Today was the final day of the Plate Blocks, so we bid farewell to Tunbridge Wells and West Worthing and thank them for their efforts in making this event a success. Tunbridge Wells continued their great media coverage with articles in two of their local papers: a two page spread in the Kent & Sussex Courier and a smaller piece in the Kent Messenger. They'll be posted in the Press section shortly.
The Quarter Finals were played at Compton, which involved a bit of upheaval for the livestreaming camera and commentary team transferring from Southwick for the day, but this seemed to go well, with even more people watching the feed online. (The camera team will be providing an edited selection of matches after the event, but due to the length of recordings they've got this may well take several weeks, so please be patient.)
Sadly Stephen Mulliner's unbroken run of winning games ended in a judder, with him losing in three straight game to the young New Zealander Josh Freeth. The other English player Richard Bilton could also not sustain his success, losing to the USA's Ben Rothman also in straight games.
I'll leave the rest to Chris Clarke:
"The QF’s started at Compton at 9.30 with 4 spectators plus officials. This compared with about 130 at Southwick yesterday and probably over 100 today. The crowd did build and eventually reached 25, but the day lacked the atmosphere that this stage of the knockout should have had.
The lawns at Compton were over a second faster than day two and the hoops were much firmer. The first match to finish was Hamy Erian beating Jose Alvarez-Sala 7-6, 7-2, 7-3. I should highlight at this stage the huge contribution that the Spanish contingent have made to this event. They are now a strong nation and can be rightly proud of their progress. They will be strong favourites to win Tier 2 of the GC World Teams and gain promotion to Tier 1.
Next to finish was Josh Freeth who beat Stephen Mulliner 7-3, 7-5, 7-5. I didn’t get to see much of the match, but Josh told me afterwards that he hadn’t failed a hoop.
The match I was refereeing finished next. It was between Ben Rothman and Richard Bilton. Both players were well below their normal standard of play in the first two games. Ben took the first 7-4 and the key moment in the match was when he won game 2 from 4-6 after Richard failed a 2 yard straight 13. Ben looked more relaxed in the third and started to play closer to his normal level to record a 7-2 win.
The last match to finish was a good quality encounter between Mohamed Karem and Moustafa Nezar. I felt that Karem always had the upper hand since he seemed to hit a lot of good shots and his misses were much closer than those of Nezar. However, the score certainly didn’t reflect that at game all and Nezar leading 4-3. Karem played well to take the third, but Nezar had a 4-2 lead in the fourth, but was unable to convert as Karem took the game 7-6 for a 3-1 win. Play finished at 1.30 and we went home.
Tomorrow we are back at Southwick for the semi-finals. In the top half, Josh Freeth takes on Ben Rothman. Ben is the higher ranked of the two, but I fancy Josh to reach the final. In the bottom half, we have a potentially great match between Mohamed Karem and Hamy Erian. This is a repeat of the 2017 QF which Hamy won 7-6, 7-6, 7-6. I’m going to stick with my favourite Egyptian to reach the final."