Sheffield set to host historic racketball event dubbed ‘Wimbledon’ of its kind
More than 150 players from across the UK and beyond will descend on Sheffield this weekend to compete in the ‘Wimbledon of racketball’.
The first-ever British Racketball Open will take place at the Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club on Saturday and Sunday with players from aged 13 all the way through to 78 taking part, including world and national squash and racketball champions.
‘Easy to play, but hard to master’, racketball is played on a standard squash court using a shorter racket and a bigger, bouncier ball.
This makes hand-eye coordination easier than squash and the ball easier to strike, meaning longer rallies.
"Nowadays I’m on the other side of the fence on the coaching side of things so it’s nice to get chance to compete again whether that’s squash or racketball,” said Sheffield’s three-time world squash champion Nick Matthew OBE, who will be coming out of retirement to compete in the tournament.
"This is the Wimbledon of racketball,” declared 10-time national champion Tim Vail.
"I am lucky to have had a prolonged career at racketball and the chance to try and win this event means a lot to me.
"I’m making it a bit of a family thing by bringing my son up to play in it for fun as well.”
Not only will the players be competing for one of the biggest prizes in the sport – and their share of a £5,000 prize pot - they will also be raising vital funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Entry is free of charge for spectators.
The finals will be held on Sunday at 3pm (women’s event) and 3.40pm (men’s event).