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The English Masters

The English Masters started in 2005 and was based on the FISTF World Masters that was played annually.

It was played about a month before the World Cup in order to serve as a good opportunity for the best English players to get together in a competitive tournament.

Whilst the event was always based on two groups of six players containing the highest ranked English Players in the FISTF Open rankings, it hasn't always worked out like that.

As you can see in the photo from 2011, only ten played and in 2014 we held it as part of a 26 man tournament, with players either qualifying for the Masters or the JJ Trophy depending on where they finished in the groups. In 2015 we were down to just seven players, however it was still a really good close fought tournament.

I believe the closest we came to achieving the top 12 players actually playing in the event was the first one in 2005.

However it has always proven to be a popular event and I was always grateful to Adrian Curtis, who supported the event from Day One.

Someone else who has supported it brilliantly is Chris Thomas, who has won it an amazing eight times and I really want to thank him for his unwavering support.

The idea of a special event at the end of a season always appealed to me. I played in the Milton Keynes Table Tennis League between 1987 -1997 and felt very honoured when I qualified twice to the 'Top Eight' tournament, which was for the top eight ranked players from each division based on their percentage of wins. They do this in the WTA & ATP tennis tours and base it on results from the preceding season and is very difficult to qualify for. The English Masters was designed to be a prestigious event for our elite players to play in and the only way in was to qualify for it. 

It was played every year from 2005 - 2015, it took a break between 2016-2018 but returned successfully in 2019, of course then the pandemic happened but by chance the tournament came up in a recent conversation between myself and Alan Lee and being the very proactive person that he is, he has made sure that it s going to make a comeback this year.

Good luck to everyone lucky enough to be part of this historic event!

Jeremy Bradley

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