Bristol Grand Prix: Rumgay and Le Fevre triumph

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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It has been another busy day in Bristol, where Karina Le Fevre and Gavin Rumgay have taken the top titles in the fourth Grand Prix of the season.

Men’s Singles

Winner Gavin Rumgay (right) and runner-up Chris Doran with Phil Thomas from Bribar

Epic Mark Two!

After their thriller in Liverpool in the first Grand Prix of the season, Gavin Rumgay and Chris Doran served up another treat for spectators in Bristol.

This time, however, the outcome was different as the Scot took it in the deciding fifth to seal his 25th Grand Prix title.

In a match of fascinating ebb and flow, punctuated by some scintillating rallies, Rumgay was never behind in taking the first 11-9.

If that seemed routine, the next two were anything but. Rumgay clawed back from 9-5 down to fashion game points at 10-9 and 11-10. But the Northamptonshire man, winner of the first two GPs of the season, dig in to take it 13-11.

The next saw Doran pegged back from 9-3 to 9-7 and then lose three game points as Rumgay took four in a row to lead 11-11. Doran saved the first game point, but the Scotsman took the next two.

The fourth was quieter by comparison as Doran pulled away from 6-5 to lead 10-5 and ultimately take it 11-6.

That was the prelude to a rollercoaster – Rumgay led 5-1 in the fifth and seemingly within seconds it was 5-5. Then Rumgay took a run of five – only for Doran to match the feat and save all five match points.

But Rumgay was not to be denied his milestone win and took the next two points, prompting a lavish celebration in front our video camera (footage to be edited in the next day or two!)

Rumgay said: “I’ve had a little while waiting for that!

“He’s the toughest player to beat in Britain because he fights and fights. There’s not many players who can get a good record against Ryan Jenkins in recent years, but he’s doing that.”

Of the last game, he added: “It’s unbelievable, but when it’s deuce in the last set, my record is good. As ugly as that was, I still came through – but you expect Chris to come back.”

Doran’s record against Jenkins acquired another chalk mark on the wall – he had beaten the Welsh Grand Prix legend in five in another thrilling match in the last four.

Rumgay’s path to the final was more serene, beating fourth seed Matt Ware in three straight.

Women’s Singles

Karina Le Fevre (left) and Emma Vickers with Phil Thomas of Bribar

Karina Le Fevre got off the mark for the season with a 3-0 victory over South Shields champion Emma Vickers as the top two seeds reached the final in somewhat different fashion.

Vickers had dug in to beat Diana Rusinova in an all Derbyshire semi-final. Trailing 2-0, she rallied to take it 3-2 (10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4).

Le Fevre’s progress was somewhat smoother, although she dropped a set in the quarters to Alice Loveridge and was taken to 15-13 in the third as she defeated Yolanda King 3-0 in the last four.

And although the final was also 3-0 in the Cleveland player’s favour, there was never much to choose between the top two seeds, particularly in the first, when Le Fevre was never in front until she went 11-10 up on the first and only deuce.

And she was delighted to win her first Grand Prix of the season, becoming the fourth different winner after Abbie Milwain, Hannah Hicks and Vickers.

“It’s a bit overdue – not that I expect to win, but last year at this point I’d won a couple and I’ve kept being beaten in the semi-finals this year,” said Le Fevre.

“It’s been pretty difficult today – I had to play Alice in the quarters and then Yolanda.

“Me and Emma know how to play each other inside out and it was close. The only thing that made the difference was in the first end she was playing some big forehands past me, but at deuce I managed to block one down the line.”

Le Fevre said the equal prize money for female players at Grand Prix events was also raising the standard of the events and encouraging more players to play, more often.

“It definitely makes a difference,” she said. “I think now if they can play, most people do play. In the past, I wouldn’t have come to Bristol because it wouldn’t have been worth it.”

Eight-year-old Welsh player Anna Hursey also turned a few heads, winning two of her three group matches and acquitting herself well in defeat by Vickers in the third.

She faced Loveridge in the first round of the knockout stages and again showed remarkable skill and poise before eventually succumbing 11-7, 11-8, 17-15.

Under-21 Men’s Singles

Christoph Zickert (right) and Joseph Langham-Ferriera with Tournament Referee Steve Smith

Christoph Zickert resisted a great comeback by Joseph Langham-Ferriera to claim the title and deny his opponent a weekend double to add to his Band 1 triumph.

Zickert, who was also taken to five sets in the quarter-finals by Dominic Sussex, saw Langham-Ferriera fight back from 2-0 down to take it into a decider.

But the German held firm to take it 11-4.

The final of the Under-21 Women’s singles was not played as the two finalists, Alice Loveridge and Yolanda King, were unable to remain at the venue.

Loveridge had reached the final with a four-set victory over Diana Rusinova, while King had come from 2-0 down to beat Abbie Milwain.

Veteran Singles

Jojo Senorin (left) and Hari Gehlot with Phil Thomas

Five-setters abounded in the latter stages as Jojo Senorin and Hari Gehlot both won their semi-finals after going the distance – and Senorin took the final in similar fashion.

Dave Randall was Senorin’s semi-final victim, while Sanja Clements – who led 2-1 – was Gehlot’s. In the final, Senorin led 1-0 and 2-1 before taking the decider after being pegged back both times.

Open Doubles

Gavin Rumgay (left) and Mike O'Driscoll with Phil Thomas

Rumgay added the doubles title to his singles crown in company with Mike O’Driscoll, registering a comfortable three-set victory over Abhijay Mishra and Reece Lo.

Player of the Weekend

Ben Cawston with Phil Thomas

Ben Cawston took the Player of the Weekend – the 15-year-old Hampshire player reached the semi-finals of Men’s Band 3 on Saturday and got through to the last 16 of the Men’s Singles with a terrific five-set win over Band 1 winner Joseph Langham-Ferriera, before falling to fourth seed Matt Ware.

A reminder that the closing date for entries to the Nottingham Grand Prix is Wednesday, November 19.

Click here to download an entry form

Results

Men’s Singles: Gavin Rumgay (Sco) bt Chris Doran (Np) 3-2 (11-9, 11-13, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10)
Women’s singles: Karina Le Fevre (Cv) bt Emma Vickers (Dy) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-7)
Under-21 Men’s Singles: Christoph Zickert (Ger) by Joseph Langham-Ferriera (Sy) 3-2 (12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 11-13, 11-4)
Veteran Singles: Jojo Senorin (Mi) bt Hari Gehlot (Bk) 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5)
Open Doubles: Gavin Rumgay (Sco)/Mike O’Driscoll (Y) bt Abhijay Mishra (Y)/Reece Lo (Y) 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-7)

Paul Stimpson
November 16, 2014

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