A1 Pharmaceuticals the next generation:
A1 set an Aegon tournament record with youngest player to win a match in Aegon national tier
Left to right : Neil Pauffley, Marcus Willis, Matt Short & Tarique Tonge-Bobia (Middle)
A1 Pharmaceuticals 1 v Billericay 9/4/2017 12.00
A1 Pharmaceuticals club captain Gary Lewis with the rare luxury of 3 ATP ranked players and current National champion team champions no1 Marcus Willis, No2 Neil Pauffley and Matt Short all available in an early group match away to Billericay felt it would be a great experience for the youngster from the Southwark inner city.
Tarique Tonge-Bobia is a product of Southwark inner city tennis club and the teenage prodigy was undaunted after his 6-1 6-2 defeat to Jack stammers going on to become the youngest player to get a national Aegon match win with a 3-6 6-3 1-0 (10-7) victory combining with Matthew Short in the doubles.
It was a day for breaking records with No2 Neil Pauffley currently on excellent form his 6-0 6-0 win in both the doubles and singles was a new personal best in national Aegon & Pro ATP/ITF matches.
A1 Pharmaceuticals men’s 2 on the same day were in action away to Horsmonden in Kent county Div1 when another of their promising juniors Sam Bossem secured the tie for A1 Pharmaceuticals Aegon 2 in kent Div 1 with a hard fought battle v Kent county team player (3.2) and Horsmonden club coach Zane Cheeseman which the teenager won 7-5 4-6 0-1.
Gary said I know that their are junior Aegon team opportunities but I am always keen to get my juniors to become involved in men’s tennis particular at this high level as possible because it improves their confidence, encourages maturity and develops their team spirit amongst their peers at an early age . You can just imagine the excitement of young Tarique playing in the same team with Marcus Willis who played Roger Federer.
I would take this opportunity to thank both Aegon captains Peter french (Billericay) and Zane Cheeseman (Horsmonden) who went out of their way to be polite and generous hosts.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Carmen Lewis and Jennifer Willis who along with a new mascot 1 month old Martha Willis are always keen to support the team.
Neil Pauffley wins British Aegon Masters Tour 10/12/2016
Neil Pauffley looked to end the year with the Aegon British Tour Masters title, having recently won his first pro singles title of the year in Barnstaple.
In front of a record crowd for the Aegon British Tour Masters, 26-year-old Pauffley saw 18-year-old Joe Tyler challenging him for the title. Tyler, making his debut in the Masters, had been very impressive in his run to the final, which included victories over fourth seed Luke Oakley, and second seed Keelan Oakley, both in three sets.
Pauffley got off to a very strong start, with some heavy groundstroke hitting, capturing the first set without losing a game. The second set was a different match altogether, with Tyler threatening to take the match to a third set, however, Pauffley was not to be deterred capturing the title with a 6-0 6-4 victory over his teenage opponent.
Neil Pauffley wins Aegon F6 Futures Barnstaple 13/11/2016
A1 Pharmaceuticals Plc sponsored player Neil Pauffley wins Aegon A6 Futures Barnstaple, Devon at the Tarka Tennis Centre.
Neil played his first round match against good friend Robbie Ridout (GBR) in a tough match that saw Neil win in straight sets 6-3 6-1. Neil said it was a hard match and a lot tougher than the final score suggests.
In round 2 Neil played Kevin Griekspoor (NED) and played some of his best tennis winning 6-2 6-3. Neil was delighted with the win and was looking forward to the quarter final draw.
The quarter final saw Neil take on Joel Cannell (GBR). Neil once again played some fantastic tennis beating Joel 6-4 6-2. Neil served really well and this got him out of trouble on a few break points.
In the semi final Neil played No1 seed Tallon Griekspoor (NED) in a long hard match winning 5-7 6-2 6-4. Neil played some high quality tennis and a great serve to progress through to the final.
The final of the Aegon F6 Futures saw Neil take on No2 seed Frederik Nielsen (Den) with Neil winning 6-4 6-4.
Neil said that he was absolutely delighted to have won my 5th ITF pro circuit title at the Aegon UK Tennis 10K event in Barnstaple. This has been a fantastic week, I would like to thank Mizuno Tennis EU and special thanks to Gary and Carmen Lewis at A1 Pharmaceuticals Plc for your support.
Neil pauffley reaches pro futures doubles final in Hambach, Germany
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC sponsored player Neil Pauffley reaches the pro futures doubles finals in Haibach Germany 8/10/2016.
Neil and doubles partner Keelan Oakley took on Czech Republic's Marek Jaloviec and Michal Konecny in the final of the pro futures doubles in Germany. The match lasted one hour and 16 minutes in a closely fought encounter.
The Czech team of Marek Jaloviec and Michal Konecny won the first set 7-5, Neil Pauffley and Keelan Oakley won the second set 4-6, the 3rd set was a thrilling encounter and ended 10-6 to the Czech team.
Neil said, we went down in the final of the doubles today 10-6 in the 3rd. It was such a close match but was not meant to be. I would like to thank everyone for the support, we will be back next year.
From left to right: Keelan Oakley, Sergei Chevalier and Neil Pauffley
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC Win 3rd Consecutive Aegon National Open Team Title
From left to right: Gary Lewis, Marcus Willis, Matt Short, Neil Pauffley, Toby Martin & Peter Bothwell.
Defending champions A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC successfully defend title at the Aegon Team Tennis National Open Finals 2nd – 4th September 2016.
The West Hants club in Bournemouth played host to the finals which saw the top eight men’s teams in the country, who had all qualified through a league and play-off’s stage, battled it out for the prestigious Aegon title.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC claimed a hat rick of titles in the men’s event with the experienced team of Marcus Willis, Neil Pauffley, Toby Martin, Peter Bothwell and Matthew Short.
A1 Pharmaceuticals first match of the weekend was a quarter final match against Lady Bay TC. Marcus Willis was first up for Team A1 playing Joshua Ward-Hibbert winning 6-1 6-3, the 2nd match of the day was between Team A1’s Neil Pauffley and Lady Bay’s Luke Smith with Neil winning 6-0 6-1, Toby Martin played next against Dominic West winning 6-4 6-2 and the final match of the day was Team A1’s Peter Bothwell v Ben Mactaggart with Peter winning 6-0 6-1.
Saturday 3rd: Team A1 take on Mackintosh LTC in the semi finals. The first match of the day was Team A1’s Marcus Willis v Joshua Milton in a close match with Joshua beating Marcus 6-4 4-6 4-6. Neil Pauffley was next up beating Richard Bloomfield in straight sets 6-1 6-1. Toby Martin had a hard fight on his hands playing Nicholas Brookes in a long thrilling match eventually winning 4-6 7-6 6-4. To round off a great day of tennis for Team A1 Peter Bothwell and Matthew Short took on Mackintosh’s Richard Bloomfield and Mathew James in the final doubles match of the day winning 7-5 7-5.
The final showdown against David Lloyd Raynes Park on Sunday 4th saw Marcus Willis, Neil Pauffley and Peter Bothwell win their singles matches before Marcus and Neil teamed up to seal the win with a tight 6-2 6-7(4) [10-5] over Josh Goodall and Jonny O’Mara.
Above: Team A1 celebrate winning the Aegon National Open Men's Team Title for the 3rd consecutive year.
Congratulations to all our players, their parents, partners, coaches also our A1 Pharmaceuticals employees who with Carmen Lewis full support that makes the sponsorship and successful management of the team possible.
British Tennis - Kent TENNiSYS Inter Club
Leagues Summer 2016 - General
Firstly congratulations to Piers having a great season I know Piers has been after the Bournemouth open for a while so congratulations.
Both our A1 Pharmaceuticals sponsored players ATP world ranked Pro Neil Pauffley & youngster Tarique Tongue-Bobia turned out for our last Kent match of the season an emphatic 4-0 win over Hayes 1.
Gary said I have been fortunate enough to pair with some Great British pro players including Marcus Willis (great fun) and Nick Fulwood (master tactician) but Neil top the lot put me at ease and guided me through the match.
Neil took it seriously, clinical and stayed focus and naturally did a lot of running with only 4 errors I started counting as there were none in the first set.
The experience was in complete contrast to 6-0 6-1 defeat with a pro earlier in the season who clearly did not want to be there and said as much! I know it can be frustrating playing down in lower level matches but always appreciated when sponsored players put something back in and keep the teams a float.
"It does not matter how good you are you still have to put in the effort particularly when your playing with a 56 year old crock like myself and if your partners not up for it it's a real mountain to climb what ever the level".
Tarique who is only just turned 13 is getting some great doubles experience on the back of a junior grade 3 Doubles title recently, he's hitting the ball really well and I am sure he will become more tactically astute as we climb the doubles leagues.
We now have a chance of a 4th A1 tennis team title in 2016 with a men's Kent div play off 3/9/2016 although I will try and change the date as it clashes with Aegon Men's national finals which will be a chance to lift a 5th title and make history by becoming 1st club to win 3 consecutive men's team titles.
I am looking forward to getting my back treated and hoping to regain club champs doubles title with Neil in 2017 after a gap of 4 years it's nice to get back on the board at DL Beckenham.
Carmen's still recovering from injury but it's great to have her back playing in the team's again! her absence has unfortunately meant that we have been scratched in north Kent ladies & mixed.
Tarique is playing at Bexley grade 4 this week and Neil Pauffley is training with Alexis Canter prior to a 3 week series of futures in Austria on the clay perfect preparation for a 3rd defence of the National Aegon men's title. Also special Congratulations to Piers Herfet-Jones our Aegon men's B and unbeaten No1 who lifted the Bournemouth Open on Saturday at the West Hants club.
Well done to all our players great weekend of results.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC
Aegon Team Tennis National Open Finals:
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC successfully defend their national title
"A1 Pharmaceuticals retain their men's national tennis team title in some style"
The Aegon team at the Lawn Tennis Association have included an editorial on the LTA website click here for link. The Aegon National tennis team finals were contested by the best 16 club teams of over 6000 Aegon teams that compete throughout the country.
The finals were contested at the beautiful West Hants club, Bournemouth 4-6/9/2015.
After retaining the men's national team title A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC captain Gary Lewis was quoted as saying: "Individuals are never perfect but carefully selected, well lead teams that can get close to perfection"
All our players played inspired tennis and fought hard for each other on and off court instead of becoming complacent we built on the foundations of our success of 2014 and the huge 86% individual match win ratio compared with 61% the previous year demonstrates the dominance of this outstanding A1 team in the 2015 finals.
A1 National Team (No1-4 all current ATP world ranked)
No1 Marcus Willis (P6 won 5)
No2 Toby Martin (P6 won 6)
No3 Neil Pauffley (P6 won 5)
No4 Peter Bothwell (P6 won 6)
12 singles matches (P12 W10 L2)
2 doubles matches (P2 W2 L0)
86% win ratio
12 singles matches (P12 W5 L7)
6 doubles matches (P6 W6 L0)
61% win ratio
*Won 2 singles tie break shoot outs 2-0.
Unfortunately last years no2 Matt Short failed to qualify for the finals but he successfully introduced the pride of Ulster tennis teenager Peter Bothwell.
Clearly our doubles prowess has been a huge key to our Aegon team success but we have significantly improved on our singles win ratio this year compared with last years finals which has been a key to our increased dominance in the competition.
Peter Bothwell the first world ranked player for Northern Ireland was also undefeated in the group stage, whilst Toby Martin remains undefeated in singles in both 2014 & 2015 national finals.
Reserves for the final Matt Illingworth & Piers Herfet-Jones both attended although they did not play in the finals made a vital contribution to training, supporting the players and all secured valuable points in qualifying stage as did Harry Meehan who was selected but did not attend the finals.
My personal tennis coach Joe Moore was nominated as 4th reserve for the finals and although he did not play in the national tier or the finals he won all his matches for our Aegon men's 2 who secured the Kent County div 3 title.
Congratulations to all our players, their parents, partners, coaches also our A1 Pharmaceuticals employees who with Carmen Lewis full support that makes the sponsorship and successful management of the team possible.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC squad from left to right: Peter Bothwell, Piers Herfer-Jones, Matt Illingworth, Toby Martin, Harry Meehan, Joe Moore, Neil Pauffley & Marcus Willis.
Well done everybody.
Club captain & founder
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC
Gary & Carmen brave singles tournament
with mixed results.
Carmen wins 20th July Val Do Lobo ladies tennis singles tournament winning 3 matches of a round robin 5-0, 4-1 and 3-2.
Gary lost 3 singles matches although several were very close with Gary losing two matches 3-2 and 5-0 although had a consolation win after 3-0 up against 16 year old player from Dulwich college 3-2 win!
Carmen will be drinking Champagne tonight with a smile as broad as a Chesire Cat and why not, great result.
Aegon men's reach national finals & Aegon
men's win divisional title.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC have reached the Aegon national team finals for the 2nd consecutive year. The current national Aegon men's team champions finished RU at the group stage and drew University of St Andrews in the play off's on 18/8/2015 for a place in the finals but their captain director of tennis Mike Aiken agreed that it was a miss match their highest rated player a 5.1 and agreed to a W/O that was agreed as acceptable by the LTA.
Consequently A1 progress straight to the finals when they are expected to be seeded no1 or no2 for the finals, our next Aegon match will be the 4th September 2015 at the national finals at the West Hants club in Bournmouth.
The following A1 players are eligable and qualify for the finals:
1. Marcus Willis
2. Toby Martin
3. Neil Pauffley
5. Matt Illingworth
6. Harry Meehan
7. Piers Herfet-Jones or Sam Taylor
Our Aegon 2 were unbeaten this season and will be promoted to Aegon Kent County div 1 or div 2 regulars in the team were
1. Sam Taylor
2. Piers Herfet-Jones
3. Joe Moore
4. Fred Arian
5. Alex Gray
Well done to all the A1 team players and our support team including Lucas Percy / David Wickington and Carmen for those wounderful match teas and pre match dinners and breakfasts.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTA
Very proud of Tennis Team A1 Pharmaceuticals winning their Aegon men's Kent county divisional title defeating Gravesham men's 1 12-0 in their final summer fixture at home to Westcombe park / Oprington 14/6/2015.
Team photo from left to right: Club captain/founder A1 PLC Gary Lewis, Joe Moore (Gary's coach at DL), Fred Arian (DL singles champion), Piers Herfet-Jones (performance coach/national tier squad), Sam Taylor (USA collage player & national tier squad). All in team kit sponsored by Fila thanks to Paul Siviter.
Captain Gary Lewis is quoted as saying that A1 Pharmaceuticals Aegon men's 2nd team is at least as strong as the Aegon 1 natioanl champions were when they were promoted to Sussex county div 2 in 2010 and then continued their record run which culminated in their national team title at the first attempt in 2014.
I am confident that this team has core strength and team ethos to emulate this success when after reaching the regional tier within the current rules we will be able to increase our total player nominations for 12 to 21.
Piers has created 2 club records this season winning a single match in just 17 mins and again today in just 25 mins finishing again in herfect time!
Other Aegon club records are Jason Barnett's unbeaten single run an incredible 22 singles wins and no defeats we hope that JB the former world no1 ITF senior can add to the record with his return to the team in 2016.
Piers & Sam proved as xpected far to strong for this Kent county division but both are supporting the club by taking the long term view and are looking to emulate the 1st team back to back promotions with the ultimate goal of joining our 1st team in the national tier in 2019.
Today's results Aegon county results 14/6/2015
A1 Pharmaceuticals v Gravesham
- Sam Tayolr v Josiah Simmons 6-1 6-3 A1 win
- Piers Herfet-Jones v Tim Fitzpatrick 6-0 6-1 A1 win
- Joe Moore v Ewen Reader 6-1 6-1 A1 win
- Fred Arian v Rob Humphries 7-5 4-6 1-0 (10-7) A1 win
1&2 v 1&2 6-0 6-1 A1 win
3&4 v 3&4 6-0 6-1 A1 win
Rubber points 12-0 (2 points per win)
Sets 12-1 (92%)
Games 70-17 (80.5%)
Season so far:
P4 W5 L0 8 points
Won div title
P5 W4 L1 8 points
Require two 4-2 defeats or 1 win from final 2 fixtures to reach national play off finals 18/7
P9 W8 L1 (89% win ratio)
Another strong win gave our county team an unbeaten season with a huge 74% game win ratio the highest in men's Kent team tennis (Aegon & doubles leagues) so far this summer and hopefully enough to secure a double promotion to Aegon Kent county div 1.
Well done to the Team A1 which includes Carmen's lovely home match teas and thanks to Aegon tournament director Harriet Izzard and Matt Byford.
Good luck to Sam Taylor in his British tour and GB grass futures, and special thanks to Alex Gray who played his part in earlier matches including an appearance for Aegon 1 in the national tier when he played a ITF world silver medallist Colin Beecher a great experience.
Our national team need just 4 individual match rubber wins from a possible 12 in their last 2 matches which commences with an away match v Roehampton 21/6 and our final national match v Sutton (natioanl 2013 champions & 2014 RU).
We have an exciting line up for our next match away to Roehampton who are likely to field Ross Hutchins close friend of British no 1 Andy Murry and former GB no 2 scot Jamie Murry.
Marcus Willis sponsored by A1 2012-14 is a recent winner of 3 futures titles in Egypt A1 no 1 Marcus Willis (GB no 10 & world top 400) and will make his return for this vital group match.
Final national Aegon matches:
A1 national line up 21/6 away to Roehampton
No1 Marcus Willis
No2 Toby Martin
No3 Matt Illingworth
No4 Harry Meehan
A1 national line up 28/6 away to Sutton
No1 Marcus Willis
No2 Neil Pauffley
No3 Matt Illingworth
No4 Peter Bothwell
Reserve: Harry Meehan
National play off 18/7 (middle day of 3 day Davis cup)
No1 Marcus Willis
No2 Toby Martin
No3 Neil Pauffley
No4 Peter Bothwell
Reserve: Matt Illingworth
With 4/5 world ranked ATP players including Marcus Willis one of the highest ranked singles players in the competition any A1 players, employees, A1 suppliers or customers interested in watching the national finals Sept 4-6/9/2015 again contact me so i can organise hotel rooms. We would love to see as many of you as possible supporting team A1 and watching what which i am sure will be some great tennis in our next 2 matches and hopefully the finals in September.
All the best Gary Lewis
A1 Aegon tennis men's 1 move closer to their 2nd consecutive final with a convincing 12-0 win over struggling Paddington.
A1 Pharmacuticals tennis accademy consolidated their claim foa a play off place in the National Tennis Aegon men's team finals with a convincing win over paddington on Sunday 31/05/2015.
Their Maida Vale opponents are now sadly facing a relegation battle. We wish them well in their future matches and thank them for a lovely after match tea which was unique Thai Cuisine that went down very well with our visiting players.
With the exception of our no1 for the paddington fixture Neil Pauffley who was newly arrived from furtures in Croatia, the A1 Pharmaceuticals team all trained for the important Paddington matchwith 2 doubles league fixtures (A4 1/2 - 1 1/2 defeat mixed away to cresent & a 4-0 men's win away at Hildenborough) on Fri/Sat combined with training sessions on Saturday evening at park Langley / Beckenham gave our no 2-4 plenty of pre-match practice.
On Sunday morning after one of Carmens hearty breakfasts and a good sleep Team A1 arrived at Paddington in good spirits. Captain Gary Lewis and his players mucked in and helped dry off the acrylic courts with captain Naim Laji and we managed to complete all the fixtures in between sporadic periods of light rain.
Gary said Team A1 we are now bonding well with excellant pre-match preparation with both Matt Illingworth, Sam Taylor and Harry Meehan improving their form with regular team practice and doubles league matches.
US clooege player Sam Taylor won his first national tier match for A1 Pharmaceuticals and will finish the Aegon season as no1 for our men's Aegon 2 in their final Aegon Kent county match v Gravesend 14/6.
We have 3 national fixtures left.
Next Sundays fixture is bottom of the table Woodford Wells Sunday 7/6 at 12.00 home at A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC Westcome park, Orpington. Roehampton away 21/6 at 12.00 will be a chance to meet Ross Hutchins close friend of Andy Murry and former Davis cup player while while Marcus Willis will pair in the doubles with Neil Pauffley and the match should produce some mouth watering doubles for spectators. Finally we meet Sutton for a repeat of last years national 2014 finals at Sutton on 28/6. Our play off fixture will be played the 18/7 prior to 19/7 Beckenham finals.
I strongly recommend club team players to get along to the beautiful Roehampton venue when former GB no2 Jamie Baker is also likely to compete.
Lets hope we have a double celebration today when A1 Pharma tennis no1 Marcus Willis meets Julien Dubail of France in the Egypt pro futures singles at 6.30pm GMT.
Season so far:
Aegon National Tier:
Played 4, Won 3, Lost 1, 6 points.
2 wins from our last 3 matches would secure a play off final on 18/7, but it's likley that 1 win would be enough.
A1 men's Aegon 2 Kent County Tier:
Played 3, Wom 3.
We have virtually won county Div3 title with a match in hand we just need to complete the final fixture any result will secure promotion.
Kent county men's doubles:
Played 3, Won 3.
1 win from the last 2 should secure league title and promotion.
North Kent mixed premier league:
Played 5, Won 1, Losses 4.
We need 2 wins from the last 5 to avoid relegation and stay in the premier league which is this seasons goal for an improving mixed team.
North Kent men's division 1:
Played 2, Won 1, Losses 1.
A disappointing defeat against an ordinary Hartley men's 1 due to penalities after a floodlight failed got the seasson off to a disppointing start with away leg and 8 more fixtures we can still win the title and promotion to the men's north Kent premier league.
Today's national Aegon fixture Paddington v A1 Pharmaceuticals.
31/5/2015 12.00 result A1 win 12-0.
Paddington v A1 Pharmaceuticals
No1 N Lajii 4-6 3-6 Neil Pauffley
No2 C Bajwa 3-6 2-6 Matt Illingworth
No3 D Sweeney 0-1-6 Harry Meehan
No4 J Drean 2-6 4-6 Sam Taylor
No1 & No2 v No1 & No2 4-6 2-6
No3 & No4 v No3 & No4 3-6 3-6
A1 Win 12-0
Next Aegon fixtures:
7/6 Woodford wells (Home)
14/6 Gravesham (Away) county tier
21/6 Roehanpton (Away)
28/6 Sutton (Away)
18/6 Aegon national play off finals
19/6 DL Beckenham club champ finals.
A1 Strengthen their lead at the top of the men's Kent division 6
The week started well with Saturday's 4-0 win over a talented Bromley Wendover team but Sunday was huglely disappointing with only 3 nominated players we effectively started 2-0 down against what was an average Raynes Park team.
Matt Illingworth at no 2 and Neil Pauffley played extremely well but Harry Meehan struggled with fitness and doubles league player Alex Gray was outclassed by world seniors silver medallist Colin Beecher 6-0 6-0. Overall result was a 4-2 defeat for A1.
Captain Gary Lewis said it's wasted nominations again which should make our no 1 Marcus Willis chuckle but with 3 of our top players missing if we can qualify for the finals we should still be seeded no 1 and anything short of defending the national title we lifted in 2014 will be a disappointment.
A win over Bromley at home on Saturday 17/5 will go a long way to securing a place in the play off's. So i am hoping 1 of our top 4 Matt Short, Marcus Willis or Toby Martin can turn out on Sunday and help deliver 2 badly needed points.
Sunday 19th April 2015 Connaught v A1 Pharmaceuticals Tennis Academy - match report by A1 club captain Gary Lewis.
A1 Pharmaceuticals tennis academy got their 2015 Aegon campaign off to a great start with a convincing 10-2 victory over newly promoted Connaught LTC.
Team A1 arrived at Waltham Forest riding high after wining the 2014 national men's team title the previous summer at their first attempt while the home team Connaught were in equally good spirits after their recent promotion to the national tier.
After some light training on Saturday we arrived together nice and early at Connaught LTC situated near Queen Elizaberth 1 historic 16th century hunting lodge in the beautiful Waltham Forest. I was immediately impressed by the warmth of the welcome and a hot coffee was a welcomed refreshment after the 1 hour drive through the Blackwell tunnel through East London past the Olympic stadium to Waltham Forest in Essex.
The warm up started at 10.30am after obliging the Connaught captain Oskar Wynne with an earlier 11am start as the home club has a ladies national Aegon match on the same day. The matches we contested on 4 well maintained hard acrylic courts and so a familiar surface for our No 1 & 2.
The A1 team players were elated to welcome back ATP world ranked pro Neil Pauffley into the team after his successful contribution to our regional tier title in 2013 that lead to our promotion to national tier for the 2014 season. I knew that Neil was not overly keen on all the unnecessary travel to French club league so I was very pleased when Marcus fellow Berkshire County cup player decided to focus on our Own British domestic Aegon tennis league instead.
The Aegon league structure consists of county league normally 4 divisions, with county winners going to play offs for promotion to 4 groups in the regional tier, and then the highest level national tier. The national tier is divided into 4 regional groups each consisting of 8 teams. Winners of each group go to the final while the runners up of each group play the RU, 3rd & 4th from very strong national group South East to decide the 8 finalists. The finals will then be contested by 8 ladies and 8 men's teams at the beautiful West Hants club in Bournemouth 4-6/9/2015. National and regional tier teams must nominate no more than 12 players with a LTA rating of 4.1 or better.
After successfully spearheading our recent victory over Beckenham men's 1 in the Aegon Kent county tier for A1 Pharmaceuticals men's 2 Dorset county cup player Piers Herfet-Jones stepped up to the national tier for A1 at No 4 when he faced Oskar Wynne a promising Devonshire county cup player and captain of the home team Connaught. This turned out to be a long and closely fought encounter the Devonshire man eventually winning the final set in the longest singles match of the day.
A1 captain Gary Lewis said i am very proud of Piers effort his fighting spirit is a credit to the team and his singles today was a tough and closely fought encounter against a talented and highly skilled opponet. Piers took the setback on the chin and bounced back with an outstanding display in the doubles fixture fully justified his selection and impressed his A1 Pharmaceuticals team after combining well with former pro Matt Illingworth in a pairing that showed tremendous promise for the future.
A smiling happy Team A1 prior to the commencement of the matches in their now famous lucky Fila yellow jersey that was worn in the 2014 national finals thanks to Paul Siviter at Fila (www.fila.co.uk)
Photo from left to right: Piers Perfet-Jones, Neil Pauffley, Matt swampy Illingworth, Marcus Willis.
Singles No 1:
Marcus Willis defeated Michael Suleau 7-5 6-4. The non ranked Kent players massive serve initally troubled GB No 9 Marcus Willis who appeared rattled early on by the Kent county player who put everything into the early onslaught. The world ranked Marcus Willis weathered the early storm eventually winning in 2 sets that we dominated by the serve.
Singles No 2:
Neil Pauffley defeated Sam Price 7-5 6-4. This match was the battle of the base liners with long consistent and powerful base line rallies.
Singles No 3:
Matt Illingworth defeated Lewis Thompson 6-3 6-3 the most convincing singles win of the day. A1 have 7 ATP world ranked players in their squad Matt Illingworth the former No 650 in the world was keen to impress his team captain and he did just that and never really looked troubled at No 3. Lewis Thompson fought well but the A1 man had too many weapons for young Lewis who certainly showed promise for the future.
SSingles No 4:
Piers Herfet-Jones lost to Oskar Wynne 7-5 4-6 4-6. Piers stepped in when world ranked Harry Meehan had to pull out mid week. Piers got off to a good start wining a tight first set 7-5 but the Connaught captain fought back hard levelling the singles contest at 1 set all and forcing a deciding 3rd set. Gary said that I was very pleased with Piers performance and with some regular training with our world ranked players I am confident that Piers will be winning singles matches at this level in the future.
Doubles No 1: Marcus Willis & Neil Pauffley v Mikey Suleau & Lewis Thompson
6-0 6-4 A1 win
Doubles No 2: Matt Illingworth & Piers Herfet-Jones v Oskar Wynne & Sam Price
6-4 6-1 A1 win
Overall result A1 Pharmaceuticals 5-1 win in matches (10-2 points)
A1 Pharmaceuticals Aegon men's 1 took a convincing 3-1 lead after completing the 4 singles matches and prior to the 2 doubles matches which would decide the contest.
The A1 Pharmaceuticals ATP world ranked pairing of Marcus Willis and Neil Pauffley went into the final doubles phase as strong favourites. The Berkshire No 1 and No 2 have an excellent understanding from their regular county cup and pro futures doubles pairing and proved all dominant quickly winning the first set 6-0 with some speculatar displays of world class doubles. Marcus & Neil putting in an outstanding first set that turned out to be an exhibition of doubles techniques & tactics that Louis Cayer would have been proud of! with every specialist shot on display including deft drop shots, lobs and drop volleys. In the 2nd set the A1 first pair sensibly relaxed a little and with their feet off th gas a little but still winning 75% of their doubles games with a convincing 6-0 6-4 victory over the Connaught No 1 pair Mikey Suleau and Lewis Thompson.
The A1 2nd pair Matt Illingworth and Piers Herfet-Jones started as underdogs against Connaught 2nd pair Oskar Wynne & Lewis Thompson and so their convincing win 6-4 6-1 win over a strong Connaught 2nd pair was equally impressive with a combination of powerful returning serve and dominant net play. The A1 2nd pair Piers Herfet-Jones & Matt Illingworth having what turned out to be a Turkey shoot at the net after dominant base line returns powerful deep rallies from their partners.
We did our homework and knew Connaught had won all their regional tier fixtures in 2014 so we knew the premier Essex team would never lie down and make it easy but thats what makes the Aegon national tier such an exciting team competition. Gary said winning the South East national tier title itself is arguably harder than the national finals because the group stage of the cometition is more demanding requiring consistency for 7 tough group matches.
I would like to thank Connaught captain Oskar Wynne and their management team who gave us a very warm welcome and healthy after match tea. It was a cold day and I was regularly offered free coffee which was very much appreciated. This was the earnest welcome we have had in the national tier and I very much hope that Connaught stay up. I was very impressed by the club and set up and I tip Connaught to win enough matches to stay in the top flight. I certainly look forward to returning to the friendly and welcoming club soon.
It's always nice to get off to a promising start with a win but next up are Sutton Tennis & Squash who have great strength and depth and in Steve Priddy a wise and experienced team captain so we certainly won't be underestimating the 2013 national champions & 2014 RU in next Sundays away fixture 26/4/2015 but we are certainly looking forward to the challange.
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC men's 1 ease past UK Paper
with 4-0 Win.
Gary said the team were in buoyant mood during the 1 hour drive down to sittingbourne.
It was a lovely sunny day although there were changable windy conditions to contend with sun cream and sun glasses were the order of the day. On his own admission captain Gary said he needs to improve on his service game although he won a critical service game after Marcus was broken in the final set to break back to 4-4 we then broke our opponents serve and then Marcus was never going to lose 2 service games and in the end won our 2nd match comfortably against their service pair. So although Marcus and Gary lost a set they still keep their 100% record in all competitions. Gary said I will start working on the serve with my coach Joe Moore because it's going to be more critical as we move up the divisions.
Gary said the lob did not work as well this week my racket has been restrung and I need to adjust the tension as i was frequently over hitting the lob and struggled to read the wind although my net game held firm and it made a valid contribution. Marcus is currently carrying an injury and sensibly did not serve flat out saving himself for tomorrow's Aegon match away to Connaught in the National Aegon league.
Freddie and Matt Illingworth dominated their matches with they're well practiced and powerful baseline game that took time away from their opponents and they are clearly division 1 standard. Let's hope if we win the divisional title again this summer we again get double jumped to a more appropriate division after all the same team are division 2 in the Sussex doubles league.
A1 get their Aegon campaign to a winning start.
A1 Pharmaceuticals Lawn Tennis Aegon mens 2 got their 2015 summer season off to a spectacular start winning with a 4-2 win over Gary's first club Beckenham but it wasn't an easy ride:
A1 Pharmaceuticals LTC manager Gary Lewis said i wanted the team to wear our lucky 2014 national championships winning yellow Fila team shirt in our inaugural match of the season. Gary was glad he did in a closely fought contest that after the singles all even at 2-2 looked like it might easily go to a championship tie break shoot out.
Piers Perfet-Jones at single No 1 played his inaugural match for A1 v Davis Cup player Federico Chavarna who represented Costa Rica and played US college tennis for Oklahoma. Piers formerly played for regional tier winners West Hants but has now relocated to London making the opportunity to play for A1 possible.
The weather was dry and sunny but extremely windy and the conditions were a bit of a leveller for the South American player but Piers fought hard and came back from a break down to win a first set tie break and eventually the match 7-6 6-4.
At No 2 Gary's coach Joe Moore had a useful ratings win over promising Beckenham junior Oliver Matthews who had a superior 4.2 LTA rating. Winning convincingly in the end 6-4 6-0.
Starting at No 3 DL Beckenham club singles champion Freddie Arian was strong favourite in his contest with performance junior Robin Vercaemp but after winning a tough 1st set 7-6 Freddie clearly frustrated with the windy conditions lost his focus and got worn down losing the 2nd set 6-1 and so it went to a very tight championship tie break. A1 eventually losing out 8-10.
A1's No 4 Alex Grey seriously got the short straw drawing a former US college player and experienced coach Terry Coles whose talent bore no resemblance to his 6.1 rating. Alex had the sort of singles match where the 6-1 6-0 scoreline was not a true reflection of his effort and performance.
So after 4 tough and closely contested singles matches at 2-2 Gary got the players together to discuss a plan for not only the 2 doubles matches but also the pairings which could affect the choices available for the championship tie break shoot out which seemed a likely possibility. After consulting the players and the rule book Gary went with No 1 and No 2 pairings in the knowledge that Freddie and Alex at No 3 and No 4 had a lot of doubles experience and would be favourites against a junior pairing in spite of their higher ranking.
Beckenham started extremely well in the doubles quickly taking the initiative and going into a quick 3-0 lead the A1 no 1 and 2 struggled a little with their scratch pairing recovering some what but losing the first set 6-3. At this important stage of the match both A1 pairs were losing and A1 Pharmaceuticals were facing a 4-2 defeat.
Inspite of the pressure our A1 first pair thought back from a set and 4-1 down to win a memorable victory winning 2 consecutive tie breaks, which just goes to show if you stay positive and never give up you can come back. In the other doubles A1 2nd pair Alex and Freddie were determined to redeem their singles defeats and they did so winning their doubles 7-5 6-4.
Gary said in the end it was a typical A1 performance snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in a thrilling 4 hour match for the spectators that went right down to the wire. Well done A1 Pharmaceuticals for never never giving up! and commiserations to Beckenham who were gallant competitors.
From left to right: Gary Lewis (captain), Joe Moore, Piers perfet-Jones, Freddie Arian & Alex Grey.
A1 Pharmaceuticals tennis results 27-29/3/2015 Fridays, North Kent men's div 2: 4-2 defeat v Hartley.
A1 unfortunately lost, as we received penalties points, due a player arriving 30 minutes late and a slight issue with court 3's lighting, which meant Hartley where not willing to play the matches on that court and then by refusing to play them after the other matches, although they were all finished before 7:30pm meant we lost on a technicality. So although as a team we won more games & sets we lost over all.
Captain Gary Lewis & Marcus Willis went out on court feeling like Hartley were being unfair and yet put on a stunning performance despite all the controversy by wining in straight sets 6-0 6-1 in roughly 45 mins!!!
Our captain later said " This is not the way we would want to win any match, but I guess for Hartley it's the only way they were going to do it. I am still baffled how we lost a match where a men's 1st & men's 2nd pair did not lose a match. Some how Hartley captain Steve Seffen 's and tournament chairman who was playing fro Hartley insisted that our men's 1st and men's 2nd pairs only played one match each.... Why our men's 1st pair Matt Illingworth & Andy Watson were not allowed to play their 2nd match will always baffle me . But you can't really argue with the tournament chairman who was playing so we decided to move on.
Like many small clubs we hope the 3 pair rule gets dropped as It's a nightmare for captains to get three pairs out!
4-0 win v Gravesham Men's 2
The next day we weren't taking any chances and took a 5th player injured Lucas Percy as a reserve just in case. This match resulted in A1's first titlle of the season ( see scorecard ) A1 won convincingly against a team that was far stronger than the Hartley side we faced the night before and possibly the strongest side we have ever faced in the men's Kent doubles leagues.
Gravesham who had recently defeated shooters hill 1 gave us a challenging match that took over 3 hours on court!
Our men's 1st pair Matt Illingworth & Freddie Arian dropped a set and game back from 9-3 down in a championship tie break which gives you a measure of the quality of our opponents .
Marcus Willis & captain Gary felt it was their best result as a pair defeating 2 strong opponents in difficult windy conditions without loss of sets. The lob played a decisive role in the windy conditions but was rarely used by our opponents to surprise of our captain.
Sun 29/3 North Kent mixed Inaugural match in premier league.
6-0 win v Black heath 1.
Captain Gary said "It was our first match in the premier league so we were pleased to have a rare, full strength line up that proved too strong for Black heath . In spite of playing in drizzle and very slippery conditions for most of the match we completed the match and without any hick-ups in 2 hours."
In comparison our Kent men's match was 3.5 hours which gives you an idea of A1's superiority as does the 100% set and 78% game win ratio .
Carmen returned to team tennis after injury and put in strong performance . New comer to A1 team tennis Crystal made a promising start at no1 with our Aegon men's captain Matt short. Overall a pleasing start to the season..
Because Carmen was injured during the winter we were sadly relegated and have not entered a team in the Mixed Summer League. The Mens Kent Team enjoyed four 4-0 wins and won the play-off to win their division.