National Singles Championship
Last 16: Cambridge, December 1st/2nd
Organiser Charlie Brooks has now published the draw for the last 16 of this season’s National Singles Championship – and there are plenty of talking points even before the first ball of the first match is struck.
Primarily, that’s because the top seed is neither Dan Tristao nor Will Ellison, who have dominated this event over the last five years. Instead, the Number 1 seed is Ed Kay, who has been in superb form so far this year, winning both the London and West of England Open Championships. And, while he has now left Cambridge University, few would argue against his status as the favourite on the courts of the Jock Burnet Fives Centre, which are effectively his ‘home’ courts these days.
Unsurprisingly, it’s Dan and Will who are second and third seeds in the event, but both face some considerable challenges to fulfil the seedings with a semi-final clash. Assuming the seedings are followed in the first round, Will will have to face a quarter-final against Dan Grant, who should never be underestimated. Likewise, Dan should not underestimate the task he’ll face if, as expected, he has a quarter-final against Ben Beltrami, who played with such distinction on the Cambridge courts while an undergraduate at the university.
In the top half of the draw, the seedings predict a quarter-final between Dave Butler (already with two singles titles to his name this season) and Charlie Brooks. The winner of that is then predicted to go on to face Ed in the semis, before he is predicted to face Dan Tristao in the final.
Of course, any one of the 16 players could cause headlines when the event starts in 10am on Saturday December 1st. So, keep an eye on the RFA’s Facebook page and Twitter stream for updates – and maybe even the odd live match – from Cambridge. And, to see the full draw for the last 16, just click on the link below.