Dan Tristao retains his lead in the new Singles Rankings, but we see a change in the Doubles, with Dan Grant taking over from Will Ellison at the top.
These rankings reflect the first four events of the 2018-19 season. Normally I would have issued an interim rankings update but house-moving has preoccupied me somewhat over the last few months. My apologies, but rest assured, my move will see me remaining in Banstead so any references to the “fans in Burgundy & Banstead” will not need to change!
The Singles sees no great change at the top, but the start of the season is remarkable for other reasons. We have had four open events and a different winner in each competition — Will Ellison in the South West, Dan Tristao in the South East, Ed Kay in London, and David Butler in Yorkshire. I was curious to look at how often this has happened before, and so did some digging.
In turns out that the last occasion was in the season of 1978-79 when the winners of the first four events were John East, Wayne Enstone, Tony Wynn, and … errr … Dave Hebden. It also happened 3 times in the 1960s when quite a few of the top players travelled less, and we were blessed with some legends of the game who were happy to share the spoils — e.g. Marsh, Watkinson, Howe, Puckle, Gardner, East, and Enstone to name just a few.
In 1978-79 one of the winners of the first four events went on to the win the 5th and final event, so the run came to an end — yes the tournament schedule was much restricted in those days compared to now. Only once have we had more than 4 different winners of the open singles events in a season which was 1968-69 when all the 5 competitions were won by different players. With 5 open singles events to go this season there is maybe a chance of breaking that record — time for Charlie Brooks, Dan Grant, or Ben Beltrami, or maybe someone else, to step up??
In the Singles top ten, Ben Beltrami moves up a place despite losing to David Butler in the final of the Yorkshire, Ben’s semi-final place in the South East making the difference. Matt Shaw and Ollie Arnold move into the top ten. Andrew Boyd, Peter Hanton and Ben Kirwan make good progress into the top 20, whilst lower down Alex Rew, Rob Whitehorn and Ed Hatton move up the list. We see 3 new entries — Addie Chai, Richard Dyke, and Morgan Spillane, all benefiting from good performance in Plate competitions.
In the Doubles, Dan Grant hits the top spot after wins in the South West (with Will Ellison) and in London (with Ed Kay). Ollie Arnold and Theo Parker, who seem to like this event, won in Yorkshire, and James Tilston and Ben Chua won the South East “invitation” Doubles. Ben is the first player to win this event twice, while this was James’s first doubles trophy.
A word about Will Ellison. Will has topped the Doubles Rankings for some 3 years now, an amazing run. Parental duties kept Will away from the last 2 open events, but no doubt he will be back soon fighting for that top spot.
The Doubles list sees Ed Kay moving up a place to 4th, and Ollie Arnold moving up to 6th. Ben Chua’s South East win sees him enter the top 20, while Rob Whitehorn, Ed Hatton, Ben Jourdan, James Smith, Addie Chai, Stuart Kirby, Richard Christie and Louise Mathias all make good progress. We have an encouraging 7 new entries in the Doubles, with RIchard Dyke, Alexandra Steel, Daniel Hill, Richard Lebon, Joe Sumner, Cameron Low, and Sarath Prakash all joining the list. Alexandra joins Louise Mathias and Alley Scott as the 3rd female in the Doubles rankings.
To see the full official rankings, just click on the link below.
Official RFA rankings (opens in separate window).
The official RFA rankings are prepared by Dave Hebden.