The University of Sheffield 1s 12-0 Leeds Beckett University 2s
Robin Williams once said tennis is like chess but at 90mph. Anything travelling that fast is difficult to stop.
The University of Sheffield Men’s 1s proved unstoppable against Leeds Beckett 2s, taking an early lead before easing to a 12-0 win. Likewise, Beckett 4s trounced Sheffield’s 2s by the same scoreline.
After last week’s massive 10-2 loss in York, it was crucial for the first team to set the tone from the start. They did.
By midday, captain Tom Dyakowski and Alex Wood flew through their doubles 6-1 6-0 and not too soon after Vilis Vitolis and Jack Heard eased to a 6-3 6-3 win.
Fortunately for Dyakowski his opponent pulled out through injury, granting the number one Sheffield seed a bye. In just two hours the home side had picked up three victories but wanted to prove a point, subsequently rubbing salt into the wound.
Wood’s performance (a 6-2 6-3 triumph) personified calmness and precision, striking the balls between the lines as they nestled into the draping curtains at the back of the court.
Hird’s singles victory (a 6-1 6-0 demolition) ticked the score over to 10-0 while Vitolis, after a gruelling first set, rounded off a successful day with a 6-4 6-0 win.
Vice-Captain Vitolis said: “I thought the firsts were expected to bounce back from our defeat against York last week so I was happy that all of the guys delivered today.”
“We won well, and I hope that will carry on to the last round of league matches, our cup quarter final and later in Varsity.”
Like the 1s, the 2s’ doubles matches were over by lunchtime, but Beckett took the driving seat and never took the foot off the accelerator.
Beckett, 16 points clear off the Sheffield second team, were always going to be a tough test. In six matches, two doubles and four singles, they dropped just 10 games.
Jack Kearton and Bradley Timmis were beaten 6-1 6-0, while Dan Earp and Josh Mitchell couldn’t find any foothold in their match and lost 6-1 6-2.
The high level of consistency in the away side’s performance throughout the afternoon singles never allowed the second team to breathe, let alone get back into the game.
Kearton put up the best fight but was outplayed and lost 6-2 6-1, while Earp’s inconsistency cost him on the big points, a score-line of 6-1 6-1 not an accurate reflection of the overall performance.
Timmis’ racket took the force of a tennis ball entering the atmosphere in his 6-1 6-1 defeat. From the other end of the court, all he could he could see from his opponent were mannerisms that would have made Russell Crowe proud in Gladiator.
When Mitchell suffered a double bagel defeat, hit 6-0 6-0, it rounded off a testing day in their second match back after the Christmas break.
Vitolis said: “It was a tough draw for the seconds, especially as there were new doubles pairings for us, but I’m happy to see improvements since their last matches against Beckett.”
The second side’s next match is against York Men’s 1s on February 22, while the first team will go up against UCLAN’s 1s for a place in the Northern Cup Conference semi-final seven days earlier.