Andover Tennis Club’s men’s C Team played their first match of 2021 at Balksbury, playing hosts to Beechdown C of Basingstoke in league three of The Basingstoke League. The matches were played on the superb indoor courts which made for the ideal environment, free of breeze and direct sun.

The Andover pairing of Ben Mead and Mark Williams started against the number two partnership from Beechdown. Initially both sides were cautious with their play keeping unforced errors to a minimum. Beyond the fourth game the hitting of the Andover pair upped a gear and with superior shot placement, they went onto win both sets comfortably 6-3, 6-1.

The second match for Mead and Williams against the stronger Beechdown pairing was a closer game. Cross court rallies from the base line were a consistent feature. The Andover pair, however, made fewer unforced errors which along with a better servicing percentage saw them always ahead in the scoring and finally winning through 6-3, 6-4.

Andover’s second pairing of Andy Taylor and Lewis Nicholls proved to be even more impressive on the day in terms of score line achieved. The solid hitting of Lewis combined with the reliable volleying of Taylor made a great doubles partnership. Against the stronger Beechdown pairing, Taylor and Lewis came through 6-2, 6-3 edging superiority in most areas.

The second match for Taylor and Lewis was comprehensive at 6-0, 6-0. A clear and successful feature was the speed of Nicholls’ serve and base line shot opening up the opponent’s returns to the Taylor volleying. With no relaxation, the win was comprehensive as could be.

All told an 8-0 result on the first outing was a job well done. With a run of games to come in the next two months and a squad of players enabling a rotation, the prospect for the C Team’s first summer in League 3 is promising. whilst realizing stronger challenges are to come.