Tennis: Cambridge end BUCS League campaign undefeated

Gerald Wu 8 March 2013

The Light Blues defeated Nottingham 10-2 away on Wednesday to notch a perfect 10-0 league record this season. The team consisting of captain Sven Sylvester, James Shacklock, Charlie Cohen and Sam Ashcroft were determined to sign off the BUCS season in style against a strong 2nd place Nottingham.

Shacklock and Cohen paired up at no. 1 doubles to thump the Nottingham pair 6-2 6-1. Coming off an impressive doubles victory against the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) last weekend, the pair put on a virtuoso doubles performance of solid serving and crisp volleys. The Nottingham pair could not handle the power play and never got involved in the match.

Sylvester and Ashcroft played at no. 2 doubles and met their match in Nottingham’s second pair. The pair lacked match practice in doubles and could not find their usual rhythm. The match started off with both pairs holding serves and easing their way into the match. The Cambridge pair edged the first set 6-4 but the Nottingham pair bounced back by raising their level to claim the second set 7-5. The match tie-break was nip and tuck, but the Blues’ pair’s mental toughness took them across the finish line to seal the match 6-4 5-7 12-10.

Shacklock, a valuable import from Loughborough doing his Masters degree at Cambridge, demonstrated his arsenal of powerful serves and forehands against his stunned Nottingham opponent. The Cambridge player was simply too powerful and eventually won 6-2 6-3 with minimal fuss.

At no. 2 singles, Ashcroft used his signature loopy forehands to great effect. Eventually, Ashcroft’s speed and swinging wide serve proved too much for his opponent as he wrapped up the match 6-4 6-1.

Cohen at no. 3 singles barely engaged second gear as he trounced his opponent 6-0 6-1. It was a solid win for Cohen after previously labouring to a tough match win against Loughborough earlier in the season.

Captain Sylvester, coming back right after his week-long physics experiment in France and the friendly against AELTC, was running on fumes by the time he started his singles after his titanic doubles victory. Nonetheless, he managed to win the first set 6-4 with solid serving. In the second set, Sylvester battled to 5-5 but with a busy Easter term of weekly friendlies coming up, his physical condition was the foremost priority. He was also nursing a shoulder injury and he could not take any risks. It can only prove to be a rational decision.

With the victory, the tennis Blues have won a total of 56 match wins at the loss of just 4 matches in the BUCS Midlands 1A division, demonstrating the team’s incredible depth and talent.

Gerald Wu