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Ladies World Challenge 2019

Updated May 05, 2019 (Final challenge decided)
Published Apr 16, 2019
Lea Van der Zwalmen retains her world title


Georgie Willis beat Ella Gaskell, Georgie Gunn and Tara Lumley for the right to play in a Final Eliminator against India Deakin (Winner of the National Schools 2018 and 2019).

Final Eliminator

Georgie beat India in three exciting games and will play Lea Van der Zwalmen in the World Challenge match. In a game of monumental swings of fortune, it was Georgie who came through. The first game started evenly but it was Georgie who slowly took control, serving clever serves to gradually build up the lead. Some fabulous points saw lengthy rallies but it was Georgie who took the early points to lead 10-4 and then gradually close in 14-6. However, India dug in taking four points in each of her next two hands, without response, to level 14-all. Georgie called set to three but her younger oponent had the momentum to take the first game 17/14.

The second game followed the same pattern, India played sweet shots to the corners and nothing Georgie attempted seemed to come off. India led 11-0 and then 12-0, and the match seemed to be heading her way - a 23-point run overall. But Georgie managed to secure a foothold with her next serve and gradually started serving better and better. The points started to add up and suddenly India wasn't running as confidently. The rallies were still good but now ending up with Georgie levelling and then carrying through to take the set, 15/12. One game all and everything to play for!

The momentum had now swung completely and Georgie capitalised. One point, then two more without response, followed by a further ten-point run, a 28-point sequence overall, to lead 13-0. India finally broke into the game but soon the match was closing in as Georgie led 14-5. India pushed to the end but it was Georgie's for the taking and a sweet angled winner won the encounter, 15/5. Overall, a flattering final game but Georgie was the more consistent on the day and deserved her fighting victory.

Georgie Willis beat India Deakin 14/17 15/12 15/5

Championship Challenge

Georgie won the spin and elected to serve and served two well-placed shots to take an early 2-0 lead. However, Lea soon recovered and levelled 2-all. No points in Georgie's next hand was a missed opportunity as Lea asymmetrically moved ahead 13-2, eleven points on what was to be a decisive hand. George played well to pull two points back but Lea was then able to close out the game 15/4, an early advantage.

The second game was a one-sided affair as everything Lea touched turned to gold, with an unstoppable combination of perfect length serves, backed up by perfectly weighted shot making, Georgie was on the back foot. Even when Georgie seemed to have grappled the service back, Lea was able to either return sublimely or cover athletically. In what was to be a single hand, a decisive 15/0 second game was the result, with Lea now two games to love ahead.

An expectant gallery were briefly given hope as a divine Georgie return wrestled back the service at the start of the third game, but only a single point was the outcome, even through the lengthy run of points was temporarily halted. Back in the box, Lea picked up the momentum and secured eleven points to lead 11-1 on her next hand. Georgie rallied but could only pickpocket a single point, with Lea picking up balls off the back wall with relish. Lea closed in on her third title to reach 14-2, but was again halted by brilliant defensive work for her opponent. But this proved a temporary lapse and Lea picked up the final point on her next hand, winning the game 15/2.

The T&RA was proud to sponsor the Ladies World Championship. T&RA CEO, Chris Davies, presented the prizes to Lea, Georgie and India, praising the sustained growth in the Ladies game over the last 6-7 years. Pol Roger were warmly thanked for their usual generous contribution and Howard Angus was singled out for praise, not only marking for the last two days but also as a great supporter of Ladies Rackets.

Lea Van der Zwalmen beat Georgie Willis 15/4 15/0 15/2


Round Robin to determine place for Final Eliminator

  • Ella Gaskell bt Georgie Gunn 15/9 13/15 15/13
  • Georgie Willis bt Tara Lumley 15/9 15/9
  • Tara Lumley bt Ella Gaskell 15/9 15/5
  • Georgie Willis bt Georgie Gunn 15/5 15/1
  • Tara Lumley bt Georgie Gunn 15/1 15/0
  • Georgie Willis bt Ella Gaskell 10/15 15/11 15/6

Final Eliminator

  • Georgie Willis beat India Deakin 14/17 15/12 15/5

World Challenge

  • Lea Van der Zwalmen beat Georgie Willis 15/4 15/0 15/2

The World Challenge was followed by a Pol Roger champagne reception

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