Rackets World Singles Challenge

12 Nov 2017

Jamie Stout takes a 4-0 lead after the first leg against Tom Billings. The second leg of the World Singles Challenge will take place on Saturday 18th November.

Rackets World Singles Challenge

Jamie Stout beat Tom Billings 15/4 15/11 15/0 17/14 Watch first leg

The World Champion was in top form as he started the defence of his title. Jamie Stout led from the front, establishing a 5-0 lead in the first game. Challenger, Tom Billings, was also playing well and rallied back strongly. But Stout played a supreme fault free game, hitting perfect length and edged towards the opening game, winning 15/4.

The second game was a classic as Billings' confidence grew. Although Stout made the early running, leading 3-0, then 5-2, Billings dug deep to level and then establish a slim 7-5 lead. Back came Stout to level and then develop his own 10-7 lead. Both players were playing astonishing shots to generate breath-taking rallies, thoroughly enjoyed by the packed New York gallery. Again Billings recovered to 10-all and then his own slender 11-10. But the World Champion used his local knowledge to tip the balance and win the next five points without reply, winning the game 15/11 to establish a two game to love lead.

After the excitement of the second game, the third proved to be one-way traffic. Billings had produced sublime Rackets to match Stout but the Champion now stepped up his game to an entirely new level. Points slowly accumulated as Stout closed in; Billings fought valiantly but it was Stout who was producing a masterclass, eventually securing the third game 15/0. The gallery, especially the travelling contingent, were subdued; but everybody appreciated the Champion's display.

Stout was now in the ascendency and carried his dominance into the fourth game, establishing the early running, leading 3-1 and then 6-2. Billings now matched his illustrious opponent, producing his top form, but still the Champion moved on, increasing his lead further to 9-3. Again, Billings stepped up and now started to regain ground, recovering points slowly against the free-flowing Stout, and after three further hands levelled the game before creating his own lead 11-9. The earlier subdued gallery were now in full voice - the game could go either way. Stout came into serve but again Billings held his own and then scored again on his own hand, to lead 12-9. Stout fought back to 11-12 but again Billings drove on to reach 14-11. After an unbelievable rally to save game point, Stout inched back to 14-12 and then 14-all on the next hand. Billings called a set to three but the momentum was now with the Champion. Winning three points without reply took the fourth (and final) game 17/14, and create a four games to love lead.

The conclusion of the match will be next week at the Queen's Club where Stout will be odds on the retain his title. But Billings showed his fighting colours and ran the Champion very close in two of the four games - arguably deserving the win the last one. He should be proud, has earned his place in history and will certainly be able to challenge on his own court.

Don't miss out - there are a few tickets remaining for the match.

Second Leg - Saturday 18th November at 1600 GMT

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Buy you tickets at the link above or email Louisa office@tennisandrackets.com


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