Rob Fahey retains World Championship

28 Apr 2012

The champion was crowned today at The Queen's Club. The event was sponsored by Neptune Investment Management

RF bt SV 6/5 3/6 6/1 6/3   6/4 6/3 3/6 5/6   6/2 6/3

RF wins 7 sets to 3

Steve opened the final day’s play at the service end. Players and spectators alike knew the importance of the first set. Steve had finished Thursday on a high after battling through the last 2 sets, to level the day. Could he go one step better today and beat Rob?

Steve returned to his hard pique, where he was getting most success on Tuesday. Perhaps some nerves showing through, but the first few serves weren't tight enough, and Rob capitalised. He won the first game with ease, making his mark on the most important day yet!

Both feeling the stress of this final day, Rob then lost the next game; 1-all. It was tense as this first set could prove vital to both players’ mind set. The reigning champion showed his class and came out attacking, clearly on a mission. He was more vicious on the cut volley return and had worked out a return to the boomerang serve, stepping inside the flush boomerangs and returning them with a backhand boast. Not only were they being returned - but with interest! Suddenly Steve was forced to deal with fast spinning balls deep into his forehand corner, quite a turnaround from the success the serve had on Thursday. Keeping composed, taking galleries when necessary and attacking the dedan when given the chance - hardly unexpected from the man who has been there 10 times before, knowing the pressures of this final day.Rob's accuracy was possibly the best it had been all week. RF eased into a 3-1 lead . SV rallied but 2 further long games both went to RF to lead 5-1. Both players then played astonishing Tennis, with SV pulling a game back before RF closed the set 6/2 - and to take a 6 sets to 3 lead overall. Rob had put his mark on the match and on this last day of play. 6-3 in sets to Rob. One more set required.

The tenth set saw long rallies and some impressive exchanges - each better than the last. Steve crushed some grille winners and Rob forced the dedans, both with sensational accuracy. The crowd’s excitement increased knowing that if Rob kept the momentum, he would be the victor. He was moving as if it was day 1 again and hitting freely at the ball, putting Steve on the back foot and fuelling his frustration. Rob slowed down his railroad, forcing a boast or a low straight drive, both difficult shots. No matter how much Steve rallied it look like Rob was in control.  By earlier standards, 2 quick games saw RF establish a 2-0 lead. The next 2 games were the exact opposite - but RF took both to lead 4-0. Steve played incredible Tennis to reduce the score at 1-4 but at 15-all in the sixth gameRob in full flow, Steve called an injury break, suffering from a tight groin. Could this be the turning point? The spectators would have to wait a little longer to find out!! 

Once again Rob stepped up his return, attacking Steve whenever he could. Steve dug deep but only to be beaten by gallery chases. Rob led the tenth set 5-1. He was 4 points away from another successful WC defence. But Steve, who had worked so hard to reach this position had other plans. With nothing to lose, he started playing without any inhibitions. For the first time all day he looked calm as he steadily cruised in a straight force and ran Rob side to side pushing for the error. The comeback was on and Steve won the next 2 games with ease; 3-5. The next game would prove to be the last and consisted of a main wall dedan, a deep cut shot and an error from Steve. 40-0 and one chase. Surely this was it! But no, the challenger was still fighting! 30-40 Rob and a boast that asked too much of Steve finished the day; game, set and match. Rob Fahey was crowned World Champion once again. He has held the title since 1994 and won't give it up easily. Credit to Steve for being a fantastic opponent; he pushed him right the way to the end and was a worthy finalist.

Both players thanked the IWCC (Howard McMorris), the IRTPA (Susie Falkner), The Queen's Club and, in particular, Neptune (Robin Geffen) for their remarkable sponsorship - and then praised their long suffering support teams who both worked extremely hard in the run up to, and throughout, this event.

Rob Fahey is the World Champion.........................

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