Tennis News

Return to play

It's excellent news that following the recent government announcement we will be reopening the club for tennis on Wednesday, Dec 2nd, in exactly the way we left it a few weeks ago. The formal LTA announcement can be read here.  We were unsure as to exactly what time the lockdown ended as the anouncement initially just stated the date. It has since been updated to add the time on Dec 2 as 00:01, one minute past midnight. 

Brondesbury Doubles Ladder

Dear All,
The entries are in, bribes have been paid and, consequently, seedings decided. Due to Covid restrictions we’ll keep all information online and out of the tennis pavilion, so, if you feel the need to get in touch, or complain about your starting position, please email my Mum on
If you have forgotten to donate to The Felix Project, just visit their website (details below). It is a very well organised charity and won’t interfere with Marcus Rashford’s campaign or the local food collection service now operating in Harman Drive.
Here is a message from Felix ambassador, David Morrissey (actor, campaigner and delusional Liverpool fan):
And now to the rules of the Ladder:
  1. Courteous and sporting behaviour is expected at all times. There have been a few incidents of hot tempers and bad manners at the club recently - please remember how lucky we are to be playing tennis during a pandemic. It costs nothing to smile and introduce yourself to others - a sense of community will help us all through what may prove to be a difficult winter.
  2. You can challenge a pair either one or two places above you. If you beat them, you will be placed in a new position above them. If you lose, just try harder next time. Challenges may be better received by text or WhatsApp - remember that some people are too busy to take calls during the day.
  3. If your match is timetabled for a busy club time, limit it to one set. At other times, you may wish to play best of three sets. Decide this with your opponents before stepping on court. My job is not to resolve arguments - I will probably respond by laughing and calling your carers.
  4. None of these games take priority over other club members playing social tennis. The usual guidelines apply (if the courts are full): those playing singles should yield to others waiting, or invite them to play doubles; those playing doubles should come off after one set. It’s usually a good idea to tell those in the queue what your score is, so they can keep warm or heckle from the sidelines.
  5. Please email your results to me at I probably won’t respond, as I am very busy and important, but you will be able to check the new ladder positions weekly, on the club website, or in the next newsletter.
Here is the starting   spreadsheet LADDER (18 KB)
Here are a few players who you may prefer to avoid (a guide for new members):
Richard Abramson (seeded 33)
As the Club President, Richard likes to be saluted at all times. If you have a double-handed backhand this may be your undoing.
Edgar Craven (seeded 12)
Try not to be flummoxed by Edgar’s footwork - it may appear as if he’s not moving at all. Don’t worry, your eyes are not deceiving you - he isn’t moving at all.
Clarke & Maxime (seeded 13)
These two have a symbiotic partnership: two half-wits making a whole. Don’t be fooled, though ... I see future club champions in the making.
Michele Caggianese (seeded 11)
Weightwatcher of the Year, Michele puts his opponents off by wearing shorts that he stole from Justin Bieber. Check him out on Crimewatch BBC1.
Dame Maggie Baxter CBE (seeded 34)
Modest to a fault, Maggie just won’t talk about her latest award. Instead, maybe half way through your match, why not ask her what it was like starring in Downtown Abbey for all those years.
The Reverend Chris Williams (seeded 5)
After 10,000 serves in training last season, Chris now hardly ever spills the bread and wine. Watch out for a big forehand straight along the path of righteousness.
John Kirkham & Eli Joseph (seeded 27)
An interesting Grandfather/Grandson partnership, these two have sensibly bypassed the middleman.
Gideon Joseph (seeded 8)
The middleman.
Finlay Whitefield & Dave Smyth (seeded 1)
With a combined height of 12’ 9” and a gravitational field of their own, I would recommend the purchase of Kevlar underpants before issuing any challenge.
Bruno & Miles Scoggins (seeded 26)
With a combined IQ of -4, I would suggest you call the police if you see these guys anywhere near your tennis bag.
[all articles fact-checked by Serco track and trace 2020]
Enjoy your games - I’ve arranged for better weather throughout the next few months.

Brondesbury Doubles Ladder - update

Many thanks for your enthusiasm and your donation to The Felix project. We will be hearing from one of their ambassadors in the forthcoming weeks, but, in the meantime, let’s boost the fund a bit further with some more doubles pairings. Email me at and remember to include a phone number. 
Here are the entrants so far:
Matt Bamford & bag carrier
Warwick Scoggins & Jon Liddiard
Francois Heritier & Howard Wright
Chris Williams & Oli Nowak
Gideon Joseph & John Driscoll
Dave Sansom & Robert Sansom
Ed Coventry & Michele Caggianese
Robert Lastman & International catwalk model
Nicola Hands & Marc Terry
John Brosnan & Charles Wilsdon
Abi Poulard & Jonah Poulard
Steve Lowy & James Courtney
Fabrizio Bagnoli & Eric Debray
Alki Antonopolou & Maggie Shiltagh
Edward Ben-Nathan & personal physician
Ati Georgopoulos & anger management consultant
Horatio Waller & Stephen Barabas
John Kirkham & Eli Joseph
Elena Sueppel & Maria Sueppel
Richard Abramson & Doug Jacob
Victoria Zabci & Mert Zabci
Lucy Findlay & Jinny choo Jackson
Madeleine Abramson & Dame Maggie Baxter CBE RSI ADHD VAR 
Please note that these pairings are not necessarily in order of brilliance, so it’s not necessary to feel insulted. The aim is to give you a challenge one or two rungs above, as well as the possibility of being overtaken by those just below.
I’ll fire the starting pistol on November 1st, and will provide you with short biographies, strengths, weaknesses and phone numbers of your potential opponents.

Court Usage

As the winter evenings get ever darker, it's perhaps worth reminding everyone, both established and new members, of the rules on court usage. This is that if all courts are in use and people are waiting to play then the court must be vacated at the end of a set.  If singles is being played then, without delay, those waiting to play should be invited to play doubles.  

Guest Fees

This is to reaffirm the policy regarding guests. A payment of £5 per adult £2 per junior) is required on each occasion payable into the club bank account citing the guest name as a reference. The bank account details are : Sort Code 20-32-37, Account No 50001333. In addition an email must be sent to me at with the guest details and confirming payment. Any individual guest is only permitted to play three times, after which the guest is expected to join the club.  

Camps Next Week

Kids camps start next week and continue the following week. Hence the block of four courts is in use from 9:30-3PM.

Brondesbury Winter Doubles Ladder

Dear All,

I had an idea for a World Beating doubles ladder sometime ago, but, after outsourcing it to a couple of shambolic city accountancy firms, I have decided to take it back ‘in house’.

Deloitte’s revolutionary ‘Step & Space’ technology
[Deloitte’s revolutionary ‘Step & Space’ technology]

The aim is threefold ... for those of us who enjoy competitive doubles to compete against opponents of similar ability; for new members to feel part of our ‘family’ and forge new friendships; and for the tennis section to regain a sense of pre-pandemic togetherness.

Here is how it will work:

  • Choose a partner - it’s usually wise to select a forgiving friend, or a brilliant player. Or, as I’ve done, find someone with low self-esteem to carry your bag. Sex and age are irrelevant here - the ladder works magically for all-comers. It is one great big ladder for all:

The Brondesbury Ladder: made from ethically-sourced Dunlop Maxplys and dreams of greatness
[The Brondesbury Ladder: made from ethically-sourced Dunlop Maxplys and dreams of greatness]

  • Email me at with your partnership details (including phone number) and trust me to place you in an approximately accurate starting position on the ladder. You have just over two weeks to get yourselves warmed up and sorted, as proceedings will start on November 1st.
  • Wherever you are placed on the ladder is not meant to be insulting - you will have ample opportunity to rise up the rungs through the winter and find your rightful place.
  • It’s entirely up to you (not me) to issue a challenge to a pair above you. The maximum challenge distance is two rungs ahead on the ladder. If you beat your opponents, let me know and I’ll place you one position ahead of them. Please decide before the match if you have time for one set, or best of three. Remember that you’ll have to vacate the court after a set if others are waiting - these matches don’t take priority over social tennis.
  • So ... to sum up, you can be a men’s pair, a ladies pair, or a mixed pair. You can be brilliant or crap, or, my personal favourite, mediocre with delusions of grandeur. Just decide which friendship and whose winter season you want to ruin. The ladder will be updated weekly and posted on the club website and in the occasional newsletter.

In line with the amazing social spirit at Brondesbury, I’d like this rolling competition to allow us to help in the broader community, so entries per pair (for the whole winter) will be £10. Times are very hard for some at the moment, and by supporting The Felix Project, we can help supply food to those in need. Please give your entry fee to Marina or me when you see us. Alternatively you can make the donation directly on their website:

Hopefully that answers all possible questions, even for members of the men’s 4th team, so why not join in the fun?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Tennis AGM

We are not holding a Tennis AGM this year. Not only does covid make this too difficult but much of the normal content (club tournament, match season, etc) would be absent. The club is holding an AGM on Nov 29 and Tennis will be a part of that. In the meantime, please feel free to email me on any issues you wish to raise. Furthermore, if you are interested in joining the Tennis committee, or even to take on the role of Tennis Secretary, please let me know.

More Articles ...