Ricketts had the slightest of edges throughout the first with Beachill
tentative on an overhead volley nick attempt leaving an opening for his
opponent to go ahead 8-6. Three errors, one forced with a clinging ball
(the third of the game) gave it to the forceful Ricketts 11-7.
Ricketts was away to 6-4 in the second as Beachill struggled to find
tightness but when he did, and it came on rather suddenly, it set the
foundation for his whole game and he won seven consecutive points all
winners except the first which was a stroke.
This is when it got controversial. Ricketts, before he sat down for his
break demanded, demanded, is the right word here, a new ball from
Referee Clayton. This seemed a strange request to Clayton.
“It’s a rule,” demanded Ricketts, “a player can ask for a new ball
before the third and the fifth.”
Clayton was to put it mildly uneasy, Ricketts insisted, got his ball and
started to warm it while a confused Beachill, attempted to clarify the
situation and make reasonable enquiries as to whether both players had
“He seems to know what he is talking about,” explained Clayton
unconvincingly and after much lack of communication (hearing was
difficult here as Ricketts was make much banging on court trying to get
this ball as bouncy as possible) he ordered the reluctant Beachill on
court. Beachill was it must be said was confused, his mind in turmoil
and he was very unhappy with things.
He was even unhappy a minute later when he came of court and explained
to Clayton that he should just concentrate on making decisions (a
reasonable enough one in this case) and not bother to give a wrong
explanation to justify them. He was even unhappier a few minutes later
as he walked off having lost the game 11-4.
“I don’t think you understand how crucial that decision is,” said
Beachill and ball scenario worrying him as he tangled with this new
bouncy ball and a rampant Ricketts.
The fourth was close. Beachill again got a little feel for the pace of
the ball as it cooled and got ahead 6-4 and kept the lead until 9-7 when
Ricketts scored with a deceptive faded crosscourt volley drop and then
in a decisive move scored again with a brilliant forehand drop form the
three-quarter court after Beachill had initiated the attack.
Beachill served first for the game and when the opening came he
enterprisingly smashed a deceptive reverse angle that Ricketts totally
misread around the front left court and then stood in open-mouthed
disbelief as it bounced up off the tin. A no let many felt harsh
penalized him and he tinned a crosscourt drop to give it to the
“This was my chance to win this event and I took it,” said Ricketts.
“I’ll now rest up and prepare to attack next season, hit the no.1 spot
and hang onto it.”