22 May 2022
Rankings Czar Dave Hebden writes:
At last we have a full season of fives to report on, the last being the 2018-19 season. There is plenty of interest to discuss in the Singles and Doubles lists (which you can see by clicking on this link), but let me lead with a couple of encouraging observations.
Firstly, there will have been worries about the support for the various events following two severely disrupted years. Yet it turns out that last season there was a record total entry across the 12 rankings Singles events. This was partly due to the inclusion of the Challenger event, held for the second time after being introduced in 2019, but the level of support across all events was impressive. The Doubles also had a solid year, maintaining the levels of entry we have seen in recent years. Congratulations to all our tournament organisers for achieving these levels of entry.
Secondly, we see a healthy number of new names featuring in this season’s rankings lists. The Singles and Doubles lists have never been longer. And among the Open Doubles names we find six female players – another record – with Louise Mathias leading the way at #44.
Please note that, for these end-of-season Rankings, the values in the ‘Previous’ column are set to the positions at start of season, so that changes over the whole year are reflected.
In the Singles rankings, Dan Tristao, Ed Kay, and Will Ellison continue to dominate at the top. None of these players has lost a match to anyone except each other since 2018. In addition to winning the National Singles, Dan also won in Scotland, while Ed had a great season, picking up four trophies. The rest of the spoils went to Will (with two titles), Dave Butler (who won in the South East), and Anthony Goodwin, who won the Challenger event. Who will be the first to break into this top three stronghold? Perhaps U25 champion Ben Beltrami, or University champion Andrew Boyd? Maybe, but there still seems to be quite a gap to bridge.
Elsewhere in the Top 10, Tom Watkinson moves up to #6, and Sam Russell, Ben Jourdan, and Cameron Low make good progress in the Top 20. Joe Sumner moves up to #21, but the highest new entry is Marco Skogh at #22 following his win in the North West Plate. In total there are 24 new entries in the Singles rankings.
In the Doubles, Will Ellison returns to the top after an impressive season, winning five of the seven Open titles on offer with a variety of partners, including the National Doubles and the South West with Charlie Brooks. The other Open titles were shared between Ed Kay (two), Dan Tristao (two), Ollie Arnold (two), and Ben Beltrami (one). Ollie also picked up the U25 title with Ben Beltrami, while the University event was won by Cameron Low & Theo Parker.
Our final 2021-22 winners in the two “draw for partner” events, where fewer points are on offer, are Dave Butler & Bart Callaghan (South East) and Enrique Castillo Carbonell & Oscar McIntyre, who won in Scotland.
All these players make strides up the Doubles Rankings. In addition, Tom Watkinson enters the Top 10 at #10, while Ben Jourdan, Cameron Low, Lewis Keates, and Rob Whitehorn all make good progress in the Top 20.
We have 36 new entries, the most there has ever been in an updated Doubles rankings list. James Toop and Gwydion Wiseman deserve mention as the highest new entries at #27.
A lot of the new entries are young players, an encouraging feature of these latest rankings. Included in these are a clutch of new players from recent highly successful Scottish Championships. Joining the lists are Sam Park (Merchiston), Daniel Jourdan, Ronnie Brown, Xander Millar (Edinburgh Academy past and present), Malcolm Borthwick (Caledonian Club), and Dan Swinbank (City of Durham), as well as the Edinburgh Academy coach Hector McFarlane. And good performances in the National Doubles see Ashwin Ahuja and Adam Hicks rewarded with some ranking points.
Congratulations to all! We look forward to similar successes in the 2022-23 season.