2008 Tournament Results

After weeks of glorious sunshine, the 2018 Annual Invitation Tournament was played in rather more typical British weather - a shock, perhaps, to the visiting teams from Harvard and Yale. Friday's singles came to an abrupt halt as a ferocious squall rolled in from the marsh (right), sending the players scuttling for shelter. Strong winds and lashing rain brought a washout to Sunday, but on Monday morning the skies cleared and the competitors took to the courts again. The men's final pitted last year's runner-up Lewis Burton (top right) against Jean Thirouin (right), the sole surviving member of the Harvard and Yale team, and some powerful serving and volleying from Burton this year won him the title. In the ladies' singles, the British were unable to match the power and skill of the young US players, who came through to meet each other in the semi-finals and then the final. In a hard-fought match, Yale's Sam Martinelli (right) defeated Harvard's Erica Oosterhout (far right) to take the cup. In the ladies' doubles final, Martinelli and Oosterhout again took to the court, with British team-mates Anna Craigen and Rowena Edington, a close contest which brought a second win for Martinelli alongside her partner Craigen. The men's doubles saw some great play from singles semi-finalist Oscar Podlewski, partnered by sixteen-year-old Oscar Weightman (far right), versus the 2017 winners Mark Hadley and Lewis Burton. Culminating in a nerve-jangling tie-break, Hadley and Burton just got their noses ahead to repeat last year's victory. In the last match of the tournament, the mixed doubles final, Podlewski this time joined forces with Kent county player Sarah Cantlay to take on Harvard's Logan Weber partnering Queen's Club team member Annabel Watson. With no sign of running out of steam, Podlewski at last came out on top as he and Cantlay powered their way through to clinch the title for a second year.
The Junior Tournament brought together young competitors from all corners of the UK, as well as fielding a strong local turn-out. Will Bearcroft - from Ewhurst Green - came through to win the singles against Manu Van Linden, before storming on to further victory in the mixed doubles with Araminta Knight from Burwash. In the boys' doubles, Guy Baxter-Felton from Wadhurst teamed up with Rye member Ben Fox to take the title after doing battle with Kasper Bottle and Felix Dear, in matching green hats. In the girls' doubles, Rolvenden resident Minty Loxton-Barnard joined forces with Abbie Willett to defeat sisters Darcy and Bay Holloway from Southfields in London. 
In the Closed Tournament, the ladies's singles pitted Kate Bearcroft (mother of the winning Will) against Penny Stephens - a win for Stephens - before the two joined forces to power their way to victory in the ladies' doubles. In the men's singles, the last-minute withdrawal of Scott Brotherton - the winner for many years - left the coast clear for 2017 runner-up Richard Pratt to overcome George McDonald in a close final. Pratt teamed up with Bob Thomson in the doubles, but the pair were overcome by the strength and skill of Tom Henley and Sam Kille in a hard-hitting match.
The Farmer Tournament, an invitation mixed doubles, was played in good spirits on a hot Sunday with the previous day's singles winner, Richard Pratt, joining Katie Menzies to come through against Peter Ludgate and Debbie Robinson. The trophy was presented by Jane Farmer (bottom right).To round off the tournament season, the under-35s faced each other as usual in a day-long tournament and the Two Generation Tournament enjoyed sunny weather on Sunday 2 September.
Next year's Annual Tournament will be held from 2-5 August with the juniors following on from 7-9 August.