The annual Cippenham Five by Two Senior and Veterans’ 1-Star Open on Sunday provided a few shocks and some difficult scenarios for the organisers.
Several players withdrew from the morning’s event, the Veterans’ Singles, causing a partial re-draw and a delayed start. Eventually, the 37 participants were drawn into seven preliminary round groups of either five or six players.
Only one of the four top-seeded players was successful in winning his group and that was second seed Hari Gehlot. Top seed Paul Carter was displaced by Thamal Udamulla, third seed Zayd Mauthoor lost out to both David Oggunusi, the group winner, and Gabriela Tankel, while fourth seed Radovan Zivkovic lost to the unseeded Colombian Ferxey Ayala. The other group winners were Darren Reece, Tomasz Nowakowski and Vadym Krevs.
Udamulla therefore took up a position at the top of the draw and progressed into the semi-final where he lost to Ayala although he was stretched to 19-17 in the fifth game in his semi-final against Tomasz Nowakowski. Hari Gehlot, at the bottom of the draw also had a difficult progression and had to come from behind to win deciding games against both Zivkovic and Krevs. However, in the semi-final Gehlot was defeated by the displaced top seed Paul Carter, victor earlier against Oggunusi and Michael Wilkins.
The final, considering the close matches that had preceded it in both halves of the drew, was a more straight-forward affair as Carter belatedly justified his top seeding by defeating Ayala in three straight games in the final.
Zayd Mauthoor made up for his disappointment of not qualifying for the main event, and overcame a shoulder injury, to win the consolation.
On to the afternoon’s Senior (i.e. open) Singles and a few further withdrawals but, this time, all the places were able to be filled with players on the reserve list. Consequently, the maximum 45 players were allocated into nine groups of five in the preliminary round.
Most of the groups were won by the top-ranked players but there were exceptions. Gordon Shaw took advantage of the missing top seed while Emmanuel Asante was the winner of group four. The other group winners were Munib Ahmad, Zayd Mauthoor, Dom Howard, Ewelina Sychta, Abdul Raqueeb, Vadym Krevs and Nana Ansah.
The knockout rounds proved to be a bit of a procession for Emmanuel Asante, unknown to the seeding committee, but an international player for Ghana. On route to the final Asante took care of Patryk Kowacz and Ewelina Sychta before halting the inspired run of Gordon Shaw in the semi-final.
In the bottom half of the draw, third seed Zayd Mauthoor reached his allocated position of a place in the semi-final but then fell to Abdul Raqueeb. Raqueeb had earlier accounted for George Spillett and second seed Munib Ahmad. In the final, Asante required only four games to defeat Raqueeb.
The senior consolation event provided the host club with its only winner of the day, Rajan Waterman.
The tournament was organised by Paul Baker and refereed by Sue Hayes.