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)

—————————————————

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the final chapter in the road to ATP FINALS at Walsall Tennis club on March 2nd, Paul Maguire the reigning Wimbledon and defending US Open champ lost out to our 7th different Grand Slam champion in 8 events. On February 9th offering around 3 different micro climates, 9 players battled it out in the US Open to secure and jostle for end ranking positions for the big £60 knockout finals in March. We had another first, yours truly becoming the first man NOT to win a group game, to the joy of the rest of the field looking for bigger points from progressing to the elimination stages. For some only a top four finish would be enough, and for others a fourth quarter final defeat would lead to a agonisingly near miss on qualification for the big one. On a positive note we had one guy Jack in his temperamental issues for the day and let his racket and talent to the talking throughout.

Here’s how the 9 man handicap round robin panned out, including the handicaps they played off in the race to 7 points, when both players had minus starts the scores were brought closer to zero, and likewise when both players had plus handicaps.

CLAYTON EDGE      -7    WON 0/8            9TH

DAVID KHAYAT      +3   WON 4/8           4TH on more points than Tim and Paul

RHIANNON ROBINSON  +2 WON 3/8   7TH on more points than Luke

LUKE GWALCHMAI  +1   WON 3/8         8TH on less points than Rhiannon

JACK EVANS   O          WON  7/8                1ST

PAUL MAGUIRE  -3     WON 4/8                6TH on less points than David and Tim

DALLA GHUMAN -7   WON  6/8               2ND

TIM BOLAND    -1     WON 4/8                  5TH on less points than David

GRAYSON MARLOW +1   WON 5/8           3RD

Very close group as Clayton gets eliminated, Jack was super consistent just dropping 1 point to top the group with cracking displays by Grayson and David in 3rd and 4th, Dalla gets a high finish and has to win quarter final to stand any chance of qualifying. Luke was on the beach already knowing his qualification for FINALS are sorted after two final appearances.

To the Quarter finals where handicaps are retained and now become best of 3 tie break matches.

QUARTER FINALS

1ST JACK     v   8TH  LUKE…..   JACK WINS 7-4 7-4 Luke gains 2 points for 8th

4TH DAVID   v  5TH TIM…….DAVID WINS 7-4 7-3 Tim gains 4 points in 6th

3RD GRAYSON v 6TH PAUL….. PAUL WINS  4-7 7-5 7-3 Grayson gains 5 points as highest qf loser

2ND DALLA v 7TH RHIANNON….. DALLA WINS  7-5 7-4 Rhiannon gains 3 points for 7th

Finally, Jack see’s off his bogey man, David pulls off an amazing scalp to defeat Australian champ Tim for his highest ever finish. Grayson gives Paul a terrific run but cannot advance to the semi’s in his first season and Dalla continues his charge by edging past our only  female competitor Rhiannon who will be looking towards next years slams.

SEMI FINALS

1ST JACK v 4TH DAVID……JACK WINS 7-4 7-4  David gains 7 points in 4th, great achievement in debut season.

6TH PAUL v 2ND DALLA…. PAUL WINS 7-4 7-0 Dalla gains a massive 10 points to hopefully sneak into Finals.

So while the rest are doing the maths, there is a Grand Slam to be won, can Jack sleigh the successful 2 time winning beanstalk, or can it be a delightful threesome of victories if Paul can avoid a giant killing?

FINAL

1ST JACK v 6TH PAUL…. JACK WINS  5-7 7-4 7-6  coming from behind to end a fantastic day by losing just 2 out of 14 sets, while Paul continues to be the man to beat as is reflected by him topping the rankings table, a great feat in itself but as Paul knows it’s still anybodies (well the top 8 anyway) come the finals, as he painfully found out last year.

US OPEN RUNNER UP…. PAUL MAGUIRE gains 13 ranking points and half price entry into ATP finals.

US OPEN CHAMPION…. JACK EVANS gains 16 ranking points and FREE entry into ATP finals.

All competitors had a great time in what was another high quality Grand Slam, 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.

So let’s find out what today’s earned points do the final leader board and who will be the 8 competitors on March 2nd for ATP TITLE, TROPHY and £60 PRIZE?

………….HANDICAP US OPEN EVENTS TOTAL POS CHANGE

1ST P MAGUIRE  -3      13          4                41               =

2ND J EVANS        0      16          4                31              +5

3RD T BOLAND   -1        4           4               30              -1

4TH L GWALCHMAI +1   2           3             28               -1

5TH D WRIGHT   -3        –            2             23              -1

6TH C MAGUIRE  +1       -            3             19              -1

7TH R BRAZIER    -7        -            1             16              -1

8TH D GHUMAN  -7       10           2             14             +3

9TH G MARLOW  +1       5            4             13             =

10TH D KHAYAT  +3       7             3             10           +2

10TH A HULL       -1        -              1             10            -2

12TH R ROBINSON +2     3          4               8               -2

3 PLAYERS ON 1 POINT.

So Paul tops the group with 1 semi, 1 runner up and winning Wimbledon. US open champ Jack is jumping from 7th to 2nd to become 2nd seed. Tim overtakes Luke into 3rd. 23 points from 2 events is enough for Dudley to rest in 5th, Chris holds on to 6th with great scores from 3 events. Ryan takes 7th with 1 win from 1 appearance and Dalla earns his spot with 10 points to pip the deperately unlucky Grayson into 8th by 1 point.

So here is the knockout draw for March the 2nd to be played best of 7 sets for Quarters and Semi’s. Final will be best of 9 sets. Entry is £5

Q1   1ST P MAGUIRE V 8TH D GHUMAN

Q2  4TH L GWALCHMAI V 5TH D WRIGHT

Q3  3RD T BOLAND V 6TH C MAGUIRE

Q4 2ND J EVANS V 7TH R BRAZIER

SEMI 1 Q1 V Q2

SEMI 2 Q3 V Q4

THEN FINAL, No replacements will given for non attendees, as what would be the point of qualifying when we all know in a handicap positions 9 or 10 could easily go on to win that knockout. If your quarter final opponent isn’t available at 2pm on March 2nd then you advance to the Semi’s.

What a fantastic Grand slam season, thanks to all those that played and best of luck to those 8 qualifiers on March 2nd, could those competitors please confirm your place asap.

Cheers and big well done to Jack on this victory.

 

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