Over the weekend, 22-24th November the Ladies were competing in Taunton at the Div 3b Winter County Cup event.
A young team, including Maria Andrews, Maddie Brooks, Frances Evans, Sam Noble (Capt), Emily Barrett, Eleanor Widdows, Elissa Wood, Hannah Wilson-Kemsley, Millie Brooks were captained by Sam Noble and Caroline Blincoe. They faced strong competition against Dorset, Avon and Nottinghamshire and ultimately came up one rubber short!
An opening day 3-6 defeat to Dorset could have been so different. Three of the rubbers ending up as final set defeats. On Saturday the team played Nottinghamshire. Wins for Maddie and Frances in the No.3 and No.4 singles would not be enough and the team would go on to lose 2-7.
Going into the final day against Avon, the team knew that a win would ensure safety and guarantee they remained in Div 3b. After going 3-0 up, optimism was high but the singles finished with the teams level at 3-3. Maddie and Maria then won the opening doubles, but defeat for Emily/Millie and Sam/Frances meant Norfolk lost 4-5 and were relegated to Div 4.
Sam Noble (Captain) said “This is the second time in successive county cups that we have been relegated by a single rubber. It is tough to take but the girls will only improve as they are so young. We will bounce back next year”.
NLTA asked Mike Digby, ex-county junior for an update on his work as a hitting partner on the ATP and WTA Tours:
“Having just got back as a hitting partner for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China for Simona Halep, I was invited to be a hitting partner at the ATP Finals in London at the 02. My first practice was on the first Sunday with Medvedev. I was practicing with him from the Sunday to Wednesday which was such a good experience as he’s arguably been the best player in the world over the summer, having practiced with him a lot at Wimbledon, it was amazing to see how much he had improved over such a short period. I then had the opportunity to practice with Tsitsipas on the Wednesday & Thursday for the first time. It was a good few days for me as his team was really welcoming & I learned a lot of Patrick Mouratoglou, his coach. I was then asked to be a hitting partner for Federer from Wednesday for the rest of the tournament. It was a proud moment as he’s been my idol frowning up so being able to spend time with him & his team for 4 days or so both on and of the court was amazing. We had a few practices together as well as a match warm up on Centre court at the 02. It’s been an amazing week & ive learnt a lot from some top players. I’m looking forward to next season where I hope to start in Dubai with Halep & then the Australian Open as a hitting partner for the tournament”
Click here to see Digby warm up Tsitsipas
Following the launch of the LTA’s new strategy “Tennis Opened Up” and branding in April, all Counties have been given the opportunity to develop logos to tie in with the new LTA branding.
We thought it was a good opportunity for a refresh, so Norfolk LTA will be moving to a new logo which you will start to see on our digital media, correspondence and team clothing. If you already have team kit please don’t be concerned that it will need to be replaced right away. Any replacement can wait until we have a new one designed and your kit needs replacing for other reasons.
Our thanks to Chloe Hunter, past Norfolk Junior County player and current Graphic Design student at Nottingham Trent Uni, who designed the “Norfolk Tennis” bit!
Click on link below for a sneak preview:
Currently the fastest growing sport in the world, Padel courts have recently been built at Heywood Sports club in Diss. Sitting on the boarder of Norfolk and Suffolk, Heywood’s courts are the first in both counties and also boast the very first Adidas Padel court to be built in the UK.
The courts were finished at the end of May and are now open to the public, prior to the club hosting a Grand Opening in August; following the complete refurbishment of their Tennis courts, 3G Five-a-Side football pitch and car parks.
Tom Bobbins, the owner of the club said, “We’re delighted to finally offer Padel at Heywood, after months of planning and hard work on the ground. What’s particularly exciting for us is the accessibility of the game; it’s so much easier to play than most other racket sports, particularly for children and more senior sports enthusiasts. With little or no experience, you’ll be able to enjoy a game with your friends or family. My five-year-old son took to it in a matter of minutes.”
Padel is a close relative of tennis. It is predominantly a doubles game (played by four people) on an enclosed court, a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is the same as Tennis and the balls used are very similar but have a little less ‘bounce’. The main differences are that balls can be played off the court walls (similar to Squash) and that the rackets are solid, consisting of a traditional frame filled with a dense foam – usually perforated with large holes.
The combination of a harder ball and solid racket results in increased control and a slower ball speed than Tennis. The enclosed courts encourage rallies to last much longer than those of a Tennis game: Padel bookings at Heywood are 90 minutes, to accommodate the time needed to comfortably conclude a match.
Invented in Acapulco (Mexico) by Enrique Corcuera in the 1960s, Padel was exported to the Costa Del Sol (Spain) in the early 1970s, where the first purpose-built courts were erected at the Marbella Club. It quickly blossomed and became popular in Hispanic countries, particularly Spain and Argentina, also flourishing on the Algarve in Portugal.
Padel is now played by over 10 million people worldwide, in 36 countries. There are now over 60 courts in the UK, double the number in 2018.
The sport was formerly adopted by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) only a few weeks ago, integrating British Padel into the organisation’s day-to-day operations. This is a significant development for Padel, not only recognising it as a legitimate sport in the UK, but also providing a huge platform for accelerated growth across the country.
There is now a very real possibility that Padel will be admitted into the Olympics for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
Andy Murray, the British tennis ace, recently made a significant investment in a Padel court company and is a major exponent of the game.
Premiership football celebrities have also recently added their voices to promote the game. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and former Chelsea and England captain John Terry are big fans of Padel. Most premiership football teams have Padel courts within their training facilities, including Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Tottenham and Manchester City, to name but a few.
To try your hand at Padel, contact Heywood by calling 01379 643 088 or send an email to email@example.com
The club can supply all the equipment you’ll need and Tom regularly arranges informal coaching ‘mixers’ for people to join a groups of players new to the game.
To find an Open Day at a club near you, follow the link below: