The surprise defeat of last year’s men’s singles champion, Chris Gosden, is the big news so far from the FTC Championships of 2016, as the tournament moves closer to Finals Day on Saturday 3 September.
Gosden was despatched by a relative unknown at FTC, Harry Dry, in straight sets, 6-2 6-2. Harry Dry will now face Phil Tite in the first semi-final, Tite having seen off Duncan Stewart 6-1 6-3.
Players in the other men’s singles semi are yet to be decided but names in the frame are Tom Craddock, Tom Dry, Howard Roeber, Bill Cove and David Farrer.
In the ladies’ singles, Jo Moorcroft is taking on last year’s champion Kate Gurl, with the winner to face Shaz Morris. In the other semi-final, Gilly Perrin will play Nikki Holden with the winner to play Nikki Scott for a place in the final.
The quarter-finals of the mixed doubles are shaping up to offer close matches with many of the favourites through despite many first and second-round matches going to three sets.
Sue Lord and Andre Rogers will play Jo Moorcroft and Robin Coghlan in the first quarter final match. The second match will be Faye Jones/ Nick Downey against Shaz Morris/James Course.
Also through to the mixed quarter-finals are Sally Atkins/Bob Murray (to play either Kate Gurl/Duncan Stewart or Gilly Perrin/Gareth Price), and Jenny Edmiston/Bill Cove (who face either Sue Bargery/Alan Gawen, or Della Beard/David Farrer).
Della and David were responsible for one of the major upsets of the tournament so far when they put out Katy Bracher and Derek Nordern 3-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round.
Katy Bracher is still in the ladies’ doubles, partnered by Sue Lord and taking on Kate Gurl/Sue Groves in the quarter-finals. Other ladies’ doubles quarter-finals matches are between Nikki Holden/Priscilla Pendle and Nikki Scott/Sue Bargery; Della Beard/Sally Atkins and Judith Whittaker/Sarah Bain; and Shaz Morris/Jenny Edmiston against Cressida Williams/Lorna Donnelly.
Luke McEwen and Tom Craddock are the only pair so far to have secured their place in the men’s doubles semi-finals. Joining them will be the winners from the three quarter final matches still to be played.
The line-up is: Bob Murray/Tim Friesner against David Lord/Bill Cove; Robin Coghlan/Nick Downey against Jim Aman/James Wilson; and Chris Gosden/Phil Tite against Alan Gawen/David Farrer.
Everything to play for then in what promises to be a nail-biting few weeks of tennis. With Gosden out of the men’s singles and Bracher knocked out of the mixed doubles, and new FTC members like Tom and Harry Dry having a real impact on this year’s tournament, the way is open for a big shake-up come Finals Day!