Eddie Harwood battles to men’s singles victory at Berkhamsted finals day

Eddie Harwood (left) beat Nick Brooks in the BLTSRC men's singles final
Eddie Harwood (left) beat Nick Brooks in the BLTSRC men's singles final

Finals day at Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club was a great success, with more spectators than ever enjoying the 20 matches.

As always, the main event of the day was the men’s singles final, where last year’s runner-up, Berkhamsted Elite Tennis Academy coach Nick Brooks, was up against 18-year-old BETA student Eddie Harwood.

Harwood emerged victorious, winning 6-4, 6-4, and he said: “For me, the match was about having confidence in my shots. After losing to Nick in two close sets in last year’s club tournament, I was determined to fight back and lift the trophy.

“It was a fabulous match with Nick’s best trick shot lifting the crowd into a roar! In the end I was very happy to get the win.

“I have been working hard this year and have got my LTA rating up to a 3.1, and in the upcoming months I will be competing in national and international men’s tournaments.”

The ladies’ singles title, meanwhile, was won by 16-year-old BETA student Anna Popescu who defeated first team captain and county player Jenny Webster.

Popescu said: “It was a good match against Jenny and I was very happy to get the win. I was pleased with my overall performance as I went out to dictate points, which I was largely able to do.

“This summer I am aiming to return to national and international tournaments after a couple of injury problems which sidelined me and I am looking to regain and improve my ITF international ranking which was formerly top-1,000.”

Harwood was also victorious in the men’s doubles with Brooks and in the mixed doubles with Popescu.

Not all the stars of the day were full-time tennis players, though. Duncan Heath found himself playing in four finals and was on court constantly from noon until almost 6pm, playing a total of 76 games in two doubles and two singles matches.

Judith Allnutt won her 18th ladies’ doubles title with Jenny Webster, while also winning the over 40 ladies’ doubles with Penny Kent.

Louise Rushton was delighted to win the ladies’ over 40 singles competition, while Wal Mackey and Tracey Mackey retained the over 45 mixed doubles title.

Steve Passmore defeated Paul Gardner in the over 45 men’s singles, and David Williamson was the victor in the over 60 men’s singles.

Raph Weedon won the men’s tier 1 singles and Mark Eggleton and Lucy Carmody took the drawn mixed trophy.

The prizes were presented by club trustee Sue Wolstenholme OBE, and The David Lidderdale Memorial Cup for Endeavour was awarded to Eddie Harwood.

He started playing with BETA once per week in 2008 until going full-time in 2012.

Over the last year he has increased his rating from 7.2 to 3.1 and has a junior international ranking of 1,400, which he is hoping to improve on even further next year.

He will be spending more time competing in Europe and on the Professional Futures circuit.

Meanwhile, BLTSRC is holding an open day on Sunday, June 29 from 11am to 3pm where any aspiring tennis, squash or racketball players are welcome to go along and have a game.