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Brown Advisory British Open Singles Championships 2024

Update Apr 14, 2024
Published Jan 29, 2024

Jan 14, 2024 - Jan 21, 2024 The Queen’s Club W Morse

A record entry thanks to a sterling effort by tournament organiser, Will Morse, saw an astonishing eleven groups battle it out for the right to play in the main draw.

Some excellent performances from many, and some great Rackets played, although none of the qualifiers made it through the Round of 16. Special mention to Dylan Kent who pushed Alex Duncliffe-Vines all the way, eventually going down in the fifth. Ben Stevens was unlucky to run into Ben Cawston, while Ryan Tulley pushed Will Annetts hard. Ultimately the eight seeds came through to meet in the quarter-finals.

Cawston made short work of Annetts before Alex Titchener-Barrett came through a tense match with rival Rory Giddins, neither dropping a game, although Giddins was close in the first two games. Then the first surprise, which saw Freddie Bristowe beat Tom Billings in three games. Bristowe had been playing extremely well, dominating the Under 24s before Christmas, but this was an entirely different level. This was followed by Duncliffe-Vines beating local professional, Ben Bomford, 3-1 in a sometimes-volatile match. All four games were close and with Bomford levelling by winning the second game in a close set to three, but Duncliffe-Vines showed resilience to win through, securing victory after winning the set to five in the fourth.

The tournament then switched to best of seven for the semi-finals, played in front of a packed Friday evening Queen’s Gallery. The first match was a classic, as Titchener-Barrett made the early running against young Bristowe, taking the first two, very close games. But Bristowe came back strongly, taking the next two games to level the match and then racing through the fifth to set up a thrilling climax. It was Bristowe with momentum on his side, who won the vital sixth game, winning 4-2, to reach his first British Open final. In the second semi-final, Cawston was dominant against Duncliffe-Vines, although the first game was tight; but once Cawston found his length, he was able to brush past his opponent into a final to defend his Open title.

A great atmosphere for Sunday’s grand finale saw Open Champion Ben Cawston take on Under 24 Open Champion Freddie Bristowe. A close first game saw the players scrap over a miserly few points, with Cawston edging ahead. But then both players started picking up points and with Cawston 8-5 ahead, a surge by Bristowe swept him into a 10-8 lead, with Cawston locked on 8 points for five hands. This gave Bristowe the opportunity to edge closer to taking the first game, which he duly managed on his fourth game point. Bristowe leads Cawston 1-0.

Cawston now took an injury break but came back refreshed. Once again, a close opening few hands saw the game locked at 4-all, but now Cawston came to life, sweeping up seven points on his next hand to lead 11-4. Cawston was recovering everything and then turning defence into attack, taking the second game 15/6, and levelling the match.

The third game was vital if Bristowe was to recover the advantage, but Cawston was relentless, always keeping just ahead, but at 9-8 Cawston, the game was still in the balance. At this stage, Bristowe couldn’t pick up any points on his serve, whilst Cawston kept the scoreboard ticking over, albeit slowly, reaching 12-8, before finding the necessary three points on his next hand to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth game, the tide had truly turned and Cawston continued to play fabulous Rackets taking the game comfortably 15/4, although Bristowe was still fighting hard and the game score didn’t reflect the many close points. The fifth and final game was a little more one-sided as Cawston could see the winning post with the same 15/4 score but despatched rather more swiftly.

David Norman and Peter Mallinson, representing sponsors Brown Advisory, presented the prizes, which included Pol Roger champagne and T&RA presentational racquets for both players. Cawston retained his 2023 title at the first defence. Both players spoke eloquently, thanking the sponsors and organisers.

Final result: B. Cawston bt F. Bristowe 11/15 15/6 15/8 15/4 15/4

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