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Lancaster men’s 1st tennis team beat Leeds Beckett University 5th team with the score 10-2 on Wednesday Week 6. The victory for the Red Roses made them one of the last 16 remaining teams in the Northern Conference Cup.
The Lancaster men did not have as smooth a start as they had in their previous matches, losing one of the doubles matches before the start of the singles matches. However, the singles players did not let any of the supporters down and won all their games. Maxim Uslamin, who has won all his games for Lancaster this season, was clearly in on a hot streak; his serve and his ground strokes outplayed his opponent on a classic wet and windy Lancaster day.
Daniel Fabisch, who claimed another singles victory for Lancaster, was in the centre of a controversial event during the match. His opponent disagreed with his decision to call a ball out. There were severe arguments amongst the players from both teams. Eventually, Fabisch won the match and collected another two points for Lancaster. Some of the players from Lancaster expressed their disappointment towards their opponents’ attitude and sportsmanship. The matches are usually held without any match officials or umpires and are expected to be played with players’ mutual respect and honesty. The matches and players would undoubtedly benefit from the the supervision of match officials or umpires. However, on a practical and financial level this may not be possible. The court was another issue raised by the players, with some arguing that the courts were too slippery to play on a rainy day.
The Lancaster captain, Andre Danuns, thought that the reason behind their loss in the doubles match was that they split their doubles team. Speaking to SCAN, Danuns was very optimistic about the future of the team this season. He believes that his team can win the cup this season, quite simply because the team has more quality players this season compared to last. After the game, Danuns said: “We had only three or four good players last season. This season we have five to six good players in the team.”
The depth in the squad is a very important element to success in such an intense competition fixture, given that the single matches are usually played immediately after the doubles matches. It is reasonable to believe that a player who has played two or three sets in the double matches would get exhausted in the singles matches. Therefore, sufficient depth in squad allows doubles players to focus on their own matches. Meanwhile, a set of fresh singles players can be sent to play afterwards. Such an organisation would undeniably be beneficial to the team.
The Red Roses currently sit at second place in the Northern 3A league table following three victories in a row. They are currently behind league leaders Manchester 3rd on points’ difference. The Lancaster 1st tennis team will fight for the top seat of the table against Manchester 3rd on Wednesday Week 7 before playing Liverpool John Moores 2nd on Wednesday Week 8 in the last 16 round of the Northern Conference Cup.