David Bennett, Anant Gupta, Martyn Langston and Daniel Austin all took home non-elite singles titles at the IWT London Open.
Bennett smashed his way to the Men’s B title while Anant Gupta took home the Men’s C crown on his international racketlon debut. Langston triumphed in the +50 Singles while Austin won the U13 Singles.
In the Men’s B Doubles, James Langworthy stepped up late on to partner Keith Lesser and battle to a hard-fought title.
Men’s B – Bennett Beats Barton in Brilliant Battle
Seeded No.2 in the Men’s B, David Bennett was brilliant as he navigated his way through the draw. He crushed Stuart Rank before winning one of the matches of the weekend against James Langworthy in the semi-finals. Bennett battled past Langworthy by just two points, winning the tennis set 21-18.
In the final, Bennett took on Peter Barton, who had earlier defeated a wounded top seed Keith Lesser and Sam Barker in the semi-finals. Bennett ended up winning the final +16 (21-19, 21-16, 21-14, 8-6), winning all four sports to lift the title. His success in Redbridge should be enough to see him climb inside the top-100 in the world rankings.
Langworthy completed the podium after defeating Barker in the bronze medal match to round out a high-quality Men’s B draw.
Men’s B Doubles – Lesser and Langworthy Land the Title
With Mark Steeden forced to withdraw from the tournament a week before it began, Keith Lesser was left without a partner. Luckily, James Langworthy stepped up and what followed was a successful charge towards the trophy.
Their toughest match came in the semi-finals as they took on senior stars, Rakesh Gupta and Martyn Langston. Trailing by two heading into tennis, the eventual champions produced a solid display to win 21-15 and advance to the final.
Once there, they faced Julian Clapp and James Trueman, who had previously beaten Oliver and Peter Barton after earlier eliminating Oliver Close and Simon May. A ruthless 21-7 table tennis display proved decisive in the final as Lesser and Langworthy won the match with relative ease.
Close and May, on their international debuts, took home the bronze after an impressive performance to beat Gupta and Langston.
Men’s C – Gupta Stuns Draw in Debut Tournament
There was a second Gupta competing in Redbridge, as Anant Gupta began his international racketlon career in spectacular style. With a game centred around solid squash and badminton, Gupta won four matches to take home the Men’s C crown.
His first two matches were absolute thrashings against Adam Turner and Bruce Shepherd. His semi-final and final were much tougher. First up was Ryan Bezer, who almost produced a sensational tennis comeback. Gupta needed six in the tennis and only just got there, with Bezer on 18 points.
Then in the final, he had another slender victory over James Trueman, once again almost throwing it away in the tennis. Gupta’s 21-0 squash win left him needing just two in the tennis. Trueman made it to 17 before Gupta closed out the match to collect the title.
Bezer took bronze after securing a slender +5 win over Jamie Chapman, the Brit who lives and trains in Russia.
Seniors +50 – Langston Continues to Dominate Seniors
Martyn Langston has been one of a handful of British world champions over the last few years on the senior circuit. In Redbridge, he demonstrated why he was world champion, demolishing his three rivals in the round-robin tournament.
Nigel D’Arcy, Julian Clapp and Rakesh Gupta were the three Brits joining Langston and he polished them all off in stylish fashion. Of the three, Gupta was the only one to take him to tennis. Langston is a master on the tennis court though, winning 15-4 to runaway with the title.
Gupta took the silver medal while the bronze went the way of Clapp after he edged out D’Arcy in a shoot-out.
Juniors U13 – Flawless Austin Perfect on Debut
There was plenty of intrigue surrounding the Juniors U13 with none of the players having played racketlon before on the international stage.
In the end, there was absolutely no doubting the winner. Daniel Austin was simply sublime, winning both of his matches easily without dropping a single set. His tennis was particularly impressive, winning both of his sets to single figures.
Samuel Rank took the silver while Joseph Sullivan claimed the bronze medal. It was great to see all three start their racketlon careers and we hope to see them back once again in the future.
We have a number of FIR World Tour events open for players of all ages and abilities to enter here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer