On Wednesday February 23rd the Racquet Club played host to Tuxedo in the National League. Some fifty spectators were on hand to witness some top quality tennis. In the first match, Rob Whitehouse played Tony Hollins in what proved to be the match of the evening. Hollins came out very sharp taking the first set 6/4 and streaked in the second set to a 3/1 lead. Hollins mixed up a nice cocktail of retrieving, cutting the ball for length and smashing the odd force very effectively in the first hour or so of play. Whitehouse facing a large deficit gradually regained momentum, turning what had been a steady dose of net cords into a steady dose of meticulous length. Rob overcame a couple of match points in the second set (6/5) and remained the aggressor well into the third set eventually winning the match 6/3.

The second match brought former world number two Tim Chisholm against current world number two Steve Virgona. Virgona, fresh off a trip from down under in which he managed to win not two but three events (Australian Open Singles and Doubles and the World Championship Doubles) maintained his aggressive play with dangerous pace and precision. Chisholm (Tuxedo’s newly appointed head pro) did not find an answer for the smash and grab style Virgona was displaying until well into the second set. Virgona went on to win the match (6/0, 6/2), continuing his good play and eagerly looking forward to the US OPEN just a month way.

          The last match saw the competitors (Whitehouse and Virgona versus Chisholm and Hollins) square off in a fantastic doubles match. The rallies were very exciting with points that were long lasting despite the feverish pace. Chisholm really began exemplifying the incredible forcing and cut volley that got him so close to taking down Fahey a few years ago. Hollins also contributed a lot of steady play, particularly by volleying accurately and offensively at the galleries. Chisholm and Hollins played their way to an impressive win 8/4.

Philadelphia won the match overall 6-1 and put themselves in a great position to host the National League Final on May 4th. Thanks to all spectators and supporters who made the event such a success. 

Barney Tanfield