TOP mens seeds fell like flies in an evening of high drama at the Sellers International Huddersfield Open last night.
As rain-affected play, tournament officials Rebecca Lee and Sarah Scholey did a magnificent juggling act to keep matches rotating in the indoor arena.
But first to go was Men’s No1 Peter Murray, from Altrincham, who bowed out of his first competition where he had been awarded the No1 tag, 7-5 7-6.
It was a big disappointment for Cheshire county star Murray, 22, who had said earlier: “I always enjoy coming to Huddersfield.
“It’s a great tournament and really friendly and I’m looking forward to the challenge of living up to the top seeding. It will also be a good warm-up for next week’s county week.”
And joining Murray for an early bath was second seed Bobby Brooke, based at Bradley.
Brooke, who won the mens title in 2006 and was a losing semi-finalist last year, revealed he hadn’t been playing many competitive games since last September after taking up a full-time tennis coaching position at Goole.
And he came a cropper against Saad Abbas, 2-6 7-5 10-8.
Third seed Daniel Pethig had previously withdrawn from the tournament with a virus.
And so it was left to defending champion Mike Tolman, of Flockton, to ensure that one ‘big gun’ remained fighting on without shooting blanks!
The popular 24-year-old now works full time for leading sports firm Converse and plays only the odd National Club League, Yorkshire League or Huddersfield League match.
But the chance to defend his title was certainly not one he was going to shirk.
And when asked earlier in the evening of his chances of making it three mens titles (he won his first in 2003), he replied mischievously: “It’s in the bag!”
Now, whether he was just returning the pot from last year remains to be seen but, after going on court at 11pm last night, he made quick work of William Mason and ran out a 6-0 6-0 winner.
He will face Brooke’s conqueror, Saad Abbas in Friday evening’s semi-finals.
Tonight’s action features the quarter-finals of the veterans mixed doubles, mens doubles and mixed doubles.