London Youth Games 2016 report

On Sunday 29th May, the Ealing borough tennis team travelled to the National Tennis Centre to play in the qualifiers for the London Youth Games. Seven out of the eight players were members of West Middlesex Tennis Club and looked forward to representing their borough in Europe’s largest annual youth sports event. The Senior Team was made up of Sam Symes (Boys singles), Sophie Samhoun (Girls singles), Sophie Patterson and Udai Arneja (Mixed Doubles) and the junior team was made up of Barnaby Stewart (Boys singles), Alisa Maletkovic, Dan Samhoun and Aisha (Mixed Doubles). The junior team was looking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s team who won the whole event. Unfortunately they were unable to qualify for the finals but they did play some excellent tennis, especially Dan who won the MVP (Most Valuable player) award.

The senior team however did progress to the finals, winning every single one of their matches, beating Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth and Hillingdon all 3-0.

The finals were held at Redbridge Sports Centre and the Ealing team was drawn in a group with Croydon and Hackney. Unfortunately Udai could not play in the finals so Mark Miscevic replaced him; now the whole team was from West Mid. In the opening match against Hackney the team won all three of their sets, with Mark and Sophie P winning 6-0. Against Croydon the team also won all three of their sets, while only dropping two games in total. The Ealing team was through to the semi finals with a 15-0 winning ratio in sets.

In the semi-final the team played Wandsworth who had come second in their group. Sam lost his first match of the competition, but Sophie Samhoun continued her winning streak (she had not lost a match for the Junior team in their victory last year) so it was now down to Mark and Sophie Patterson, who won the match for Ealing with a 6-4 victory. The senior team was through to their first final. In the final the team played Hackney, a team that they had beaten just a few hours before. Hackney had changed their players around in the hope that they could get their revenge and it proved vital as Mark and Sophie Patterson’s unbeaten record came to an end. Sophie Samhoun won her match, but Sam could not do the same so the Ealing team lost 2-1. Overall it was a very successful few weeks for the West Mid players who very deservingly received their silver medals, especially for Sophie Samhoun who remained unbeaten in the London Youth Games and therefore winning her second MVP award. Hopefully the Ealing team can go one better by winning next year.

Sam Symes

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