Published: 13:30, 09 August 2021
| Updated: 13:30, 09 August 2021
After no tournament could be held in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Walmer Open Tennis Championships were held at the end of last month with a record number of entries.
Players were keen for competitive tennis after the last 18 months but sadly there were no overseas players due to the travel restrictions.
Despite the inclement weather all week with wind and rain, the finals were held on the Saturday with an early start due to the weather forecast. However the arrival of severe thunderstorms mid-afternoon meant only 11 finals were able to be completed.
The outstanding match of the day saw a 'David and Goliath' clash between James Davis and Ben Gusic-Wan. Davis is a local resident who plays at Walmer and is a regular Kent county player. Indeed, he had recently returned from his US university where he is on a tennis scholarship to help Kent win Division 1 of county week for the second year running.
Gusic-Wan, who plays at Canterbury, won the under-12 Orange Bowl last year in Florida which is the unofficial world championships, and is a rising start for the future.
This match saw the best tennis of the week and many observers thought that the standard of play was the finest that had ever been witnessed on the grass courts of Walmer as Davis won 6-3, 7-6.
The Ladies Singles saw previous winner Tiegan Aitken make a triumphant return as she beat Amie Tonkiss, the 2019 champion, 6-1, 6-0.
In the closest match of the day, Jasper Cooper of Canterbury won the Over-40s Men’s Singles, defeating Peter Stewart 7-5, 1-6, 12-10.
Unfortunately the weather meant the Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Over-45s Men’s Doubles, Over-45s Mixed Doubles, Men’s Singles Plate and the Over-40s Men’s Singles Plate will all be completed at later dates to be agreed.
Full results of the finals played were: Men’s Singles: James Davis beat Ben Gusic-Wan 6-3, 7-6. Ladies Singles: Tiegan Aitken beat Amie Tonkiss 6-1, 6-0. Ladies Doubles: Sue Boffey/Sally Holmes beat Sarah Luckhurst/Carine Nienaber 6-2, 6-4. Over-40s Men’s Singles: Jasper Cooper beat Peter Stewart 7-5, 1-6, 12-10. Over-55s Men’s Singles: Laurence Harding beat Andy Palin 6-0, 6-4. Over-50s Ladies Doubles: Caroline Griffiths/Kate Semadeni beat Colette Kerman/Gay Suntat 6-3, 6-2. Over-55s Men’s Doubles: Laurence Harding/David Wilson beat Jonathan Forster/Andy Palin 6-1, 7-5. Over-60s Ladies Doubles: Diane Gainsborough/Sylvia Falconbridge won a Round Robin. Over-65s Men’s Doubles: Keith Clark/Bob Whitehead beat Mick Murray/Peter Tullo 6-4, 6-1. Over-75s Men’s Doubles: Keith Clark/Bill Baxendale won a Round Robin. Ladies Singles Plate: Victoria Twman won a Round Robin.