Roehampton Club's Two British Seniors Champions

Roehampton Club's Two British Seniors Champions

Roehampton Club had two champions at The British Seniors Clay Court Championships played at Bournemouth last week.

Niall Sweeney won the 60s singles whilst Roehampton coach and former Davis Cup player, John Paish, won the 65s singles.

Both have been selected to represent Great Britain in the ITF World Seniors Championships in Austria in September.

John Paish

John Paish at Roehampton Club

Niall Sweeney

Nail Sweeney

During his senior's career, Niall Sweeney has won 8 singles titles at various age groups in either the Indoor, Clay Court or Grass Court Championships, and 5 doubles titles. At every age group in John Paish's senior's tennis career he has been ranked number 1 in the country and has won national titles at every age group and on every surface.

John Paish's younger tennis career included the following highlights:

1972 - Last 32 Men's Singles, Wimbledon

1973 - Semi-finals Men's Doubles, Wimbledon (with David Lloyd)

1972 - Queen's Club London Championships (soon to become The Stella Artois Tournament). 

John beat Stan Smith in the 1/4 finals (11-9 in 3rd set having been 5-2 down). He then won the semi-final v Pancho Gonzales who was controversially defaulted after losing his temper over a line call and physically pushing the referee.(he was losing at the time!!). In the final John lost to Jimmy Connors. Stan Smith went on to win Wimbledon 2 weeks later!

1972 - Davis Cup v France at Roland Garros.

John played singles and doubles (with David Lloyd). They lost the tie 4-1. John and David won the doubles versus Goven and Proisy!  The French crowd were so disappointed with the French performance that they whistled and jeered them off the stadium court.

A young Buster Mottram was also in the team. This created a Davis Cup record. 2 fathers (Geoff Paish and Tony Mottram) had played together in the same team and then, a generation later, their 2 sons, John and Buster, also played in the same team!

1975 - While living and coaching in New York, John reached the finals of the Port Washington tournament on Long Island. There he came up against a young player, just out of college, with a reputation for being quite temperamental!  John (being a seasoned pro) didn't think he would be much of a problem to beat and was surprised to lose a set before winning 6-3 in the 3rd. His opponent's name was John McEnroe and a few months later he reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon!

1970's - Group 1 County Week at Eastbourne.   Playing with John Crump, John was unbeaten for 3 consecutive years winning 42 matches in a row! It was not 45 because on the last day of the 3rd year John was unable to play because he had to fly to USA for a tournament!

And to cap it all, one year John was playing the US Open at Forest Hills (just before it moved to Flushing Meadows).  In the 1st rd Mens Doubles John had a win over Bjorn Borg and his partner. As they were all walking back to the locker room, Bjorn told John that it was the 2nd time he had lost to him. The first time, he said, was in the 1st rd of the Scandinavian Indoor Championships (his 1st appearance there, as a 16 yr old) and John won 6-0 6-1!

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