Ladies British Open 2014

18 Feb 2014

Claire Vigrass retains her British Open title - four in a row!

Ladies Open Rackets Singles

Claire Vigrass impressively retained her title for a fourth consecutive win.  In the final she beat Alex Brodie (formerly Kurkjian) by three games to love, though the first game was tight.  This final immediately followed the plate final in which one of the youngest competitors, Shinan Zhang, from Malvern College, beat the most experienced competitor, Sally Jones, by 2 games to 0.

In the morning group matches, Claire,(in group A), and Alex, (in Group B), each won all their 3 matches, the crucial tie being Alex’s win 17/14 15/7 over Karen Hird in Group B, which effectively decided who would have to play the holder and strong favourite, Claire, in the semi-final.  Claire and Alex, as group winners, went top and bottom respectively in the knock-out draw, so the semi-final line-up was Claire v. Karen, and Alex v. Sarah Vigrass, who was runner-up to her sister Claire in Group A.

The 3rd and 4th players in each group went into a Plate knock-out.  In this  Sally Jones beat Charlotte Bawden, from Marlborough College (and grand-daughter of the great John Thompson) 2 games to 1, and Shinan Zhang beat Chey West, a P.E. teacher from Malvern College, 2-0.  In the plate final, Sally led 13-6 and 14-9  and twice more served  for the first game, but Shinan fought back courageously to win the game 17/14 and served steadily in the second, which she won 15/5.  It is good news that schoolgirls were allowed to enter this event.

Claire beat Karen 15/7 15/2 in the first semi-final, serving a very effective length on her service, which earned her 8 points in both games.  In the second semi-final, both Sarah and Alex served much better than were able to take serve, but Alex scraped by in the first game 18/14, Alex getting 15 of her points on serve to Sarah’s 13!  Again in the second game Alex won 10 points on serve to Sarah’s 7, Alex winning the game 15/10 to earn once again a go at Claire in the final, as she did last year.

The final was the best of 5 games, and Alex did well in the first game, catching up from 6-12 to 12-12 in 3 hands, but Claire got back in, and served out for the game.  The 2nd and 3rd games contained many excellent rallies, but the holder was always in control,  served really well, and put away some glorious classic rackets winners.  Alex’s game continues to improve and she  should in no way be discouraged by the scoreline of 15/12 15/5 15/5.

The overall standard of play in the Ladies Open continues to rise year by year, and the top 3 or 4 players are producing exciting rallies of real quality.


Group 1

  • C Vigrass bt S Vigrass 15/4 15/10
  • C Vigrass bt S Jones 15/7 15/7
  • S Jones bt C West 15/6 15/9
  • S Vigrass bt C West 15/1 12/15 15/5
  • S Vigrass bt S Jones 15/9 15/7
  • C Vigrass bt C West 15/1 15/2

Group 2

  • S Zhang bt C Bawden 15/12 15/0
  • A Brodie bt K Hird 17/14 15/7
  • K Hird bt C Bawden 15/6 15/2
  • A Brodie bt S Zhang 15/2 15/12
  • A Brodie bt C Bawden 15/2 15/0
  • K Hird bt S Zhang 15/13 16/18 15/6

Plate semi finals

  • S Jones bt C Bawden 15/11 14/17 15/9
  • S Zhang bt C West 15/8 15/2

Plate final

  • S Zhang bt S Jones 18/14 15/5

British Open semi-finals

  • C Vigrass bt K Hird 15/7 15/2
  • A Brodie bt S Vigrass 18/14 15/10

British Open Final

  • C Vigrass bt A Brodie 15/12 15/5 15/5

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