MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Minnesota's own Mike Gustafson brought the first 2018 World Title to his home state by winning the Masters Singles 1-Wall Small Ball title over Ireland's James Doyle on Saturday, 21-13, 12-0 injury default. What started as a spirited match, ended anticlimactically with Doyle's injury default.
Gustafson survived a strong start by Doyle in the first before finding his own groove. Trailing 5-1, Gustafson settled comfortably to first take the lead and the first game.
"I didn't get much small ball practice before," admitted Gustafson. "But it was like going for a crack-serve in four-wall, but making sure [the ball] stayed in. Once that happens, you can hook the serve off the court. It was too bad he was hurt. It would have been a great match to finish."
Unfortunately, this wasn't the first finals forfeiture for Doyle. Earlier in the day, he pulled up with a hamstring injury and couldn't finish the Masters Singles Wallball final against Ecuador's Carlos Lalama, (losing 21-9 before stopping play).
Doyle didn't let the setback prevent him from "making a go of it" in the small ball final. Doyle's skill, mixed with grit and determination pushed Gustafson early.
Congrats to the many others who won World titles on Saturday. See results, draws & future match times HERE.