4 January 2022
Naturally, after a couple of months packed with important Fives tournaments, the new year brings new official RFA Open Singles and Doubles Rankings (which you can see on the Rankings page on this website), along with the following update from the RFA’s Rankings Tsar, Dave Hebden:
The New Year rankings include the results from the seven ranking tournaments that took place in the second half of 2021, following the enforced break in the tournament calendar caused by Covid, during which we lost 13 rankings events.
Since the last rankings update was published in October, we have had the University Championships, the National Singles Championship, and for the second time, a Challenger singles event for players outside the top 16, for which ranking points were once again on offer.
In the Singles Dan Tristao remains at the top following his win in the National Singles Championship. Although Will Ellison beat Ed Kay to reach the final, Ed retains second spot in the rankings, but the gap between the two is much reduced. These three remain well clear of fourth-placed Ben Beltrami, who was the fourth player in the semi-final line-up at the Nationals. Elsewhere in the top 10 there is little change, although Andrew Boyd moves up to ninth after winning the University event and reaching the quarter-finals in the National Singles. His opponent in the University final, Ben Jourdan, moves up to #16, while Cameron Low enters the top 20 at #18. Both these players also qualified for the last 16 of the National Singles, although Ben had to drop out due to injury.
Anthony Goodwin benefited from winning the Challenger event and moves up to #21. Other Singles qualifiers Archie McCreath and Gwydion Wiseman make progress in the top 30, while Uni semi-finalist Douglas Law moves up to #31.
We then see an encouraging crop of 13 young new entries, six from the University event (Doug Tidy, Lennie Wells, Ben Yass, Oliver Heath, Andrew Shaw, Louis Odgers), three from the National Singles Qualifiers (Wyman Chan, Stuart Scott, Aiden Whitham), and four from the Challenger event (Ashley Hill, Genesis Nsenga, Laurence Cook, Emrys Thursfield). Is it possible that there are some future champions amongst this group?
The Doubles update includes results from the University Championships. Given that this is not an open event, the points awarded for this competition are reduced, so we do not see a huge change in the overall rankings. However, champions Andrew Boyd and Ben Jourdan improve their positions, while Cameron Low and Douglas Law both enter the top 20.
Lower down, Julius Davies, Emrys Thursfield and Harry Jackson all make progress, while we have 11 new entries (Doug Tidy, Isaac Weaver, Callum Clark, Murray Dare, Oliver Heath, Adam Hutchinson, Teddy Monro-Davies, Louis Odgers, Andrew Shaw, Lennie Wells, and Holly Nugent). Holly joins three other female players now in the Open Doubles Rankings.
Congratulations to Theo Parker for maintaining a good entry in the University Championships despite the current difficulties, and to Charlie Brooks, who managed an entry of 57 players for the National Singles, very close to the all-time record of 59.