It was a very exiting weekend for the PTC team as the group headed to Belgium to compete in the massive touchtennis Grand Slam £1000 Belgium event in Leuven. The tournament lived up to the pre-competition hype and expectation, delivering an amazing day full of outstanding touchtennis. Eight of the PTC team made their way over to Belgium including, Ashley, Macca, Ben, Harry, John, Steve, Scott and Tasha.
All eyes were on Macca in the first round as he had a huge mountain to climb in the world number 7, Elliot Seabrook! The match turned out to be one of the best in the tournament, great shots, fantastic points and lots of big drama. Seabrook took the first and second set, playing great touchtennis. Macca found a second wind and scraped his way back into it by winning the next two sets making it 2-2. With the match on a knife edge it all came down to the final set. With the huge crowd becoming more vocal and the pressure increasing, Seabrook turned on the style to steal the victory.
Tasha and Scott also unfortunately fell at the first hurdle with defeats from Matt Golledge world number 22, and Peter Leatherbarrow, a first timer from Belgium. Both Scott and Tasha played well but came up against two very good opponents.
The first round also produced a lively PTC match-up between Harry ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ Harris and Steve 'Heavy Metal' Greenwood. The pair went out both feeling confident, but it was Harry who took the victory in straight sets, however it wasn’t as easy as it looked with the score finishing 5-3, 4-2, 4-2.
Ben also joined Harry in reaching round 2, where unfortunately both were knocked out in straight sets by Elliot Seabrook (7) and Jamie Sacchi (10). Although both players fought hard, this proved one step to far and they couldn’t get past these strong players.
Ashley and John both performed exceptionally well in the early rounds progressing into the round of 16, with the tournament appearing promising for them both to gain some valuable ranking points, especially John who started the tournament as world number 87.It was John who fell at the next hurdle, losing to PTC nemesis Elliot Seabrook (7) in straight sets. Overall it was an outstanding tournament for John who gained some valuable experience and ranking points along the way.
Ashley managed to progress to the quarters with a 3-1 win over world #10, Jamie Sacchi. All the pressure now lay on Ashley’s shoulders to return to Portsmouth with the big trophy. Going toe to toe against the world number 5 Adam Hassan, the pair battled it out on the court for an hour and a half. The match was of the highest quality, featuring drama and outstanding points along the way, Ashley took the first set, lost the next two with a sudden death deciding point. He won the fourth taking the match to a deciding set but unfortunately ran out of steam.
The tournament was later won by world number 1, Elliott Mould, taking a tense final to ease past Alex Bull (4) in straight sets. Mould’s status in the game continues to rise, with his unbeaten run from August 2015 now extending.
Now onto the doubles with the pairings of: Harry and Ashley, Macca and Ben, John and Jodie, Steve and Scott, Tasha and Karl Davies. The doubles luck for the PTC looked like it had run out as 3 of the 5 pairings were knocked out in the first round, John and Jodie, Steve and Scott and Tasha It was Macca and Ben and Harry and Ashley who progressed into the second round. Unfortunately it was Macca and Ben who lost their match to Jamie Sacchi (10) and Matt Golledge (22). Harry and Ashley made it through to the They came up against Adam Hassan (5) and Ed Ellis (9) and came up short against the pair who made it to the final to face off against Matt Golledge (22) and Jamie Sacchi (10). It was Golledge and Sacchi who took the trophy home with them after a fantastic final.
There was some success as Macca took the consolation trophy home, after playing some great tennis and coming up against some tough opponents.Overall it was a fantastic weekend full with lots of great fun and laughs and you will definitely be seeing us back their next time! All of the players had a fantastic time and will definitely be thinking of doing it again next year!
Report by Harry Harris.