Island Games 2023: Double tennis gold for Jersey

Island Games 2023: Double tennis gold for Jersey
Jersey's tennis players won the men's and women's team gold on Monday

Jersey's tennis players kicked off day two of the Island Games in style with a brace of gold medals in the team events in Guernsey, with both the men's and the women's finals going down to the doubles.

The men, who reached the final having not lost a rubber en route, were taken all the way to a Championship deciding tie-break in the gold medal match, eventually emerging narrow 2-1 winners over second seeds Menorca.

Stuart Parker, off the back of competing in the Wimbledon qualifiers recently, led the way with a straight sets victory over Menorca's Oscar Berg (6-3, 6-1) in the opening singles. Scott Weaver's 6-1, 6-1 loss to Alexander Berg, though, set up a doubles deciding rubber. Parker and Weaver versus the Bergs.

The Jersey pair picked up the first set 6-4 but the Menorcan duo hit back to take the second 6-3 to set up a tie-breaker to determine the podium placings. Parker and Weaver held their nerve to clinch it 10-5 and Jersey were team gold medallists again, retaining the title they won at Gibraltar 2019, Gotland 2017, and Jersey 2015.

On the outdoor courts, in tricky windy conditions, Jersey's women also continued their good form. After back-to-back 3-0 victories to get to the final, they saw off Gotland 2-1 to earn gold.

Natasha Forrest, who was one of the stars of the Jersey 2015 Island Games when she burst onto the scene reaching the semi-finals at just 14-years-old, has spent the past few years in America. She took the opening match up 6-2, 6-2 on Monday morning against Gotland's Tzvetelina Havren.

Jersey's Antonija Sokic suffered a 6-2, 6-2 reverse though against Melliz Petkova-Mustafa, leaving the doubles to decide this final too. The four players from the singles were pitted against each other, with Forrest and Sokic on court again. The Jersey duo triumphed 6-1, 6-4 to clinch the title. No need for the drama of a tie-break in this one.

The tennis golds were Jersey's third and fourth at the Games, following the win in the men's triathlon team event and Lucy Woodward's triple jump gold on Sunday's opening day of action. They were quickly followed by Jersey's fifth, as shooters Spencer Barr and Ben Videgrain took team gold in the NPA Service Pistol B event.