Seaton Tennis Club Finals Day serves up some top class action

PUBLISHED: 09:04 26 July 2019

Barry Follett and Julie Hopkinson who won the Seaton Tennis Club mixed doubles crown beating Peter Moroz and Kathy Wilkinson in the final. Picture JEN ROSE

Barry Follett and Julie Hopkinson who won the Seaton Tennis Club mixed doubles crown beating Peter Moroz and Kathy Wilkinson in the final. Picture JEN ROSE

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Seaton Tennis Club's annual tournament finals took place in bright, sunny weather, writes Simon Prior.

Seaton tennis Club's mens double winners Simon Prior and Chris Rose. Picture JEN ROSESeaton tennis Club's mens double winners Simon Prior and Chris Rose. Picture JEN ROSE

There was action all the way from the 10.30am start right through to the final serve and volley some nine hours later!

The ladies singles final was the first of the day's action and it featured previous winner Jo Little and newcomer, Becs Hudson.

Little, with some solid ground strokes took the first set 6-0. Hudson, who had seemed a little nervous at the start, grew into the contest and, after a series of long baseline rallies, took the second set 7-5. In the third set, Hudson, now with the tension gone from her racquet arm, took the honours in a championship tie break to win overall; 0-6, 7-5, 10-7.

Next on court was the men's singles final between former champion Peter Moroz and youngster James 'The Turtinator' Turton. Turton, aged just 22, winner of the club plate in three of the last four years, was playing in his first main club final and he made a flying start to race into a 4-1 lead serving up a dazzling array of forehand and backhand groundstroke winners. However, 56-year-old Moroz used all his guile and experience to hang on in, before dramatically clinching the first set 7-6 on the tie-break. Turton hit back to take the second set 6-3. The contest remained close and, in the championship tie break, at 8-7 down, it looked all over for Moroz, particualry with two service points to come from Turton"

Julie Hopkinson and Jen Rose (on the right) after their Seaton Tennis Club ladies double finals win against last years Kathy Wilkinson and Carol Hurst. Picture CHRIS ROSEJulie Hopkinson and Jen Rose (on the right) after their Seaton Tennis Club ladies double finals win against last years Kathy Wilkinson and Carol Hurst. Picture CHRIS ROSE

Astonishingly, both were nervy double faults with Moroz taking the next point to clinch a nerve wracking victory and re-claim his title.

The ladies' doubles final featured the same four players who have contested this final in each of the past two years! Defending champions Kathy Wilkinson and Carol Hurst started confidently as mistakes flew from the racquets of Julie Hopkinson and Jen Rose and took the first set 6-3.

Bizarrely, the second set was almost a mirror image of the first with Wilkinson and Hurst taking the honours 6-1 which meant another tie-breaker being required to serve up a winner! Once again the final set was a thriller, but there had to be a winner and it as Hopkinson and Rose who took the honours with a 10-7 success to retain their title.

For the second year in a row, the men's doubles final was contested by Barry Follett (59) and singles champ Peter Moroz, taking on Simon Prior (61) and Chris Rose (46). The four men are all members of the club's A team that are well set to achieve promotion to the Exeter League Men's Division One for the first time in the history of Seaton Tennis Club.

Becs Hudson with the Seaton Tennis Club ladies singles title after her victory over former winner Jo Little. Picture JEN ROSEBecs Hudson with the Seaton Tennis Club ladies singles title after her victory over former winner Jo Little. Picture JEN ROSE

An extraordinary match of epic proportions enthralled a large crowd for all of two hours and 10 minutes.

Prior and Rose set off as if they had a train to catch, rushing into a 5-0 lead with some of Rose's serves incredibly exceeding 100mph on the speed gun!

However, and somewhat inexplicably, they let their advantage slip and lost the first set 7-6, being trounced 7-0 in the tie-break.

They looked in trouble in the second set, falling a break behind at 3-1, but, as fortunes ebbed and flowed, they fought back to take the second 7-5 and, yet again, the crowd were treated to a championship tie-break!

Peter Moroz with the Seaton tennis Club's men's singles trophy he retained by beating James Turton in a thrilling  final. Picture JEN ROSEPeter Moroz with the Seaton tennis Club's men's singles trophy he retained by beating James Turton in a thrilling final. Picture JEN ROSE

In another epic set, Prior and Rose prevailed to win 10-8 and retain their title.

The last of the day's main finals was the mixed doubles which saw holders Peter Moroz, playing in his third final of the day, and Kathy Wilkinson, taking on Barry Follett, partnering up for the first time, with Julie Hopkinson.

Moroz, clearly shattered from the exertions earlier in the day and Kathy, exhausted from a 10k run in the morning and having contested the ladies doubles final, struggled to stay in contention as Barry and Julie used all their court craft and experience to win comfortably 6-1, 6-3.

The Plate competition finals were held simultaneously for first round losers in the main draw. Results: men's singles: Simon Prior defeated Lucas Barribal; ladies' singles: Donna Moss defeated Jane Barribal; men's doubles: Kevin Tratt and Simon Holloway edged out brothers, Lucas and Owen Barribal; ladies' doubles: Jenny Moroz and Donna Moss beat Teri Murphy and Michelle Palmer-Brookes-Daw; mixed double's: mother-and-son combination of Jane and Owen Barribal, in their fourth final representing the family, defeated Liz Lindsay and Simon Holloway.

Seaton Tennis Club welcomes new members of all standards, both young and old, with an extensive coaching programme for juniors and adults.

For more information contact the membership secretary at seatontennis@gmail.com.

Alternatively, for a bargain £3, non-member adults and 'Rusty Racquets' can just turn up on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 5pm to try out tennis in a friendly, no pressure environment.

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