April 16 2014 Latest news:
by Dan Wynne
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Traditionally in July, Cromer Tennis Club hosts Group Two of the AEGON Summer County Cup, with some of the top players from around the country competing on the facility’s pristine grass courts.
This year however, the excitement ahead of the event has escalated with the potential appearance of a current grand slam champion at the Norfolk venue.
Thirty-year old Jonny Marray, from Sheffield won the Wimbledon men’s doubles title with Freddie Nielsen of Denmark on Saturday in front of a packed Centre Court and a prime time TV audience.
But, in just under a fortnight Britain’s first winner of that title since 1936 could be representing his county at Cromer after their relegation from Group One last year.
Victory at Wimbledon and a new world doubles ranking of 21, opens plenty of doors for the new household name, but if he were to pull on a Yorkshire shirt and play at the event known informally as County Week, he would not be the first high profile British player to do so in recent years.
In 2009, British number one Andy Murray turned out for the North of Scotland in Group One whilst Davis Cup players Dan Evans, Josh Goodall, Jamie Murray and Colin Fleming have all competed at Cromer in Group Two in the last few summers.
In fact, Evans was part of a Warwickshire team that lost 7-2 to Norfolk in 2011; all but clinching the home side’s promotion to Group One. If Marray is included in Yorkshire’s ten man squad for their Group Two campaign, it will be a great chance for spectators to watch the Wimbledon Champion in action free of charge and at close quarters.
Meanwhile, the Norfolk men’s team travel to Eastbourne for the first time in 35 years to compete in the Group One with the top sides in British tennis, including the formidable Hertfordshire who have dominated the event for the last three years.
Captain Barry Fulcher expects to have a full team for the opening fixture against Surrey as his side appear in Group One for only the second time in their history.
Norfolk Ladies head north to Ilkley for Group Three with a solid mix of youth and experience in their squad. The team open against the East of Scotland who achieved promotion from the group below in 2011.
Summer County Cup takes place from Monday, July 23 to Friday, July 27 at venues across the country, with play usually beginning at 10:30am.
For a detailed preview of the Norfolk Men’s and Ladies’ County Cup prospects, see next week’s tennis column.
• Norfolk’s Richard Bloomfield missed out on a place in the main draw of the ATP Hall of Fame Championships in Newport Rhode Island after a straight sets loss to experienced Australian, Chris Guccione.
Bloomfield reached the semi-finals of the event in 2011, losing to American Mardy Fish, but this year his run will go no further after falling 7-6, 7-6 in the qualifying event.