Tennis Club member Chris Impiglia reviews a season of progression, promotion and silverware – it’s been a fine year…
Tennis in St Andrews is not easy. In a sport designed for the summer months and perfect conditions, playing outdoors throughout the winter, braving heavy winds, rain, ice, and snow, means consistent practice and training are hard to come by.
This year, however, there were no excuses. Gritting their teeth (and in some cases putting on thirteen layers of clothing) and after months of hard training in the standard St Andrews Tennis Team fashion, running with 100 lb logs across West Sands, sprinting up and down the Travelator, and doing backflips off the pier, the Men’s 1st Tennis team has had an outstanding year.
After a tough season last year, Calum McRae, Alan Conroy, Ross Gamblen, Kevin Breen, Jonathan Grey and Christopher Impiglia swore to make amends, and they did so in spectacular fashion. Not only have they gone undefeated, drawing only one match with Stirling 3rds, they have won promotion into division 1A, and currently lie at the top of division 2A with eleven points to spare.
In addition, they have won the Conference Cup, beating Strathclyde’s 1st 10-2 in Dundee. Next they face Montrose in the first round of the Scottish Cup. No doubt they will continue to impress. Although fourth years Breen and Impiglia will miss out on what will surely be a glorious season next year, they are more than confident the other boys will be up for the challenge.
The Tennis Club overall has seen incredible success throughout the season, with thanks due to coach Mike Aitken, who has reorganized the Tennis Club, creating a ladder system and two new 3rd teams, which has helped establish St Andrews as one of the top Scottish towns for tennis.
Aitken describes the success of the Saints humbly not mentioning the great contribution he himself has made to the Club: “The tennis teams have done brilliantly in their leagues and cups this season. Our Women’s 2nds beat our Women’s 3rds in the cup final which shows great strength in depth. The Men’s 1st team are unbeaten all season, winning both the league and the cup. It has been a great end to the season and we deservedly take home plenty of silverware.”
The Saints have shown incredible success in all levels of the Tennis Club: the Men’s 2nds lie in second place of division 3A, whereas the Men’s 3rds, who were only established this year, lie mid-table of the same group. The Women’s 1st have come runners-up in division 1A, the Women’s 2nds are top of division 2A, and the Women’s 3rds are third in the same division.
No doubt with Aitken’s help all the tennis squads will continue to celebrate great success, and hopefully they will all be rewarded one day with some beautiful indoor facilities.