Suffolk tennis men’s over 35 squad win promotion to Division Four

The Suffolk men's over 35 squad which won promotion to national Division Four. Picture: MIKE WATLING

The Suffolk men's over 35 squad which won promotion to national Division Four. Picture: MIKE WATLING - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s senior men over 35’s team are on a mission to match their younger counterparts and make it to Division One, writes Mike Watling.

Captain Jez Cowley took over the captaincy last year – albeit a year young and unable to play – but the team of James Yates, Oliver Sutton, Hussein Ahmed, Liban Ahmed and Gary Keens managed to gain promotion to Division Four.

Their first day of action saw a tight victory over division favourites Sussex with Oliver Sutton playing intelligent grass court tennis to overcome his opponent 6-4, 7-5.

Cowley, who injured his calf the previous week, was only fit enough for doubles and he partnered Liban Ahmed in the doubles which they won 6-4, 6-3 with a break in each set to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead.

James Yates lost in a final set tie-break against a good opponent but Suffolk came away 2-1 winners and feeling positive.

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Next, Somerset lined up with three tough matches that could have gone either way but with Sutton showing his class with big serves and solid volleys in his final set tie-break he gave Suffolk a 1-0 lead.

Cowley and Hussein Ahmed lined up in their doubles and after a tight first set which they eventually won 7-6 they got into their stride to race away and win the second set 6-1 to secure a second victory.

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With Yates picking up an impressive win at number one, Suffolk were in a position where they only needed one rubber to secure promotion the next day.

South Wales had lost both their matches so Suffolk were strong favourites, Sutton smashed his opponent in the first set 6-0, and with Cowley and Yates racing to a 6-2 first set lead things looked good.

There was no let up and Sutton, while Yates and Cowley secured their second sets 6-3 to ensure not only promotion but an undefeated weekend for Suffolk with a 2-1 win.

Eyes are very much on next year and ambition has the team looking towards Division One and the title in years to come. Suffolk tennis is in a fantastic place at the moment and no one seems to want to stop until we bring back titles!

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