Successful Pre-season Tennis Tour to Portugal | Epsom College
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Successful Pre-season Tennis Tour to Portugal

Epsom College tennis enjoyed a superb pre-season tour at the Vale Do Lobo complex in the Algarve, leaving all squads in great shape for an exciting season ahead.

In a five-way tournament involving various leading schools such as Marlborough, North London Collegiate, Haileybury and Surbiton High, it was an Epsom pair who ran out as winners of the Tier One competition. Marcus Herholt and Connor Harty (on his birthday) showed tenacity, nerve and considerable skill to win the tie-break final 10-8, with Marcus securing victory with an ace of unnerving accuracy and power.

This was a tour for all talents and abilities – anyone with a love of the game was welcome – and the expert coaches were generous in their praise of all 41 players who made up the Epsom squad. In their summation at the end of the trip, the coaches referred to the ‘consistency, character and ‘coachability’ ‘ of the Epsom pupils. They mentioned a number for an excellent attitude and selected their two ‘Best Trainers’ – Ines Kirdar Smith and Misha Davidenko – who impressed in every single session with their diligence, enthusiasm and positivity.

However, the two Players of the Tour were Natasha Cook and Marcus Herholt who, in keeping with a sport often renowned for its courtesy and decorum, both combined explosive shot-making power on the court with grace and modesty at all times. They were both a credit to themselves and to Epsom tennis.

The overall trip was a resounding success, superbly organised by Mrs Sue Church-Jones. There was a perfect balance of intensity and recreation over the four days: for example, after a gruelling morning of focused practice, the pupils could unwind beside a pool as they prepared for their next challenge. The weather was glorious. It was fitting that the sun shone throughout the four days as this was a brilliant tour of dazzling quality.

Nick Russell, Assistant Head: Senior School