Bryant and Bolton dominate Tipton Grand Prix weekend

Author:
Ed Jenkins (volunteer press officer)

Publish date:

Craig Bryant and Emily Bolton both capped off a satisfactory weekend, as they added to their band 1 wins with victories in the men’s and women’s singles respectively. Bryant took full advantage of the absence of Chris Doran and Mike O’Driscoll, the two previous winners in the event this season, to live up to his billing as number one seed and come out on top.

Bolton on the other hand overcame overall leader Karina Le Fevre, who had won the first two women’s singles competitions on the circuit.

Men’s Singles

Craig Bryant completed a clean sweep for the weekend as he was victorious in the men’s singles, running away with an emphatic straight-ends win in the final against Adam Nutland. The Worcestershire player found himself once again on the receiving end of the top seed, who had got the better of him in the men’s band 1 singles.

Bryant got off to a better start than the day before, as he finished in first position in his group, above Adam Wilson, who qualified in second place, leaving Andy Price and Anthony Ellis to depart from the competition early. From round one, Bryant made swift progress as he won his next three matches in straight ends, brushing aside Joe Walker (11-5, 12-10, 11-5), his band 1 final opponent Adam Jepson (11-9, 11-6, 11-7) and Kamil Kurowski (11-9, 11-8, 11-7) to reach the semi-finals.

Victor Guang Shi was the toughest opponent Bryant faced on the day, as he won the first game 11-6, before Bryant levelled and then took a 2-1 lead with 11-6 and 11-9 ends. But Shi changed the momentum of the match again, winning 11-9 in the fourth. In a very close and high standard decider, the Sussex man was clinical when it mattered as he kept his concentration right until the end of the set, nudging over the line 11-9 to reach the last stage.

Nutland progressed efficiently through to the final, by qualifying top of group 2, containing Danny Bajwa, Simon Price and James Mason. The Worcestershire man quickly made his way through the knockout rounds, getting past Jacob Reilly-Cooper (11-7, 11-4, 11-2), band 4 champion Zak Cantor (11-6, 11-13, 11-5, 11-5), Josh Weatherby and Scotland’s Niall Cameron (11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-3) without too much trouble, to book a rematch between the top two seeds.

The man from Sussex showed why he was billed as favourite, as it was a commanding performance from start to finish. The first two ends were a masterclass in building a strong lead, as Bryant pulled out in front 10-5 before winning 11-8 in the first game, following it up in the second set by winning the first five points, before forming an 8-2 cushion to help register an 11-7 score and 2-0 advantage. The third game was closer, and stood at 8-8 as Nutland started to find his rhythm. But Bryant cunningly broke it up by taking a timeout, which worked accordingly as he once again took control to win 11-9 and clinch the victory, becoming the third winner in three men’s singles events so far this season.

Adam Nutland (L) and Craig Bryant (R)
Men’s Singles Results

Women’s Singles

Karina Le Fevre’s unbeaten start to the Grand Prix women’s singles this season came to an end as Emily Bolton managed to avenge her five-set defeat at the previous tournament in Crawley. The four-time winner still maintains her position at the top of the overall standings, but the defeat will still have been hard to take for the Cleveland player, after being one step away from from a hat-trick of wins.

All had begun well for the top seed, after she came through first in her group above second-placed Natalia Ianau, as well as Federica Bonato and Lauren Evans. It was then a swift route through to the final as she brushed past band 4 winner Raquel São Pedro (11-5, 11-5, 11-6) in the quarter-finals and band 3 victor Patricia Ianau (11-3, 11-3, 11-3) in the semi-finals.

Bolton also won her round-robin to progress to the knockout stage. After comprehensively beating Wales’ Lucy Page 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-6) in round one, her next match was a completely different story as the Lancashire representative had to fight past Yolanda King to reach the last round. The first two games were on a knife-edge as King took the lead 12-10, only for Bolton to strike back with a deuce-game of her own 13-11. Sussex’s King once more pulled out in front by winning the third 11-5, but Bolton remained composed, helped perhaps by her band 1 success the previous day, and stepped up a gear to win the last two sets 11-6 and 11-8 respectively, booking her place in the last round.

It was a good start to the final for Le Fevre, as she won 11-6 in a confident first game. But Bolton stayed focused to take a close second 11-9, before jumping into the lead with an 11-7 end. Bolton commanded much of the fourth set, but Le Fevre was not going to let it go easily and stuck in towards the end. However, the second seed went 10-8 in front, and before Le Fevre could do anything further, fate intervened on match point as Bolton’s shot caught the top of the net and rolled over to hit the table on Le Fevre’s side, finishing off the match 3-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) and completing a successful two days for the Lancastrian.

Karina Le Fevre (L) and Emily Bolton (R)
Women’s Singles Results

Veterans’ Singles

It was second time lucky for Ryan Stockham, as he won the final of the Veterans’ singles, having lost in the last round of the same event at the Liverpool Grand Prix in August. The Warwickshire man overcame Lancashire’s Kyan Chin in the final, in what was as close a straight ends victory as you could have, winning 13-11, 13-11, 11-9 to take the title.

Stockham reached the final with relative ease, as he finished first in his three-man group with Yury Zhelyabouskiy qualifying second. It then took Stockham just seven games to reach the final, as he defeated Elroy Edwards 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-4) in the quarters and fellow Warwickshire player Mike Browne 3-1 (11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4) in the semis. Chin had an identical path to the final, as he also won his group before beating Andrew Frain 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-7) and first seed Rory Scott 3-1 (11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9) to make the last fixture.

Ryan Stockham (L) and Kyan Chin (R)
Veterans’ Singles Results

Men’s Under-21s

James Hobson took his second under-21s title of the Grand Prix season, having also won at the first leg in Liverpool, and therefore remains unbeaten in the event. It also means the Yorkshire player goes top of the overall standings, having benefited from the absence of Joshua Bennett and Gabriel Achampong, whilst also overtaking Ethan Walsh, based on the difference in points gained at Tipton by both players.

On his way to the final, Hobson was in fine form, as he topped his group above Jacob Goss, Edward Haskell and Joseph Sheppard, and then comfortably rode his way through the knockout matches to reach the final, winning in his encounters against Joseph Goss (13-11, 11-4, 11-8), Carl Baldry (11-5, 11-7, 11-6) and Danny Bajwa (12-10, 13-11, 11-7) in straight ends.

Hobson’s final opponent was Olly Tyndall, who had also won his group to progress to round one. His first match of the knockout stage could have gone either way, as Keir Morton went 2-1 in front and came close to winning the fourth set. But Tyndall held his nerve and then came out victorious in the final end to edge the battle 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8) and proceed to the next round. The quarter-finals and semi-finals were a far more straightforward affair for the Gloucestershire player, as he recorded quick wins over Fraser Riley (11-8, 11-9, 14-12) and Josh Weatherby (11-6, 11-6, 11-9) respectively, to seal his place in the last match of the event against the second seed.

The final was as unpredictable as the score suggests, with both competitors having fazes of initiative before it was either squandered or taken up by the opposite player. Left-hander Hobson took the lead twice, but Tyndall struck back each time as his attacking game began to break through Hobson’s more defensive style. But the momentum swung Hobson’s way once more in the deciding set, as he displayed the control and precision needed to force the game his way, eventually coming away 3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) victor at the end of a gripping tussle.

Olly Tyndall (L) and James Hobson (R)
Men’s Under-21s Results

Women’s Under-21s

It was victory again for Mollie Patterson, as she claimed her second event win of the weekend in the under-21 singles, to add to the women’s band 2 trophy from Saturday. This competition is one that Patterson has performed well in before, with her only appearance in the same event last season, at Nottingham, also finishing in a victory for the Norfolk player.

Patterson qualified top of her round-robin to progress straight to the semis, as the first-placed qualifiers in both groups 1 and 2 avoided having to play an extra round. She took full advantage of this by requiring just six more ends to clinch the title. The top seed firstly dispatched of Durham’s Charlotte Weatherby in three games (11-8, 11-8, 11-5) before repeating the feat against Middlesex player Raquel São Pedro in the final (11-6, 11-4, 11-8), a match which Patterson dominated, particularly in the first two games.

São Pedro can still be pleased with her performance, as she came first in her group above Charlotte Weatherby and Lauren Evans, before getting past county associates Natalia (12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9) and Patricia Ianau (12-10, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8) to reach the final.

Raquel São Pedro (L) and Mollie Patterson (R)
Women’s Under-21s Results

Player of the Weekend

Scotland’s Keir Morton received the Player of the Weekend award for his impressive run in the men’s singles event on day two. After finishing top of his group above Pawel Orzechowski, Tim Vaughan and Rory Scott, he went on a strong run, beating Warwickshire’s Ryan Stockham (16-14, 11-9, 9-11, 15-13) and England junior Ethan Walsh (11-9, 11-6, 14-12) to reach the quarter-finals.

Player of the Weekend Keir Morton

2017 Tipton Grand Prix Results
Men’s Singles
Craig Bryant bt Adam Nutland 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-9)
Women’s Singles
Emily Bolton bt Karina Le Fevre 3-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8)
Veterans’ Singles
Ryan Stockham bt Kyan Chin 3-0 (13-11, 13-11, 11-9)
Men’s Under-21s
James Hobson bt Olly Tyndall 3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6)
Women’s Under-21s
Mollie Patterson bt Raquel São Pedro 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-8)
Player of the Weekend
Keir Morton

Entries are now being taken for the next Grand Prix in Bath. You can enter here.

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