World’s best set for Portsmouth touchtennis event

John Taylor competing in the Portsmouth event last year. Picture Ian Hargreaves (160333-4)
John Taylor competing in the Portsmouth event last year. Picture Ian Hargreaves (160333-4)
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MANY of the world’s top touchtennis players are set to line-up in the Unily Masters 2017 Portsmouth tomorrow.

The city is fast becoming one of the best venues for the sport with the tournament attracting a great turnout of top players.

Bolton’s Simon Roberts, who is world number two and is on a run of 34 wins from 35 matches, will put his fine record on the line.

The second seed is world number four Adam Hassan.

While the Portsmouth challenge is set to be spearheaded by Ed Percival and Macca Neaves.

They are currently ranked world number 13 and world number 14 respectively.

Spectators can check out the action at the Mountbatten Centre tomorrow, it is free entry.

High level competition is guaranteed and tournament organiser Ashley Neaves is hoping for a big crowd.

He said: ‘We have 64 players in the mixed main draw.

‘Simon Roberts was world number one but he didn’t play for a bit last year.

‘He’s the top seed, with Adam Hassan our second seed and they could meet in the final.

‘We’ve got the world number six and the world number seven as well. It’s a good showing from the top players.

‘Ed Percival and Macca Neaves would meet in the round of 16 if they both manage to get through their last 32 matches.

‘It’s going to be a great day with lots of exciting touchtennis matches to see and plenty of other things for spectators to get involved with as well.

‘We’ve also got doubles matches and a women’s singles competition.’

Rapper Sean Paul is a touchtennis fan. He recently raised the profile of the sport by taking part in London.

He challenged tennis player Marcus Willis, who played Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year.

The pair put on quite show with Paul initially losing after double faulting on match point.

However, chair umpire and founder of touchtennis Rashid Ahmad ordered the match to be decided by a winner-takes-all last point decider and Willis served a double fault of his own.

Previous touchtennis events in Portsmouth have been popular and attracted lots of new players.

Regular coaching is now available at different venues around the city, including the Portsmouth Tennis Centre, the Pyramids Centre in Southsea and Wimbledon Park.

Play starts at 10am tomorrow with the round of 32 and there’s a consolation draw for players knocked out.

There will be seven courts at the Mountbatten Centre, including two show courts.

Portsmouth Tennis Centre youngsters will be providing the ball kids.

To order free allocated seats in advance email

Highlights will be shown on the Sky Sports Mix channel.