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Shropshire
Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Shropshire’s Rob Rue enjoys successful season after return from surgery

Shropshire’s Rob Rue has enjoyed his most successful ever season with a host of title triumphs at International Tennis Federation tournaments in England, Wales and Scotland.

Shropshire tennis player Rob Rue, who has enjoyed a successful season playing in ITF tournaments, with Sally Walker after they won the 60+ mixed doubles titles at Gerrards Cross
Shropshire tennis player Rob Rue, who has enjoyed a successful season playing in ITF tournaments, with Sally Walker after they won the 60+ mixed doubles titles at Gerrards Cross

His fantastic season – in singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles events – is all the more impressive considering he was rushed to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital last September and had to have emergency surgery.

But Rob has impressively recovered and, having started to play tennis again in January, he’s really enjoyed being back on court this year and playing so well.

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Recalling the events of 12 months ago, Rob said: “It’s almost a year to the day that I was rushed by ambulance to hospital with a twisted bowel. I didn’t know what it was at the time, only that I had never known pain like it.

“It was later that day I had emergency surgery.

“I’ll be eternally grateful to the NHS and to all those at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital for the wonderful care that I received that day and the days following as I started my recovery in hospital.

“After I returned home it was slow progress to retain fitness and I was unable to play tennis at all for three months, but I started to play again in January this year.”

Rob, who has represented Shropshire at a number of different age group teams, has just returned from competing at the ITF Welsh Open in Cardiff where he won all three events he entered.

He beat Rob Slade in the final of the 70+ men’s singles 6-4, 6-0, getting the better of an opponent he had lost to on a third set Championship tiebreak earlier this year at Tunbridge Wells.

Rob, who lives in Shrewsbury, also won the 65+ men’s doubles, partnering Myles Collett from Yorkshire, and teamed up with Sally Walker from Nottinghamshire to take victory in the 60+ mixed doubles.

The Welsh Open was the perfect way for Rob to crown his most successful ever season in ITF tournaments which saw him win four men’s doubles and three mixed doubles titles.

His men’s doubles titles were at Leicester with Alan Rayner (Essex), Tunbridge Wells with Peter Pharo (Kent), Gerrards Cross with Mike Webster (Lancashire) and Cardiff with Myles Collett (Yorkshire).

The three mixed doubles titles, at Felixstowe, Gerrards Cross and Cardiff, were all won with Sally Walker.

More titles were nearly added to Rob’s collection as he was a beaten finalist, partnering Shropshire’s Judy King, in the mixed doubles at Leicester, while it was a similar story in the men’s doubles with Eddie Green (Bahamas) at Glasgow, Rennie Johnson (Hampshire) at Frinton and Alan Rayner (Essex) at Felixstowe.

Further success came Rob’s way in LTA tournaments, as he won the 70+ men’s doubles with Allan Thompson at Cromer, and was a beaten finalist with Allan in the 65+ men’s doubles at the same event on the Norfolk coast.

Rob was also runner-up in two finals in the Welsh Closed Championship at Penarth, in both the 65+ singles, as he lost to Myles Collett, and in the 65+ men’s doubles, partnering Mitch Sedgwick, as they lost to Myles Collett and Chris Hill.

A busy season also saw Rob return to the international stage as he was chosen to represent Wales 65+ men’s team once again in the Four Nations event.

He received a late call up owing to one of the Welsh team having to withdraw through injury and, while he didn’t manage to win either of the two rubbers he played, he loved the experience, adding the highlight was watching Myles Collett and Chris Hill, the number one doubles pair for Wales, win an exciting third set tiebreak against Scotland.

Rob’s successful season may yet feature one more event as he is contemplating playing in the ITF Ipswich tournament at the end of next month.

Reflecting on his season, Rob added: “It’s been an incredible year for me on the tennis court, one I could never have dreamed of when I lay in a hospital bed after my surgery last September.

“I’ve been very fortunate in having so many talented players partner me in the men’s and mixed doubles events and I’m exceedingly grateful to them for playing with me, and to our wonderful NHS which made it possible for me to be playing at all.”

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