Solent men’s tennis fall to rivals University of Southampton

By Chris Elliott

Solent Men’s in singles action against University of Southampton

SOLENT MEN’S tennis first team fell to a dramatic 4-3 loss against rivals University of Southampton Seconds in a tie filled with drama.

Henry Lidington’s side – unbeaten in the BUCs league – fell short again in the cup, although it was an improvement on last years 4-2 loss to Bournemouth’s 2nd’s.

Solent were unchanged from the last league match against UWE with Lidington, Ryan Broady, Sam Gatford, Tom Flynn, Chris Elliott and Daniel Bradly all making the cut.

The tie kicked off with doubles action with Broady & Gatford falling just short 7-6 6-4 to Uni of Southampton’s Jingxiao Xu and Charles Poland. Elsewhere Elliott and Bradly were still yet to record their first win with a 6-4 6-3 loss.

In singles Solent’s captain Lidington fought off a back injury but fell to number one seed Jingxiao Xu 6-2 7-6.

Gatford managed to see off his opponent Luca Rotaru 1-6 6-3 10-6, to keep Solent’s cup hopes alive.

Broady also managed to win his singles rubber, his first singles win of the season seeing off Charles Poland in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.

The man who really stole the show was Tom Flynn who managed to battle past Michael Southall 2-6 6-1 and then won 13-11 in the championship tiebreak.

It seemed only right a rival match of this level went to a decider, after some discussion it was decided that two championship tiebreak singles matches would be play out and also a doubles.

Team captain Lidington kicked off the proceedings, but unfortunately failed to get past Xu with a 10-3 loss, Flynn produced another heroic victory again beating Poland this time 10-8.

Despite Flynn’s heroics it just wasn’t to be with Broady and Gatford tasting their first defeat of the season losing 10-5 in their doubles decider.

Flynn, though, remains confident and said; “To get that win was just sublime. The pressure on me to win that singles was massive and I just had to get my head down and grind out each point.”

“In terms of this season we have high hopes of getting promoted. So far we are unbeaten in the league and are heading into a crucial match with Exeter next Wednesday.”