Last weekend's BUCS Teach First Doubles Tennis Championships saw history being made by the University of Nottingham Tennis club with the #GreenandGold putting in two days of fantastic performances. Travelling to The Shrewsbury Club in Shropshire, the Nottingham contingent included entrants into both the men's and women's competitions, taking on the best of UK university tennis.
The women's tournament included Nottingham entrants Emma Sawkings and Lotti Mészáros, as well as the team of Anisha Sood and Angela Halton. Sawkings and Mészáros entered the tournament as the four seeds and would move into the quarter finals with a 2-0 win in round two, and they would be joined by Sood and Halton who breezed throught the first two rounds only dropping three sets. However, in the quarter finals both would unfortunately exit the competition as Sood and Halton would come up against the three seeds, whilst Sawkings and Mészáros would lose a very close tie-breaker against the fifth seeds.
In the sixty-four team men's tournament, the University of Nottingham saw the pair of Tom Hands and Caleb Chakravarthi enter as the number two seeds, whilst Nottingham's pairs of Patrick Foley and Reuben Shahidullah, and Arran Trainor and Jamie Crowfoot also represented the university. All three put in fantastic performances in the early rounds of the competition to progress to the semi finals without dropping a set. With the three Nottingham teams in the semi finals, the University were already guaranteed some medals, but it would mean that two of the pairs would face each other for a place in the final, with the prospect of an all Nottingham final.
It would be Crowfoot and Trainor who would take on their club mates Hands and Chakravarthi in the Nottingham semi final, and a close first set saw both teams going toe-to-toe with Hands and Chakravarthi taking it 7-5. Pushing on from this first set victory, the duo would continue with the confidence and earn a place in the final with a 6-1 second set win. Despite the defeat, Crowfoot and Trainor's fine efforts would earn them a bronze medal. In the other semi final, unfortunately for Patrick and Reuben the duo would retire from their contest against Ewan Moore and Liam Hignett of the University of Stirling, eliminating the possibility of a guaranteed gold and silver medal for Nottingham. However, as with Arran Trainor and Jamie Crowfoot, their performances would deservedly merit a bronze.
With these semi-final results, the gold medal match saw Nottingham's Tom Hands and Caleb Chakravarthi take on Stirling's Moore and Hignett. The match looked to be one step too far for the Nottingham pair as their opponents would take a 1-6 set victory to open the match, but Hands and Chakravarthi regrouped and dug deep to fire back with their own 6-2 set victory to tie the match at one-set apiece and would force a final tie-break decider with the first team to 10 points winning the match. Buoyed by their spirited fightback in the second set, Hands and Chakravarthi continued their momentum all the way to the top step of the podium and a gold medal, winning 10-1 and the match 2-1.
As they claimed their gold medals, the duo had made history becoming the first men's Nottingham representatives to win the BUCS Doubles Championships. Congratulations to both on this landmark achievement. On the victory, Tom Hands said; "It was a really fun weekend playing with Caleb, could not have got much better and stamping our names in the history books was the cherry on top!" Club president Arran Trainor and bronze medallist added; "The Club and I are immensely proud of Tom and Caleb’s historic achievement. They have integrated flawlessly into UoN Tennis family and epitomise what it is to be a student-athlete. This title rewards the incredible support the programme has had from the University over the past couple of decades, and I am sure this is only the beginning of what is to come. Keep an eye out - this year is going to be special."
Tom Hands and Caleb Chakravarthi – 1st Place
Reuben Shahidullah and Patrick Foley – 3rd Place
Arran Trainor and Jamie Crowfoot – 3rd Place
Emma Sawkins and Lotti Mészáros - Quarter final
Anisha Sood and Angela Halton - Quarter final
To find out more about the Performance Tennis programme at the University of Nottingham please click here.
Posted on Wednesday 23rd November 2022