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)

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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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Sunday January 12th, saw a little piece of history written in the seventh winter handicapped grand slam singles event. We eventually got our FIRST ever TWO time winner, albeit from an unlikely source, given the players’ early form and dismal points total. It was a very fresh afternoon as the third event of the season ‘Wimbledon’ took place to leave us with many eventualities for the final slam on Feb 9th to see who can clinch the 8 qualifying places and in which order for the ATP finals. Nine players took the courts with 1 débutante looking to make an impact on the rankings table.

Here is how the 9 players got on with their handicaps in the race to 7 points round robin, in a bid to make the quarter finals and take home big ranking points. Dudley returned looking to secure an ATP final place and Alex Hull came in to upset the apple cart, as Rhiannon, Paul, Dudley, Tim all hoped they could be the first multiple grand slam winner but more importantly grab the 16 ranking points. Once again everyone won at least 2 matches as the slams continue to remain so competitive.

RHIANNON ROBINSON +2     WON 2/8    36 POINTS  9TH as less points than Dave.

TIM BOLAND  -1                          WON 6/8  50 POINTS    3RD as less points than Dudley and Alex

CHRIS MAGUIRE  +1                  WON 4/8   47 POINTS   4TH as more points than Paul

PAUL MAGUIRE -3                      WON 4/8    35 POINTS   5TH as less points than Chris

GRAYSON MARLOW  +1           WON 3/8     45 POINTS   6TH as more points than Jack

JACK EVANS   O                           WON 3/8     42 POINTS    7TH as less points than Grayson

DAVID KHAYAT    +3                  WON   2/8   40 POINTS    8TH as more points than Rhiannon

DUDLEY WRIGHT  -2                 WON   6/8   51 POINTS      2ND as less points than Alex

ALEX HULL   -1                            WON    6/8     53 POINTS   1ST as more points than Dudley

 

Great display from Alex to top the group with 6 wins, and earn him at least 5 points should he lose in quarter final. Paul should be thankful it goes on Wins before points as 35 was the lowest as he disastrously lost his first four games before responding well, and Rhi just got pipped by Dave for 8th by 3 points, while Chris delivers another consistent display of results in 4th. Onto the quarters where form means nothing in the best of 3 set format.

QUARTER FINALS

1ST ALEX    v   8TH DAVID…..  ALEX WINS  7-5 7-4, DAVID gains 2 ranking points for 8th place

4TH CHRIS v   5TH PAUL….. PAUL WINS  2-7 7-5 7-3 CHRIS gains 5 ranking points for highest place QF loser

3RD TIM     v    6TH GRAYSON….. TIM WINS  6-7 7-4 7-3  GRAYSON gains 4 ranking points for 6th place

2ND DUDLEY  v  7TH JACK…..   DUDLEY WINS  7-5 6-2  JACK gains 3 ranking points for 7th place

Paul upsets his brother to make the last four, as this time form does take the top 3 through with Grayson running Tim very close too.

 

SEMI FINALS

1ST ALEX   v  5TH  PAUL….   PAUL WINS 7-5 7-1  ALEX takes 10 ranking points as group winner

2ND DUDLEY  v  3RD TIM…. DUDLEY WINS 7-6 7-4  TIM gains 7 ranking points in 4th place

Paul suddenly playing faultless tennis and stops Alex’s impressive debut run, which already puts him into 8th spot on the leaderboard, where Tim’s 7 points leaves him in joint 2nd. So PAUL or DUDLEY will be that man, the first ever two time winner. Paul, last year’s US OPEN champion and Dudley last years FRENCH OPEN winner. Who’s our 2014 grass court champion going to be?

FINAL

5TH PAUL  v  2ND DUDLEY…. PAUL WINS  7-2  3-7 7-4 Another cracking final to end a great event as the rest of the field sips hot chocolate as Paul believed in Miracles from not being able to hit a barn door with a bazooka to finding greatness to win WIMBLEDON in the deciding set, leaving Dudley to think of what might have been. Well played both.

WIMBLEDON RUNNER UP…  DUDLEY WRIGHT gains 13 Ranking points and half price entry into US OPEN.

WIMBLEDON CHAMPION …. PAUL MAGUIRE gains 16 Ranking points and Free entry into US OPEN, and is defending champion.

All competitors had a great time in what was another high quality Grand Slam to date, 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 3 previous Opens, 16 points for the win at the US OPEN may just scrape you in if results go your way.

FEBRUARY 9TH US OPEN 1PM   ENTER NOW

MARCH 2ND ATP FINALS 1PM, for top 8 only, no replacements.

Here’s what the Wimbledon results do to the leaderboard.

1ST PAUL MAGUIRE    28

2ND LUKE GWALCHMAI   26

2ND TIM BOLAND       26

4TH DUDLEY WRIGHT   23

5TH  CHRIS MAGUIRE   19

6TH   RYAN BRAZIER    16

7TH   JACK EVANS      15

8TH   ALEX HULL     10

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9TH GRAYSON MARLOW   8

10TH RHIANNON ROBINSON  5

11TH DALLA GHUMAN       4

12TH DAVID KHAYAT        3

13TH CRAIG EASTWOOD   1

13TH MICHAEL BOLAND   1

So some may opt out of US open, but remember 1st v 8th, 4th v 5th, 3rd v 6th, 2nd v 7th, so just be careful you don’t land your bogeyman by not playing, a top 4 finish from 11th upwards may do it, and a win certainly will, from 6th place down, playing is highly recommended if you want your shot at the £60 cash prize and title, over to you guys to do the maths. 1st – 16 2nd -13 3rd- 10 4th- 7 5th- 5 6th- 4 7th- 3 8th- 2 playing -1.

 

Paul takes top spot, Alex becomes a contender, Grayson needs a big US open, See you on the 9th Feb.

 

 

 

 

 

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