Major UK tournament shows real tennis is still very much king down at Hatfield House

PUBLISHED: 06:20 15 February 2020

The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.

The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.

Archant

Hatfield House is not only synonymous with royalty but also with real tennis and all eyes were on the stately home as they played host to the premiere mixed doubles tournament in the UK.

The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.

The Billy Ross Skinner Invitational Mixed Doubles saw the top 12 available female players from clubs across the country take part in a full weekend of action.

The group stages began on the Friday with the finals taking place on Sunday.

Three groups of four battled it out initially with Sophie Dannreuther and Nick Brodie making quick work of progressing to the semi-finals followed by Alex Brodie and Julian Stafford.

In the other half of the draw Sue Haswell and Simon Mansfield were joined by Louise Mercier and Simon Talbot-Williams.

The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.

To reach the last four, the pairings had battled through four three-set matches so stamina and concentration were key.

The first semi-final went the full distance with Brodie and Stafford making certain of their place in the final despite a 6-0 loss in the second set, the final score 6-5 0-6 6-4.

Former winner Haswell and her playing partner Mansfield put on a commanding performance to beat Mercier and Talbot-Williams 6-2 6-2 in the other semi.

The final saw a full viewing gallery and they were not disappointed with what they saw.

The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.The 2020 Billy Ross Invitational Mixed Doubles tournament was superbly attended as usual and full of exciting action.

Brodie and Stafford started strongly with the former hitting her trademark volleys with deadly power and accuracy while this was countered by Haswell's shot selection and consistency.

Mansfield and Stafford played their part too in what was a hard-fought contest but by the time the dust settled Haswell and Mansfield had claimed a 6-4 6-5 victory.

A spokesman for Hatfield House Real Tennis Club said: "This tournament is always well attended by spectators and supported by the club members who help organise and run the event.

"Breakfast, lunch and supper are provided throughout to keep the players well fuelled and the professional team are at hand throughout.

"This tournament would not be possible without our generous sponsors the Jesters and the Dedanists.

"The Jesters made a significant contribution to cost of the tournament which is greatly appreciated.

"The Dedanists' contribution ensures that all sub 24-year-old players are fully supported and encouraged to play at the highest level both now and in the future."


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times