Chichester tennis final is one of the all-time classics

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Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club staged their annual closed senior and junior tennis championship finals.

More than 80 members – with the men’s singles in particular having a high number of entrants – took part in the five main events, which also included the ladies’ singles, ladies’ doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

The junior championships were staged at the same time.

Matt Hine and Rowan Smithson played Tiago Carvalho and Lee Strange in the men’s doubles plate final. Hine & Smithson came through 7-5, 6-0 winners.

Matthew Spencer defeated Julian Standish in the 12 and under event. Later he won the 14 and under prize, beating brother Luke in the final.

The much-anticipated men’s singles final was watched by a huge number of spectators.

Four-time winner of the title, No1 seed and defending champion Sam Kilhams, played 15-year-old rising star Ben Horton. Both players represent Sussex and play in the club’s men’s first team.

The first set was dominated by big serves from both players. Kilhams and Horton traded aggressive ground strokes from the baseline.

The very tight first set was decided on a tie-break, Horton saving set point to take it 8-6.

Horton seized the initiative at the beginning of the second set by breaking Kilhams’ serve in the opening game. The second set followed a similar pattern but Horton showed maturity beyond his years to clinch it 6-4.

It was acclaimed to be one of the best finals seen at the club for a long time - without doubt these two young aces will have many more battles over the coming year.

Katica Robertson, defending her title for the fourth time, played Gill Horsey and won the first of her 3 titles of the day 6-1, 6-0 in the women’s final.

The men’s doubles main final proved enthralling as Chris Nicholls and Justin Pollard, the defending champions, took on younger pairing Kilhams and Mat Worden in a repeat of last year’s final.

Nicholls and Pollard took the first set 7-5 before Kilhams and Worden won the second 6-3 and took the match with a 6-4 third-set win.

Other 2011 champions successfully defended their titles – Sue Foott and Katica Roberston beat fellow team members Louise Knight and Phillippa Harrison in the ladies’ doubles.

Robertson returned for the mixed doubles final. She and Justin Pollard took on the Worden siblings Molly and Mat in a repeat of last year’s final.

They showed great determination to take the title 6-2, 6-4. Tony French, the club president, presented the prizes.

Other results: Ladies’ singles plate: Debbie Draper bt Alexi Stuart; Mixed doubles plate: Shaz Morris & Tony Spooner bt Debbie Berry & Graham Coles; Men’s singles plate: Matt Hine bt Simon Toft; Boys’ 16 &

under: Oliver Troy bt Pierre Wills Packer; Boys’ 12 & under plate: Will Brown bt Henry Daffern; Girls’ 14 & under: Emily Dodd bt Hannah Emerson; Girls’ 14 & under plate: Amy Wright bt Charlotte Terry; Girls’ 16 & under: Lara Spirit bt Rosie Crampin; 16 & U mixed doubles: Rosie Crampin/Harry Spirit bt Charlotte Margarson/Will Futcher.