Rafter removed by ebullient Richardson


reports from Beckenham

Those wearing the organisers' badges at Beckenham did not know whether to celebrate or cry. Those behind the shrill voices were definitely crying. Patrick Rafter, the new teeny-bop idol of the courts and the second seed of the Kent tournament, went out yesterday but ample compensation for the patriots came from the identity of his conqueror, one of our own hunks, the 6ft 7in Andrew Richardson from Lincolnshire.

Hardly surprisingly, it was the best win of a career that up to now has been inconspicuous. Rafter, the young Australian ranked 38 in the world as against Richardson's 455, was dispatched 7-5, 6-4.

If we were to get really carried away we could start visualising an all- British final tomorrow; Paul Hand had launched an afternoon of home achievement by winning 6-3, 6-4 against Lan Bale, who on the opening day had ended the aspirations of Jason Stoltenberg, the No1 seed.

They are in separate semi-finals but Petr Korda now stands in Hand's way - the Berkshire 29-year-old must also begin qualifying for the Queen's tournament today - and Korda was impressive in beating Jeremy Bates, 6- 4, 6-3.

It proved to be a productive day for two British-based coaches as well. Korda is now guided by Tony Pickard, Stefan Edberg's former mentor and more recently the British Davis Cup captain. The effect, says the Czech- born left-hander, is the same as changing the family saloon from a Skoda to a Mercedes.

Richardson has been working with Peter Fleming, better known as John McEnroe's doubles partner. At one stage the 21-year-old was also preparing a breakneck journey to west London and back this morning to earn his Stella Artois ticket when more good news arrived in the shape of a wild card.

By the time Richardson was swinging successfully from great heights, Bates was on his way home intending to catch up on some sleep. His 16-month-old son Josh, exuding more energy than dad who in his own words is "lacking zip", has been disturbing the Leatherhead household at unearthly hours and it became noticeable from the ninth game of the match.

At that juncture Bates held a point for a break but then conceded 28 of the next 30 to put the contest beyond realistic recall. Mercedes-form indeed from the former Skoda man.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 27

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'