The tennis Blues were held to a thrilling 6-6 draw by Bristol in the BUCS Premier South playoff. Cambridge are vying with Bristol and LSE to gain promotion into the Premier South division next year. With work commitments in Easter term, the team had to rely on its depth again.
At no.1 doubles, Constantine Markides (Wolfson) and Tim Prossor (Girton) were up against a strong Bristol pair. The Cambridge pair lacked match practice compared to the Bristol pair and did not display their usual clinical net play. They lost 4-6, 4-6 despite holding a 4-2 lead in the second set to leave Cambridge 0-2 down.
Sven Sylvester (Trinity) teamed up with Gerald Wu (Selwyn) to win the second doubles match 6-3, 7-5. The Cambridge pair proved their mental strength at critical moments to win all six of the sudden-death deuces to stamp their authority. Barring a lapse at the start of the second set, Sylvester and Wu proved to be the better pair.
With the doubles matches split, there was plenty to play for in the singles matches. At no.1 singles, Markides made amends for his doubles loss with a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win. The Bristol opponent was completely outclassed and even relayed to his coach that he had run out of ideas.
Next up, Prossor was keen to put the disappointment of the doubles match behind him. He overcame a lull in the second set to defeat his Bristol opponent 6-1, 5-7, 6-0. Having played competitive tennis over the Easter break, Prossor was clearly on form and looks good for upcoming matches.
Unfortunately, Sylvester and Wu could not secure another singles victory. Sylvester came up against the Bristol no.3 who had an outstanding first serve percentage. Sylvester could not find his range on the return of serve and failed to take advantage of his opportunities at the business ends of both sets.
At no.4 singles, Wu was matched against a player with an identical playing style – grinding opponents down. The Bristol player took two injury time-outs but still outfoxed Wu in a 3-hour slugfest. The Cambridge player could not match his opponent’s increased intensity in the final set and lost 6-7(8), 7-6 (8), 1-6.
Cambridge can only take positives away from this tie considering most of the matches could have gone either way. They have to defeat LSE next week to stand a chance of gaining promotion.