The last weekend of June saw the Oxford lawn tennis club travel to Cambridge for their annual varsity fixture. Ten teams headed to Fenner’s, home of Cambridge University’s side, for a sunny weekend of competition.
The men’s 5th team had a good weekend, with some well-fought wins on the first day, notably Thomas Moss, who came from match point down in the second set to win six games in a row, and then the following set, providing a glorious victory for the dark blues. They went into the second day with a 7-2 match lead, and continued the success, with the doubles pair of Harry Orrin and Justin Kenny coming from 5-1 down in the second set to produce a 6-2, 7-5 win. The team finished the competition with a 18-3 victory over the Tabs, the widest margin of victory for Oxford throughout the whole weekend.
M3 had a tough competition, fielding only six players to Cambridge’s eight. Dan Farooq notably played all his matches despite having a tennis elbow injury, but overall the team only won two out of their twenty-one matches, with victories in the singles from Thomas Griffiths and in the doubles from Mark Brooke and Daniel Heathcote.
For W5, it was a momentous year, marking their first ever Varsity match. At the end of the first day, they led 5-4, including convincing singles wins from Laura Bailey and Nicole Rosenfeld, but unfortunately on Sunday, the Cambridge side fought back leading to a narrow loss of 11 matches to 10. Elsewhere, M4 had more luck with their results, opening the weekend with a collection of straight set victories including from Matt Calow and David Heathcote, and a superb set of matches leading to a victory over the Tabs of 16-5. W3 also had a successful weekend, winning 15 out of their 21 matches, and bringing Oxford’s wins up to three.
In the blues matches, which took place in London, Oxford failed to gain a decisive grip over Cambridge; the men’s side won a third of their matches, coming away with a 7-14 defeat, and the women’s team mirrored that result, with 7 wins to 14 losses. Other results from the weekend included a 9-12 loss for M2, a 4-17 loss for W2 and a narrow 10-11 defeat for W4, meaning Oxford came away from the weekend with three wins and seven losses.
Overall then, a disappointing result for the dark blues, but the players fought some excellent matches, with some narrow losses over the course of the weekend, and the side came away with renewed determination to reclaim victory next year on home turf.