THIS last week has seen the Blake’s of the Hollow West Ulster Tennis Open played out at the Enniskillen Tennis Club. 
The increased entry saw the courts stretched to their maximum to accommodate all 111 players but thanks to the glorious weather and the over worked BBQ everyone enjoyed a superb weeks tennis with 15 titles up for grabs across the A, B and C grades.
For local Enniskillen interest in the A titles, it was a mixture of former players returning home with Eilis Bogue, Adam Donaldson and John Slowey all playing their first West Ulster in many years and also the current crop of juniors looking to make their mark on the senior circuit. 
Between them they managed to secure two of the five A titles for Enniskillen as Adam and John rolled back the years to win the A Men’s doubles and Sarah Cousins, playing in her first West of Ulster, laid down a marker for the future in winning the A Ladies Singles without dropping a set. While Sarah’s trademark forehand was on display it was her accurate shot placement and effective serving that paved the way to her first senior title in Enniskillen.

The A Men’s Singles and A Mixed finals also featured local talent as Ronan McKeever sought to unseat reigning champion Francis Venzon and Laura Griffin looked to go one better than last year in the A mixed. Unfortunately despite breaking Francis in the opening game and leading for most of the first set Ronan was unable to hold back his more experienced opponent as Francis came through to win 6-4 6-4. 
Francis also stood in the way of Laura as he combined with Elaine Chambers to win a very entertaining A Mixed in three sets against Laura and Andy Moore.
Having seen an increase in the B section entry over the last two years it was no surprise that the B Men’s Singles and B Mixed Doubles produced the most competitive events of the week with 18 Men vying for the singles title and an incredible 18 pairings lining up in the mixed. 
The B Men’s final had more success for Enniskillen as Clive Funston, the number one seed and current title holder, came through a serious test against the second seed and in-form Robert Thompson from the Butt Hall club in Donegal. 
Falling a set behind Clive had to draw on all his competitive nature to rescue the title as his greater range of shots eventually told to bring him victory in a third set championship tie-break. Undoubtedly, the spectator’s favourite matches throughout the week were the B mixed battles with at least half of the 18 pairings holding realistic chances of victory. 
In an entertaining B mixed section it was the number two seeds, Stephen Cunningham and Noreen Cassidy from Sligo, who squeezed through a dramatic final to win in three sets.
The B Men’s Doubles final featured the big-hitting pairing of Enniskillen’s Donal Burns playing with City of Derry’s Martin Fryer as they justified their number one seeding with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Irvinestown’s David McDowell and Omagh’s Stephen Cuthbertson. 
The B Ladies Singles final saw Irvinestown’s Frances Taggert regain her B title from last year’s winner Rachel Logan.
Local success was harder to find in the C events with only Enniskillen’s Brendan King, and Irvinestown’s Alan Cadden and David Lowe keeping the silverware in Fermanagh. Brendan and Alan were able to use their greater doubles experience to beat Enniskillen’s Ken Yang and Andy Elliott in the C Men’s Doubles while it was further heartbreak for Ken in the singles as he lost a close three-set match to David Lowe.
During prize-giving Maxine thanked Blake’s of the Hollow for their ongoing and generous sponsorship.
 and thanked the clubs from across West Ulster for their strong support which is crucial to the continued success of the tournament.