Ray's Rebels Gareth Hughes, Judy Hawyrlak, Harriet Robertson, Ray Barker with the coveted runner up prize.

Hills Grandslam hits the Maida Vale clay

Now in it's nineteenth year, the Hills Grandslam again returned to the Maida Vale clay courts to recreate the French Open in the foothills.
February 29, 2024
Gera Kazakov

DRIZZLE and overcast conditions didn’t stop a capacity player cohort competing at this year’s Hills Grandslam French Open in Maida Vale.

Run by the Midland Lawn Tennis Club, the ‘French open’ was again held at the Maida Vale tennis club on Sunday, February 25, with 96 competitors filling 24 mixed-teams of four.

Kicking off at 8am, the teams competed across six divisions each named after a French region, with each player playing three timed sets in the morning and afternoon.

Lyon was won by Racquets ‘R’ Us – comprising of Noah Watts Bibby, Nigel Dickinson, Waree Holton and Ann MacGeehan, while the Haberneros (Courtney Newton, Justin Myles, Claire Newton and Ha Le Davis) were the runners up.

Toulouse was won by Trying Our Best (Adrian Manescu, Bill Kerr, Anne Kerr and Katja Aslop), with Jason Hall, Lee Dallow, Maureen Deal and Simone Mikolich’s team The Friendly Forries walking away as runners up.

Avignon was won by the Beach Bums (Andrew Raymond, Ibrahim Aliu, Wendy Lewis, Lorraine Oliver) and Brian Lansdown, Denis Gilbert, Julie Thomas, Di Evans from the Dare Doubles were runners up.

In Amiens, Team Bayswater (Andrew Siney, Surabh Nair, Ashlinne Zoranich and Masalingo Boland) won while Team Extreme (Marc Adam, Tyrone Murray, June Vonderling and Gillian Longworth) were runners up.   

Bourdeaux was won by Mark O’Donnell, Sukwinder Singh, Anne Miller and Elena Holt’s Can Not Be Serious, with Ray’s Rebels (Ray Barker, Gareth Hughes, Judy Hawrylak and Harriet Robertson) as runners up.

In Marseille, team Forrestfield (Andres Arevalo, Matthew (substitute), Leanna MacArthur and Audrey Tuckey) were victorious while the Duecebags (Oscar Ellard, Lee Benporath, Keri Benporath and Jill Kendall) were runners up.

Hills Grandslam tournament director Mandy Campbell said all the runners up received a special Hills Grandslam embroidered handtowel, while the division winners received a cash prize.

She thanked all volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly and said the French Open has often been dubbed the ‘hot and dirty slam’ due to the high temperatures players often must face when playing.

Now entering its nineteenth year, the French open is the second tournament in a series of four which seek to recreate world-famous tennis tournaments across the hills and foothills suburbs.

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