Jamie Stout and Peter Cipriano are Open Champions
- P.Cipriano & J.Stout (3) bt M.Bailey & N.Hopcroft (4) 15/11 15/5 16/13 15/11 Watch match
A packed gallery witnessed a masterclass in controlled Rackets by New York pair, Peter Cipriano and Jamie Stout. Mike Bailey and Nick Hopcroft battled throughout to create a wonderful spectacle, covering off difficult angles and making extremely difficult recoveries. However, Stout was in his usual sublime form, backed up by Cipriano who missed nothing.
The first game saw the New York pair make the early running to 4-0, before Bailey and Hopcroft pegged them back to establish their own, albeit narrow, lead 7-5. Two points apiece from Stout and Cipriano redressed the balance and established a lead they would hold through to the end of the first game, winning 15/11, and laying down the gauntlet. The third seeds carried their run into the second game, opening up a commanding 9-1 lead. A brief recovery by the battling Bailey/Hopcroft combination brought the score back to 5-9, but it was too late and the travellers finished off the second game 15/5 - and a two-love lead.
The third game would prove to be pivotal, with the first ten points shared before Bailey and Hopcroft opened up a commanding 12-7 lead. Slowly but surely, Stout and Cipriano worked their way back into the game, 9-12 then 11-13, before forcing a set to three. A brave call by the fourth seeds and Stout served out the vital three points to win 16/13, and edge closer to the championship. The fourth game was equally tight, with Bailey and Hopcroft holding a slender advantage until 11-9. But, losing service, their opponents struck; one point from Cipriano then four more from Stout gave them their first Championship Point. Stout didn't waste the chance, serving brilliantly to win the Open Championship with his outstanding partner, Cipriano.
David Norman and Peter Mallinson presented the prizes, with special thanks to Brown Advisory as they completed their second year of Rackets sponsorship. Two great seasons which has built on the successful foundations laid down in the game - and a record turn-out to watch top Rackets.
Peter Cipriano & Jamie Stout (3) beat Mike Bailey & Nick Hopcroft (4) 15/11 15/5 16/13 15/11
Peter Cipriano, Peter Mallinson and Jamie Stout
- P.Cipriano & J.Stout (3) bt R.Owen & T.Billings (1) 9/15 15/8 15/13 15/9 18/17 Watch match
- M.Bailey & N.Hopcroft (4) bt J.Coyne & A.Duncliffe-Vines (2) 15/3 15/6 15/9 15/6 Watch match
Friday evening saw two exciting semi-finals. The first match saw top seeds and defending Open Champions, Richard Owen and Tom Billings, take on World Champion, Jamie Stout, and his partner from New York, Peter Cipriano. The number three seeds had previously come close, runners up in the Manchester Gold Racquet.
Stout & Cipriano started strongly, making the early running to lead 3-1, then 7-2, then 9-3; always the more confident serving. But then a purple patch from the champions saw them overturn the early play to lead 11-9 in a couple of dominant hands, including a divine drop shot from Owen. Stout & Cipriano couldn’t respond, and Billings served to within a point and Owen finished off the first game in style – 15/9. The second game followed a similar pattern, although the Stout & Cipriano partnership were perhaps more dominant, leading 9-0 before being pulled back to 6-9, then 8-10. However this time they didn’t let the lead slip, adding the necessary points over the next pair of service opportunities to secure the game 15/8, and level the match.
The third game was extremely tight all the way, with the pairs closely matched, but again tighter match play by Stout took the game to 14-9. Owen returned well to take back service and slowly clawed back to 13-14 before a Stout low return gave Cipriano the service. A dominant Stout then secured the vital point – 15/13 – and a 2-1 lead. The defending champions had their opportunities in the fourth game but were generally chasing the game. Billings covered the court brilliantly and Owen’s length was exceptional, but Cipriano missed little and Stout was sublime in all departments, incorporating a trick shot into the final point, winning 15/9, and taking a 3-1 lead.
The fifth game would prove to be decisive and the closest in the match. Cipriano appears to be carrying an injury leaving more to Stout. Owen and Billings saw their opportunity and chose their targets carefully to take an early 5-0 lead. Great resilience by Stout and Cipriano in particular pulled the game back to 4-5 before Cipriano aggravated his injury stretching for a lost cause. After a short injury break Stout played with utter determination to establish a slight 6-5 lead, with his partner largely side-lined. But the service was lost and Owen served to 9-6. Stout responded to 8-9 but Billings eased the service to 12-8, with another point from Owen to make 13-8. Five points on the next hand drew a set to five, with Stout now making all the running to lead 2-0. The champions served again gaining game point at 4-2. It wasn’t to be, and Stout & Cipriano recovered to 4-4 and didn’t miss the game/match point. 18/17.
Peter Cipriano & Jamie Stout (3) beat Richard Owen & Tom Billings (1) 9/15 15/8 15/13 15/9 18/17
The second match saw a mixture of seasoned campaigners and youthful exuberance. Both reasonably new partnerships with the experienced James Coyne paired with the fast rising Alex Duncliffe-Vines; pitted against two returning players; Mike Bailey, a seasoned campaigner who has spent time Down Under and the highly talented prodigy, Nick Hopcroft, back from the US. Coyne is a former World Doubles Champion and Duncliffe-Vines an Amateur Doubles Champion. Bailey has been a Doubles finalist (partnered with Coyne) in 2014, and Hopcroft was this year’s runner up in the Open Singles.
The fourth seeds, Bailey and Hopcroft, were rarely troubled in the first couple of games, making the early running and securing both games 15/3 15/6. Bailey’s touch remains remarkable and Hopcroft can generate the most extraordinary shots, proving too strong on the night for the powerful Coyne and the hard-running Duncliffe-Vines.
The third game was perhaps the tightest with Coyne and Duncliffe-Vines pushing hard to reach a 9-11 deficit, but Bailey’s volleying and a Hopcroft winner secured the service. The fourth seeds didn’t waste this opportunity taking the next four points with a solid display of Rackets, enjoyed by the gallery. The fourth game saw some great exchanges but Bailey and Hopcroft were always in the ascendency, winning 15/6 and the match 4-0.
Mike Bailey & Nick Hopcroft (4) beat James Coyne & Alex Duncliffe-Vines (2) 15/3 15/6 15/9 15/6
- P.Cipriano & J.Stout (3) bt T.Morales & E.Rowell 15/12 15/6 15/6 15/7
- J.Coyne & A.Duncliffe-Vines (2) bt A.Coldicott & T.Shields 15/2 15/3 15/5 15/5
- R.Owen & T.Billings (1) bt E.Hyde & R.Shenkman 15/7 15/2 15/2 15/2 Watch match
- M.Bailey & N.Hopcroft (4) bt T.Stevens & B.Stevens 17/15 15/5 15/8 15/4 Watch match
- A.Coldicott & T.Shields bt R.Spender & D.Wright 15/8 15/7 9/15 15/6 15/9
- M.Bailey & N.Hopcroft (4) bt P.Sutton & N.James 15/8 15/10 15/1 15/10
- R.Owen & T.Billings (1) bt D.Dundas & L.Winstanley 15/0 15/1 15/5 15/4
- E.Hyde & R.Shenkman bt G.Tyndall & R.Tulley 3/15 12/15 15/3 15/4 10/15 15/9 15/9
- T.Stevens & B.Stevens bt B.Bomford & T.Bomford w/o
- J.Coyne & A.Duncliffe-Vines (2) bt Q.Ings-Chambers & D.Kay-Shuttleworth 15/4 15/3 15/9 15/2
- T.Morales & E.Rowell bt C.Braithwaite & W.Morse 16/13 13/16 15/4 13/18 15/5 15/6
- P.Cipriano & J.Stout (3) vs A.Gourlay & S.Higson 15/6 15/5 15/0 15/10
- Q.Ings-Chambers & D.Kay-Shuttleworth bt W.Stanyard & M.Saxton 15/6 3/15 15/87/15 3/15 15/13 15/13
- P.Sutton & N.James bt J.Telling & F.Kalfayan 15/12 1/15 15/4 15/4 17/14
- C.Braithwaite & W.Morse bt F.Clarke & A.Lyons 15/5 15/12 15/12 15/7
- D.Dundas & L.Winstanley bt D.Pennick & T.Symonds 15/7 15/3 15/3 17/15
- E.Hyde & R.Shenkman bt T.Meek & B.Cawston 9/15 15/0 15/10 15/6 15/6
- A.Gourlay & S.Higson bt J.Marshall & C.Monbiot 15/1 15/9 16/13 15/7