ILKLEY Lawn Tennis and Squash Club’s natural drainage came to the fore as the British Tour and Ilkley Open pretty much stayed on schedule yesterday.

Some of the outside courts were under water on Sunday night after two days’ of heavy rain but, with the aid of some hot-air blowers, had made a remarkable recovery by the following morning.

“Courts Two and Three were more or less completely flooded,” said head groundsman Richard Lord, “but by yesterday morning they were clear, although they were a bit damp, and we were able to play on them by 1pm, 1.30pm.

“It was natural drainage, although we did put some blowers on them so I have had worse weekends, although the forecast for the rest of the week is changeable.”

One player who was in action yesterday was the host club’s director of tennis performance Kyle Brassington.

The 32-year-old, who won nine rubbers out of 10 last week in helping Yorkshire to promotion in Group Three of County Week at Nottingham, defeated Stephen Shipley 6-1, 6-1 in his first qualifying match for the British Tour men’s singles.

Former world No 810 Brassington, who is seeded 12th in qualifying and took over as tournament director when Alan Cutts left the club recently, said: “It (the new job title) hasn’t scuppered my plans to make a comeback and the body is feeling good, feeling strong.

“I hit the ball okay considering that I hadn’t picked a racquet up since last Thursday and I have only played one singles match for the club this year and before that there was one for Yorkshire last November.

“Also I lost 18-16 in the final set to Matt Smith in the Yorkshire semi-finals last summer. It is just a matter of getting back into the movements for singles.”