VP champs tradition still alive and well
IT IS time for the annual Victoria Park Tennis Club championships and, although the number of entries may be lower than in previous years, the spirit of the event is alive and well.
Chairman Dave Emslie said they were determined to continue the heritage of the championships, which could easily fall away with the decline in membership numbers.
“The club has been running since 1926 and we want to perpetuate and respect that history,” he said.
“Uniquely, we have a family playing, with Jayne Turner, a legend in South African tennis, her husband Brian, who has greatly improved over the years, and their son Tristan, who looks like Brian and plays like Jayne.”
Jayne and Tristan will pair up in the mixed doubles, with father and son taking a shot at the men’s doubles title.
Tristan said he had entered the championships to encourage club support.
“I love tennis and events like this keep the club going, and maintain the spirit of the sport,” the 26-year-old said.
The Turners are not the only family involved in the tournament, which takes place tomorrow and on Sunday.
Peter Sale and his son Michael are the No 1 seeds in the men’s doubles event. Both will also play in the singles and are in opposite sides of the draw.
Emslie said members of the public were welcome to watch the finals on Sunday. Play starts at 9am.
THERE is sure to be plenty of excitement when the Wembley club championships conclude this weekend, with a number of fascinating contests on the cards.
A club which has been full of innovations in recent years, the Wembley committee have shown their commitment to keeping club tennis alive by reviving the championships, which are being held for the first time in 17 years.
Having kicked off on September 23, the event will draw to a conclusion on Sunday, but there are a few matters to be settled before then.
As befitting a club which excelled in the men’s premier league this year, the men’s singles has produced some keen competition.
An important quarterfinal match takes place this afternoon when Joel Pretorius takes on Grey High pupil Luke Stewart. They will be playing for a spot in tomorrow’s semifinal against Edmund Drake.
The other men’s singles semifinal will pit old war horses Richard Bulbring and Helgard Zietsman against each other.
Perhaps better known as a coach, Bulbring is no slouch on the court, but he will need all his wits to subdue the acumen Zietsman has picked up after decades of competing in league tennis.
In the women’s singles, Gerda Botha is through to the final, where she will play the winner of the other semifinal, between Caitlyn Zietsman, daughter of Helgard, and Paula Murray.
Sunday’s finals will begin with the women’s championship match at 9am, while the men’s showdown is scheduled for 10.30am. – Neale Emslie
FAMILY AFFAIR: The Turner family who will be competing in the Victoria Park Tennis Club championships this weekend are, from left, Jayne and Brian, and son Tristan