National Schools Rackets – almost done….

Writing this post is just extreme work avoidance…. I’m not even sure I will publish it but it sure beats marking my Y12 end of term Biology exams.

Eton is down to just one competitor on this the penultimate day of all competitions.  In the Foster Cup quarter-final Rory Giddins won 3-0 late last night after a busy day in Cambridge doing his university interviews.  He now has a semifinal this evening against Nico Hughes, the Pauline who beat Hector Hardman in what was by all accounts an impressive and high quality match. Unfortunately I missed Hector’s match due to being stuck on the M4 taking some boys back to school.  Hector has improved considerably this term and I have been more and more impressed with him.  He is developing some power in his ground-strokes (due to improved foot-positioning and dare I say it, strength) and I think he can develop into a real challenger for this title next season.  Lots of hard work ahead- in particular working on his aerobic fitness and endurance.

Salil Navapurkar has played well in the Renny Cup and continues to look a real prospect.  He has a brilliant match temperament and some powerful shots to boot and I hope he will challenge for a first pair position in the years ahead.  Rackets is great for his tennis development as it promotes footwork, hand-eye skills and volleying.  When you are used to hitting 130mph rackets balls, a well hit tennis shot still seems to afford lots of time….   Luke Pitman started his Renny match yesterday playing superbly but the consistency is not there just yet.  Luke has made big strides in improving his game this term and I think he can get better and better.  He will certainly be in the running for our Most Improved Player award next half if he keeps this progress up.

Another exciting tennis player, Louis Manson,  has also had a good week in the Jim Dear.  He has missed most of the term due to injury and so his preparations were restricted to just a week or so of play.  He won the first game in his semifinal yesterday against Julian O’Riordan from Tonbridge, and indeed outplayed him in these early stages.  Louis’ fitness was not quite up to scratch (understandable really after his long lay off) and gradually O’Riordan’s quality and class started to show.  Louis needs to learn to control (indeed eliminate ideally) his outbursts on court.  Nothing gives an opponent more self belief in what is a really challenging sport, to see the opponent screaming and shouting in disappointment.  But Louis can take real confidence from getting so close to beating the eventual winner… Again fitness and mobility will be the two keep things for him to work on in 2016…..

I hope Rory can keep Eton interest going into the Final day.  Right time to head off for another M4 journey!


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