Alleyn’s School, Dulwich
Saturday/Sunday, 7-8 October 2023
STOP PRESS Tom Watkinson scored his second Open Singles title after last month’s victory at the Yorkshire Open, beating defending champion Dan Tristao 11-9, 11-8 in the final of this year’s London Open Championships. Cameron Low won the Singles Plate at the expense of organiser Penn Chai. In the Doubles top seeds Dan Tristao & Charlie Brooks added to their haul of London Doubles titles, with Dan notching up a seventh and Charlie his second, having won with Tom Dean in 2012. The Plate went to James Toop & Gwydion Wiseman, leaving Penn to rue a second missed opportunity along with partner Christian Blackaby.
Penn Chai reports: The London Open commenced this weekend with a total of 24 players in the Singles competition. One of the standout 1st Round matches featured Penn facing off against Freddie. Despite Freddie being one of the youngest players in the tournament and displaying remarkable retrieving skills, he faced defeat with scores of 11-6, 11-1 against Penn. Freddie’s performance, however, marks him as a rising star to watch in the future.
Moving on to the 2nd Round, Dan Tristao, the top seed, lived up to his reputation of being fashionably late. His tardiness led to him being provisionally placed in the Plate after arriving over an hour late for his first match. In this round, a noteworthy match was Anthony against Archie, a left-handed showdown characterised mostly by intense serving exchanges. Another thrilling encounter was Terry versus Lewis, which resulted in an epic three-setter, ultimately won by Lewis with scores of 11-8, 9-11, 11-2. The clash between Cameron and James also went the distance, with James losing the first set 11-9 but bouncing back to win the second and third sets 4-11, 4-11. Notably, Charlie Lacewing, another schoolboy, displayed an exceptional performance against Tom Watkinson.
In the quarter-finals, Dan faced another left-hander in Anthony Goodwin and comfortably secured his victory with scores of 11-3, 11-5, demonstrating his prowess with drop shots. Charlie Brooks defeated Sam Russell 11-8, 11-3, while Julian had a smooth run against Lewis with scores of 11-1, 11-0 and Tom prevailed over James with scores of 11-9, 11-1.
The semi-finals witnessed intense rallies and incredible retrieval skills as Dan triumphed over Charlie in three sets, while Tom outplayed Julian, who admitted to not being as aggressive as he should have been. This set the stage for the final, featuring Tom and Dan facing off against each other in the Open final the following morning.
Despite overnight social media polls favouring Tristao, Tom secured an early lead by winning the first game 11-9. In the second game, Tristao aimed for tighter play but faced fierce resistance from Tom Watkinson, resulting in Tom winning the set 11-8 and claiming the Singles title – his second consecutive Open win.
In the Singles Plate, Archie, Cameron, Marcus, and Penn emerged as group toppers. Cameron secured a relatively comfortable victory of 15-6 in his semi-final, while Penn came from behind to defeat Marcus. In the final, Cameron won comfortably with a score of 15-3, making it likely his easiest final.
In the Sunday Doubles, all pairs progressed as seeded to the quarter-finals. The standout quarter-final match featured Archie & Cameron defeating Toop & Wiseman with scores of 11-5, 11-4. Gwydion attributed his fatigue to freshers’ week, and in another quarter-final, there was a hard-hitting battle between James & Sam against Penn & Christian, with the former pair winning the second set after seven-game balls at 12-11.
In the semi-finals, Brooks & Tristao looked in control as they beat Cameron & Archie with scores of 11-5, 11-2. Another relatively comfortable semi-final saw Tilston & Russell triumphing with scores of 11-4, 11-5 against Lewis & Bally. The final went according to seeding, as Brooks & Tristao, while challenged by James & Sam, never seemed in danger of losing a set and eventually won in two.
In the Doubles Plate, Penn & Christian topped their group, setting up a final against James & Gwydion, who also topped their group. The final was marked by aggressive volleying, exemplified by Gwydion’s spirited on-court presence. The eventual winners were James & Gwydion with a score of 15-6.
A special thanks to Hamish and Chris for their excellent organisation of the tournament. Congratulations to Tom on securing his second Open Singles title and to Dan and Charlie for their impressive Doubles victory.
1st round: P Chai bt F Hammond Giles 11-6, 11-1; E Thursfield bt Y Negyal 11-1, 11-8; M Cloke Browne w/o R Menhart ; G Fox-Edwards bt N Geere 11-4, C Lacewing bt J Garratt 11-5, 11-6
2nd round: D Tristao bt Chai 11-6, 11-2; A Goodwin bt A McCreath 11-6, 11-1; S Russell bt Thursfield 11-2, 11-2; C Brooks bt Cloke Browne 11-3, 11-3; J Aquilina bt Fox-Edwards 11-0, 11-1; L Keates bt T McElvaney 11-8, 9-11, 11-2; J Tilston bt C Low 9-11, 11-4, 11-4 ; T Watkinson bt Lacewing 11-1, 11-2
Quarter-finals: Tristao bt Goodwin 11-3, 11-5; Brooks bt Russell 11-8, 11-3; Aquilina bt Keates 11-1, 11-0; Watkinson bt Tilston 11-9, 11-1
Semi-finals: Tristao bt Brooks 11-4, 5-11, 11-6; Watkinson bt Aquilina 11-5, 11-1
Final: Watkinson bt Tristao 11-9, 11-8
Plate: Low bt Chai 15-3
1st round: M Cloke Browne & E Thursfield bt G Fox-Edwards & J Garratt 11-6, 11-6; J Toop & G Wiseman bt W Edmonds & S Leboff 11-0, 11-0; C Low & A McCreath bt S Coffey & H Tunks 11-7, 11-7; L Keates & B Singh bt A Dorokhov & Y Negyal 11-7, 11-2; J Birch & T Hebblethwaite bt F Hammond Giles & J Ferro 12-11, 11-6; C Blackaby & P Chai bt R Christie & N Geere 11-0, 11-8
Quarter-finals: C Brooks & D Tristao bt Cloke Browne & Thursfield 11-8, 11-1; Low & McCreath bt Toop & Wiseman 11-5, 11-4; Keates & Singh bt Birch & Hebblethwaite 11-4, 11-6; S Russell & J Tilston bt Blackaby & Chai 11-6, 12-11
Semi-finals: Brooks & Tristao bt Low & McCreath 11-5, 11-2; Russell & Tilston bt Keates & Singh 11-5, 11-4
Final: Brooks & Tristao bt Russell & Tilston 11-7, 11-7
Plate: Toop & Wiseman bt Blackaby & Chai 15-6
New champion Tom with Dan
Doubles champions Dan and Charlie
Runners-up James and Sam
Plate winners James and Gwydion
Action from the Plate final