Taking place at the North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club this Saturday and Sunday, the 1st and 2nd of July, are the men’s and women’s blues varsity tennis matches! Split over the two days, there are two rounds of singles matches and three rounds of doubles matches.
In preparation for the intense weekend, Captain Jenni Mair answered a few questions about how things are shaping up.
How has your season been so far?
We performed well in BUCS, despite not being able to regularly field our top team. Having been demoted from Premier league last year we found the matches in this division much more competitive and great practice for the upcoming Varsity fixture. We ended the season a close 2nd in the BUCS league.
This term we have had very valuable friendly fixtures against teams such as the All England Lawn Tennis Club, IC and Queenswood, among others where we were able to put aspects of our training into match practice against very strong opposition.
What is your favourite Cambridge tennis memory?
I have been lucky enough to play the fixture against the All England Lawn Tennis Club twice in my time at Cambridge which is always a very special experience, and very good match practice!
What was last year’s outcome?
Oxford won the match last year 11-10. It was a closely fought weekend of tennis with some great matches in both singles and doubles.
How is the team looking this year?
The team is very experienced in Varsity matches with 5 of the players having played 2 or more matches in previous years. They have all worked hard this year in training and matches which will hopefully show in the tennis this weekend.
What are your expectations for this years varsity match?
Varsity is very different from any other fixture we have during the year and so it is difficult to know what to expect. Hopefully the experience of the team will allow players to deal with the pressure and to enjoy their matches!
Kadi is a PhD student at Trinity. She reached No. 54 in Europe in her age group. She represented her home country Estonia at the European Championship from 2005-2008, won the Estonian Junior Tennis Championships on 20 occasions and was twice elected Junior Tennis Player of the Year. In 2010, representing Repton, she won the Independent Schools’ Championship and was the finalist at Girls’ National Schools Championship. In 2013, Kadi made it to Top 32 at World Student Games. Kadi has gotten five full blues, including two devastating victories over Oxford. She was also part of the victorious 2016 Seabright Team against Harvard and Yale where she remained unbeaten in singles.
Cassandra is a 2nd year biochemistry PhD student at Selwyn. She has been playing tennis since she was about 8. She had a career high of number 3 in the country at U18. She studied at Stony Brook University for her undergraduate degree, where she played on their Division 1 tennis team, who made it to the national tournament 3 years in a row after winning their conference.
Monika is in her fourth year reading Medicine at Pembroke College, and was Blues captain 2015/6. She has been playing tennis since she could walk, playing competitively against her twin sister even at this early stage! She has had a number of achievements in official tournaments: often winning the annual Herefordshire and Worcestershire Junior County Championships (much of the time her sister got in the way) and had a career high ranking of 12th in the UK. She has also played in some European international tournaments. Monika has an LTA rating of 4.2 and hopes to contribute to future Cambridge Varsity and BUCS wins.
Jenni is a 3rd year medic at Gonville and Caius and is the Women’s Captain for this academic session. She started playing tennis aged 11 at her local tennis club. She has since captained her school’s tennis team to winning the Scottish Schools’ Championship two years in a row and represented the East of Scotland from under 14 to senior level. She loved being a part of the Cambridge team for the 2015 and 2016 Varsity matches against Oxford and hopes to lead both teams to Varsity success in 2017.
Jane is in her second year reading Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Trinity College. She played provincial level tennis in Ontario, Canada. She also played for her high school team for four years, during which she won the provincial school mixed doubles title, and was a girls’ doubles finalist for two years. Jane trained at the Ontario Racquet Club Tennis Academy for four years. She loved representing the light blues last season, and she looks forward to improving and helping Cambridge achieve success in this year’s Varsity!
Claudia is a second year geographer at Trinity and this year’s Women’s Secretary. She enjoyed playing tennis for most of her life and started tournaments at the age of 8. She represented her county, Avon, for 4 years, won the county tournament and was ranked 1st in her county for a period of time. The best moment was reaching the road to Wimbledon finals and getting to play on court 18! Towards the end of school she enjoyed representing her club where she played lots of doubles and captained her school’s 1st team.
Head on down to support them. GDBO!