The GEW-sponsored Reigate Rhinos embark on their first season in the National League. Follow the team’s progress through our regular updates…
vs Cumberland 1, 03.04.2022
The Rhinos started their 2022 National League season on April 3rd, with a thrilling win against Cumberland 1. They won two of the four singles matches and both doubles matches, charging to victory on their home court.
With both teams trading blows over the first five matches, the Rhinos were 3-2 ahead going into the final doubles match; acting as the decider, it did not disappoint. Andrew Watson and Julian Cash from the Rhinos were facing off against Ben Jones and Nattis Wetzel from Cumberland, and the start of the match did not go as planned. They lost the first set 4-6, before being broken early in the second set. The Rhinos pair managed to claw their way back to 6-6 and comfortably won the tie break to take the match into a first-to-10 tie-break for the final set.
Again, the Rhinos got off to a poor start going 0-3 down, but slowly clawed their way back, going 5-4, 7-5 and 9-6. Unfortunately, even with three match points in their favour, they were unable to clinch victory as Cumberland stormed ahead 9-10. The tension rose with both teams trading blows, with the score rising to 10-11 then 11-12, before the Rhinos finally took control of the match, winning three points in a row to win 14-12 and take the match.
vs Risbygate, 10.04.2022
Their second opponents for the season were Risbygate TC, whose slow court presented numerous challenges for the Rhinos players. Risbygate won the first three singles matches; two of them in two sets and the third in three. Risbygate’s fourth solo then retired to hand the Rhinos a lifeline, but Andrew Watson and James Smith were unable to clinch their doubles match, losing the third set in a race to 10 and handing Risbygate the victory. The Rhinos took the second doubles match comfortably, winning their sets 6-1 and 6-3, to offer some consolation on the long drive home.
vs A1 Pharmaceuticals, 24.04.2022
Match report by Richard Skalsky, Reigate Rhinos:
On Sunday April 24th, the Rhinos went down to Maidstone, Kent to play A1 Pharmaceuticals.
An unusual setting, with four all weather tarmacadam tennis courts squeezed between the M20 and Public Heath ground and no clubhouse.
Whilst it was a sunny day, conditions were difficult with strong winds consistently blowing and courts that were extremely slow.
A1 fielded their strongest team to date including Marcus Willis who played Roger Federer in the 2nd round at Wimbledon, a few years ago.
In Singles Match 1, Julian had complete control of his match and was able to win 6-1, 6-3.
In Singles Match 2, Andy was outplayed in the first set but offered great resistance in the second set before losing 3-6, 5-7.
In Singles Match 3, Isaac was completely outplayed by Marcus Willis whose ability to put balls in places that his opponents don’t want, losing 2-6, 2-6.
In Singles Match 4, Kyle had a great tussle in his match, whilst mainly being in control, did let the 2nd set slip but eventually won 6-3 4-6 6-3.
In Doubles Match 1, Julian & Andy had a tight first set having to win it in the set tie-break but then easily rattled off the 2nd set winning 7-6 6-1.
In Doubles Match 2, Isaac & Kyle were against an experienced doubles pairing who were just too good, losing 2-6 2-6.
With the match all square at 6-6, the lottery of the shootout to determine the match result came into play.
Julian won his Singles shootout 10-7 whilst Kyle lost his 6-10.
This left the Doubles shootout to be played and determine the overall match result.
Unfortunately for the Rhinos, Andy and Isaac lost it 6-10.
So another disappointing result for the Rhinos making their next match against Sutton TSC even more crucial.