Cambridge Dunlop Summer League
A tennis legacy brings the Cambridge Dunlop summer league title back to Risbygate
For the first time in 34 years, Risbygate men’s first team finished first in Division 1 of the Cambridge Dunlop Summer League.
The last time Risbygate men won this tournament was in 1988, with a team captained by the 23-year-old Gary Keens. 34 years later it was Gary’s son, Asa Sumner-Keens (20), who led the team to victory.
Going into the last match of the season, team captain Asa knew that Risbygate only needed a draw to top the league and take the title. However, the final match was against second-placed Great Shelford who were on a winning streak so this was a winner takes all top of the table clash which Risbygate eventually won 6-2.
It was no easy task, as Great Shelford players included Tom Hands, who has achieved a career-high ranking of 854 on the ATP Tour, and Yujiro Onouma, current 750 ITF men’s and the top junior in the country. Both players are full-time tennis professionals, and it was a huge experience for Risbygate to play against them.
Asa and Oscar Wai lost a close-fought first set 6-4 against Great Shelford first pair. But a tactical change of returning sides in the second set proved to be a winning decision to achieve 5-3 up second set. Every game from that point resulted in long deuces and Great Shelford brought it back to 6-6, but Asa and Oscar were able to raise their level again taking the tiebreak comfortably 7-3. Seth Newman and Christof Schaertlin-Coffey won their match against the Great Shelford’s second pair 6-2, 6-1.
Seth and Christof then battled but lost their first set tiebreak against a disheartened Shelford first pair but showed classic Risbygate relentlessness and strength to take the second set 6-3. Asa and Oscar won 6-0, 6-0 against the second pair.
Asa said, “I’m so proud of our team and how each player has performed with grit, commitment and determination to achieve this exceptional result. I’m pleased to bring this title back to Risbygate after my dad achieved this in 1988.”
Winning this league was achieved through a team of players that included Asa Sumner-Keens, Seth Newman, Christof Schaertlin-Coffey, Oscar Wai and Will Cooke-Wharton. They were also supported by second-team players Freddie Clark, Sam Ratcliffe and Gary Keens who played two matches.