Diary of the Luxembourg minnows - Day 3
Day 3 at the ETC has arrived, the sun continues to shine, the
swimming pool has become more popular than ever and the squash
is approaching the business end of the week. Whilst for some the
importance of getting a tan is high up on the agenda, for many
teams the third day brings about some crunch games in deciding
their final Pool placements (no pun intended).
For the team from Luxembourg, things were no different. Whilst
the ladies team had the day off (and chose to spend part of it
shopping), the men's team knew they faced a crucial encounter
against their counterparts from Gibraltar. Their line up
consisted of Anthony Brindle, Christian Navas, Stephen Shacaluga
and Mark Tewkesbury and, seeing as they had put in a better
performance against the Slovakians, the Luxembourgers knew they
could take nothing for granted.
At 1, Nathan Sneyd got the ball rolling with a cool 3-0
win whilst on the other court Danny Hutchines, after
going 2-0 up, scraped through in 5. This put the team from
Luxembourg on the verge of their first win but work was still
needed to make it happen! Fortunately, Sanjay Raval put
in an assured performance winning 3-0 thus clinching the tie for
the minnows. Last on court, Niall managed to squeeze past
his opponent 3-2, sealing an important 4-0 victory.
With spirits much improved, the men's team decided to celebrate
with a swift-ish 9 holes of golf on the adjacent course. Of
course this also provided the perfect opportunity for Kitty
to accrue yet more money for any balls failing to make it past
the ladies tees! Indeed, thanks to 2 feeble drives each (photos
supplied) from Stephane Ayache, Danny Hutchines and Nathan Sneyd,
Kitty has earned herself a further 30! Hooray.
Tomorrow the team shall keep you up to date on all their antics
alongside reports of the women's crucial encounter against the
Greeks and the men's match against Poland. See you then ...
of the Luxembourg minnows - Day 2
a disappointing loss at the hands of Slovakia yesterday, the
team from Luxembourg knew they would have to improve on day 2.
Indeed, such was the mood in the camp that a system was put in
place to whip people into line. Nicknamed "The Kitty",
every wayward serve would henceforth cost a player sharp 5;
every minute that someone was late for a team meeting - 1.
Other misdemeamours, as decided upon after the offences had been
- Losing a set 11-0 = 5
- Wearing a Swiss team shirt on court = 10
The opponents for the men's team today took the form of group
front runners, Sweden and Hungary. For the ladies, Finland stood
in the way of success.
Whilst the results were not altogether different from yesterday,
the team were sure that Kitty had played her role well and the
performances put in by all were much improved.
Of particular note, Nathan Sneyd turned in a good
performance against the Swedish number 1, Rasmus Holt, going
down in a closely fought match 3-1. Likewise, Daniel Kaiser
lost by the same margin at 4 against his Hungarian counterpart.
So how much money did Kitty accrue? Well, the balls were
raaaather bouncy, Stephane tends to get a bout of the
sweats (hence the change of shirt), so Kitty has ended up with a
total of *** - a good night out is sure to be had on Saturday!
Tomorrow brings a crucial match for the men's team against
Gibraltar, whilst the ladies have a day off and a chance to sit
by the lovely pool and relax, In any case, the minnows from
Luxembourg shall be sure to keep you posted.
Minnows Diary ... Day One
in Aix-en-Provence, the weather was fine and, after a couple of
cheeky beers the night before, the team from the little land of
Luxembourg were in good spirits for the matches that lay ahead.
The men knew they faced an important match against the team from
Slovakia, who were something of an unknown quantity
(seeded 27th as opposed to 19 for Luxembourg owing to them
having not played last year). The women on the other hand faced
a tough prospect against Spain.
Despite Danny Kaiser getting the bus times wrong, the
team made it to the club in time to see a cracking match between
LJ and Oli, followed by the matches between an extremely strong
English side and their German counterparts. If ever matches
could serve as some motivation for the Luxembourg team, surely
that was it?
Unfortunately for the minnows, that is not quite how things
First up, the ladies team comprised of Sandra Denis, Claudia
Mich and Francoise Donven came up against a well organised
Spanish team and, despite some hard fought games, ran out....3-0
Could the men do any better, thus putting themselves in a good
spot in their pool? The team, made up of Nathan Sneyd, Sanjay
Raval, Niall Woodger and Daniel Hutchines, playing on courts
1 and 2 (following on from James Willstrop and Adrian Grant -
tough act to follow), couldn't dig deep enough and were
disappointed to lose to a stronger than anticipated Slovakian
So, all in all a tough day for the Luxembourg team with the
prospect of even tougher matches ahead (Sweden and Hungary
tomorrow). Regardless of the outcomes of those matches however,
the teams are convinced that they can put in a good account of
themselves, even if it means beating their higher rated
opponents at the bar on Saturday night...
(minnows or otherwise) gratefully accepted ...
Kitty says thanks ...