Men’s Singles

Chris Doran had a strong finish in the Men’s Singles final to defeat Helshan Weerasinghe and clinch number one at the Bath Grand Prix on Sunday.

Both athletes faced seven opponents during their tournament journey, remaining strong and focussed for the most important match. The final began with intense, fast-paced play and saw Doran from Northamptonshire take an early lead up 2 games (11-8, 11-8). Weerasinghe found himself in a true test of determination in the 3rd game. Forcing Doran to make errors allowed Weerasinghe to keep the match alive and claim the game 3 win (11-6). Doran, however, was not backing down and kept his play consistently strong. Zoned in on that championship title, Doran stole the show, finishing game 4 and the match with a strong 11-7 win.

With 17 groups in the division, both final competitors showed true skill as they climbed to the top. Weerasinghe swept Alex Kearney (11-8, 11-4, 11-6), Ben Willson (11-7, 11-7, 11-5) and Ben-Smith Bortey (11-7, 11-3, 11-4) in the preliminary rounds, keeping his momentum against Jamie Liu (7-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-8), Joe Killoran (11-3, 11-8, 11-9), Ryota Kawai (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5) and Darius Knight (11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8) in the knockouts. On the other side, top-ranked Doran swept Matt Newport (11-7, 11-4, 11-4), Rory Scott (11-3, 11-5, 11-6) and Luke Greenfield (11-5, 11-1, 11-7). The knockouts saw Doran overcoming Edward Haskell (11-6, 11-6, 11-8), Pedro Lopez Laguna (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8), Callum Evans (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 15-17, 11-6) and Mike O’Driscoll (11-6, 12-14, 11-7, 11-5).

Chris Doran (left) and Helshan Weerasinghe (right)

Women’s Singles

After an intense five-game match, Hannah Hicks from Hampshire took the Bath Grand Prix championship title in the Women’s Singles.

Top ranked in group 2, Hicks met number 1 seed Haoyu Liu in the final competition. Both athletes came out willing to fight as game 1 and 2 remained consistent with a steady pace of play. The competition grew as Liu took game 1 (13-11) and Hicks taking game 2 (12-10). Liu stepped up in game 3 taking control of the ball and winning 11-5 meaning all she needed was one more victory. Unfortunately, game 4 did not go her way. Hicks kept her mental toughness high and held her ground through the extremely tight game 4 and came out on top 12-10. Carrying her momentum into game 5, Hicks dominated the scoreboard and took the championship 11-5.

Hicks found her way into the final by overcoming Ashley Givan 3-2 (11-7, 13-11, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9), Anna Hursey 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-3), Denise Payet 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-4) and Yolanda King 3-0 (11-4, 11-1, 11-6). The Hampshire native stayed focused throughout the whole tournament and created her own success to receive a well-deserved championship title.

Hannah Hicks (left) and Haoyu Liu (right)

Men’s Under 21’s

Top player Callum Evans claimed the Bath Grand Prix Men’s Under 21 championship trophy in a tightly contested five game final defeating Shaquille Webb-Dixon.

As the weekend came to a close, the athletes had to keep their head in the game letting their skill and motivation take charge. Top ranked Shaquille Webb-Dixon of Surrey proved himself early on by sweeping his group 4 opponents in the preliminaries. Matching against Hei Yeung Chan (11-9, 11-5, 11-6), Luke Jones (11-7, 11-2, 11-2) and Moses Lewis (11-1, 11-5, 11-7) proved no contest for the rising star. Carrying his momentum into the knockouts, Webb-Dixon topped Jacob Gross in round 1 3-0, Louis Price in the quarterfinals 3-1 and Wing Cheong Kwan in the semifinals 3-1.

Another top rank, Callum Evans followed suit, dominating group 1. Three wins (3-0, 3-0, 3-1) in the preliminaries set the stage for three more wins in the knockouts for Evans. Facing steady competition Matthew Daish (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5), Shayan Siraj (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9) in the quarterfinals and Calum Morrison (11-3, 11-8, 11-7) in the semifinals prepared the Welsh athlete for the final match.

The duo battled hard in the contest, both attempting to secure the title. The even match was incredibly exciting as they were each as strong and consistent with their play. Webb-Dixon stole the 1st game 12-10 with Evans fighting back easily taking game 2 and 3 (11-4, 11-4). Webb-Dixon forced a game five winning 11-9 but it was Evans who eventually came out on top. With an 11-4 fifth game win, Evans was named champion and closed off the successful weekend on a high note.

Callum Evans (left) and Shaquille Webb-Dixon (right)

Women’s Under 21’s

In an exciting end Anna Hursey claimed her second victory of the weekend, finishing the round robin play as number one in the Women’s Under 21’s Bath Grand Prix. Yesterday, Hursey found herself as champion of the Women’s Band 2 competition.

Rising to the top, Hursey was put up against tough opponents who tested her skill. Kate Cheer proved to be highly determined to succeed as she was up 2-1 early in the first match. Hursey came back to take the next two wins, narrowly beating Cheer in the final 14-12. Hursey continued to utilize her amazing talent, achieving wins over Amy Blagbrough3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-2) and Nina Kadir 3-1 (11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7) to claim the top spot.

Cheer narrowly fell into second place, however had a strong tournament otherwise. Finding success over Nina Kadir 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8) and Amy Blagbrough 3-1 (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) the Sussex showed why she is an athlete to keep an eye on in the future.

Kate Cheer (left) and Anna Hursey (right)

Veteran Singles

Rory Scott of Ireland took the Veterans championship title at the Bath Grand Prix this weekend, beating Quirk in the final.

After defeating Cameron Brealey 3-2 (11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10) and Michael Stephens 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-4), Quirk took a tough loss against top ranked Rory Scott 2-3 (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 7-11) in the preliminaries. The Isle of Man athlete did not let one loss keep him down, defeating group 3’s first place Wim Faassen 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-8) in the quarterfinal match and sweeping the semi-final match 3-0 against Yury Zhelabouskiy (11-8, 11-8, 11-7). Advancing to the final, Quirk was now up against the one opponent who had shut him down, Rory Scott. Quirk had the chance for revenge, but Scott proved too strong once more winning 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-5).

Earning his way to the final match, Scott won all three of his preliminary games (3-0, 3-2, 3-1). Breaking into the knockouts as a player to watch, Scott overcame Paul May 3-1 (11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10) in the quarterfinals and Tim Vaughan 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 13-11) in the semifinals. The long winning streak continued in the finals for Scott, once again defeating Quirk.

Jason Quirk (left) and Rory Scott (right)

Open Doubles

Hai Qing Chau and Bi Jun Tang were named Bath Grand Prix Doubles champions.

With only three sets of doubles competing in the group, each game brought the teams that much closer to the title. Chau and Tang faced off against Tim Hampton and Daniel Woods claiming their first victory 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-5). Their dominance continued into the match against Joe Killoran and Leon Kashdan-Brown. Being up 2-0 early on in the match, Chau and Tang let their opponents climb back to tie 2-2. The fifth and final game saw a tight, evenly matched competition with Chau and Tang narrowly taking the win in deuce (14-12).

Killoran and Kashdan-Brown showed their strength as a pair when they faced Hampton and Woods. The second place couple took three straight games 11-5, 11-7 and 11-7 to clinch second place in the tournament.

Bi Jun Tang (left) and Hai Qing Chau (right)

Bath Grand Prix results
Men’s Singles
Chris Doran bt Helshan Weerasinghe 3-2 (11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7)
Women’s Singles
Hannah Hicks bt Haoyu Liu 3-2 (11-13, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5)
Men’s Under-21
Callum Evans bt Shaquille Webb-Dixon 3-2 (10-12, 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-4)
Women’s Under-21
Anna Hursey wins round robin, Kate Cheer runner-up
Veteran Singles
Rory Scott bt Jason Quirk 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-5)
Open Doubles
Hai Qing Chau & Bi Jun Tang win round robin, Joe Killoran & Leon Kashdan runners-up

The next stop on the Grand Prix series will be on the 25th & 26th March in Nottingham – enter here. Followed by a Satellite event in Jersey over the Easter weekend – enter here.