Neptune Invitation Singles 2012

18 Nov 2012

Will Hopton bt Christian Portz 3-2


Sunday 18th November


14:00 Will Hopton bt Christian Portz 15/1 15/4 11/15 1/15 15/9

The 2012 Invitation Singles was won by Will Hopton in an extraordinary flip-flop match. The first two games between Will Hopton and Christian Portz were won by Will at the cost of extremely few points because he did not make a single unforced error!  He was retrieving well as ever and pouncing on any short balls and placing them well down the lines.  The third game saw his first mistake on a backhand volley and most players would have seen this as a blip but Christian saw this as a chink of light and persevered even harder and extraordinarily pulled out all the stops for a comfortable 3rd game win.  Christian capitalised on this with an even more comfortable 4th game win.  Christian was retrieving well and was finding a much better length with his powerful kills.  We were set for a 5th game showdown as we all knew Hoppy would not give in easily but given his 4th game performance it was hard to see how he could turn back the tables.  Will took an early lead but the scores remained within a couple of points of each other until Will reached 10-8 and he scored a run up to 13.  Christian could not score with his last opportunities so Will was home and dry.

It was a great final and neatly summarised the nature of the tournament.  An extremely young field with all four semi-finalists (including Richard Owen and Tom Billings who have rocketed up the rankings to 9th and 11th in the world respectively) aged under 24 and some high quality Rackets.  It shows much promise for the future.

Saturday 17th November

Semi Finals

11:00 Will Hopton bt Tom Billings 15/9 15/11 15/7

14:30 Christian Portz bt Richard Owen 15/7 15/13 17/16

Thursday 15th November

18:30 Will Hopton bt Nick James 15/4 15/5 15/7

19:45 Tom Billings bt Ben Snell  3/15 15/12 15/12 15/11 

Christian Portz qualified as Group B winner over the first weekend but then the other places were decided on the last day. Richard Owen had already qualified from Group A by beating Nick James, having given Will Hopton something to think about earlier in the week. But the final places were only decided once Will had beaten Nick to take the top spot, leaving Richard as runner up – lining up Christian in the semi-final. The final match saw Tom Billings and Ben Snell go head to head to secure the runners up spot in Group B – Tom won through and will play Will in the first semi-final.

Wednesday 14th November

18:30 Richard Owen bt Nick James 1/15 6/15 15/11 15/6 15/6

Tuesday 13th November

18:30 Ben Snell bt Mark Hubbard w/o  - match cancelled.

19:45 Will Hopton bt Richard Owen  10/15 15/6 14/18 15/5 15/7

Monday 12th November

16:00 Nick James bt Mike Bailey 15/8 17/15 9/15 15/3

Sunday 11th November

11:00 Christian Portz bt Ben Snell 15/7 15/4 15/6

12:30 Tom Billings bt Mark Hubbard 15/9 15/3 15/2

14:00 Will Hopton bt Mike Bailey 15/9 15/1 15/9

Saturday 10th November

12:30 Richard Owen bt Mike Bailey 15/1 15/11 15/9

14:00 Christian Portz bt Mark Hubbard 15/10 9/15 15/11 15/9

Friday 9th November

18:30 Christian Portz bt Tom Billings 8/15 15/11 15/9 15/13

Full draw

Player Profiles below

Photos thanks to Tim Edwards

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