THE Great Britain mens team, including Helensburgh's Gordon Reid, will play for a second ever title at the wheelchair tennis 2019 BNP Paribas World Team Cup today (Saturday).
Britain are guaranteed to return from the event in Ramat Hasharon, Israel ,with three medals after the juniors won silver and the womens team claimed bronze on Friday.
The mens team of Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Dermot Bailey secured their spot in the final with a stunning win against top seeds Japan in Friday’s semi-final.
Britain had lost to Japan in last year’s final and went into the match determined to reverse that result. Gordon set things up with a classy 6-4 7-5 win against world no.9 Takashi Sanada, before Hewett produced a sensational performance to defeat world no.1 Shingo Kunieda by the same score.
Speaking after the match, Alfie said: "It's been some time since I've won against him and he's been such a strong competitor in the last five to six months. Today was a big step for me and you could see how much it meant to me at the end.
"We lost to them in the final last year and we really believed we could have won that. Today Gordon had a stunning performance too and we showed what we can do.”
They now take on France in today’s final in a match that will be streamed live on the LTA’s Facebook page.
It will renew what is one of the biggest rivalries in the sport with the French team including Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer — the duo who defeated Reid and Hewett in an epic Rio 2016 Paralympic final.
THE entry lists for the Helensburgh Tennis Club 2019 Club Championships are looking very sparse so far.
Please enter for the events of your choice before the closing date of Thursday May 23 at 8pm.
For the over 40s/50s doubles event there are singleton names on the entry sheets. Unfortunately, in order to arrive at a balanced draw for these events, pairs of entrants are needed, bearing in mind that this partner will not necessarily be the eventual partner with you on court.
Singleton entrants are asked to confirm doubles partner before Thursday.
HELENSBURGH Tennis Club’s mens first team were in great form on Friday, hammering David Lloyd Renfrew 2 by eight sets to one.
At first couple Fraser Fulton and David Reid destroyed their opponents 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 in under an hour. The pair never put a foot wrong as they dominated the match from start to finish, with David’s penetrating ground stokes and Fraser’s accurate winners from the net.
It was a similar story at second couple for Kevin Stephen and Stephen Lewis. They cruised to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 win, with both players in complete control.
At third couple Alastair Hope and David McCowan secured the opening set 6-3 but lost focus slightly in the ninth game of the second set when the visitors broke their serve to take the set 6-4.
The home pair dug deep and led throughout the final set as each player managed to hold their serve. At 6-5 to Helensburgh, Alastair and David knew they had to break serve to avoid the tie break and with a series of deep attacking shots forced the visitors to the back of the court where they could not hit the winners they needed.
Both teams had points to win the match but it was Helensburgh who finally broke the deadlock with a deep topspin forehand to the baseline from Alastair forcing the visitor to hit a limp return straight to David at the net who hit it for a winner.
It was a similar story for the mens second team who were also up against David Lloyd, this time their third team.
Bill Ram and Allan Adam at first couple won their opening set 6-4 but just missed out in the second, going down narrowly 6-4. They soon bounced back to take the deciding set 6-3.
There were no problems for Iain MacLaren and Stephen Humphreys at second couple as they hammered their opponents 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. At third couple it was a case of youth and experience as club president Keith Love teamed up with top intermediate Archie Russell to secure a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win for an 8-1 victorey overall.
Sadly it was not to be three out of three for the men this week as the third team came up against a very strong Glasgow University Staff team and went down 8-1 with only Clive Charters and Ralph Ward securing a set on the very fast surface.
The ladies 60+ team travelled to Glasgow’s leafy suburbs last week to play Weir Recreation and came away with a great 6-0 win.
Jackie Hunter and Ann Morison were never troubled in their 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 win. Janette Howieson and Jane Carroll nearly lost their opening set as it went all the way to the tie break.
The ladies had worked very hard to stay in the set and were determined not to lose it. They both agreed to concentrate on playing a mixture of deep and short shots to make their opponents run around the court. The plan worked, and they secured the tie break 7-3. They continued the plan and won the next two sets 6-1, 6-0.
A WARM welcome to all new members of Helensburgh Tennis Club — we hope you are enjoying your tennis with us.
Our first social event is the Chinese evening on Friday May 17. Some social tennis will be followed by tucking in to a Chinese meal.
Please arrive at 6.45pm for a 7pm tennis start. The tennis normally takes 60-90 minutes. Please bring your own refreshments.
The costs are £10 for tennis and food, £7 if only for the meal!
It is always a fun night. There is a list for names on the noticeboard, or email Bobby Kerr.
For the yellow ball juniors (ages 12+), Bobby has a 90 minute match play session starting this Saturday through till June from 11am.
This session is for members only and is free of charge.
HELENSBURGH Tennis Club 1st Ladies kicked off their 2019 summer campaign with an away trip to Strathgryffe last Tuesday evening.
Having lost three members of last year's team, playing in West League Division 1/1 is going to be a challenge this year but the ladies were in a positive frame of mind and, on a lovely evening, they competed well.
At 3rd pair, Gay Black and Alison Fotheringham had a close match, losing the first two sets but coming back strongly to collect the 3rd one 6-4. Suzanne Marshall and Carol Bews at 2nd faced a strong couple who only got better as the match went on, giving the home side victory in all three sets.
Katie Hope and Ann Morison took a little while to find their form but, having lost the 1st set, they got their act together and won the remaining two sets 6-4, 6-3 to produce an end result of a 6 - 3 win for Strathgryffe.
What a difference a week makes. The second league match for the 1st Ladies was played in continuous rain and unfortunately the result rather reflected the conditions — miserable — with the team going down 9-0 to a very strong David Lloyd Renfrew side.
However, the 1st 60+ Ladies team redeemed the week for HLTC by notching up a hard-fought win 4-2 against Milngavie in the first of their five matches.
The 1st pair of Gay Black and Ann Morison quickly raced through the first set 6-0, before their opponents got themselves together and started to put up a much tougher fight. But Gay and Ann were not to be denied though and their greater consistency and depth of shot allowed them to collect the remaining sets 6-3, 6-3.
At 2nd couple Jackie Hunter and Janette Howieson also won the first set but their opposition went from strength to strength, improving all the time, and eventually managed to overhaul the home pair 6-2, 6-2.
The 2nd 60+ team also enjoyed an encouraging start to their season, with Phyllis Fullarton, Janette Green, Frankie Hanmer and Carol Young recording a 3-3 draw against the East Kilbride/Busby team.
SHANDON musician Louise Burnet has done it again — winning the Helensburgh Tennis Club Lotto for April.
She is the club's most prolific winner, having topped a month's draw in 2015, 2016 (twice), 2017 and 2018.
Organiser Gay Black says that her cheque for £20 is on the way.
HELENSBURGH Tennis Club ladies 3rd team travelled to Hamilton at the weekend and found the home team too strong on the day.
At first couple Carolan Dobson and Jane Carroll (right) lost the opening set 6-3 despite having a number of break points which they failed to convert.
In a very tight second set with almost every game going to deuce they lost serve at 5-4 which seemed to rattle the Helensburgh pair as they lost the next two games to lose the set 7-5.
However Carolan and Jane soon got their act together and went on to take the third set 6-4.
Anne McKelvie and Susan Russell at second couple were no match for the powerful Hamilton pair and lost 3-0.
At third couple Ishbel Dival and Cathy Gemmell lost their opening set 6-2 but came back to take the second 6-4. The pair were very aware that the team was struggling on the other courts, dug deep and made their opponents run for every ball which caused them to make more and more errors, and they finally took the deciding set 6-2 to make the final score a 6-3 defeat.
The mens 2nd team were without a number of regular players as they travelled to Kelvingrove for their first match of the season.
The team suffered a 9-0 defeat but team captain Keith Love was upbeat and praised his team for giving their all under difficult circumstances. Their next match is away to David Lloyd Renfrew next Wednesday and Keith is hoping to field his full team.
Sunday morning saw a men’s friendly 1st and 2nd doubles team match against neighbours Cardross. Helensburgh just managed to win 3-2 in a very tight morning's tennis. All 20 players found the session very useful and both clubs hope for more matches in the future.
The new coaching programme starts this week with both junior and adult sessions taking place.
THANKS to all those who have booked on the Helensburgh Tennis Club junior coaching classes.
There are still places on Monday and Wednesday. Bobby Kerr had a couple of replies for Wednesday afternoons pre-5 classes but would need a few more to make it viable.
Don't forget the adult beginner and improver classes starting Wednesday May 1. Beginners start 7pm, improvers start 8pm. Email Bobby to book your place — it is free to members.
Bobby said: "We hope to see everyone at our new season welcome evening next Wednesday (April 24) at 7pm. Come along for some friendly tennis and refreshments — see you there."
A FULL list of the coaching classes available at Helensbuirgh Tennis Club from April to June can be downloaded from the Downloads area of this website.
Monday and Wednesday application forms for the next two blocks of junior coaching can also be downloaded.
Red, orange, green and yellow ball classes start week commencing Monday April 29 with Katie Hope on Mondays and Shaun MacDonald on Wednesdays — full details on the forms.
GET READY for the new season at Helensburgh Tennis Club with adult beginner and improver classes.
There will be two blocks with block 1 starting on Wednesday May 1 for 4 weeks. Block 2 starts on Wednesday May 29 for 4 weeks. Beginners are 7-8pm and improvers 8-9pm.
One block is free to members and £5 per class for non-members and those who take a second class. A sign up sheet will be on the noticeboard in the next day or so — if you wish to register please add your name.
If the classes are oversubscribed an additional 4 week block combining both beginners and improvers will be held on Saturday mornings starting on Saturday May 11 from 10-11am, same conditions as above.
The next blocks of junior coaching starts week begin on Monday April 29, and again there will be two 4 weekly blocks.
Members will receive a 20% discount off the standard charge, taking it from £20 to £16. If you book both blocks you can receive an additional discount, meaning members only pay £28 instead of £32 and non-members £35 instead of £40. Booking forms will be issued shortly.
From Saturday May 11 Bobby Kerr will be holding a yellow ball match play session for juniors from 11am-1pm — ideal for juniors to get some practice in playing matches along with some drills.
These sessions are free to members, but please note they are not suitable for beginners.
Tell your friends about the discounts and the many other benefits membership brings by joining the club. An application form can be downloaded from the Downloads section of this website.
By joining as a family both mum, dad and the children receive a block of coaching free.
JUNIOR coaching at Helensburgh Tennis Club will start week commencing Monday April 29, with two four-week blocks on Mondays and Wednesdays with Katie Hope and Shaun MacDonald.
Paid-up members will receive a 20% discount on junior coaching fees. A discount will also be offered to those members who book both four-week blocks.
The club will also be offering adult beginner and adult improver coaching on Wednesday evenings from May 1 in two four-week blocks.
Remember all adult members are entitled to one free block of coaching within the 2019-2020 season.
if you know of any friends who are interested in joining, let them know as members they will also receive a free block of coaching as well as any children who join.
If the club is over-subscribed for the May adult classes, an additional class will be held on Saturday mornings.
- 2019 Match Fixtures now online — see Teams.
HELENSBURGH Tennis Club ladies came together to toast the new season of matches on Thursday evening.
While the mens teams were busy on court trying to improve their game, the ladies felt a good dinner and chinwag was the best preparation.
By all accounts, champagne flowed, the dinner was superb, and a great time was had by all.
- Photo by Bobby Kerr. Click on it to enlarge.
HELENSBURGH Tennis Club's season opening day tournament was well supported in bright but chilly weather on Saturday afternoon.
The event was won by Graham Court and Jackie Hunter, who narrowly beat Gay Black and Ralph Ward 4-3 in the final.
THE new season officially starts at Helensburgh Tennis Club on Saturday.
The committee hope thatt members will join them for the opening day tournament from 1-3pm. The forecast is a bit chilly — but dry.
Please bring contributions for tea.
Bobby Kerr's last adults drills evening is tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm.
A MEMBER who has given great service to Helensburgh Tennis Club over many years was honoured at the club's AGM on Thursday evening.
President Keith Love presented the Winifred McKenzie Memorial Salver to mens teams member and former committee member Ralph Ward.
Presented by the late Mrs McKenzie in the club's centenary year, 1984, it is awarded annually to someone who has given exceptional service, on or off court.
Keith said: "Ralph has been a sterling servant of the club for many years, playing in mens 2 and mens 3 teams, plus the mens over 60 side this year.
"His enthusiasm and will to win are to be admired, and I can only hope I am still able to play at the standard Ralph plays at in my later years.
"He is a true inspiration to all of us."
Ralph has also given many hours of service helping house and grounds convener Ian Parlane tackle all manner of tasks.
A VERY successful soup lunch was held at Helensburgh Tennis Club today . . . and raised £460 for Christian Aid.
Organised by Phyllis Fullarton, Anne McKelvie and Fiona MacLaren, the popular annual event attracted many members and friends to the clubhouse.
GET ready for the new season with a special offer from Bobby Kerr to Helensburgh Tennis Club members on all re-strings — only £10 for the month of March.
Please note that Bobby is on holiday March 18-25, so get in early. He will be at the club this Wednesday 6-8pm and Thursday 7-8.30pm, or email/text him.
FORMER Helensburgh Tennis Club finance convener Mike Paterson is the second 2019 winner of the club's Lotto.
Organiser Gay Black announced today that Mike was the winner of the February prize of £20. His cheque is on the way.
Last year Mike won the April and August draws.