On March 2nd after 4 amazing handicap single Grand Slams, a brilliant 8 man knock out was played out for the ATP FINALS title and the £60 prize for the top 8 competitors who had gained enough ranking points to qualify. We had all kinds of weather, but the tennis was yet again amazing and the handicap system once again provided close encounters. Here is how it all went down last month.

QUARTER FINALS

PAUL MAGUIRE                                          DALLA GHUMAN

1ST SEED                                  V                  8TH SEED

WIMBLEDON CHAMPION                       US OPEN SEMI FINALIST

-3 HANDICAP                                               -7 HANDICAP

 

DALLA WINS  4-2                                         7-5 4-7 5-7 7-1 7-2 7-5

Top seed is toppled after leading 2 sets to 1 in 3 tight sets, before Dalla takes the next 3 in commanding fashion to advance to the semi’s, as Paul takes an early bath but gets to work on time. Dalla will be looking for another uniform win against Dudley or Luke.

 

  LUKE GWALCHMAI                                     DUDLEY WRIGHT

4TH SEED                                 V                      5TH SEED

FRENCH OPEN FINALIST                            WIMBLEDON FINALIST

+1 HANDICAP                                                 -3 HANDICAP

 

DUDLEY WINS   4-2                                 0-7 7-6 1-7 7-5 7-1 7-3

A topsy turby struggle saw Luke let a 2 sets to 1 lead slip as Dudley advances to semi finals recovering well to win 3 sets on the spin. Dalla awaits as both higher seeds fall in top half of the table.

TIM BOLAND                                        CHRIS MAGUIRE

3RD SEED                                  V          6TH SEED

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPION                 SEMI FINALIST FRENCH

-1 HANDICAP                                         +1 HANDICAP

 

TIM WINS 4-2                            4-7 7-3 7-4 7-2 7-5

Chris was quick out the blocks but steady tiger Tim keeps the door firmly shut on the next 4 sets to be the first man into the Semi’s, leaving Chris to wonder if he can improve again next year on this terrific season. Tim awaits Jack or Ryan.

 

  JACK EVANS                                RYAN BRAZIER

2ND SEED                       V          7TH SEED

US OPEN CHAMPION              FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION

O HANDICAP                              -7 HANDICAP

 

RYAN WINS 4-1                            7-5 7-3 4-7 7-4 7-5

Two champions meet early in the draw due to Ryan only playing 1 event, Jack hobbled on with a bruised and swollen foot but needed to be fully fit to really challenge Ryan, Jack rallied to to the 3rd set but missed out on two sets either side to crash out 4-1, amazing debut season and Ryan advances to meet another champion Tim.

 

SEMI FINALS

   DALLA GHUMAN                            DUDLEY WRIGHT

8TH SEED                         V              5TH SEED

US OPEN SEMI FINALIST             WIMBLEDON RUNNER UP

-7 HANDICAP                                    -3 HANDICAP

 

DUDLEY WINS  4-2                    7-1 2-7 5-7 7-4 7-3 7-5

Dalla bounced back from a first set thrashing to take a 2 sets to 1 lead, before Dudley countered well to reel off the final 3 sets to advance to the final and await the winner of Tim and Ryan, a very entertaining match this one.

 

  TIM BOLAND                                   RYAN BRAZIER

3RD SEED                                  V      6TH SEED

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPION           FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION

-1 HANDICAP                                    -7 HANDICAP

 

RYAN WINS   4-1             7-3 7-4 7-4 4-7 7-5

French Open champion and title favourite advances to the final with a concentrated victory against Tiger Tim, whose sublime volleying earned him the 4th set, before getting edged out in the 5th. Another top game and solid performance from Tim.

 

THE GRAND FINALE

  DUDLEY WRIGHT                           RYAN BRAZIER

5TH SEED                                  V      6TH SEED

WIMBLEDON RUNNER UP         FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION

-3 HANDICAP                                   -7 HANDICAP

 

RYAN WINS 4-0                          7-2 7-2 7-6 7-3

In the Final, Ryan made certain of an even harder handicap next year with the only straight sets victory of the day as he comprehensively won four sets to zero with Dudley just having a sniff in the 3rd. Ryan adapted so well to an impossible handicap and played with controlled aggression until the handicap was overturned throughout all his games. Ryan takes the £60 cash prize, the Silver winner plate and the title of ATP FINALS GRAND SLAM HANDICAP SINGLES CHAMPION WINTER 2013/14 (catchy isn’t it?). Hard luck Dudley but improved greatly on last years performance and will bounce back.

So a big Thank you to all the 17 players who entered, well done to the finalist, all grand slams were so competitive and this tournament is here to stay and will return for the 3rd year in November. But after 431 tie breaks RYAN BRAZIER is the CHAMPION. See you in the winter. Have a great summer season.

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