Leamington duo push the world champions all the way

Robert Fahey, Claire Fahey, Jonny Dawes and Ben Matthews.
Robert Fahey, Claire Fahey, Jonny Dawes and Ben Matthews.

The men’s and women’s world champions, Rob and Claire Fahey of Holyport, snatched a thrilling 2-1 victory over Leamington duo Jonny Dawes and Ben Matthews in the PlayBrave Super Series National League.

Dawes delighted the packed gallery at Bedford Street when he avenged a recent defeat to Claire, 23, fighting back from4-1 down in the first set to take the opening singles 6-4, 6-2.

Claire’s husband Rob, world champion since 1994, then levelled the match with a virtually error-free performance against Leamington’s new professional Matthews.

In the deciding doubles, the Faheys were imperious thanks to their canny teamwork and clever variation of pace and length as they ran out 8-1 winners to retain their unbeaten league record.

The Holyport duo currently top the table with 21 points, with Leamington second.

“It was a great match,” said Claire. “Jonny [Dawes] was just too good for me tonight, very consistent and keeping an excellent length on the lively Leamington court.

“Though if I’d managed to take one of the points I had for a 5-1 lead in the first set, it could have been a different story.”

Claire will be back in action at Leamington in April when the club hosts the women’s world championship for the first time.