Varsity tennis at Lee Valley Tennis Centre this afternoon went as expected given that King’s were massive underdogs going into the day, but there were plenty of impressive performances on display to broadcast King’s tennis capabilities.
The day started with the men’s and women’s singles events, with Carla Herb going down in 2 sets to her UCL opponent, who had brilliantly executed dropshots in the 1st set and grew in confidence even more as the second set progressed, crashing home some lovely backhands towards the baseline. As for the men’s event, there was more drama on show as KCL’s Joe De Souza put on a solid display. UCL broke in the first game after a long back-and-forth at deuce, including one cracking rally to temporarily keep his serve. After nearly breaking back in the following game, some lovely net play from the UCL competitor maintained his advantage. Throughout the rest of the set, Joe continued his strong display with some impressive serving, including an ace to seal his service game at 3-1. After losing the first set 6-2 which included some dubious umpire calls, the UCL competitor repeated this in the second, but it was nevertheless a strong performance from Joe who controlled some rallies with imposing crosscourt forehands.
As for the doubles, the men’s team of Darshan Shah and Andrei Ionescu had a tense opening four games, with no break of serve, the highlight of which was some of Andrei’s powerful crosscourt forehands into the tramlines in the fourth game. Despite this promising start, eventually quality told from the UCL team, winning 6-2 6-2, but there were certainly excellent flashes of tennis from the boys. The stars of the afternoon were undoubtedly the women’ doubles team of Maria Alexandroff and Laura Sahyoun, who won KCL’s only set of the day in the opener. After a very tense opening few games, taking the set to 5-5, they broke UCL’s serve to make it 6-5, but lost their first opportunity to seal the set as UCL broke back to force a tiebreak. However, the team showed great strength of mind to regain the momentum in the tiebreak, winning this 7-4 after some clutch crosscourt backhands. In a similar story to the rest of the afternoon, the team weren’t able to maintain this strong start and ended up going down 6-0 in the second set and just missed out in the third.