The 84th Liverpool Closed Championships, first contested in 1926, produced a number of tremendous encounters once again. None more so than the Men’s Singles Final which brought together the 2011 champion Jonathan Taylor, in his third final in five years and ten-times winner Keith Williams, appearing in his nineteenth.
Taylor took the opening game 11-9, while in the second the pair were never more than two points apart. At 11-11, Williams, who won the English National Veteran Singles title in successive seasons, levelled matters by taking the game 13-11.
Taylor started brightly in the third but, despite leading 8-5, failed to add to his tally – Williams recording six points on the trot to take a 2-1 lead. In the fourth game the spectators were served a feast of fantastic rip-roaring action which led to Williams forging match points at 10-9 and 11-10. Rarely does he fail to convert match points into victories on big occasions but, it must be said, at 11-11 Williams suffered cruel losses through irretrievable ‘net winners’.
Nevertheless, he hit back to take the subsequent point on both occasions and it was then the turn of Taylor to let slip a game point at 14-13 but, after Williams drew level for a third time, his opponent snatched the game 16-14 to leave things all square.
Taylor kicked off the decider in confident fashion opening up a 6-1 lead and, despite Williams edging to within a couple of points at 7-9, Taylor claimed the next two and the title for the second time in three years.
Williams was back in action two sets later in the Veterans’ Final where he overcame the 1993 Liverpool Men’s Singles Champion Peter Flint 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-6).