Cambridge struggle in the 'Group of Death' at the European Champs.
The Blues Tennis 1sts were left cursing their luck at the European Champs last week. Having qualified for the European Collegiate Tennis Association Championship, they were placed in a ‘Group of Death’ which they were unable to escape.
The group, consisting of Leeds Met (BUCS Runners-up), Loughborough (European Champions) and Bath, proved too much of a hurdle to the Blues team, already hindered by an under-strength squad and lack of match preparation.
The first day’s play pitted Cambridge against Leeds Met ‘university’ and the vast difference in training regimes showed quickly, with the Cambridge team unable to take a set off of their Northern opponents.
Special mention to Captain Nick Jenkins for frustrating his internationally-ranked opponent into a near-complete breakdown, before succumbing 6-3 6-3.
The second day’s match against Loughborough followed a similar vein, but with each player able to impose themselves a bit more on their opponents. Notably Varsity hero RJ Lange, who pushed the talented Loughborough no.1 Jonny Kinsella all the way before losing 7-6 3-6 10-8 despite winning the second set with a double break.
Having now lost 2 matches, CULTC were determined to take home a victory against Bath on the third day. However, despite Jenkins and Legg turning the tables by not dropping a single game in their doubles, and Kenny Taubenslag outhitting his opponent until they were forced to retire, the team could not win the tie as a whole, losing 4-2 in matches.
This defeat was particularly tough to bear for Lange, who “would have won were he not so tired from the day before”, a sentiment many onlookers who had seen his performances, especially against Kinsella, agreed with.
CULTC therefore walked away from the competition empty-handed but having gained some match experience that may prove vital in the coming BUCS campaign.
The deflated team were amused by the response of former captain and old-blue John Western, who reminded them to look on the bright side, after all “Just remember who’s more employable!”.