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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