Annual Potters Bar tennis championships carry on despite pandemic

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Jack and Holly Romero.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Jack and Holly Romero. - Credit: Archant

In the middle of a global pandemic and the accompanying government restrictions, Potters Bar Tennis Club believed 2020 was going to be the first year since 1953 without their annual club championships.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Ladies' Doubles Champs Janet Bream and Virginia Mash

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Ladies' Doubles Champs Janet Bream and Virginia Mash. - Credit: Archant

But though the junior finals could not happen, the club pulled together to host the 69th edition of their club championships, with all social distance guidelines strictly followed.

With no audience allowed under the current circumstances, it was decided to live-stream three of the matches for the first-time in the club’s history. This was no mean feat and would not have gone ahead if it were not for Holly and Jack Romero, who pulled off a superb and professional broadcast. Through the club’s social media channels, the matches reached 6,325 people, with 966 views and 398 people engaging with the content.

On the tennis side of the day, Paul Guppy extended his record-breaking PBTC men’s singles titles haul to 17, a monumental achievement for a member who used to collect balls under the old clubhouse as a child in the 1970s. Paul defeated four-time winner Mark Masters 6-4, 7-5.

The ladies’ singles also saw a record extension, with Linda Freedman winning her ninth PBTC ladies’ singles title after an extraordinary match against Mary McDowall that lasted 2 hours and 48 minutes; Linda won 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 - arguably the closest PBTC final ever witnessed!

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Ladies' Singles Champion Linda Freedman.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Ladies' Singles Champion Linda Freedman. - Credit: Archant


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Mark Masters and Paul Holman took the PBTC men’s doubles title for the seventh consecutive year, beating John Demetriou and Paul Guppy 6-4, 6-4, with Janet Bream and Virginia Mash claiming the PBTC ladies’ doubles title, defeating Linda Freedman and Mary McDowall 6-4, 6-3.

The final match of the day was the PBTC mixed doubles final. Paul Guppy has won 29 PBTC titles to date, though never won a mixed title… until this year! Along with Virginia Mash, the pair defeated Louise Morrison and John Conway 7-5, 6-1.

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Finally, a special mention to one match that took place a week before the finals. Gerry Bloohn (86), Ann Walters (87), Joyce Prime (88) and Roy Rogers (89) took part in a special mixed doubles match to show that age is no factor to enjoying what tennis can offer!

With a combined age of 350, Roy and Joyce beat Gerry and Ann in the final championship tie-break decider, 10-7, after leveling at one set-all at 6-2, 0-6.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Live streaming the tournament.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Live streaming the tournament. - Credit: Archant

A truly marvelous effort from all four members, proving that age is just a number!

For PBTC membership and/or coaching information, please visit www.pottersbartennis.net.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Paul Holman and Mark Masters.

Potters Bar Tennis Club's annual championships. Paul Holman and Mark Masters. - Credit: Archant

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