Team: Ella Ramsay, Sonia Chiorean and Talya Curtis
The 10U Girls team travelled the short distance to Thame Tennis Club for the 2019 County Cup.
First up for the team was a fixture against Northants. The girls had warmed up really well and first on court was our number 3 Talya Curtis. After a slow start in which she lost the first set Talya started to get the better of her opponent by playing more aggressively and committing to her shots. She stayed playing bravely to get Oxfordshire off to a brilliant start with a 0-4 4-1 1-0(9). That wasn’t even going to be the closest tie break of the fixture. Ella Ramsay playing as number 1 came back from a difficult first set and produced some excellent attacking tennis to win her rubber 2-4 4-1 1-0(10). Sonia Chiorean put in a very composed performance to win her match comfortably 4-1 4-0 which meant that Oxfordshire won their first tie. Talya and Ella teamed up for the doubles fixture which Northants played very well to win 1-4 2-4.
The 2nd tie of the event pitted Oxfordshire against a well-supported South Wales team. Talya and Ella both faced tough opponents and they both put in spirited performances but couldn’t quite break them down. Talya lost 2-4 0-4 and Ella 0-4 1-4 but the scores didn’t reflect the quality of the matches.
This left Oxfordshire needing a win from number 2 player Sonia to stay in the tie. It was looking like Sonia had a great chance after a solid first set gave her a 4-2 lead but after losing her cool in the 2nd set the player from South Wales was able to fight back, winning the set 1-4. Sonia impressively composed herself before the match tie break and went back to hitting through the ball and took the tie break 10 -6 which kept the tie alive. This meant that if Oxfordshire could spring a surprise in the doubles they would take the match to a tie break shoot out. Sonia and Ella teamed up and as the last match on court really put on a great show. In the first set they came close but just lost out 3-5. They were instructed by Coach Tom Lambert to be brave with their volleys and to attack the ball when they were playing down the line and they both duly delivered taking the second set 4-1. The high quality continued in the match tie break but the experienced Welsh pair just snuck the win 3-5 4-1 6-10.
Day 2 was always going to be Oxfordshire’s toughest day as they were facing off against 2 of the toughest counties in the country. The team decided to keep to their mantra of hardwork, teamwork and learning.
First up were eventual Champions Hertfordshire. Ella and Talya both raised there playing level from day 1. Talya was playing with more power and accuracy and Ella put her opponent under real pressure in the 2nd set with some brave hitting. Unfortunately Herts were just to strong eventually winning 1-4 1-4 and 1-4 0-4. Performance of the day came from Sonia. Her goal was to use her routine on every point to stay calm and play brave. Despite her opponent playing really well, Sonia stuck to her goal and played some fantastic tennis. She very nearly caused an upset against her undefeated opponent, eventually losing 2-4 4-5.
The final match for Oxfordshire was against a very powerful Surrey team. Talya once again set the standard for effort and energy, but couldn’t quite get over the line to win a game. Her impressive opponent won 4-0 4-0. Ella also battled hard against a very strong athlete and once again caused her opponent problems but eventually lost 4-0 4-1. Sonia came closest to giving Oxfordshire a fighting chance in the fixture. She started the match with a positive attitude which helped her win the first set 4-1. She fought hard and defended well in the 2nd set but was struggling to stay calm enough to stamp her attacking tennis on the game and despite having a sudden death deuce match point, eventually lost the set 3-5. This put Oxfordshire in another match tie break and although Sonia worked incredibly hard to compose herself and to take it to the wire, the player from Surrey ran out a 4-1 3-5 8-10 winner.
It was a brilliant weekend with all the players sticking to the team goals of working hard, being a great team and making sure that they kept learning. We had great support from player’s families and Thame Tennis Club, who were fantastic hosts.