of swinging either way. Eventually Kerry and Jo took the match 10-6.
Having seen Marianne and Anneke demolish every opponent in sight until this point, everyone was fascinated to see how Kerry and Jo would fare in the final. Marianne and Anneke certainly possess the most ferocious arsenal of power shots seen to this point in the Ladies' game. During the season, many men had been left writhing on the floor after attempting to return one of Anneke's cuts! Both ladies will attack everything that they can on the volley - an impressive sight.
Perhaps deciding that it would be unwise to attempt to match their opponents' power game, Jo and Kerry had clearly decided to slow all of their own game down as far as possible. This approach certainly worked, enabling Jo and Kerry to upset the flow of their opponents' natural game, ensuring that the first game remained a close contest until they eventually clinched it 14-13. The slower pace had presented fewer opportunities for Marianne and Anneke, but had helped to set up a good number of attacking volleys for Jo and Kerry.
The second game was also very hard fought, and a little frustration appeared to set in with the younger pair who had perhaps not put their loss in the first game fully behind them, and who were clearly frustrated by the quality of the cut returns from both Kerry and Jo. Jo's defence of the buttress, and Kerry's beautifully placed shots to the back left corner of the court were the most impressive features of the match. Jo and Kerry won the second game 12-7 to become worthy Champions, and for Kerry to retain her title.
There was no escape for the non-semi finalists. They all had to take part in one massive plate pool. First and second places were taken by the Swiss Ladies, Nathalie Rumpf, Rebecca Binz, Karina Buhler, and Patricia Cramer.
Many thanks to Mark Williams for arranging some excellent catering for the tournament at Eton College, and for making the courts available to us.
M.Rees & A.Wells bt T.MacKay & C.Elliott 10-0, 10-3
J.Doley & K.White bt K.Vargas & T.Dunbar 10-6, 2-10, 10-6
J.Doley & K.White bt. M.Rees & A.Wells 14-13, 12-7