SOLIHULL Tennis Club’s top male player Ben Watkins is in seventh heaven after winning the summer knock-out singles championship for the seventh successive year.
He defeated the club’s tennis coach, Matthew Corps, in straight sets in the final, and now hopes, next year, to equal the club’s record holder Tony Kinsey who won the singles title eight times on the trot.
It was the second successive year that Watkins, who won several regional titles in recent months, beat Corps in the Solihull final.
Watched by a large crowd in fine weather at the Marsh Lane artificial grass courts, Watkins added a second trophy to his growing collection by winning the club’s mixed doubles final with doubles partner Kim Westman.
The loser was Corps again – going down with doubles partner Janet Cox.
Corps, who is one of the top tennis coaches in the West Midlands, played the match in pain with his right shoulder - on his favourite forehand side - after sustaining the injury in the final against Watkins. At one stage he feared he might have to withdrawea from the mixed doubles final.
Cox and Corps had beaten Watkins’ father Peter and doubles partner Lee Payne in a marathon near three hour semi final 10-8 in the third set, thus preventing Peter Watkins from playing his son in the mixed doubles final.
Ben Watkins was also in the men’s doubles final but on this occasion he and partner Doug Gaskin – also playing in a final for the first time – lost 2 -6. 6-4 2-6 to Solihull councillor Simon Slater and doubles partner Jason Blakey who travels from Shropshire to play at the club.
Cox meanwhile, found success in the ladies doubles final with Gail Burrows who has won several ladies doubles finals in recent years. Burrows and Cox defeated Elaine McDonald and Viv Dobson in straight sets.
Burrows, who is Solihull Tennis Club’s top female player and ladies club captain, retained her ladies singles title by defeating Dobson, who put up a worthy fight despite the 6-2 6-2 scoreline.
The highest number of club members for years took part in this season’s championships.