Fletcher's on top of the world

DUNDONNELL is about as far away from the traditional home of croquet at the All England club as you can get. 

But the farming area, north-east of Mortlake, is now home to the sport’s latest world champion. 

Robert Fletcher, 20, claimed the title at the Woking Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on Sunday night, Australian time, after going through the tournament without dropping a game. 

He won the championship game against New Zealander Paddy Chapman, 3-0.

He is the first Australian and the youngest player to ever win the world championship for association croquet. 

Fletcher's mother Cathy said she was “so proud” of her son’s achievement’s. 

She said she spoke to him about 6am yesterday, after she woke at 5.30am to discover her son was a world champion. “When I woke up at 5.30am there was a message to say he had won,” she said. 

“So I jumped on the phone and called him. He’s absolutely thrilled, over the moon.

“It’s not a very well known sport, so he has worked really hard to get to where he is, travelling to Melbourne and around the state.”

Cathy said the best croquet players were generally between 25 and 40 years old. 

“He’s only just turned 20, and is up there with the best, so it’s a big achievement,” she said. 

It’s not the first time Fletcher has competed on the world stage.

He made the semi-finals of the 2009 championships at West Palm Beach, Florida as a 15-year-old and was also runner-up at the 2012 championship in Adelaide. 

In 2011, Robert joined with brothers Greg and Malcolm to become the first Australian team in 20 years to beat New Zealand in the trans-Tasman croquet Test. 

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