James Stout (1997-2002, H) beat challenger, Will Hopton in two legs of the Rackets Singles World Championship.
Stout beat Hopton 15/7 15/9 15/3 15/5 in the first leg on Saturday 21 November before a highly enthusiastic Philadelphia gallery. Partisans were evenly matched in vocal support for both players, as Stout kept raising his game to new heights. Hopton's game was also brilliant, but this wasn’t to be his day. Total points were 60-24 and you can watch the match here.
The second leg took place on Saturday 28 November at The Queen's club where Stout beat Hopton 15/6 to retain his World Championship title. Stout served two aces to open his account and then added a third point after an exciting rally. Hopton responded with two points of his own to trail 2-3. However, Stout then eased away to 7-2, before Hopton was able to claw back a point. Four more points in the next hand gave Stout an 11-3 lead. Hopton rallied and they exchanged a couple of points to 12-4. Hopton was fighting for every point but couldn't reach several world class finishes by the champion. Stout held Championship Point at 14-6; he missed the first but didn't need another invitation to seal the vital game and, with it, the World Championship. You can watch the match here.
It is testament to both players' sportmanship that they visited College in between the first and second legs of the World Championship to put on an exhibition match and play with College's top rackets players. Congratulation to James Stout on this wonderful achievement!