It has been a fantastic round, particularly for this time of year. There have been some cracking matches and it is a real pleasure seeing so many exciting results come in. We mean it when we say thank you for your support, your scheduling efforts, which we know can take time and patience, and all the hard work you put in. Many thanks.
Now, we hope you would like to do it all again!
The next round starts on Monday March 26 and runs until May 20.
Many thanks to all those who have already joined, and if you haven’t, but would like to, the deadline is Friday March 23. As usual, players who have done well will be promoted (usually the winner of a group, but often the runner up too when it has been close).
You can pay by paypal here.
And now, on to the groups...
Winner: Graham Fortune
After losing his crown in the last round, Graham responded magnificently in this round to claim his 5th title at Clapham Common. He won 3 of his 4 matches, including a couple of three-set thrillers, and took the group by a couple of points. However, there was a brief hiccup at the end, when eventual runner-up Peter managed to beat him in a strong display, and he wrote in afterwards:
"A very entertaining game in many ways as Graham got through almost 3 racquets during the match due to broken strings - at one time I thought I was going to have to lend him one of mine!! For me it was just one of those matches you really enjoy because everything just seemed to work tonight!!"
Unfortunately it wasn't enough for Peter to overhaul the lead but does give encouraging signs for the next round. Chris and defending champion Dane won a match each (Dane remains unbeaten in Clapham), while Sean and Damien were the players who really pushed Graham hard in those three-setters. Well done to the winner again, it's a great effort from Graham to have racked up so many titles - will he be able to fend off allcomers once more next time?
Winner: Edward Bond
Real drama in group two, where Edward and Tom finished with identical records of 4 wins from 4, and 10 points each. As they did not play each other, the only way to separate them is by sets and games conceded. Both players won all their matches in straight sets, so we must study the rule book and go to games; Tom lost 24 games overall, while Edward conceded just 16. Therefore, Edward emerges as group winner! It's tough on Tom, as in truth both players deserved to take the group after their performances - there were stern tests for both players, and Edward wrote in after a tight win over Guy:
"Once again we were playing in near freezing conditions, which affected the flight of the balls but we both warmed up quickly enough and got used to the conditions. It was a tight first set and was tit for tat up until 4-4. In the second set I managed to pull away with a bit more consistency and luckily the weather held out for us."
Alfie had some really impressive wins in this round, and finished just a point behind the top two, while Guy beat him in a three-set thriller:
"Another tight battle in Group 2. A very enjoyable 2 hour match that could have gone either way but Guy just managed to deal with Alfie's very effective first serve and come out on top with some consistent breaks and some lucky net cords!"
Some really competitive battles in this group, and commiserations to Tom for coming so close. However, we must congratulate Edward on a terrific display.
Winner: Paul Shears
Another tremendous battle at the top, where Paul and David duked it out with 6 wins each. However, Paul managed to win their encounter, and this ultimately proved decisive. Paul modestly wrote in afterwards:
"It was really nice to play with David and luckily he caught me on a good day."
A fine overall round from both players, with some of the highlights being Paul coming from a set down to beat Stephen, and David coming through absolute marathon matches with Tom, Lanion and Emma. He wrote in after beating Lanion in three sets, having lost the opener:
"Lanion started the match with an impressive first set, somehow I managed to turn it around in the second and continue with the momentum in the third which was a very close set. it was great playing with Lanion and I hope to play with him again very soon."
Elsewhere, Stephen sealed third place with yet another three-set match - a win over Tom which was decided by a tie-break - while Tom also picked up a couple of wins. There were three-setters everywhere you looked in this group, and every player contributed with at least three matches each. A fantastic round, and well done to Paul on negotiating it so impressively.
Winner: Nicholas Collins
Nick takes group four in fine style, winning 5 out of 5 to establish a four point gap to second place. In truth, his blistering start of three wins in a week put him in a position he never looked like losing. He wrote in after beating Murray in a really tight match:
"Very close and competitive match. Murray spent most of the match ahead but Nick just managed to come from behind to take each set. The score line could easily have been reversed, it was only the odd point here and there that decided it. Many thanks Murray, I really enjoyed it."
David won three of his matches to take second place, while Murray sneaked third ahead of Enrico, with both players recording two wins each. Jo capped off her round with a strong win over Ryan, but it is Nick who's the star of the show this time!
Winner: David Jobanputra
David held his nerve to stay on top of group five - his four early wins proved enough to take the spoils. One of these victories was a tremendous three-set win over Filip in which he was a set down, before fighting back to take it on a tie-break. Filip had an incredible round, picking up sets in narrow losses to David and Michael, and then winning 3 matches of his own, and he came so close to overhauling David's lead. In the end, the pair finished level on points, but David's win in their match proves decisive. There were good wins for Michael and Emma, while Jayne capped the round fittingly, with a wonderful three-set win over Michael:
"A bit of an epic game, taking place over two evenings!"
Winner: Ashe Hussain
Winning four of her five matches, Ashe takes group six with an impressive total of 10 points. There were some tough tests though, notably in a three-set win over Kyla, and a recent win over Treasa. James finished second and remained unbeaten - he won three matches including one against Ashe, though was unable to mount a further challenge. Kyla and Joe picked up a couple of wins each, but we must end this round-up by congratulating Ashe on a fine group win.
The winners will be receiving their £20 prizes and certificates and we do hope to welcome you all back next time.