A FATHER and son tennis double act from Stratford strutted their stuff on the big stage at the National Finals of the Quorn Family Tennis Cup.
There is a 44-year age gap between Graham and George Adams but they proved a solid partnership at the state-of-the-art National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, where top stars Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund hone their talent.
The dynamic duo, who play at Stratford Tennis Club, performed well but missed out on overall victory, which went to Joe Hart and James Griffiths from Stourbridge.
George, 13, revelled in the chance to play six competitive matches alongside his father, strengthening their bond and making special memories.
“It’s pretty different. It’s fun and unique playing with your dad,” said the Chipping Campden School pupil.
“It helps to be close off the court, your communication is better. We haven’t played much together but the experience has helped us be better partners and closer friends, as well.
“In a good doubles pairing the best partner can read and intercept the opponent’s shots. As much as it pains me to say it, dad is quite good!”
The fourth edition of the Quorn Family Tennis Cup – an increasingly unique opportunity for adults and juniors to play doubles together – brought the top 16 family pairings in the country under one roof.
The competitors were whittled down to finalists through hard-fought regional competition, during which Graham and George prevailed in qualifiers staged in Coventry.
It was a yellow-ball event, targeted at juniors aged ten to 18, with the Lawn Tennis Association also staging red-ball versions, aimed at kids under the age of ten as 7,000 players take to the court nationally.
Graham and George were given treatment worthy of tour professionals over the weekend – offered the same trappings and luxuries as Murray and Edmund when they train in SW15.
All families took advantage of accommodation on site, free meals, kit giveaways and could even record their games for posterity via the venue’s cameras.
Graham, 57, was thrilled to get the chance to play at the venue and share his love of the sport with his son.
“It’s an opportunity for us to play without pressure, no ratings, no rankings, we can just chill and chat, so it strengthens the bond,” said Graham, chief administrator at Stratford Tennis Club.
“I’d like to think tennis is a game for life – he might be playing until he’s 90. I think it’s important kids have something other than the PlayStation – he’s got that as well – but it doesn’t all have to be that.
“It’s exercise, meeting people and a fantastic sport. There aren’t so many adult and junior tournaments out there and it forces you to mix it up a bit.
“It was a wonderful atmosphere over the weekend and a privilege to use such amazing facilities.”
The Quorn Family Tennis Cup has red-ball events for under tens, as well as yellow-ball events for juniors up to 18. All the events are fun, family-focused and are always doubles events in which parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents get to play as well. Find out more at www.lta.org.uk/quorntennis.