Arctic tennis conditions!

The last two weeks have seen Sidmouth Tennis Club venture forth in near arctic conditions, writes Lesley Cranston.

The team made the trek to Okehampton where the wind off Dartmoor and intermittent thin rain made for chilly play. The two mixed matches brought wins for Sidmouth; Richard Davies and Hilary Caldwell coming through in straight sets, whilst Peter Fung and Lesley Cranston needed the tie break to secure their victory.

The doubles pairings saw a reversal of fortunes with Cranston and Caldwell losing in the tiebreak and Fung and Davies going down in straight sets to a strong men’s doubles pairing. The result, a genuine draw on all counts, 5-5 on points, 44-44 in games; honours truly even.

February saw temperatures plummet but, undaunted, Sidmouth Ladies attired for the ski slopes in hats, gloves and innumerable layers, travelled to Lympstone wondering if it would be tennis on ice.

The opposition lead pair dominated the net and proved too strong for sisters Vivienne Bess and Hilary Caldwell who went down in two well-contested sets. Forearmed with this knowledge, Lesley Cranston and Mary Dean battled to find a way through the Lympstone armoury and Dean’s lobs proved a decisive factor in obtaining a win in two hard-fought sets. Both Sidmouth couples defeated the other pairing in straight sets, overall result 6-2 in Sidmouth’s favour.

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With two matches cancelled due to weather, the ladies’ team were pleased to be able to complete a home match against Exeter University last Monday night. In comparatively balmy conditions, the team of Vivienne Bess (captain), Di Kendall-Torry, Debbie Snelgrove and Lesley Cranston had a convincing 8-0 win over the students.

This leaves Sidmouth Ladies topping their league with just one match outstanding. For further information about the club visit

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