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British Open Real Tennis Championships 2018

Updated Nov 21, 2018 (Finals)
Published Oct 15, 2018
Queen's. 19th November. Rob Fahey beat Chris Chapman to win his 50th Open title. 20th November. Rob Fahey & Nick Howell beat Chris Chapman & Steve Virgona.




  • Rob Fahey (1) bt Chris Chapman (2) 6/5 6/4 6/4
An evenly matched final was played in great spirit. Chris Chapman matched Rob Fahey shot for shot but the World Champion, playing on his "home court", just seemed to have the advantage at pivotal moments. Fahey had not won the British crown since 2011, but played with a belief as he chased his 50th Open championship. Each time Chapman raised his game, Fahey responded in kind, reaching a peak at the end of the first set to secure a vital 6/5 lead. Chapman, cheered on by the Hampton Court faithful supporters hit back in the second set but could not break down the resilience of his senior opponent. Playing with stamina which belied his years, it was Fahey who once again found the extra overdrive to win the second set 6/4. If Chapman thought his opponent's tough semi-final would start to hurt, he reckoned without the force that is Rob Fahey. A repeat of the second set saw Fahey close down the match, winning 6/4 in front of the packed Dedans.

David Watson (T&RA Chairman) thanked the T&RA Patrons, whose generous support was pivotal to the success of the championship, and acknowledged Marker Andrew Lyons for another seamless performance. Congratulation to Rob Fahey, British Open Champion, World Champion and supreme athlete. Commiserations to Chris Chapman, supreme competitor and future champion.

  • Rob Fahey (1) bt Ben Taylor-Matthews (4) 3/6 5/6 6/3 6/5 6/5
  • Chris Chapman (2) bt Steve Virgona (3) 5/6 6/2 6/4 6/1
Heartbreak for Ben Taylor-Matthews who was so close to beating Rob Fahey, only to lose 6/5 in a thrilling fifth set. BTM was two sets up and led convincingly in the third and fifth sets, only for the World Champion to slowly, yet inextricably, work his way back, surviving match point in the critical fifth. Steve Virgona started well against Chris Chapman, taking the first set. However Chapman worked his way back into the match, ultimately a comfortable winner in four sets.


  • Ben Taylor-Matthews (4) bt Kieran Booth (6) 6/2 6/0 6/1
  • Steve Virgona (3) bt Bryn Sayers (7) 6/5 6/2 4/6 3/6 6/3
  • Rob Fahey (1) bt Nick Howell (5) 6/1 6/1 6/3
  • Chris Chapman (2) bt Tim Chisholm (8) 6/1 6/3 6/2
Three routine matches for the top seeds with the pick of the round being the titanic tussle between local professional, Bryn Sayers, and Chicago professional, Steve Virgona. A close first set hung in the balance but Virgona took it 6/5 and then the second set to lead 2-0. Sayers never disappoints and came storming back to level the match and then take a 3-1 in the final set. Virgona stepped up to reel off five games in the row to take the match

Second Round

  • Ben Taylor-Matthews (4) bt Darren Long 6/5 retired
  • Tim Chisholm (8) bt Leon Smart 6/0 6/4 4/6 6/1
  • Rob Fahey (1) vs Jamie Douglas 4/6 6/2 6/1 6/2
  • Kieran Booth (6) bt Louis Gordon 6/3 6/3 6/2
  • Chris Chapman (2) bt Matthieu Sarlangue 2/6 6/4 6/1 6/5
  • Bryn Sayers (7) bt Ed Kay 6/0 6/1 6/1
  • Steve Virgona (3) bt Tom Durack 6/0 6/2 6/0
  • Nick Howell (5) bt John Lumley 5/6 6/5 6/4 6/2
Two special moments when Jamie Douglas and Matthieu took deserved sets off their illustrious opponents, Rob Fahey and Chris Chapman respectively. However, normal order was soon restored. The intriguing tie of the round saw IRTPA winner John Lumley take on fifth seed Nick Howell. Lumley took the first tight set 6/5 but Howell struck back to level 6/4 and then retained the momentum to win in four sets.

First Round

  • Darren Long bt Rod McNaughtan 6/3 5/6 6/1 6/5
  • Matthieu Sarlangue bt Zak Eadle 6/0 6/1 6/2
  • Jamie Douglas bt Neil Mackenzie 6/0 5/6 6/4 6/2
  • Ed Kay bt Peter Wright 6/1 3/6 6/3 6/1
  • Leon Smart bt Josh Smith 6/3 5/6 6/2 6/3
  • Louis Gordon bt Will Burns 6/3 6/1 6/0
  • Tom Durack bt Craig Greenhalgh 6/4 6/4 6/4
  • John Lumley bt Jon Dawes 6/0 6/0 6/0



  • Rob Fahey & Nick Howell (3) bt Chris Chapman & Steve Virgona (4) 6/3 6/5 6/2

A showcase final between two closely matched pairs. Rob Fahey and partner Nick Howell had ended up runners up in 2017 and now had a little more experience playing together. Chris Chapman and Steve Virgona were both proven doubles players, Virgona a former world doubles champion. The early exchanges were tight with little between the two pairs but, as the first set progressed, it was the Fahey/Howell pair which gained the upper hand. Chapman & Virgona weren't giving up without a fight and saved a couple for set points before finally succumbing 6/3. The second set saw both pairs play their best Tennis, with fabulous recovery shots from seemingly certain winners. Nothing was certain and, at 5-5, the set hung in the balance. However, Fahey & Howell took their chances and won the vital eleventh game and the set 6/5. With a two set lead, and clear momentum, Fahey & Howell closed in on the doubles crown, winning the third set 6/2 and the match. For Fahey, his 51st Open title - for Howell his second Open title (although his first British) - but both were equally delighted.


  • Rob Fahey & Nick Howell (3) bt Bryn Sayers & Ben Taylor-Matthews (2) 6/3 6/2 5/6 6/2
  • Chris Chapman & Steve Virgona (4) bt Tim Chisholm & John Lumley (1) 6/5 6/3 4/6 6/5

With four evenly matched pairs, the semi-finals were entirely unpredictable. Both matches went to four sets before the third and fourth seeds triumphed. Last year's runners up always seemed to have the edge during key points against British pair, Bryn Sayers & Ben Taylor-Matthews. A lively encounter saw a tense third set reach 5-5, before the British pair worked their way into the game. Then Fahey & Howell closed out the match 6/2. The second semi-final was close all the way through and a few points here and there would have turned the match on its head. Both the first and fourth sets needed the eleventh game, and on both occasions Chris Chapman & Steve Virgona had the edge. But top seeds, Tim Chisholm & John Lumley, were always in the match, fighting each and every point, sharing the second and third sets.

Quarter-finals , Rob Fahey & Nick Howell,

  • Bryn Sayers & Ben Taylor-Matthews (2) bt Matthieu Sarlangue & Nicolas Victoir 6/5 6/4 6/1
  • Rob Fahey & Nick Howell (3) bt Kieran Booth & Alistair Lumsden (5) 6/5 6/2 2/6 6/1
  • Tim Chisholm & John Lumley (1) bt Tom Durack & Louis Gordon 6/1 6/1 6/0
  • Chris Chapman & Steve Virgona (4) vs Ed Kay & Leon Smart 6/0 6/1 6/0
Amateurs Kieran Booth & Alistair Lumsden made Rob Fahey & Nick Howell think, taking the third set comfortably, before the more established professional pair closed out the game. British professionals, Bryn Sayers & Ben Taylor-Matthews, won in three sets against a useful French amateur pair, Matthieu Sarlangue & Nicolas Victoir; the first two sets being particularly tight.

First Round

  • Tom Durack & Louis Gordon bt Will Burns & Jon Dawes 6/3 6/0 3/6 6/2
  • Kieran Booth & Alistair Lumsden (5) bt Craig Greenhalgh & Darren Long 6/4 2/6 4/6 6/2 6/3
  • Matthieu Sarlangue & Nicolas Victoir vs Zak Eadle & Adam Player 6/2 6/4 6/2
  • Ed Kay & Leon Smart bt Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright (6) 6/4 6/5 6/3
A good win for Ed Kay & Leon Smart beating the established UK amateur champions, Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright. Other matches largely as expected in the first round.
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