Rounce Wins 2023 Squash Handicap Final in Nail-biting Thriller!
The 2023 Squash Handicap Tournament final took place last Friday 20th October, played between Sophie Cable and Ian Rounce. 29 players entered this knockout competition in August, with Sophie and Ian prevailing through the rounds to face each other in the final. Handicap tournaments are always great fun, pitching different styles and abilities against each other. Working out the players’ handicaps can be tricky. We plan for players of all abilities to have close matches and to have an even chance of winning – and this year many matches went right to the wire. The semi-finals and the final were no exception.
Ian began each game on minus 5 and Sophie started on plus 9, playing each game to 15 and over the best of five games. Ian is one of our fastest movers on court, but Sophie settled quickly to take the first game 15-8. Ian then found his stride and narrowly took the second game 15-13. The rallies lengthened in the third game as Ian covered every inch of the court, but Sophie took the game 15-13 to lead by 2 games to 1. Ian could not afford any slip-ups from this point and he won the first 11 points of the fourth game, but then Sophie hit back with several winners to take her to 14-10 with five match points. Fresh from her success in the Mixed Doubles Tennis Championship last weekend, Sophie was one point away from completing a famous double. But somehow Ian dug deep to win the next 5 points, taking the fourth game on a sudden death point, 15-14.
The deciding fifth game was the best yet with some amazing rallies. Once again Sophie held the advantage for most of the game to lead strongly 13-5, but Ian’s perseverance paid off as he took 10 points in a row to clinch the game and match 15-13.
Congratulations to Ian, who was competing in his first ever final. He won by three games to two (8-15 / 15-13 / 13-15 / 15-14 / 15-13). Commiserations to Sophie for finishing runner-up in this final and also the Racketball Plate tournament early this year. She is a true all-rounder!
Well done to both and to all of the players who entered this year!