KEVIN Willemse secured a comfortable victory in the Dorchester Tennis & Squash Club Annual Championships.

Willemse beat 17-year-old Ed Keegan 6-1, 6-1 to claim the men’s singles title for a third time.

Like the 2020 Olympics, the championships for 2020 were actually finished off in 2021 due to the latter two Covid-19 lockdowns.

Play resumed in late March during lockdown easing and the finals have just completed.

There was a great turnout for the competition despite all the challenges the past 18 months presented, plus various injuries and the British weather. The total number of entrants was 54, with 24 women and 30 men taking part.

Willemse, the club coach, was given a sterner test by Keegan than the scoreline suggests, but Willemse was too steady and was in control of the match throughout.

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Willemse and Keegan faced each other again in the men’s doubles, Willemse partnering 19-year-old Ellery Ford to beat Keegan and his 15-year-old partner Ethan Robinson 6-2, 6-1.

Willemse has now won the men’s doubles six times, while Ford was the defending champion in the doubles – with a different partner – and has now won the title three years in a row.

Meanwhile, the ladies’ singles was again won by Sarah Skidmore for an astonishing 20th time, beating first time finalist, Binny Blackburn.

Blackburn’s tactics were spot on, moving Skidmore around the court and bringing her up to the net with some delicate drop shots but Skidmore was too strong in the end and won 6-3, 6-3.

Skidmore partnered Immi Reid in the doubles but previous champions Sally Dinham-Scott and Yvonne Henderson were too strong and consistent for them, winning 6-2, 6-2. Dinham-Scott has now won the doubles title four times and Henderson three times.

In the mixed doubles, Skidmore defended her title with new partner Ethan Robinson as they beat Katharine Butler and Hal Cazalet 6-2, 6-1.

Skidmore has now won the mixed doubles 24 times with 10 different partners. This was teenager Robinson’s first senior club title but there will undoubtedly be more to come in the future.

Skidmore and Willemse both won two titles in the main events and were therefore jointly awarded the coveted Rod Skidmore Cup, named in memory of Sarah’s husband.

This cup is awarded to the winner of the most events in the main draw and is presented in memory of a much missed club member and club chairman, Rod Skidmore, a Royal Naval pilot who lost his life in a helicopter crash in 2002.

“We’ve had a great tournament, spread over a much longer period than usual for our Annual Championships” said Al Clark, the chairman of the DTSC Tennis Committee at the trophy presentation.

“We couldn’t wish for a better lead-in to the winter season and our 2021 championships, which we hope will see more of a return to normal.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about joining DTSC, either to play tennis for fun, have some coaching, enter a tournament or play in a team should look at the club website, e-mail: or phone (01305) 268103 from 9-11am on weekdays for more information.

As well as a busy tennis programme, there are also equally busy programmes in squash, racketball and table tennis.

Players are encouraged to come along, have fun and join the teams, internal box leagues and tournaments. The club also has a licensed bar and an active social programme.

Elsewhere, the 2021 tournament will be starting shortly with entries closing on Sunday, August 15 and Finals Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 16.

This year the club is delighted that Pengillys have kindly offered to sponsor the tournament and Tesco, Dorchester have offered to supply water and squash for all the matches.

Full results: Men’s singles – Kevin Willemse beat Ed Keegan 6-1, 6-1; Ladies’ singles – Sarah Skidmore beat Binny Blackburn 6-3, 6-3; Men’s doubles – Kevin Willemse & Ellery Ford beat Ethan Robinson & Ed Keegan 6-2, 6-1; Ladies’ doubles – Sally Dinham-Scott & Yvonne Henderson beat Sarah Skidmore & Immi Reid 6-2, 6-2; Mixed doubles – Sarah Skidmore & Ethan Robinson beat Katharine Butler & Hal Cazalet 6-2, 6-1; Skidmore Cup – Jointly awarded to Sarah Skidmore & Kevin Willemse.

Men’s singles plate – Ellery Ford beat Jonathan Pritchard 6-0, 6-0; Ladies’ singles plate – not held; Men’s doubles plate – Trevor Blackburn & Duncan Heath beat Harald Lankisch & Jan Bergman 6-0, 6-0; Ladies’ doubles plate – Julie Nash & Linda Thomas beat Ann Williams & Sue Ramsbottom 6-2, 7-6; Mixed doubles plate – Isabelle Mace & Chris Porter beat Sue Warren & Al Clark 6-3, 6-4.