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Paul Werner Trophy, Queenswood

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'The Paul Werner Trophy'

Queenswood / Gosling  3rd August 2011 Mixed Doubles

Organiser: Enid Tomlinson
Reporter: Andrea Sanders-Reece

Beautiful, warm sunny weather for several days and then Thursday - the day I've been looking forward to; the day I plan to play my best ever tennis; the day when everything I've learnt over the decades is bound to come together in a few hours of instinctive, tennis perfection - and then torrential rain, all day!

Arriving in plenty of time at Queenswood and following cars into a car park, not sure through all this rain how the day would unfold. After 10 minutes or so wandering around outside the school buildings, following signs that said, 'Tennis Centre'  and getting ever more soaked, eventually my mixed doubles partner, David Berry, and I found a very helpful person to point us in the right direction (yes, I know, we should've read the information sent to us). Back in car drove to correct area and discovered that star organiser Enid had been up very, very early and put all her knowledge and patience into organising an alternative venue with available indoor courts.

The Gosling Centre - hard to find a more appropriately named place on such a wet day - fortunately had the space for us. No evidence of a large lake with ducks and geese but with the use of four, acrylic indoor courts and a large open seating area we quickly settled in, adjusted to the court lighting and non-slip courts. There was something surreal about seeing the dry-ski slope in operation in the pouring rain while we played tennis - only in England, I feel.

Two new members, Jennie Schaller and Sue Blackshaw experienced their first tournament and Donna Norman sparkled as a guest partner to John Moody. Merete Collins was unfortunately injured during the morning but Sally Walker kindly stepped in at very short notice as a reserve partner for Ian Johnson. An excellent substitute it would seem, as they went on to win their afternoon group and were runners up in an exciting tie-break consolation final against Sue Sergeant and David Tomlinson.

Winners trophiesThe Paul Werner Trophy was won by Anne Gibbs and Paul Lansley in a thrilling tie-break match (8/6) against Gill Dickey and David Lloyd. Every point was chased down and every stroke, from drives to lobs and volleys to slices, employed, to find space and opportunity to finish the point - so very difficult on acrylic!  Anne plays beautifully, each stroke so instinctively sharp and calmly executed - an absolute joy to watch.

The rain cleared and the warmth of the sun glowed as we headed back to Queenswood for the prize giving and a delicious dinner in the wood panelled dining hall. The fabulous views over the rolling hills of the Hertfordshire countryside a timely reminder of what a wonderful venue Queenswood is - next year!

And my day? David and I managed to win two tie-breaks, having been down in both sets, and four of our six matches, it felt like we played some of our best mixed doubles but, of course, there is always room for improvement. David is currently working on a new forehand and I just need to translate my tennis thoughts into actions....

Many thanks to Enid for organising and ensuring that we managed to enjoy a full day of tennis.

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