Tennis – Taylor ready for a short break

Shakeel Manji

Shakeel Manji

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County men’s skipper Mark Taylor is looking forward to a short break in senior action after the LTA Summer County Cup and the Over 35 national championships fell on top of one another with hardly a chance to catch breath..

This year’s men’s winter singles will take place in Taunton from November 22-24 when the County will face hosts county Somerset among the opposition which will mean a chance to re-unite with former Northamptonshire-based school teacher Matt Bernard.

County pair Steve Biss and Wayne Tideswell reached the semi-finals of the restricted doubles at Cromer last week.

Burton Latimer’s Shakeel Manji warmed up for a three-pronged East Northants assault on this week’s 18U Boys’ National Championships in Nottingham, by playing an ITF tournament in Portugal last week.

Manji, Corby’s Jack Haworth and Barton Seagrave’s Jordan Parker were all in the 64-draw – begging the question over the last occasion Northants had such a strong hand, considering its smaller county reputation.

Manji reached the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-1 win against a home based fifth seed, having kicked off with a 6-2, 6-0 success against Alexey Aleshchev from Russia in the 64 round before a 6-3, 6-1 result against Australian G Morell Raschiatore, a player he had struggled to overcome 7-5,7-6 in July.

He eventually lost 6-2, 6-2 in the semis against Spanish player Alberto Romero Avila Sanise, while his doubles run came to a premature end with Christopher Morrow, losing to a Portuguese pair.

On Monday at Nottingham, Jordan Parker enjoyed a 6-4, 6-0 victory over James Defusto to set up Tuesday’s match with third seed Peter Ashley. Both Manji and Jack Haworth had first round byes.

County interest in the national 18U boys singles has continued into the second half of the week. For while Jordan Parker lost 6-1, 6-1 to third seed Peter Ashley, Jack Haworth was a 7-6 (1), 6-1 winner against Luke Simeone while Shakeel Manji defeated Ben Crichton 7-6 (5), 6-1 to both reach the third round.