South East Open titles for Tristao, Chua and Tilston


South East Open Championships

Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, 18/19th August 2018

Normal Service was resumed at the South East Open this year, with a singles final between Dan Tristao and Will Ellison. Although the much anticipated semi between Will and Ed Kay went to three games, there was no repeat of Ed’s surprise win last year, and Will won through to face Dan in the final. And, although Will started where he left off – taking the first game to 1 – it was Dan who took the next two games to secure his first title of the season. It was also his third consecutive singles title on the courts at Christs Hospital.

The doubles, as usual, was run using a President’s Cup-style format and produced some intriguing pairs – but such was the strength of the field, it was impossible to predict who would win through to the final.

In the end, Ed Hatton and Rob Whitehorn faced James Tilston and Ben Chua – with the latter pair (pictured above) coming through in two games to take the title. For James, it was his first regional title – although his two President’s Cup wins suggest this format suits him! – but it was Ben’s second win in the event, having also been doubles champion (with this year’s Plate winner Ben Beltrami) at the inaugural event in 2014.

Organiser Ed Hatton reports: The pleasingly efficient number of 16 players gathered at Christ’s Hospital for the 5th annual South East Open Championships. Many regulars attended, but some particularly impressive performances came from newcomers James Smith and Joe Sumner. All of the seeds progressed to the quarter-finals – Smith achieving a good victory in  two close games against Woolfenden and Parker pushed hard by Hatton. The top 4 of Tristao, Kay, Ellison and Beltrami made similarly comfortable progress to the semi-finals. It was here that the physical pyrotechnics began, as the sheer power and enthusiasm of Kay overwhelmed Ellison in the first 11-1. Come the next game, Will’s more patient defence and ruthless exploitation of errors then swung the score 11-2 in his favour. Anything could have happened – and rather than either player folding, a hard fought third game went 11-7 to Will.

It would have been reasonable to suggest that Dan’s much more comfortable win in the other match gave him an advantage in the final, but this did not show, at least until the third game. A revitalised Will dominated the first game, before narrowly losing the second 8-11. Dan stepped up the pressure in the final game and took his 3rd consecutive singles title at this tournament. Hatton took the Plate despite strong challenges from Sumner, Spillane, Hamilton and Woolfenden.

The doubles followed a handicap format as usual, with two round robin groups of 4 and semi-finals following that, meaning that everyone played at least five games. Fancied pairs included Hebblethwaite & Pringle, Beltrami & Mathias, Smith & Woolfenden and Chua & Tilston. After some very tough and long games, Hatton & Whitehorn emerged top of one group and Chua & Tilston top of the other. There was even some mathematical dispute as to positions in the second group, resolved by the organiser’s typically diplomatic and dictatorial intervention.
In the main competition Chua & Tilston & proved too consistent and accurate for their opponents, winning their semi-final impressively against Kay & Sumner, followed by defeating Hatton & Whitehorn. This is Tilston’s first Open title, and Chua remains unbeaten in doubles at this event. Beltrami & Mathias proved to be even more resilient, winning the Plate in very close games against Geere & Spillane and Cook & Parker.


1st round: D.Tristao bt L.Cook 11-1, 11-1; J.Smith bt N.Woolfenden 12-10,11-5; T.Parker bt E.Hatton 11-9, 11-7; B.Beltrami bt M.Spillane 11-1, 11-2; W.Ellison bt L.Mathias 11-0, 11-1; J.Tilston bt N.Geere 11-1, 11-2; R.Whitehorn bt A.Hamilton 11-4, 11-3; E.Kay bt J.Sumner 11-2, 110
Quarter-finals: Tristao bt Smith 11-2, 11-1; Beltrami bt Parker 11-2, 11-2; Ellison bt Tilston 11-4, 11-4; Kay bt Whitehorn 11-5, 11-0
Semi-finals: Tristao bt Beltrami 11-5, 11-3; Ellison bt Kay 1-11, 11-2, 11-7
Final: Tristao bt Ellison 1-11, 11-8, 11-3
Plate: Hatton


Group A: 1st Hatton & Whitehorn (45 pts); 2nd Kay & Sumner (41); 3rd Beltrami & Mathias (29); 4th Hebblethwaite & Pringle (21)
Group B: 1st Chua & Tilston (45); 2nd Smith & Woolfenden (38); 3rd Cook & Parker (35); 4th Geere & Spillane (24)
Semi-finals: Hatton & Whitehorn bt Smith & Woolfenden 11-9, 11-6; Chua & Tilston bt Kay & Sumner 11-9, 11-4
Final: Chua & Tilston bt Hatton & Whitehorn 11-7, 11-6
Plate: Beltrami & Mathias

Normal service resumed in the Singles final

The Organiser snaffles the Plate

Special moment – it’s James’ first regional title!

Ben’s been here before, though ….

…. and so has Louise!

Contract renewed!