LONDON OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Paul’s School, Barnes, 13/14th September 2014
After a successful inaugural South East Open last month, the Big Guns returned to the fray at the London Open, and it turned up some great matches, as well as some very interesting results.
In the singles, the upsets came as early as the Round of 16, with Theo Parker’s good, attacking Fives earning him a three-game victory over fifth seed Hamish Buchanan. Theo then went on to face another former national champ, Matt Cavanagh, in the quarter-finals; and although he started well, he ultimately ran out of steam, so Matt went on to reach the semi-finals.
Here, he was joined by three top seeds, Dan Tristao, Will Ellison and James Toop. Will had made light work of his progress thus far, but Dan had had to overcome a tough challenge from David Butler, while James took three games to dispose of South East champ Ed Kay, with Ed ultimately struggling to cope with James’s pace of play.
In the semis, Dan and Will came through, but only after long battles. James, in particular, looked strong in his match with Will, but lost after making more mistakes in very hot conditions. Will’s solid form continued into the final, and he took the first game, only for his concentration to lapse in the second, allowing Dan to level the match at one game all.
Dan then took a commanding lead in the third – at one stage up 9-4 – but this time it was Will’s turn to ‘do a Tristao’ on Dan Tristao, coming back to level the third game and, as Dan tired, win it 11-9 to secure the title he last won in 2010.
Sunday’s doubles event may have a low-ish number of entries, but it was an event full of quality. The top four pairs made it through to the semi-finals, but Ben Beltrami & Theo Parker were made to work very hard for their win over Ed Hatton & Oliver Arnold – so it was no surprise that the latter pair went on to win the Plate.
Sadly for Ben and Theo, their prize was a semi against the defending champions, Will Ellison and Dan Tristao, who safely won through to the final. Here they faced Ed Kay & James Tilston, whose strong play (and outstanding serving) had scored them a notable semi-final win over the 2013 runners-up, Hamish Buchanan & Robin Perry.
Ed & James posed a real threat to Dan & Will, but although they started well, they were never able to score a real run of points to really test the defending champs, who went on to retain their title with relative ease.
However, according to our sources, they weren’t the most entertaining players on court at St Paul’s. No, that honour goes to Seb Woollard, whose ‘mad volleys, dropshots and commentary during rallies’ provided endless enjoyment for the spectators.
Round of 32: O Arnold bt J Smith 11-6, 11-5; J Tilston bt D Cloake 11-0,11-0; J Gravatt bt B Chua 11-4, 11-9; J Malde w/o S Woollard
Round of 16: D Tristao bt O Arnold 11-7, 11-2; D Butler bt R Murby 11-5, 11-4; T Parker bt H Buchanan 9-11, 11-6, 11-2; M Cavanagh bt J Tilston 11-2, 11-1; J Toop bt J Gravatt 11-5,11-3; E Kay bt B Beltrami 11-2, 11-3; T Maconie bt E Hatton 11-2, 11-6; W Ellison bt J Malde 11-4, 11-1
Quarter-finals: D Tristao bt D Butler 11-7, 11-7; M Cavanagh bt T Parker 11-9, 11-0; J Toop bt E Kay 4-11, 11-7, 11-8; W Ellison bt T Maconie 11-3, 11-2
Semi-finals: D Tristao bt M Cavanagh 11-7, 11-7; W Ellison bt J Toop 11-9, 11-6
Final: W Ellison bt D Tristao 11-6, 2-11, 11-9
Round of 16: S Woollard & B Ashraf bt J Smith & B Chua 9-11, 11-6, 11-6
Quarter-finals: W Ellison & D Tristao bt Woollard & Ashraf 11-2, 11-2; B Beltrami & T Parker bt E Hatton & O Arnold 11-8, 12-10; E Kay & J Tilston bt D Butler & O Quarry 11-1, 11-6; H Buchanan & R Perry bt J Malde & N Edmonds 11-2, 11-6
Semi-finals: Eliison & Tristao bt Beltrami & Parker 11-6, 11-1; Kay & Tilston bt Buchanan & Perry 11-6, 11-4
Final: Ellison & Tristao bt Kay & Tilston 11-4, 11-7
Plate: Hatton & Arnold