Draw & Results

Ricketts has Ball at Broadgate

Ricketts beats Beachill  11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10

It was a strange final at Broadgate. Controversial. Unsatisfactory from Lee Beachill’s point of view. Very satisfactory for Anthony Ricketts who came back impressively after losing the second to a string of Beachill winners after the Englishman found his famous clinging lines.

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 to agree.

“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 Australian.

“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.”