10 Sep 2019
2018-2019 MCS Tennis Season Wrap Up

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10th September, 2019

Dear Parents,

We enjoyed an action packed 2018-2019 tennis season at MCS. In addition to the trips and events outlined below, students participated in a full fixture list including internal tournaments and friendly fixtures against local schools. Many groups benefited from competitive tournaments hosted by schools such as Eton and St George’s where students gained experience in both singles, doubles and mixed. Planning for the 2020 season is already underway however I am happy to share with you some of the highlights of the season.

Road to Wimbledon

Our 14U Road to Wimbledon event was a real success with 32 players entering the tournament. Simon Ukrainets and Zain Ali finished winner and runner up respectively and progressed to the County stage of the event. Simon Ukrainets went on to win the County stage and progressed to the Road to Wimbledon Final, held at the All England Club, Wimbledon between 11th & 18th August 2019. Simon did exceptionally well at the finals, finishing runner up in the doubles event. This is a fantastic achievement and an unforgettable experience for Simon.

Touch Tennis and Cardio Tennis - Creative Coaching

This season has seen students opting for tennis taking part in touch tennis tournaments and cardio tennis training. Younger and older students alike took to touch tennis enthusiastically, transferring their skills from the classic game onto a small court where control and quick reactions are essential. Our students cardio fitness was tested with some intense basket drills coupled with continuous yet competitive games where mistakes were costly, punished with additional fitness. All thoroughly enjoyed this ‘contrast week’ and have no doubt have reaped the benefits from these activities.

Real Tennis Success

Henry Henman has been competing at national level in real tennis, taking part in the Irish Real Tennis Open Championships over the 7th, 8th and 9th of June. He competed against competitors of all levels and ages. As the youngest participant, Henry’s semi-final was against a chap 66 years older than him but he overcame all opponents to win the event to be crowned Irish Real Tennis Open Champion 2019. Henry has won three events this year, British, French and Irish, an incredible achievement.

Henry Henman and George Herbert found success in the U14 National Schools Championships in March overcoming all opposition to be crowned champions. A fantastic achievement for the pair.

Northern tour

The U13 boys travelled with Miss Smith and Mr Tuck to the North of England competing against St Peter’s, York on the first evening, with a win for the B team and a loss for the A’s. The next day saw 12 boys compete in a tournament v Yarm School and The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle in driving rain. The boys were unfazed however and enjoyed a morning of competitive tennis. Another win for the B team raised spirits and a huge amount was learned for the A team players who stepped up against some of the top players in the North East in their age group. Our thanks for Yarm for hosting this tournament and well done to the MCS U13’s who represented the school superbly.

Barry Cowan – A Visit from an Ex Professional

On Thursday 13th June, MCS welcomed ex tennis professional Barry Cowan. Barry had a fantastic playing career, turning professional in 1991 and reaching a career high singles ranking of 162 and doubles ranking of 136 in the world. He has represented Great Britain in the Davis Cup and Olympic Games and was once the 3rd best male tennis player in the UK. Our students attended an informative seminar, taking part in a Q and A session regarding his 11 year career on the ATP tour. Mr Cowan then put the U14 team players through their paces with a focus on doubles play before challenging our senior players. It was a brilliant and inspiring day which we hope the boys thoroughly enjoyed.

Oxford Sports Tennis Club Men’s Fixture

On Saturday 22nd June, MCS hosted Oxford Sports Men’s Tennis 1st and 2nd teams. The MCS senior boys took on these experienced doubles players in a thrilling fixture which saw both teams reach 3-3 before the final 3 sets. MCS 1st VI were close to clinching the victory but lost a tightly fought final round to finish 4-5. MCS 2nds finished 3-6. It was a pleasure to watch this fixture unfold on the School Field grass courts, with the Oxford Sports men showing our boys a thing or two about how doubles should be played. On this occasion experience won but we look forward to more tightly contested fixtures in the future.

U15 Tennis Festival

The U15 Tennis Festival took place on 16 courts at MCS on Wednesday 26th & Thursday 27th June 2019. There were 32 players from 8 schools that took part and the standard was exceptional. The final was won on a sudden death point by the Warwick number 1 player. The MCS players competed fiercely and thoroughly enjoyed the event with Felipe Stervid, our highest place finisher ending up in 3rd place.

Local League Results

Magdalen College School entered teams into the Year 7&8 and Year 9&10 LTA Schools Leagues. These teams initially play in the County stage of the event, with the winning teams in each division progressing to the Regional stage of the competition in September. MCS have had a brilliant season with our A & B teams winning the Year 7&8 Boys Oxfordshire Division 1 and Division 2 respectively and our A team winning the Year 9&10 Boys Oxfordshire Division 1. Our B team finished runners up in the Year 9&10 Oxfordshire Division 2. It is great to have 3 teams heading into the regional stage of the competition and they are looking forward to the upcoming fixtures.

MCS Internal Tennis Tournament

U12 and U13 C and D team players enjoyed an internal MCS tennis tournament on Saturday 22nd June. 24 boys were divided into 4 teams and took part in a round robin event where only 2 points decided final placings. The amount that these boys have progressed throughout the term became evident with long rallies and tactical net play on all courts. Boys conducted themselves superbly and displayed supportive and positive behaviour. More tournaments like this will be staged next season in the hope that an increasing number of players will take the opportunity to experience tournaments and match plays. Well done to all who took part.

Hosting Bishops College, Cape Town

The senior boys were faced with another challenge on Monday 24th June, yet one equally as enjoyable and impressive to watch against a touring side, Bishops College from Cape Town. The visitors had prepared themselves with tough opposition around the South of England, including Tonbridge, Milfield and Rugby School. They were well rehearsed. MCS boys stepped up to the task superbly with 3 close doubles, 1 win and 2 losses. In the singles, Josh Wierszycki came out on top with a sensational tiebreak win. Captain Max Chopping pushed his opponent to play his very best tennis, hardly missing from the back and losing a very close set to a hugely experienced player. Krishan Badiani, Felipe Stervid, Roly Belton and Alex Moyse all contributed high level tennis on what turned out to be a picture perfect evening of tennis on School Field. Thank you to Bishops College for travelling and providing such a good opposition team.

ISTA Overview

MCS took an U18 Boys, U18 Girls, U15 Boys A, U15 Boys B, U13 Boys A and U13 Boys B teams to the Independent Schools Championships at Eton College on the penultimate weekend of trinity term. All of the best independent schools in the UK take part in this prestigious event, a superb way to finish the year. Our U18 Boys finished the season exceptionally, reaching the last 16 of the event only to lose out to Bradfield College in a shootout. This was the furthest an MCS Senior team had progressed since 1976. All teams gained a huge amount of experience and thoroughly enjoyed their days in the tournament.

The Wimbledon Championships, 2019

Max Habsburg and Kerry Smith accompanied a group of 10 students to The Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday 10th July. Students were selected for their commitment and impeccable attitude towards the school tennis programme. What a day to enjoy top level tennis with Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all in action. From 11am until 7.30pm both students and staff alike soaked up the atmosphere of this fantastic venue. All involved had a superb day.

Florida, 2020

We are very excited to be launching the Florida, 2020 tennis tour to the Tampa Tennis Academy at Saddlebrook Resort in early July for 10 days. Tennis players will take part in the Hopman Tennis Programme which offers coaching for players of all ages and ability levels. This includes 5 hours of on court coaching: 3 hours of drills, points play and fitness in the morning followed by match play and drills in the 2 hour afternoon session.

As well as the tennis and other activities, we intend to include two full day excursions to Universal Studios and Busch Gardens, although these are subject to change. Other options include the Walt Disney World parks and the Florida Everglades. Letters with further information are available in the sports office or do email Miss Smith with any questions.

Finally, a sincere thanks go to all who were involved in the running of the tennis 2019 season. To MCS tennis coaches who have given up a huge amount of time to commit to fixtures as well as everyone who works in the background to allow the programme to run smoothly. Our thanks also to parents who drive students to fixtures and come along to support.

Organisation is already underway for the 2020 tennis season at MCS and we hope to build on a very successful season.

Best wishes,

Miss Kerry Smith & Mr David Tuck