Battling Leeds power to win in men’s tennis


Images: Andy Davis

Leeds seconds showed great composure to overcome a spirited York firsts side 10-2 in a contest dominated by the weather conditions.

The score-line was perhaps flattering to the visitors, but the way they adapted to the wind, rain, and slippery on-court conditions ensured a memorable win.

In the singles, York’s No.1 seed Ben Dyer started well. Dictating from the baseline and executing a number of immaculate passing shots, Dyer went a break up, leaving his opponent David Smith cursing the courts in frustration. Smith soon found his rhythm, however, and broke back, going on to take the first set 6-3. The second set followed a similar pattern to the first, with Dyer’s calm and collected approach forcing Smith to try things and the York man was once again a break up. But as he showed in the previous set, Smith was not one to lie down, coming back strongly to take the second set, and the match 6-3, 6-3.

York’s Max Andrews started the better in the second singles match. He took the first set against Leeds’ Simon Briggs 4-6, owing much to Andrews’ speed around the court and the variety of his shots. Briggs was frustrated but, like his teammate Smith, he soon got into his stride. Now it was Briggs’ proving the stronger through the rallies, and he took the second set 6-4. In a stunning final set in which both players had their chances it was Briggs who proved victorious securing a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win for Leeds.

Captain Pete Masters also endured an even three set contest against Leeds’ Luke Gallen. It was the Leeds player who set the tone, showing great energy to race through the first set 6-2. Masters responded in sensational style, racing into a 4-1 lead and producing a superb drop shot en route to a 2-6 win in the second. There was nothing between the two in the final set but, like the previous two matches, it was Leeds who coped best with the slippery court and Gallen took the third 7-6 in the tie break to put Leeds into a commanding 6 – 0 lead overall.

In the match against Leeds captain Florian Mongoin, fresher Maxime Reby stormed the first set in emphatic fashion 6-0. Reby was the more focussed of the players, serving strongly and backing it up with some superb volleying. The second set proved a much tighter affair, however, with Mongoin going after his shots more and forcing Reby onto the back foot. The young Frenchman wouldn’t be outdone though, producing some fantastic sliding forehands and, despite Mongoin saving three consecutive match points, Reby took the match 6-0, 7-5.

The doubles matches followed and in the first match Dyer and Reby fought hard to take the match to a third set; unfortunately York fell on the wrong side of the tie-break yet again. Andrews and Masters were equally frustrated in the second doubles, losing 6-1, 6-1 with Leeds securing an impressive 10-2 victory overall.

York Captain Pete Masters was pragmatic about the manner of the defeat stating, “It was an even day, they adapted to the conditions quicker and better than we did.”

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