Rafter removed by ebullient Richardson

TREVOR HAYLETT

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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Garden Centre complex base...

Recruitment Genius: Buyer

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Buyer is required to join thi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45000: SThree: SThree Group have been well es...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen