The Grand Prix season is back and the draw is out for the 2014-15 series opener in Liverpool!
Last season’s Men’s Singles Champion, and reigning Liverpool Open winner, Ryan Jenkins, has stuck by his word to retire from competing in the Grand Prix series by not entering Liverpool, leaving the competition wide open at the Wavertree Lifestyles Centre, L15 4LE.
Last season’s losing finalist, Scottish Commonwealth Games star, Gavin Rumgay, overall campaign runner-up Matt Ware and England international Darius Knight lead the list of contenders to dethrone the ‘Grand Prix King’.
Knight, the top seed, and Rumgay, no.2, met in the semi-finals in last season’s opener and produced a thrilling 3-2 contest, eventually won by the Scot following six consecutive points in the deciding game.
They will also be challenged by third seed and 2012/13 Men’s Series Champion, Chris Doran, and fourth seed David McBeath, who won his maiden Grand Prix title at the Bribar London GP against Lewis Gray at last year’s curtain closer.
In the women’s singles, defending Series Champion, Karina Le Fevre, will start her campaign for her third consecutive series crown by taking the top seed spot in the women’s singles at Liverpool.
Last season’s Tees Sport Liverpool GP runner-up will start as hot favourite with an Anglo-Welsh crowd hot on her heels for the main prize. Compatriots Abbie Milwain, Natalie Slater and Emily Bolton will lead the ‘home’ effort against Welsh trio Angharad Phillips, Megan Phillips and Nicole Hall.
As usual play will begin on Saturday with the banded events and conclude on Sunday with the veterans, under-21s and doubles events following the men’s and women’s singles.
– The Liverpool Grand Prix is the first tournament of the season for most players so make sure you have renewed your membership before you begin! Details of how to renew can be found here.
– The Liverpool Grand Prix will be quickly followed by the Medway Grand Prix on 6-7 September 2014. Enter the second event of the series here.
By Russell Moore (August 11, 2014)