The Walmer Open week, the unofficial Tennis Championships of East Kent, hosted at the grass courts of the Walmer Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Archery Square, took place over the week ending 31st July 2016. The Walmer Open has been an established feature of Kent Tennis since 1903.

The Club ran a total of 16 events ranging from the Men’s/Ladies Singles to the Over 75’s Men’s doubles.

A total of 150 players participated in this magnificent tournament in which a total of 232 matches were played over the week.

The quality of the tennis on throughout the week was superb, which was noticeably in evidence on finals day. The finals were played in magnificent weather before a crowd of well over 100 spectators. It was a particularly successful week for Peter Stewart from Middlesex (a first time entrant) who reached the final of the Open Men’s Singles and won the Over 45’s Singles and Doubles’ Events. Ben Abbott from Canterbury is to be congratulated for winning the Open Singles for the first time in a match of the highest quality. The Ladies Singles was won by Teigan Aitken, a young starlet from Canterbury, who also captured the Mixed Doubles crown with Nick Hubble in a very tight encounter with Thomas Pullen & Caroline Griffiths (4-6, 6-2, 6-4).

The “old boys” produced a nail biting final in the over 75’s doubles event, with Phil Pretty & Derek Taylor succeeding over David Clements & Lionel Hoskins 7-6, 2-6, 11-9.

The Walmer pairing of Sue Boffey & Sally Holmes prevailed in the Ladies’ Doubles over the Tunbridge Wells pairing of Mary Elder & Sarah Luckhurst and the Hubble brothers (Tom & Nick) entertained the excellent crowd with a match of the very highest quality in the Men’s Doubles Final to beat Ben Abbott & Dave Jailler in three sets.

The Courts were up to their usual “Wimbledon” standard and a special thank you goes to John Cresswell for ensuring the club enjoys a playing surface of the highest quality.

Full results of the finals are as follows:

The Club ran a total of 16 events ranging from the Men’s/Ladies Singles to the Over 75’s Men’s doubles.

A total of 151 players participated in this lovely tournament. A total of 233 matches were played over the week - the courts were magnificent and they stood up very well to the constant use; one of the participants commented that “they were the best grass courts in Kent and equal to those at Wimbledon!”

The weather played its part. Although generally good during the week, Saturday was a “wash out”, pushing the finals to Sunday for the first time in a few years.

The quality of the tennis on throughout the week matched the excellent courts and the good crowd enjoyed some particularly fine matches on finals day.

2016 was a year in which youth prevailed. In a battle of the Canterbury belles, 15 year old Tiegan Aitken retained her Ladies’ Singles crown with a fine victory over Teele Annus. Tiegan also prevailed in the Ladies’ Doubles with a young French starlet, Antoinette Chastang, in a thrilling match over Charlotte and Amie Tonkiss, two young sisters from Palm Bay.

Ben Abbott from Canterbury retained his Men’s Singles title in a tight match over 19 year old Tom Pullen.

Experience prevailed in the Men’s Doubles, with local boy Graham Semadeni, partnering Michael Keckes, nicking it in a quality three setter over the evergreen Cannon brothers (Nigel and Simon).

The mixed doubles was again the turn of the youngsters with Matt Brears and Teele Annus winning in a thrilling match against Ben Abbott and Tiegan Aitken.

The quality of tennis in the veteran events was also of a high standard. Nigel Cannon was pipped by Peter Stewart from London in a marathon three set match in the over 45 men’s singles. Nigel teamed up with Graham Semadeni and secured his revenge in the over 45s Men’s doubles when beating the London pair of Peter Stewart and Brian Moleshead in another three set match, making it nine sets in the day for a visibly weary Nigel.

There was also success for Walmer member Robin Reid who prevailed in the Men’s over 45’s plate event.

Full results of the finals are as follows:

EventWinnersRunner's UpScore
Men's SinglesBen AbbottTom Pullen6-2, 6-4
Ladies' SinglesTiegan AitkenTeele Annus6-0, 6-2
Men's DoublesGraham Semadeni+Michael KeckesNigel & Simon Cannon0-6, 6-4, 6-4
Ladies' DoublesTiegan Aitken+Antoinette ChastangAmie & Charlotte Tonkiss6-4, 6-3
Mixed DoublesMatt Brears+Teele AnnusBen Abbott+Tiegan Aitken6-3, 7-6
Men's 45 SinglesPeter StewartNigel Cannon6-1, 5-7, 6-3
Men's Singles PlateJames WrightBen SharpWalk over
Ladies' Singles PlateMary CannonAnna Fitzmaurice6-2, 7-6
Men's 45 Singles PlateRobin ReidSimon Wates6-2, 6-3
Mixed Doubles HCKeith Clark+Sally HolmesRichard Bancroft & Sonja Morgan6-5,4-6,10-3
Men's 45 DoublesNigel Cannon+Graham SemadeniBrian Moleshead+Peter Stewart6-7, 7-6, 6-3
Ladies' 50 DoublesGill Dickey+Anne GibbsMary Cannon+Myra Hunter6-2, 6-1
Men's 55 DoublesKeith Clark+Bob WhiteheadBrian Moleshead+Laurence Harding6-4, 6-2
Ladies' 60 DoublesMary Cannon+Myra HunterElke Gardner+Akison Meakin7-5, 7-6
Men's 65 DoublesKeith Clark+Ray MurrayGeoff Cannon+Brian Robinson6-2, 6-7, 6-4
Men's 75 DoublesDavid Clements+Derek TaylorCharlie Coish+George Buckmaster7-6, 6-4

Andrew Gregory
Tournament Organiser