Gehlot retains title while Snelson is forced to settle for second best

Despite clashing with the London Grand Prix close by, the Cippenham Five-by-Two Senior and Veterans’ 1 star open was still well subscribed and well contested this week.

A near capacity entry kept the nine tables busy over a 10-hour period with Hari Gehlot retaining his title against Phil Snelson in the veterans’ event and top seed Jason Thompson relegating Snelson into the runners-up spot once again in the seniors’ event.

Some 42 players aged 40 and over contested the veterans’ event and most of the top ranked players duly rose to the top of their respective pool groups.

The only exception was fourth seed Jojo Senorin, who was beaten by Paul Martindill, who in turn was defeated by Stuart Vincent. On countback Martindill topped the group followed by Senorin and Adam Johnson, who had beaten Vincent.

Only five of the group winners made it into the quarterfinals of the knock-out draw, however, with top seed Jason Thompson beaten by Senorin, while Geoff Grange fell to Nowakowski and Vadym Krevs to Radovan Zivkovic.

The other five who progressed were Richard Hayes, who beat Julie Lawrence, Tom Lodziak, who got the better of Chris Maiden, Phil Snelson, who overcame James Wright, Paul Martindill who defeated Michael Wilkins and second seed Hari Gehlot who beat Robert Spiegelhalter.

Senorin continued his progress by defeating Hayes in the quarter finals while Snelson edged out Lodziak.

The unseeded Nowakowski ended the run of Martindill and Gehlot breezed past Zivkovic.

Gehlot then made short work of Nowakowski in his semi-final while Snelson was taken to three deuce games – including a 14-12 win in the fifth – to defeat Senorin.

Second seed Gehlot retained the title he’d won three years previously with victory over third seed Snelson in the final.

Gehlot did not stay for the senior singles event in the afternoon and in the early matches the higher ranked players prevailed. This time there were no early surprises in the knockout matches either with seven of the eight group winners making their way into the quarterfinals. The exception was the elimination of Spiegelhalter by Magda Kozubek.

Kozubek then beat Radovan Zivkovic to earn herself a place in the semi-final while top seed Thompson needed four games to oust Thamal Udamulla as did Toby Crawcour against Vadym Krevs.

Snelson needed one more than that as he was taken to deuce in the fifth before eventually ending the run of Nowakowski.

Wins by Thompson, over Crawcour, and Snelson, over Kozubek, resulted in the top two seeds meeting in the final.

That match went the full distance of five games and was won by Thompson with Snelson having to settle for his second runners-up medal of the day.

In the consolation events, the unfortunate Rafal Wdowczyk was also runner-up in both, beaten by Michael Stephens in the morning and Terun Desai in the afternoon.

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