Rackets court

How a contested Rackets World Championship captured a snapshot of a little-known sport

Tom Billings is an addict.

Five days previously, Billings competed in the second leg of the World Doubles Championship, a competition which took him and his partner Richard Owen to play in New York.

The match was on Saturday, and he flew back to London the next day.

On Monday, he played the first match in the British Amateur Singles.

“I was absolutely knackered. My shoulder – everything – hurts. I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to play. But I’m playing tomorrow and I’ve got games all week.”

There is no little disbelief in Billings’ voice.

“I think I’ve got problems.”

He is unlikely to find an understanding ear almost anywhere.

Only in small corners of a handful of clubs and schools in the UK and North America, is there nothing but sympathy, and fellow sufferers.

The sport is rackets, the affliction likely terminal.

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