Thursday 8th May - Day 2 of the World Championship was again another amazing display of Real Tennis.
Riviere again won the 1st set of the night 6/2 and the 5th set overall in similar fashion to the 1st night to give him a 3-2 lead in the World Championship.
Set 6 started with two very long deuce games which were split 1 a piece, the score was again tied at 2/2 before Fahey was able to establish a lead of 5/2. Riviere was desperate not to let the set go without a fight and was able to get back to 4/5 before Fahey closed it out 6/4 and the sets were again tied now and 3-3
Another tight game in the opening game of the 7th set of which Riviere edged a long deuce game to lead 1/0 but it was again some vintage Fahey tennis that saw him race to a 5/1 lead and I have been told that he won 19 of 20 points which is an amazing feat. He closed it out 6/1 and now for the 1st time in the match he had the lead 4-3
Fahey again looked the stronger of the two players as the night wore on and with the 8th set overall and the last of the 4 sets for Thursday's play he was able to keep the pressure on Riviere and took the set 6/3 which was probably the most important of all the sets so far with the current set score. A 5-3 lead was huge for Fahey going into the final days play.
Saturday 10th May - Day 3 of the World Championship, well was meant to be the final days play but due to a very humid and wet day in Melbourne the court was sweating and in the end deemed unplayable which was frustrating for all parties concerned. After play was due to start at 2pm local time the call finally came at 5.30pm to postpone play until Sunday 11th May.
Quite a few of the spectators were a little green around the gills after a long day at the club on the Saturday waiting for the play to start which never came. I don't think I've ever seen so many hungover people in one place... Thats not to say that when the final day's play finally got under way at 11am local time Sunday they weren't as loud as they had been on the 1st and 2nd day's play.
After Fahey's slow starts on Day's 1 and 2 he was determined to get off to a better start on day 3 and that's exactly what happened racing out to a 3/0 start, Riviere tried to get back into it and came close to getting back to 2/3 but Fahey was able to save a game point before taking the game and cementing a 4/1 lead in the set. All of a sudden it was game and the 9th set 6/2 to Fahey and the defending Champ was only a set away from clinching what some people thought probably couldn't happen with the age difference between the two players.
Riviere had clearly ran out of ideas on what to serve to Fahey with a huge variety of 1st serves in the 10th set to try and find something that could limit the domination of Fahey as it had now been 4 sets on the bounce. It never came as the Champ raced through what was to be the last set of the match and almost unbelievably clinch the World Championship in style 6/0 and his 12th World Championship of which he has held or rather owned since 1994.
The final score - 0/6 5/6 6/4 6/3 2/6 6/4 6/1 6/3 6/2 6/0
It was an amazing match to witness first hand and to be involved in. It is something I want to get the chance to fight for in our great game and it was truly a fantastic opportunity to be a part of.
The footage can be found on www.youtube.com and by searching 2014 Real Tennis World Championship. It was definitely worth checking out as the quality of the footage is brilliant.
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
I was very privileged to witness day 1 of the World Championship on Tuesday night first hand. I have come to Melb to be a part of Team Fahey as his practice partner. We had 2 sessions a week for 10 weeks before flying out to Melb and then a further 10 sessions leading into Tuesday's match day.
Fahey looks as fit as he's even been which is an amazing feat considering he turned 46, only days before the WC started. Camden Riviere 19 years his junior is the inform player of the game as he has only two losses in the last two years, A loss to Fahey at the 2012 British Open and a loss to Virgona in the 2013 Australian Open (A loss that came at this years WC venue).
The 1st set was over in a flash, Riviere didn't make a single unforced error and raced through the set 6/0. The 1st time Fahey has ever lost the 1st set in a WC match.
Fahey had better luck making inroads to try and dent the Riviere game and found his way to 5/4 but it was again Riviere that took the set 6/5 to lead 2-0 in sets.
In terms of the Fahey camp things returned to normal in the 3rd set were Fahey raced out to 3/1 before an injury break was needed for Riviere who managed to knock his head against the Tambour wall and opened him self up. Upon the restart Fahey put the foot down hitting some vintage and devastating cut volley returns. Fahey taking the set 6/3 with the very pro Aussie crowd blowing the roof off the court, 1-2 in sets.
The 4th and last set for tonights play was among the best Tennis anyone has ever seen. Even though Fahey found himself at 5/2 up there had been a number of deuce games and amazingly long wrests. Fahey looking stronger as the match went on and after Riviere fought back to 4/5 there was an amazing wrest of which Riviere had Fahey on a string especially forcing Fahey stretching low into the F/H corner at the Hazard end 4 times in a row to retrieve the ball before going on to win the point of which must of hurt Riviere mentally seeing the 46 year old Champ running the ball down with sheer will and strength. 6/4 to Fahey and 2 sets all!!!!
The players come out to continue the fight for the World Championship crown today Thursday 8th May 6.30pm local time (9.30am BST). Live Streaming and replays can be found at www.youtube.com and by searching 2014 Real Tennis World Championship.