Thursday, November 30, 2023

Tom and Ali win at Wimbledon

Pictures by SAIANA BUGIO

World number four Alison Waters overcame number two seed Emma Beddoes 3-1 to be crowned the women’s Wimbledon Cup champion 2013 at Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club on Sunday.

Both players came into the final following 3-0 semi-final victories on Saturday and fought out a competitive and entertaining match in 50 minutes in front of the crowd in Wimbledon.

Waters, the number one seed from Middlesex, made her opponent work hard in the opening exchanges and it looked as though nerves got the better of Beddoes when she served out at 4-3, but good play from the front of the court took her into a 9-4 lead. Waters was strong on the volley and clawed it back to 9-9 but could not stop Beddoes eventually edging a thrilling first game 12-10 to take a shock lead against the number one seed.

Waters kept her focus and came out strongly in the second game and, despite great recovery work from world number 26 Beddoes, won the next two games 11-7, 11-8 to take a 2-1 lead over the number two seed.

Waters was clinical in her shot execution against the player from Nottingham who fought hard throughout in an entertaining spectacle and was happy with her victory: “I’m pleased with my performance. Emma played well in the first game so I had to be determined to come out fighting, and I grew in confidence as the game went on.”

In the men’s final, number one seed Tom Richards won 3-0 in a well-contested match against Rex Hedrick.

Richards entered the tournament after reaching the last-16 at the World Championships in Manchester this week and faced a tough semi-final on Saturday night against Eddie Charlton, winning a compelling game 3-2.

Australian Hedrick saw off Jamie Haycocks 3-1 in his semi-final match and kept up with the pace of Richards in the opening rallies of the final.

The Englishman struggled to find his rhythm at the start of the match and was tied at 10-10 before two unforced errors from number 5/8 seed Hedrick handed the game to Richards at 12-10 in a tight first game.

Hedrick made a promising start to the second game with a 3-0 lead but Richards found his way into the game and showed his class by dominating proceedings to give himself a game ball at 10-4. A slight lapse in concentration allowed Hedrick a glimmer of hope but Richards eventually closed the game out 11-7 before the world number 26 won the final game 11-5 to seal his victory.

Richards put in a disciplined display against the athletic Australian and was pleased with his triumph: “I’m happy with my performance, Rex is a tricky player so I had to play well today. I’ve enjoyed the whole weekend, it has been a great chance to work on my game and I feel like I’m making good progress.”

The two finals drew the Wimbledon Cup to a close after a weekend of high-quality squash played by professionals from around the world. Head coach of Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club and event organiser Phil Rushworth was pleased with how the weekend went: “It was a great success and we would like to thank the players for putting on such a great show.”

The event could not have taken place without the help and support from the club’s sponsors who include squash court maintenance company Ryan Leisure Activities Ltd. and Unibet, an online bookmakers based in Wimbledon. The University of Roehampton provided support for the weekend as well as sponsorship along with online racket sports retailer Racketnation.

Tom Richards and Rex Hedrick
Tom Richards and Rex Hedrick

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