Bourne are tie-break kings

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Bourne’s superior prowess in tiebreaks earned their top men’s tennis team a surprising but thoroughly-deserved 6-0 whitewash of Grantham A.

Playing at the top of the singles order, John Timson was faced with a tough match-up against a player ranked vastly higher, but he turned in a superb grass-court performance to scrape a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 victory.

Second seed Matt Hassall had to show similar resilience in his singles rubber against a highly-ranked opponent, recovering an early break to claim the first set with a one-sided tiebreak. However, despite starting the second set brightly, he slipped away as the Grantham player began to display his quality, and a late resurgence failed to yield a levelling break. In the third set, though, Matt matched John’s score despite some nerviness in closing out a 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 10-6 win.

In the third singles rubber, captain Clive Moody didn’t drop a game against his opponent while fourth seed James Westgate also found the grass much more suited to his game than Grantham’s as he secured a 6-2, 6-0 rout.

With the match already secured, the pressure was off in the doubles, but Clive and James maintained their high standards in a 6-1, 6-0 victory that never looked in doubt as they outclassed Grantham’s second pair.

John Matt fought claimed Bourne’s fourth tiebreak of the match and a solitary further break secured a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win to complete a very unlikely whitewash and confirm Bourne’s presence in the top flight for another year.