New Wimbledon champ was as happy as Larry on January 11th as Grayson Marlow came out on top in a field of ten singles competitors to claim his first ever Handicap Grand Slam title under the lights at Walsall Tennis Club. More importantly he proved new starlet Darrean Richards could be beaten in a final and stopped his hopes of THE GRAND SLAM after Richards previously won both the Australian and French Opens, but another final sees him extend his massive rankings lead and guaranteed him the Number 1 seed status in March’s ATP FINALS, with the US OPEN still to play.

Another fantastic tennis afternoon was played out Sunday 11th January in a rare competitive singles tournament ‘Wimbledon’ in the Third 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.

This time 10 players contested the grass court slam including 2 new players who didn’t compete in the Australian or French Opens meaning 16 players are currently vying for the 8 qualifying spots. 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.

JACK EVANS                      -1          WON 7/9   59 POINTS 1ST

TIM BOLAND                   -1          WON 6/9     54 POINTS 2ND as more points than Dan

GRAYSON MARLOW       +1        WON 4/9   52 POINTS 6TH as more points than Michael & Clayton

DAN PLATT                         0        WON 6/9     52  POINTS 3RD as less points than Tim

ROB KEELING                    0         WON 5/9   50 POINTS  5TH as less points than Darrean

CLAYTON EDGE                 -7        WON 4/9  37 POINTS 8TH as less points than Grayson & Tim

ROB SOUSTER                     o         WON 1/9  21 POINTS  10TH

SIMON CROOK                   +2       WON 3/9  51 POINTS 9TH

MICHAEL RICHARDS       0       WON  4/9  51 POINTS 7TH as less points than Grayson but more than Clayton

DARREAN RICHARDS      -1       WON 5/9  53 POINTS 4TH as more points than Rob

Handicaps proved really good with only 2 wins separating the 4th to 9th. Rusty Rob ‘the problem’ Souster had tough handicap and underperformed, Simon was exceptionally unlucky not to qualify with 51 points and 3 great wins. Coach Clayton this time put in a determined effort and sneaked into the quarters off a -7 handicap, Jack Evans was the form man and Tim recovered from a disappointing French to take 2nd place, Dan ‘The Server’ Platt bombed his way to 3rd and man of the moment Darrean sneaked 4th.  Yet again no man came through undefeated and every man won at least one game in the unpredictable format, how would the top four fair in the knockout stage?

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 JACK v 8TH CLAYTON    JACK  WINS 7- -3  7-6  Clayton gains 2 Ranking Points for 8th

4TH DARREAN v 5TH  ROB K   DARREAN WINS 7-3 7-4 Rob gains 4 Ranking Points for overall 6th place

3RD DAN v 6TH  GRAYSON  GRAYSON wins 7-4 7-5 Dan gains 5 Ranking Points for dropping to 5th

2ND TIM v 7TH MICHAEL   TIM wins 7-6 7-5  Michael gains 3 Ranking Points for 7th

All four won in straight sets in but all close. Just Dan got upset as the other big 3 proceeded to the high scoring semi’s. The last 4 continued 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 Wimbledon

SEMI’S

1ST JACK v 4TH DARREAN  DARREAN WINS 1-7 7-5 7-5 Jack gains 10 Ranking Points for 3rd place.

2ND TIM v 6TH GRAYSON GRAYSON WINS 6-7 7-1 7-2 Tim wins 7 Ranking Points for 4th place.

In terms of the group standings, two upsets here as it seems Jack and Tim let 1 set leads slip, with Jack in particular close in all sets, both still score heavily in the rankings table and will feature in the ATP finals. Grayson and Darrean head for the final afer 6th and 4th place group finishes proving how tough these tournaments are to concentrate all afternoon and win. Darrean is clear favourite and now most successful player in the 3rd year of this epic competition, after 3 finals in 3 attempts and 2 wins so far, but Grayson was the crowds favorite could he pull off an ‘Istanbul’ like shock?

FINAL

4TH DARREAN v 6TH GRAYSON  GRAYSON WINS 3-7 7-6  7-6    Grayson does it with Darrean having at least 2 championship points, what a tight, tight final and a real crowd pleaser. Darrean is finally beaten, but is bookies favourite for the ATP finals as top seed, Grayson wins his 1st Grand Slam in his 1st final appearance, huge well done and great battling from a 6th place finish. He now leaps to 20 points and is current 4th seed for finals.

FRENCH OPEN RUNNER UP…. DARREAN RICHARDS gains 13 Ranking Points and 1/2 Price Entry into US OPEN AND……

2015 WIMBLEDON WINNER … GRAYSON MARLOW gains 16 Ranking Points and Free wildcard into the US 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 qualify for the ATP finals even if you didn’t enter the 1st 3 tournaments, however a win will be needed with a runner up giving a strong chance of qualification.

US OPEN 1PM Sunday February 8th

ATP FINALS top 8 only Sunday March 1st 2PM

Already entered for US OPEN are Darrean and Michael Richards, Tim, Dan and James so a maximum of 7 places remaining, be quick to enter Sunday’s Grand slam Open.

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

1ST DARREAN RICHARDS 45 POINTS  (3)

2ND TIM BOLAND 23 POINTS (3)

2ND JACK EVANS   23 POINTS  (2)

4TH GRAYSON MARLOW  20 POINTS (2)

5TH MICHAEL RICHARDS  12 POINTS (3)

6TH ROB KEELING   11 POINTS  (2)

7TH LUKE GWALCHMAI  10 POINTS (1)

7TH RHIANNION ROBINSON   10 POINTS  (1)

—————————————————

9TH DAN PLATT   9 POINTS (2)

10TH ROHAN THAWAIT  7 POINTS (1)

11TH JAMES HODGES  5 POINTS (1)

12TH CLAYTON EDGE  4 POINTS (2)

13TH DAVID KHAYAT  2 POINTS (1)

14TH ANTHONY BOLAND 2 POINTS (1)

15TH SIMON CROOK    1 POINT (1)

16TH ROB SOUSTER    1 POINT  (1)

So well done Grayson, 7 days to go for US OPEN on FEBRUARY 8TH 1PM….. ENTER NOW!!! Remember ATP finals are knockout so the higher your ranking the easier your draw (theoretically haha).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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