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Newark Tennis Club's Sue Bilton gifted with a prestigious regional lifetime achievement award

By Connor Thompson

A tennis enthusiast has been gifted with a prestigious regional lifetime achievement award.

Newark Tennis Club member and ladies’ first team captain Sue Bilton has been awarded with a regional lifetime achievement award.

Bilton joined the club as a junior and has been an active member throughout.

Sue Bilton, of Newark Tennis Club and Kathy Sabin OBE, the first female president of the LTA (13228083)
Sue Bilton, of Newark Tennis Club and Kathy Sabin OBE, the first female president of the LTA (13228083)

As well as playing for the ladies’ first team in Division One of the Notts doubles league, Bilton represents the county veterans in the over 60 an over 75 age categories.

She said she was honoured to have been nominated for the award by the club, specifically thanking the club’s chairman Andy Cole, who submitted the nomination.

“It was then a welcomed surprise to be asked to attend the grass tournament and to be awarded the regional lifetime achievement award,” she said.

“I was extremely honoured and had a very enjoyable day.“

The award was presented to Bilton at the Nature Valley Classic tournament in Birmingham on centre court by Kathy Sabin OBE, the first female president of the LTA.

Meanwhile, the club were in competitive action, as the mixed 1sts hosted Caunton mixed 1sts, in the most anticipated match of the season.

Sara Jackson, of Newark, said: “It was mostly even, with a very high standard of tennis from both sides and every game counted.

“There was a series of tie-break throughout the day.”

Jackson, and her partner Sam Smith, were able to come away with a four set win, having dropped two to Louise Chandler and Charlie Hunter as well as Ruth Franks and Steve Mower.

Newark’s Ashley Hallam and Sue Bilton lost two tie-breaks against Caunton’s first pairing Chandler and Hunter, but later took two 6-0 games against Caunton’s 3rd pairing.

James Lalyk and Steph Smith took two sets from their games, but it wasn’t enough as the visitors left Newark with a 10-8 victory, handing the mixed firsts their first defeat in more than a year.

Jackson, Smith and Bilton were all in action the following day as Newark ladies’ 1sts suffered a 17-1 defeat to David Lloyd West Bridgford.

Jackson said: “It’s fair to say that after a year back in Division Two, we had forgotten how challenging Division One could be.”

Bilton and Jane Hendley earned Newark’s only set, dramatically winning a tie-break in the final game of the day.


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