Neptune British Open Doubles 2015

19 Apr 2015

Stout & Larken are the Neptune British Open Doubles Champions

Updated Rankings and Race Points

A hard fought battle of the titans resulted in the speed, agility and skill of Jamie Stout, and the power and precision of partner Jonathan Larken, overcoming the considerable challenge of top seeds Ben Snell and Nick James.

Nick James served to 3-0 as the New York pair settled and then added a fourth point in the next hand. Jamie Stout then started to find his touch and coupled with some accurate serves from Jonathan Larken, moved into a 6-4 lead. James then regained the service with a clever crosscourt drive, with partner Ben Snell reducing the deficit to 5-6. Stout then started to dominate, covering a couple of difficult shots for lets before regaining the serve. He then served out the first game as his service put his opponents under pressure, and Larken was able to capitalise on anything the World Champion let past him. Stout however was moving with grace and ease, taking overhead volleys for clean winners, and proactively covering every inch of the court. First game to Stout and Larken 15/5.

Stout continued his dominance in the second game, although partner Larken was equally putting away some powerful winners when he had the chance, with the second seeds opening a 2-0 lead. James and Snell rallied but could only reach 1-2 before Stout again regained the serve. The packed gallery then witnessed a display of exemplary serves by Stout, winning then next 13 points without loss. Larken lay in wait and played a key role in maintaining the momentum, although it was the incredible variation and pace which won most of the points, emphasised by a pinpoint accurate serve to win the second game 15/1.

The third game started in the same way, two perfect Stout serves to reach 2-0 before Snell picked one off the back wall to snatch back the chance for some points. James and Snell served well but Stout was in unstoppable form, covering the front and only permitting the 2013 Open Champions a single point. Back in the box, Stout again won four quick points before Snell finally ran down a low shot, driving it past his opponents. Larken was keen to match his partner and added a further four points off the second hand to reach 10-1. James and Snell then combined well to force an unexpected error from Stout to let them back in. A mishit by Snell lost the first hand but then he found perfect length to recover the deficit to 5-10, with a mixture of power and tenacity. Stout back in the box picked up two more points to 12-5. Brilliant play by the top seeds drew a further error from the World Champion as he narrowly clipped the tin. Larken stretched the lead to 13-5 but Snell and James weren’t finished and dug deep. James added two points on his serve, including some close quarters action. But now Larken moved forward to win an important point and move to the second hand. Snell obliged, reaching 8-13. But now Stout served and stepped in for an unplayable backhand winner, followed by an ace, to win 15/8 and move ahead three to love. Stout appeared to make the game look easy with his sublime anticipation.

The fourth game was a mirror of the second and third games, with Stout serving to 2-0, before James moved forward to drive a clean winner. First hand out after a fine rally and then a solid Snell serve to 1-2; déjà vu! The serve again changed hands but Stout failed to capitalise and although Larken extended the lead to 3-1, a forced error let in Snell and James. After a number of lengthy rallies they only recovered a point to 2-3. Stout then served and stepped forward for a clean winner 4-2. With their backs to the wall, Snell and James then rallied to win back the service. Two James aces later, it was level at 4-4. The pairs then traded points to 5-5, before a further Stout service reached 6-5. James then served again levelling after a long rally and a missed return to 7-6. Snell added a further point to extend their lead 8-6. Stout won back the service but couldn’t capitalise; however Larken, via a broken racquet, at the front wall served to 7-8. Snell then added a couple of points on his serve to 10-7. As the ball ballooned out of court on the first hand, an opportunity beckoned, but Larken was now impervious serving six brilliant serves to take a 13-10 lead. Stout won the next point from the front to reach second hand – and then Snell eventually lowered the gap after three lets to 11-13. Stout, then Larken, won a serve apiece to take the game 15/11, and the Open Doubles Championship.

This win moves the Stout/Larken partnership up to second in the World Rankings after just a season – and they head the Race Points, scoring double the points of their nearest challengers, Snell/James. The match was played in excellent spirit throughout, with marker Andrew Lyons and referee James Beaumont as match officials keeping the momentum. T&RA Chief Executive, Chris Davies, said a few words afterwards, praising the new World Championship process which has had the effect of encouraging all the world’s top players to play the major tournaments and then thanked Neptune Investment Management, and Robin Geffen in particular, for five year’s exclusive Rackets sponsorship, which has helped to transform the game. Queen’s Director, Libby Engstrom was on court to hand the prizes to the winners – and Pol Roger champagne to all four players.


Photographs: Tim Edwards


Sunday 19th April


  • J Stout & J Larken (2) beat B Snell & N James (1) 15/5 15/1 15/8 15/11 Recording

Friday 17th April


  • J Stout & J Larken (2) bt R Owen & T Billings (3) 9/15 15/10 9/15 15/11 17/18 15/5 15/8 Recording
  • B Snell & N James (1) bt H Foster & M Hue Williams (4) 15/12 15/10 15/13 18/13 Recording

Wednesday 15th April 

  • QF H Foster & M Hue Williams (4) bt J Bailey & P Maxwell 15/6 15/11 15/1 15/8 Recording

Tuesday 14th April

  • J Bone & A Orchard bt A Rozier-Pamplin & F Clarke 15/1 15/3 8/15 15/0 3/15 15/9
  • QF J Stout & J Larken (2) bt R Tulley & M Hubbard 15/7 15/7 15/1 15/2 Recording
  • QF R Owen & T Billings (3) vs J Bone & A Orchard 15/9 15/7 15/4 15/1

Monday 13th April 

  • J Stout & J Larken (2) bt R Fahey & R McNaughtan 15/2 15/4 15/6 18/13 Recording

Sunday 12th April

  • R Owen & T Billings (3) bt A Judd & O Howick 15/4 15/8 15/1 15/1 Recording
  • QF B Snell & N James (1) bt A Gourlay & M Farmiloe 15/8 17/14 15/8 15/7 Recording
  • R Tulley & M Hubbard bt D Wright & W Morse 15/11 17/14 15/7 15/13 Recording

Saturday 11th April

  •  H Foster & M Hue Williams (4) bt G Tyndall & A Stout 15/2 15/7 15/2 15/13 Recording

Friday 10th April 

  • A Gourlay & M Farmiloe bt A Coldicott & N Hutton 17/14 18/17 15/12 15/9 Recording
  • J Bailey & P Maxwell bt W Nicholls & H Franks 15/8 17/15 5/15 18/15 15/3 Recording

Thursday 9th April 

  • A Rozier-Pamplin & F Clarke bt G Sandbach & C Stout w/o
  • B Snell & N James (1) bt P Sutton & R Spender 15/4 15/5 15/2 9/15 15/4

Wednesday 8th April 

  • G Tyndall & A Stout bt A Lyons & A Fowler 8/15 15/9 15/11 15/5 15/7 
  • W Nicholls & H Franks bt N Navapurkar & M Seeley 8/15 15/10 15/0 6/15 9/15 17/16 15/8


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