This end-of-2019 rankings update reflects results from the University Championships held in November and the National Singles events (including the Regional Qualifier events) which took place over Nov/Dec. Also included is the new ‘RFA Challenger’ singles event held for the first time in parallel with the National Singles finals, but more of that later.
The main interest in this update is in the Singles since the National Singles, not surprisingly, carries more ranking points than any other event. We see Dan Tristao return to the top following his win in the Nationals where he narrowly defeated Ed Kay in the final. Although the entry for this year’s Singles was by no means the largest on record, it was remarkable in that nearly all the top 20 players took part. This resulted in some very hard fought competition throughout, culminating in the exhilarating battle between the top two seeds to decide the title. Although there were some minor seeding upsets in the earlier rounds, these did not have significant impact on the top 20 positions — the order is by and large maintained. Will Ellison who pushed Dan Tristao very hard in the semi-final remains at #3, Dan Grant moves up a place to #6, while further down Ben Kirwan and Lewis Keates also rise a place in the top 20. Lower down, Julian Hanton moves up to #25, and a good win in the Scottish Qualifier for Charlie Barnett sees him move up to #57.
In the University Singles, Ben Beltrami’s win helped to consolidate his position at #4, while his opponent in the final, David Butler, remains at #5. Fewer points are allocated to the University Championships since it is not an open event, but there is no doubting its strength, with 8 players from the top 20 taking part this year. This year’s Plate winner Will Shardlow is a new entry at #36. Other risers are Sid Bhushan who had a good win in the main event to move him up to #46, and success in the Plate for Julius Davies sees him enter the rankings at #62.
Some of the more significant moves in these rankings come lower down the table and result from the RFA Challenger event. This new tournament was open to players who failed to qualify for the last 16 of the National finals and to anyone else looking for some competitive singles without the elite group participating. As such it did not carry a large haul of ranking points, but there was sufficient there to benefit Christian Blackaby, James Smith, Joe Sumner, Chris Davey and Max Layton, the latter being a new entry in the Singles rankings.
The new Doubles rankings just takes account of the University event, so there is little movement in the upper reaches of the table. The Oxford pair of Ben Kirwan and Sid Bhushan rise to #21 and #31 respectively as a result of reaching the semi-finals, while Douglas Law and Michael Suddaby benefit from reaching the quarter-finals. Addie Chai and Joe Sumner won the Plate and move up a few places, and there are also five new entries resulting from either quarter-final appearances or Plate success — Charlie Barnett, Harry Jackson, Nathan Jerome, Alex McGee and Will Shardlow.
To see the full official rankings, just click on the link below.
Official RFA rankings (opens in separate window).
The official RFA rankings are prepared by Dave Hebden.