Charles claims his first Ipswich title

Neil Charles, playing in his first Ipswich and District league finals, justified his No.1 seeding with a 3 sets to 1 victory over reigning champion, and No.2 seed, Ryan Collins in the men’s singles final.

Collins, looking for his fourth title in a row, got off to the worst possible start in Sunday’s final at the town’s Corn Exchange, finding himself 8-0 in the first game as Charles produced some stunning forehand winners. Collins dug deep to get back to 8-10 before eventually losing the set.

In the second Collins seized the initiative, using his backhand to good effect to easily take the set 11-5 and level the match. The third set proved a tight affair, but at 9-9 all Charles produced two forehand winners to take a 2-1 set lead. At 5-5 the fourth set was evenly poised, but some missed forehands from Collins gave Charles a 9-6 advantage, and he then set up match point with a superb reverse loop down the line, off the return of serve for a clean winner. No comeback this time as Charles won the set 11-7, and the match 3-1.

In progressing to the finals Neil Charles beat Jake Collins 3-1 in the semi-final, and in a repeat of last year’s final Ryan Collins beat Andy Warner 3-0.

The ladies’ final, was a repeat of last year as the top two seeds, Clare Lowe and Aimee Sparkes, played out a nervous first set, with Lowe coming from 10-7 down to win 13-11. Lowe then started to dominate, attacking on both wings to good effect, to take the second comfortably 11-5.

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