Saturday, August 11, 2007

South London 

Check out the new South London Tennis League website...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Willcocks powers to 4-2 in South London League win over Withey
They billed it the race of the rookies, the nemesis of the newbies, the war of the Ws: the much awaited South London League encounter bewteen unranked newcomers Willcocks and Withey. In balmy sunshine, the match took place at Magdalen Park.

Willcocks got out to an early 6-0 lead, exploiting lively balls and too many unforced errors and double faults by his opponent and amassing points with whipped passes and deft angles. Having surrendered the first set, Withey go stuck in. Breaks were traded early on as Withey took a 2-1 lead. Then regular service was resumed and Willcocks ran out with the second set 6-4.

"Not a very good day at the office," said top city lawyer Withey. Willcocks was the only of the pair who showed up with sunglasses, providing vaulable support as the sun beat down.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Magdalen pair battle South London League match in the sunshine: Willcocks nicks it 6-3, 6-0
Gavin Rose and Roger Willcocks thrashed it out in the hottest day of the year so far in a nail-biting thriller. Well, nearly. In a game characterised by double faults, unforced errors and downright inconsistency, Willcocks hung in there long enough to take the three points. Strange how it goes, though. Willcocks won the first five games, Rose won the next three and Willcocks won the final seven.
Maybe there's a mental aspect to this game. "I wondered why he took his baseball cap off at one end ad tightened his shoe laces from time to time," said a perplexed Rose.

Magdalen shocked by Bill Buah's no show
Some claim he's done it before. Some say he's badly organised. Some say he's a pain in the arse. Whatever. At the champagne tea intended to be a bit of farewell to Dave & Lynn, the festive mood was overshadowed by speculation as to Bill Buah's motives. "Still," we heard one disgruntled former partner, "some of his calls were embarrassingly dodgy and there could have been trouble."

Willcocks and Webb triumph without hitting a ball
"Well," jibed one Magdalen regular, "they can barely hit a ball anway."

Bill Buah hands victory to Webb and Willcocks on a plate
What a plonker! Finals day in the diary for yonks and Bill "has some other commitments".

Magdalen Men's veteran triumph for Willcocks and Webb in no-set thriller
The crowd wanted a re-match. There had been talk about Patrick "cross-court" Dower's injury in the summer. Strong words had been uttered: Webb was accused of dropping balls deliberately short to his hobbling opponent. Bill Buah had miscounted the score.. (yeah right). Revenge was required: the hype was uncompromising. The repeat would be the true test. But Bill Buah never showed. "Chicken," said Webb.
It's a disgrace that Willcocks & Webb extended their unbeaten run and winning the tournament on two walkovers. It's even worse than Arsenal and Man United fielding second string sides.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Wind at Magdalen assists Willcocks in scrappy South London league tussle
Chris Lloyd, who's already put David Maule - who trounced Willcocks - to the sword, came with high expectations. Battling through the breeze, Willcocks and LLoyd held serve all the way to 6-5, when Lloyd, feeling the squeeze and troubled by the crowd support for Willcocks, served up a double fault to lose the first set.

Willcocks stuck to his steady play to maintain supremacy, assisted by an interruption from Magdalen ladies seeking a court booking, and secure the second set 6-2.

Willcocks chokes again in South London League
Astonishing, really. After 4 early service breaks, Willcocks chisels out a 5-3 lead against Adrian Crawford in the South London League. He blows the lead, letting Crawford sneak back to 5-5. Girding his loins, Willcocks piles on the pressure, holds his serve for 6-5 and powers to 0-40 on the Crawford serve. Three set points. Nowhere near enough. Crawford wins five straight points and lobs his way through the tie break to win the set.
Willcocks was broken and crumbled to a 1-6 loss in the second set. In the post-match analysis, Crawford revealed his strategy: "Seeing Willcocks come to the net on shots that weren't really deep enough, I had a target. A mixture of passing shots and lobs did the trick." Willcocks is a tall man compared to Crawford.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Snow and jippy tummy halt Willcocks' South London campaign
Out of action for fout weeks now, Willcocks could be facing a blip, pundits believe. First, he was felled by the South London equivalent of Montezuma's revenge. Everything came straight out the other end, as they say. Next, the fates stir up the wrong kind of snow, which may or may not clear in time for Willcocks' clash with fellow rookie Mark Withey.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Magdalen's Willcocks still racked by the demons
Depressed and riddled by doubt after blowing a 5-2 lead in the South London League, even the wife has piled in. "It's a self-esteem problem," she said. "Women would just want to do the best they can, not necessarily win." Yeah, right.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Telford Park's Maule clubs Magdalen's Willcocks in South London League two set disaster
It doesn't get any worse than this for Magdalen Park's Willcocks. In fine fettle after dispatching Dunball on Thursday, Willcocks braved the unusual surface at Telford Park and powered to a 5-2 first set lead against Maule, despite having been forced to substitute the tennis balls for titanium-powered bouncers.

After a banana and water break, Willcocks went AWOL, losing 7 straight games in this vital South London League fixture. Gone was the trademark consistency, vanished the telling first serve, quelled the penetrating forehand - all replaced by lack-lustre, error-prone tennis in the face of Maule's steely mental resolve. After much cussing, Willcocks bowed out to Maule, a worthy 7-5, 6-2 winner.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Magdalen's Willcocks kicks off South London League with victory over Wigmore's Dunball
Only familiar with astro turf in extremely uneven condition, Willcocks ground out a solid win over Dunball in the first game of the South London's League Spring Season in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

After both players held serve to love, Willcocks served consistently well and exploited unenforced errors from his opponent to win 5 straight games to take the first set.

The second set was a different matter. Dunball dug deep, screeching at one stage: "I'm gonna make you fight for it, you bastard." Blowing a break point at 1-0, Dunball traded service games until 3-3 when Willcocks broke after an unfortunate fall in the Wigmore slime when a let was charitably played. Dunball had two opportunities to break back at 4-5, but failed to capitalise until Willcocks produced a marvellous (now trademarked) cross-court pass to win the match.

Both men went home directly to prepare dinner for their respective wives. Such is life in the South London League.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Willcocks breaks retirement and enters South London League
Buoyed by recent success in the admittedly weak Winter line-up at Magdalen, where he managed to hang tough in the premier division, Willcocks has signed up to try his hand in the prestigious South London League. Dipping into his pocket for a prince's ransom of £12, Willcocks will endeavour to badger out the time from his busy professional life, his crowded family affairs and his demanding one year old.
"My plan is to win in two sets, I guess," Willcocks quipped. "We're delighted to have a player of his calibre joining our ranks," said Ron Gray, founder of the South London League. "So not," he added.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Brad Gilbert spurns Dave & Lynn's hospitality at Magdalen
I was astonished to see from his website - which makes a compelling read - that when Brad, recently sacked by Roddick, is in London, he eschews Magdalen's delicately balanced and elegant cuisine for the Ivy & Blue Elephant. Shame on you, Brad.

Brad Gilbert sacked - pursued by top Magdalen tennis talent
Andy Roddick has sacked Brad. I know many a Magdalen player who will be saddened and excited by this news. We all tighten our laces in change-overs; some of us put on and take off baseball hats with remarkable effect. Perhaps Brad will be available to cope with the coaching dearth at Magdalen? I had to go elsewhere to get expert tuition and would be happy to head to Florida or California, especially at winter.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Sharapova picked as new face of TAG Heuer
I think I am pleased by this news (see the TAG site for promo photos). As a keen tennis player and a proud wearer of a TAG, the convergence can only be a good thing. I shall wear mine more prominently and play with the bezel during changeovers.

Monday, December 06, 2004

"Roger the Great"
The kind of headline we other Rogers can only dream of. Roger might be better at tennis and richer to boot, but we other Rogers, we have something to offer as well. Answers on a postcard.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Partner-swapping rife in tennis
Beastly, unfaithful men with no sense of loyalty! Just like Magdalen doubles tournaments. Oooh, the number of different partners some people have had.

Sampras reveals all
From a recent interview: "I'm not at all disappointed about what the sport did for my finances and my name. But I was tired of tennis and it consumed me... I spent so many years getting to the top and then keeping my place as number one, and it was very stressful. Throughout my career, I never had one perfectly good night's sleep. When it was all over, I started to sleep fine without any concerns in my head, as I didn't have to think about catching a plane or playing a really hard match the following day. I am still calming things down, and that is why I'm not playing any professional tennis."
Well, Pistol Pete, I feel the same about running Magdalen Vth Tennis Team.

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