Darrean Richards made Handicap Grand Slam history on Sunday 7th December as he won the French Open and became the first man in 10 slams to win consecutive tournaments, after winning the initial Australian Open weeks before. Darrean now commands a massive lead in the rankings table for the ATP finals in March. However will be hoping to add Wimbledon (this Sunday) and the US Open to his collection.

A fantastic afternoons tennis was had on Sunday 7th December in a rare competitive singles tournament in the Second 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. Those 8 will then go on to compete for £60 cash prize and Grand slam champion title at the ATP finals in March.

Nine competitors entered and fought out this years French Open including 6 players who didn’t compete in the Australian Open meaning the race for qualifying points is now on. Each player benefiting or being hampered by a handicap (according to their ability/experience) in each of the 8 round robin tie breaks they played. Regular rules were back where top 8 qualified for Quarter Finals! Should players lose at the same stage in knockouts then group position determines ranking points earned. 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.

DARREAN RICHARDS     -1          WON 5/8   48 POINTS 4TH as less points than Jack

ANTHONY BOLAND         -1          WON 1/8  31 POINTS 8TH as more points than Clayton

MICHAEL RICHARDS       0         WON 3/8  48 POINTS 6TH as more points than Tim

ROHAN THAWAIT            -2         WON 7/8  61 POINTS 2ND as less points than Luke

JACK EVANS                      -1         WON 45/8  53 POINTS 3RD as more points than Darrean

CLAYTON EDGE                 -7        WON 1/8  25 POINTS 9TH as less points than Anthony

JAMES HODGES                 -3       WON 4/8  40 POINTS  5TH

LUKE GWALCHMAI          +1       WON 7/8  62 POINTS 1ST as more points than Rohan

TIM BOLAND                       -1        WON 3/8 42 POINTS 7TH as less points than Michael

Handicaps proved ok with only 2 wins separating the middle 5  players. Luke and debutant 12 year old Rohan dominated the group, with Anthony struggling after a long lay off as did Clayton making up the numbers with a tough -7 handicap.  James Hodges also made a strong start to his campaign and tournament veteran Tim failed to settle this time, yet again no man came through undefeated and every man won at least one game in the unpredictable format.

These results meant that the top 8  qualified for the knockout stages and the chance to win the 16 points on offer, however these positions above would determine where losing quarter and semi finalists would finish in relation to fellow losers. Knockout matches would be same handicaps and best of 3 sets, first to 7 point tie breaks with handicaps being used in every set.

QUARTERS

1ST LUKE v 8TH ANTHONY    LUKE  WINS 7-2 7-6  Anthony gains 2 Ranking Points for 8th

4TH DARREAN v 5TH  JAMES   DARREAN WINS 7-0 7-5 James gains 5 Ranking Points for 5th

3RD JACK v 6TH   MICHAEL  Jack wins 7-5 7-3 Michael gains 4 Ranking Points for 6th

2ND ROHAN v 7TH TIM   Rohan wins 7-5 7-6  Tim gains 3 Ranking Points for 7th

Not often that ALL the top 4 make it through to the Semi’s especially all in straight sets, although Tim ran Rohan the closest in two very tight sets. The Top 4 continue in their quest for the big points, as the losing quarter finalists bag some crucial ranking points, and settle down to watch the closing stages of this French Open.

SEMI’S

1ST LUKE v 4TH DARREAN  DARREAN WINS 7-6 1-6 7-6 Luke gains 10  Ranking Points for 3rd place.

2ND ROHAN v 3RD JACK  JACK WINS 7-6 7-5 Rohan wins 7 Ranking Points for 4th place.

In terms of the group standings, two upsets here as it seems Luke and Rohan just missed out on the very biggest points, but still score heavily in the rankings table on their first slam of the campaign. Jack and Darrean head for the final, both have 1 grand slam title each and one will join Paul Maguire as two time winners.

FINAL

3RD JACK v 4TH DARREAN  DARREAN WINS 4-7 7-5  7-6    Darrean takes his 2nd slam in only two attempts, as his head held much better than Jack’s in a great final, to wrap up a very high quality tournament in a floodlit finish.

FRENCH OPEN RUNNER UP…. JACK EVANS gains 13 Ranking Points and 1/2 Price Entry into WIMBLEDON AND……

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

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 OR French Opens.

WIMBLEDON 1PM Sunday January 11th

US OPEN 1PM Sunday February 8th

ATP FINALS top 8 only Sunday March 1st 1PM

Already entered for WIMBLEDON are Darrean and Michael Richards, and Tim, so a maximum of 9 places remaining, be quick to enter Next Sunday Grand slam Open.

So here is the current ATP RANKINGS and in brackets (tournaments played)

1ST DARREAN  32 POINTS  (2)

2ND TIM BOLAND 16 POINTS (2)

3RD JACK EVANS   13 POINTS  (1)

4TH LUKE GWALCHMAI  10 POINTS (1)

4TH RHIANNON ROBINSON  10 POINTS (1)

6TH MICHAEL RICHARDS   9 POINTS  (2)

7TH ROHAN THAWAIT  7 POINTS (1)

7TH ROB KEELING    7 POINTS  (1)

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9TH JAMES HODGES   5 POINTS (1)

10TH GRAYSON MARLOW 4 POINTS (1)

11TH DANIEL PLATT  3 POINTS (1)

12TH ANTHONY BOLAND 2 POINTS (1)

12TH DAVID KHAYAT  2 POINTS (1)

14TH CLAYTON EDGE 1 POINT (1)

So well done Darrean, 7 days to go for WIMBLEDON on JANUARY 11TH 1PM….. ENTER NOW!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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