Ely Tennis Club's Wimbledon Open Day is a hit

A vintage photo of people playing tennis

A vintage photo of people playing tennis - Credit: Andrew Birely

Ely Tennis Club’s inaugural Wimbledon Open Day included an exhibition match with vintage rackets, social tennis for all, and a Wimbledon themed feast provided by Peacock’s Tea Rooms. 

Vintage tennis player drinking tea

Vintage tennis player drinking tea - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

The day got off to a flying start as Fiona 'the demon' Dyer and Jason 'give me more' Morley battled it out with 'handy' Andy Newman and Simon 'whip crack' Crick in the exhibition match, each brandishing a vintage wooden racket and sporting dazzling whites. 

Tennis players gather for group photo

Tennis players gather for group photo - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

And much to everyone's surprise - and mild disappointment - local raconteur, cad, bounder and lovable rogue Montague Smythe 'The Earl of Ely' sauntered in (late) to umpire...appallingly. 

Dyer eavesdrops on Newman and Cricks strategic planning

Dyer eavesdrops on Newman and Cricks strategic planning - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

An eventful match saw Dyer foot faulted 17 times by Smythe, resulting in a somewhat fruity court side altercation, and Crick being awarded three points for one of his deliciously devious aces. At one point, Smythe helped the ball over the net after a wayward return from Morley, and he was duly and deservedly reprimanded by Newman for the infraction. 

Players Crick and Smythe hamming it up

Players Crick and Smythe hamming it up - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

Tea was served in a timely fashion, just as things were descending into complete chaos under the un-watchful eye of Smythe, who had decided to pick some flowers. The china cups and saucers were very appropriate, and everyone agreed that scalding hot tea was just the ticket as temperatures soared. 

'Handy' Andy Newman winding up for one of her infamous Howitzer serves

'Handy' Andy Newman winding up for one of her infamous Howitzer serves - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

As play resumed ‘give me more’ Morley lived up to his name by taking things up a notch and putting Newman and Crick under some real pressure, backed up by the cunning Dyer. However, Newman and Crick did not waiver for long, and battled back with some shots that are best described as unorthodox. Unfortunately, by this time umpire Smythe had lost interest and track of the score, so the teams agreed that it was a draw, shook hands, and made for the shade. 

Vintage tennis players

Vintage tennis players - Credit: Ely Tennis Club

The match was played in an excellent spirit, and everyone promised that they would play again next year, unless they received a slightly better offer in the meantime. 

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After the match, other players made their way on court to try out the wooden rackets, before heading up to the EOSA bar for well-earned refreshments served by local legends Peacocks Tea Rooms.