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Tim Boland narrowly failed to become the first man to defend a Grand slam title in our 3rd campaign as he was downed by debut player Darrean Richards, who battled to a tight victory in Sunday’s Australian Open to lead the way in the ATP rankings table with 3 slams left this Winter.

A Fantastic afternoons tennis was had this past Sunday in a rare competitive singles tournament in the First Open, of the Third ever Grand slam of Handicap singles Tennis at Walsall Tennis Club. Competitors are invited to play in 4 Grand Slam events fighting for ranking points to be tallied up at the end to find the top 8 totals. They will then go on to compete for £60 cash prize and Grand slam champion title at the ATP finals in March.

Eight competitors entered and fought out this years Australian Open, each benefiting or being hampered by a handicap (according to their ability/experience) in each of the 7 round robin tie breaks they played. There was a slight rule twist this year where only the top 4 would advance to a straight knock out draw to fight for the big 16 ranking points, and the bottom four could only battle for a maximum of 5 ranking points! Here’s what happened in the group stage and the handicaps they played off in the race to 7 points. When BOTH players had plus OR minus handicaps, starting scores were adapted so at least one player started on zero.

TIM BOLAND                     -1          WON 5/7   42 POINTS 2ND

DAVID KHAYAT               +2          WON 0/7  30 POINTS 8TH

DANIEL PLATT                       0        WON 2/7  37 POINTS 7TH

RHIANNON ROBINSON +2          WON 4/7  43 POINTS 3RD as more points than Rob and Grayson

GRAYSON MARLOW       +1         WON 4/7  39 POINTS 5TH as less points than Rhiannon and Rob

MICHAEL RICHARDS      0        WON 3/7  36 POINTS 6TH

ROB KEELING                    0        WON 4/7  41 POINTS  4TH as less points than Rhi but more than Grayson

DARREAN RICHARDS    -1       WON 6/7  46 POINTS 1ST

Handicaps proved very good with only 6 points seperating the middle 6 players. David came within 1 or 2 points of victory 3 times but may benefit from an extra point next time, we also saw very competitive debuts by 4 players including a late winning run that saw Rob pip Grayson by 2 points who inturn had a late losing run to gain that vital 4th spot. Darrean wins the group but is denied in last group game by his dad to wreck his unbeaten record. Former Aussie Open champs Tim and Rhiannon take 2nd and 3rd.

These results meant that the top 4 split from the bottom 4 in quest for maximium points available in the subsequent knock out semi finals, however these positions above would determine where losing semi finalists would finish in relation to fellow losers. Knockout matches would be same handicaps and best of 5 sets, first to 7 point tie breaks with handicaps being used in every set.

5 Ranking points play off SEMI’S

5TH GRAYSON v 8TH DAVID    GRAYSON WINS 7-3 7-4 7-4  David gains 2 Ranking Points for 8th

6TH MICHAEL v 7TH DANIEL  MICHAEL WINS 7-1 7-6 7-1 Daniel gains 3 Ranking Points for 7th

FINAL

5TH GRAYSON v 6TH MICHAEL  MICHAEL WINS 6-7 7-2 7-4 7-4 Michael nicks an extra point from Grayson, Michael takes 5 points, Grayson settles for 4 points.

TOP 4 SEMI’S

1ST DARREAN v 4TH ROB  DARREAN WINS 7-6 5-7 7-4 7-4  Rob gains 7 Ranking Points for 4th place

2ND TIM v 3RD RHIANNON  TIM WINS 7-4 7-6 7-5 Rhiannon gains10 Ranking Points for 3rd place

Two good semi’s here, but in a rare occurrence the top two in the group go on to contest the Final, as the other competitors watch on to see who will take the season’s first Grand Slam title.

FINAL

1ST DARREAN v 2ND TIM   DARREAN WINS 4-7 7-6 7-6 4-7 7-5    What a final!!!! 5 sets and although Tim won 2 more points than his younger nemesis Darrean, it was the debutant who won the very biggest points including two deciders in set 2 and 3 to set up an impressive win over veteran and defending champ Tiger Tim. Well done both on a great tournament.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN RUNNER UP…. TIM BOLAND gains 13 Ranking Points and 1/2 Price Entry into the FRENCH OPEN AND……

2014 AUSTRALIAN OPEN WINNER … DARREAN RICHARDS gains 16 Ranking Points and Free wildcard into the FRENCH OPEN.

All competitors had a great time and the handicaps are there to give every possibility for close games and unpredictable results, but they can’t account for players being in top form or being totally out of sorts, or how players can react to coping with the handicaps given in pressure situations.

Remember, you can still easily qualify for the ATP finals even if you didn’t enter the Australian Open.

FRENCH OPEN 1PM Sunday December 7th

WIMBLEDON 1PM Sunday January 11th

US OPEN 1PM Sunday February 8th

ATP FINALS top 8 only Sunday March 1st 1PM

Already entered for FRENCH OPEN are Darrean and Michael Richards so a maximum of 10 places remaining, be quick to enter!!

So here is the current ATP RANKINGS

1ST DARREAN  16 POINTS

2ND TIM BOLAND 13 POINTS

3RD RHIANNON ROBINSON   10 POINTS

4TH ROB KEELING  7 POINTS

5TH MICHAEL RICHARDS    5 POINTS

6TH GRAYSON MARLOW   4 POINTS

7TH DANIEL PLATT  3 POINTS

8TH DAVID KHAYAT  2 POINTS

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So well done Darrean, 13 days to go for FRENCH OPEN on DECEMBER 7TH 1PM….. ENTER NOW!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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