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Tennis Team Excels at ISTA Championships

ISTA at Eton

Published Friday 5th July 2024

Tennis Team Excels at ISTA Championships

Mrs Mitchell told us about this exciting day for QM's tennis players...

The team set off very early on Saturday, 29th June, to Eton, London, for the ISTA (Independent Schools Tennis Association) Championships: our biggest national tournament, where all competitors play doubles. This prestigious event, running since 1947, gathers over 80 schools on the beautiful grounds of Eton College, Berkshire, featuring 44 courts comprising clay, acrylic, and Astro surfaces.

The Loveband Trophy

Our U18s competed in the Loveband Trophy, with Elsa and Olivia as our 1st pair and Jessica and Harriet as our 2nd pair. Their competition began on Sunday at 9 am.

First matches

Elsa and Olivia played against Bradford Grammar, Claremont, St. Helen's & St. Katharine's, Magdalen College, and Epsom in their first box matches, winning two of their matches. Jessica and Harriet faced Yarm, Reed's, Queenswood, and St. Helen's & St. Katharine's in their first box matches. Both pairs played excellent tennis, with Jessica and Harriet losing to Queenswood, who became the champions of the Loveband Trophy.

The next stage

Both pairs advanced to compete in more matches, with Elsa and Olivia playing against The Leys, Clifton 1, New Hall, and St. Swithun's, again winning two matches. Jessica and Harriet played against Loughborough, Brentwood, and St. Peter's, winning one match.

The Ashbury-Bailey Trophy

Our U15's competed in the Ashbury-Bailey Trophy with Celia and Jemima as the first pair, beating Surbiton High, Hymers, Mill Hill, and Tudor Hall but losing narrowly to St. Peter's, coming 2nd in their box. Isabel and Poppy, our second pair, played and won against Hymers, Clifton, and Felsted, losing to Pocklington 6-5 at deuce, with the next point deciding the match.

Despite the fine margins, they also came 2nd in their box. Both pairs advanced to the main draw for the first time in Queen Margaret's 13-year history of competing at Eton—a great achievement.

Main Draw

In the main draw, Isabel and Poppy played Bradfield 1 in a best-of-three-set match, experiencing the artificial clay courts for the first time. They played valiantly against a strong team, enjoying the competition and maintaining their smiles throughout. Celia and Jemima played against Felsted, with many long rallies and deuces, but unfortunately did not secure a win. This led our pairs to the Springthorpe Cup, where Isabel and Poppy lost in the last 16 to King's College 6-2, 6-4, and Celia and Jemima lost in the quarter-finals to Tudor Hall 6-2, 6-3.

Well done!

All our students played very well and learned a lot from participating in a Wimbledon-style competition, complete with spectators, atmosphere, and the pressures of a national competition. Huge thanks to Miss Kilburn for helping run the trip, our very supportive parents, and the girls who played in the true QM spirit, forming great partnerships together.

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