GORDON WILSON, the club coach and clear favourite for this year’s Bearsden Lawn Tennis Club championship, faced a potentially stern challenge from an on-form David Norris - who delivered some convincing tennis to make it to the last round.
Norris (17) had earlier seen off Kafui Akpo-Young in the under-21s final, outgunning his 13-year-old opponent to take the match 6-1, 6-2. But despite occasional signs of the brilliance he would need to cause an upset with some hard-hitting ground strokes, it was always going to be a tall order to topple Wilson, by far the more experienced player.
After a closely-fought first set, Wilson (28) edged ahead to take it 6-4 and looked comfortable in the second to finish 6-2, taking his second gents singles title since joining the club three years ago.
The women’s singles final was also an interesting prospect with Emma Wright and Katie Lowis, both aggressive players known for their fiery baseline play. The game went to Wright in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
In a day that threatened to mirror the experience of the US Open, with rain leaving the courts flooded at 9.30am, the sun eventually made enough of an appearance to allow for some entertaining tennis to be played in front of a good-sized crowd.
It turned out to be a family affair on a number of courts, with Emma Wright joining her father Keith to take the mixed doubles title in a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Lewis Boron and Rahina Hacioglu, and father-and-son duo Paul and Andrew Thomson beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Gordon Wilson and Chris Gray. Johanna Norris’ appearance in the under-21 final ensured there were three Norris siblings on court at the same time.
Akpo-Young, one of Bearsden’s brightest of young stars, who is rated seventh in the West of Scotland in his age group, had victories in both the under-16 and under-14, with tight wins against Andrew Turnbull, sealed at 10-8 in a championship tie-break, and Gregor Norris, David’s younger brother, whom he beat 7-5, 7-5.
Akpo-Young continues to display not only impeccable technique but astounding maturity and stamina in his selection and variety of shots and patience in edging out his opponents.
His defeat against Norris left Caroline Hunter the only player to take away three titles, with straight set wins against Johanna Norris and Eilidh Gillen in the under-21 and under-16s respectively, having previously taken the under-14s. After a slow start in the under-16 match when she went a break down, Hunter showed a quiet determination, tending to opt for the long rally against the flashy winner and gradually building a lead through the games with an admirably low level of unforced errors and reliable ground strokes.
Andrew Turnbull, who has been playing well beyond his years for some time now, suffered a further loss in the under-12 final, which was taken in straight sets by Sam Pointon, another strong young player who took the match 4-2, 4-2 while in the girls under-12, Rachel Taylor saw off Elly McLean with a decisive 4-1, 4-0 victory.