Six for England and a record Sixth for van der Wath
The final day of the 2016 WSF World Masters saw 19 champions crowned in Johannesburg.
It was a good day for English players with six titles claimed (including Jersey’s Nick Taylor) , while hosts South Africa collected three, including three in a row and a record sixth overall for Craig van der Wath.
The day started with the older age groups at Parkview and started with victory for Australia’s Marilyn Kennedy in the W65 event.
A run of English victories followed as Malcolm Gilham won an all-English M80 five-setter with John Woodliffe, Ann Manley collected her third World Masters title with a 3-2 win over Bett Dryhurst – her final opponent in her previous two victories – Adrian Wright collected a fifth title as won his M75 final in four close games, and Karen Hume won her fist as she came from two games down to beat top-seeded compatriot Jill Campion.
More European success came as Finland’s Esa Matti Tuominen, Germany’s Udo Kahl and France’s Mylene de Muylder won their first tiles while Ireland’s Willie Hosey and Barbara Sanderson continued heir run of wins to collect their third and fifth titles.
The USA collected their first title as Norbert Kornyei won a thrilling M70 final against England’s Guy Davies, both playing having three match balls before Korynei finally won 15/13 in the fifth.
The final match at Parklands saw home favourite Craig van der Wath claim his third title in a row in the M50 division – and a record sixth overall – as he beat England’s Yawar Abbas in straight games.
Play moved to the glass court at Wanderers Club for the younger age group finals, starting with a third Masters title (to go with her five senior world titles) for Australia’s Sarah Fitz-Gerald.
England’s Nick Taylor came from 5-10 down in the first game against South Africa’s M45 top seed Michael Tootill on the way to completing a three-nil win for his first World Masters title. Taylor was later awarded the ‘player of the tournament’ award.
Two all-South African finals followed with Samantha Herbert and Rodney Durbach claiming the O40 titles, Herbert coming through a second successive five-game battle to beat Anlen Murray while Durbach won in straight games against Adrian Hansen.
The O35 finals concluded the tournament and their was a ‘home’ winner as top seed Natalie Grainger, a Parkview native who currently lives in and plays for the USA, beat Lauren Briggs in four entertaining games to collect a second World Masters title.
In the men’s final home favourite Gary Wheadon put in a terrific challenge to hot favourite Mohamed Abbas, taking the first game and challenging in the next three before the Egyptian finally secured his first title after an hour’s intense play.