Our Paul and Tom returned from the 2018 V2 World Cup in India with both the Masters and Senior titles. Paul remains unbeaten in the Masters category and Tom became the first player to regain the title.
VX is becoming ever more international – last year’s V2 (singles) World Cup was held in Italy and this year it moved even further afield being held outside of Europe for the first time – in India.
The V2 World Cup covers three categories – Youth, Senior and Masters. Paul has been competing in the Masters category since it was started five years ago and has remained unbeaten. Tom previously won the title in 2012 and 2013 and has been trying to get it back ever since. As the sport increasingly spreads across the world the standards in the sport get ever higher as the top players push the boundaries further and further so both Paul and Tom were taking nothing for granted.
Day 1 of the tournament saw the group matches and both Paul and Tom managed to negotiate their matches without any dramas despite coming up against some strong players and also having to deal with extreme heat and humidity.
Day 2 saw the end of the group stages and the quarter finals. With both Paul and Tom topping their groups they proceeded to the knockout stage. Paul ended up meeting England team-mate Jill Stocks in the Masters semi-finals. Jill had been preparing very hard for the tournament over many months and Paul was aware that he was in for a tough match. Jill took control, controlled the court, dominated possession and played a strategic game designed to counter Paul’s strengths but Paul’s experience proved to be the deciding factor as he picked his shots carefully and managed to win a match that was tougher and closer than the 71:35 scoreline suggests. He then had to face India’s much-improved Sewa Singh in the final where again, Paul’s experience and accuracy proved to be the deciding factors as he controlled the game from start to finish to retain the title 56:34.
Meanwhile Tom had to meet the strong Ugandan player Businge Didus in the Quarter Finals. Although Didus fought hard Tom was ahead by 11 points at half time and then built up more momentum to make sure of his place in the semi-finals where he met Didus’ countryman, the impressive Hasindihe James. This proved to be a really tough battle. By half-time Tom was leading by 7 points but only by virtue of the fact that James had had three penalty calls against him. Stung by this, Tom redoubled his efforts in the second half and won the match 104:88 to meet fellow England player Dan Raper in the final, Dan having come through a tough battle against India’s top player Pawan kumar.
Dan and Tom served up a match worthy of a World Cup final as they went it at hammer and tongs but it was Tom who built up a first half lead 46:31. Dan pushed hard in the second half, taking three catches and winning the half but it wasn’t quite enough to overturn the deficit and Tom hung on to win 77:68.
Paul said: "it is an amazing journey being part of this fantastic and fascinating sport. Nothing I have ever done in my life has the impact of VX, everywhere we go. I love that it is uniting communities and that history is being made repeatedly. This is the first time a player has regained the trophy and as far as I know this is the first time father and son have won the titles together. I must say a massive thank you to VX India for all their hospitality and hard work – we were delighted to see how much the players had improved since we last visited for the VX Test Matches a couple of years ago”