Fila Senior English Indoor Championships 2017, Gosling Tennis Centre (Blog 1)

Well hello fellow sports fans,

Last year I blogged (some may say blagged) my way through to win the Fila Senior English Indoor Championships, although it must be said that I was a set down in the final when my opponent pulled up with a torn calf muscle and I'm not sure I was the fitter man on the day!

So, this year I thought it only right that I should attempt to defend my title and so begins this year's blog on the event.

A different feeling this year.  Not an unknown bandit in the draw, but seeded 8 with my lofty world ranking of, err, 424.  It must be said that it got as high as 346 after last year's event, but alas I have failed to play since!  Still, posting a 5-0 Senior ITF record gives me some hope for the days to come.

I've prepared well physically.  A lot of time in the pool and on the mountain bike with my great training partner Hutch, 5 or so weeks of Barre Sculpt with the excellent Harriet Moran-Smith and a class of 10 ladies (yes, only bloke and its ballet), so hoping the old body (back, knees, shoulder) will hold out! 

Whilst doing what I can physically, I must admit I'm a little under-cooked on court time, though my players will have noticed a little extra intensity and footwork down my end in their lessons of late and a heightened motivation to play a few points at the end! A big thanks to pal and RAF maestro Chris Evans for the couple of sets today and best of luck in the 35's mate - oh to be so young!  Still, looks like there are a few whipper-snappers in the 45's and I'm shocked to think that next year I'll qualify for the 50s!!!

So, the campaign begins tomorrow 1pm against 45 year old (yes excuses already, he's much younger) James Fiordelisi.  Is there some Italian clay court mastery in that name....I don't know??

I'll report in, daily.  Well, at least tomorrow for sure ;-)

Finally, quick shout out to Halton's own Matt Rogan who takes his place in the Men's 40's event this year.  Great prep over the weekend Matt in your Team Aegon victory and all the best.  That coaching with Danny West will surely see you through!