Tag Archives: Paul Ryb

Blind Tennis World Ranking!

Metro Members on the Blind Tennis World Ranking List

Blind Tennis World Ranking List Below!

A huge thanks to Odette Battarel who shared this new link with us!

Odette who just happens to ranked 3rd in B3 Women, was instrumental in the development of the sport in the UK. Odette with her friend and Metro trustee, Amanda Green, where the first to bring Blind Tennis to the UK back in 2007. Now, after a lot of hard work by many, including our amazing coaches and volunteers, it is now integrated into the LTA yearly programme of events with national and international competitions for all to enjoy and take part in.

Blind Tennis World Ranking list

Rankings List: https://blindsport.uk/TennisRankings

We are all very proud of our member’s achievements and it is great to see how many of these names on this list we supported at the beginning of their journeys to Tennis excellence.

Many named on the list are still Metro Blind Sports members and they train and share their hard-earned techniques with the next generation of upcoming tennis stars.

List of our current Members on the Blind Tennis World Ranking  list in 2019

  • B2 WOMEN  – Brenda Cassell –  Ranking  9 for Great Britain
  • B3 WOMEN  – Odette Battarel – Ranking  3  for France
  • B3 WOMEN   Jan ReynoldsRanking  4 for Great Britain
  • B1 MEN –  Naqi Rizvi  – Ranking  3  for Pakistan
  • B3 MEN – Paul Ryb –  Ranking  2  for Great Britain
  • B3 MEN  – Chris Baily –  Ranking  6  for Great Britain

Congratulation to all the above, from us all at Metro Blind Sport and many thanks to all the coaches and volunteers that have and still do help keep all our tennis members playing Tennis at this high level!

So If you are thinking of learning to play Blind tennis, then  do check out our Tennis event page: http://bit.ly/MBSTennisEvents



Paul Ryb at IBTA International!

Blind tennis star to represent GB in first world tournament

Macular Society trustee, Paul Ryb, is one of eight British visually-impaired (VI) tennis players who have been selected to take part in the world’s first International Blind Tennis Tournament.

Paul, who is the former British number one VI tennis player, will be representing the nation at the championship in Dublin later this month.

He said: “I am incredibly excited. VI tennis has grown exponentially over the last few years and it’s great progress for the sport.”

The former investment banker, who was diagnosed with Stargardt in 2007, aged 37, first found out about the sport when he visited a Macular Society support group in the first few years of his diagnosis.  At the group one of the founders of the sport was that month’s guest speaker. Paul said: “She was so passionate about the sport it inspired me to take part.”

Paul has now been playing tennis for around eight years and was crowned British number one in 2013. Although he successfully defended his title for three years, he lost his ranking in 2016 to Chris Baily.

He said: “I’m a competitive chap. When I was younger I wouldn’t say I excelled at sport, but I loved it and I loved to compete. I always enjoyed playing tennis but wouldn’t say I was particularly good at it. My younger brother was much better than me. I never considered myself a great or good player, I just enjoyed it.”

He added: “What happens when you have sight loss at 37 is that you’re looking for new challenge to prove you can compete and that you can get on with everything.”

When he first started competing Paul admitted he was frustrated by the fact he wasn’t winning. “It was all down to fitness and technique,” he said. So he decided to take up kickboxing, in a bid to improve his agility and ultimately to start winning.

He said: “I’ve been doing it for seven years now and have progressed to a black belt. It’s great for fitness and agility.”

The 48-year-old has described VI tennis as a cross between squash and badminton. The game originated in Japan, and was pioneered in the U.K. by Odette Batterol and Metro Blind Sport. It is played on a smaller court than usual, with a lower net. An audible ball is also used so players can hear it bounce. Depending on their sight, players are allowed between two and three bounces before returning the ball.

Paul said: “You can’t see where your opponent’s racquet is facing and you can only see them as a blob on the other side of the court. When you hear the ball bounce you have to move as quickly as you can to return the ball. It’s exhausting.”

But, while Paul enjoys the competition and is looking forward to travelling to the sport’s first international championship as part of Team GB, he also hopes it will help raise awareness of visual impairment.

He said: “No one really understands what it means to be visually impaired and there are lots of misconceptions. It’s incredibly debilitating. It restricts you in day-to-day functions, but because you don’t walk around with dark sunglasses or a white cane people don’t see you as blind.

He added: “This will be a good chance to help educate people about the challenges of partial sight.”

The three-day tournament, organised by the International Blind Tennis Association, will take place from 26 to 29 April in Dublin and will see more than 60 players from 14 different countries taking to the court.

Watch our new Mac video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuOA69hBtUQ.


New champions at National Vision Impaired Tennis Championships

New champions at National Vision Impaired Tennis Championships

original article on the Tennis Foundation: website

Jan Reynolds and Callum Lock earned their places on the singles roll of honour once again at the 2016 National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships on a weekend when a number of new champions were also crowned at the National Tennis Centre.

Lock successfully defended his B4 men’s singles title, winning both of his round-robin matches against David Pickering and Shane Downing 4-0, 4-0

Reynolds retained the B3 women’s singles title with a 4-1, 4-0 win over Brenda Cassell after both players had won their respective singles events in 2015. It was the fourth successive year that Reynolds had won a National title.

Brenda Cassell
Brenda Cassell

Lock and Cassell both made it a double as they claimed the men’s and women’s doubles titles respectively. Lock teamed up with Christopher Baily to beat James Currie and Neil Fradgley 4-2 as Lock and Bailey retained the men’s doubles title. Meanwhile, Cassell claimed the women’s doubles title after joining forces with Rosie Pybus as they comfortably beat Gillian Currie and Sarah Fortescue 4-1 in the final.

Pybus was another one celebrating double success at the championships as she added the B4 women’s singles title to the women’s doubles title after coming out on top in her singles round-robin group. Pybus dropped only two games across her three matches as she went one better than in 2015.

Like Reynolds, Paul Ryb came into this year’s National Championships with three successive National singles titles to his name, but this year he was dethroned in the B3 men’s singles by Christopher Baily.

chris baily
Chris baily

Baily came out on top 5-4 (2), 4-1 to reverse the result of his 2015 final against Ryb and added the title to the men’s doubles crown he won with Callum Lock.

Kelly Cronin enjoyed a fine weekend as she won the B1 mixed singles title after beating 2015 Champion Nikhl Nair 5-4(6).

cronin and qasib
Cronin and Qasib

Cronin then went on to claim the B1 mixed doubles title with Qasib Nazir after they defeated Fiona Musgrove and Yvette Priestley 5-4(5) in another final decided in a tie-break.

In the B2 men’s singles James Currie beat Alexander Wheen to take the title. Currie battled back from losing the first set to prevail 1-4, 5-3, (10-4) after a deciding match tie-break.

The National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships once again incorporated the second Tenis Foundation Visually Impaired Tennis Awards. The awards recognise the work of volunteers, coaches and contributors who help drive the sport forward.

Nominations were assessed by an independent panel from which the winners were selected. Coach of the Year went to Sussex’s Jane Thomas, whilst the Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Highgate’s Linda Almond. The Contribution of the Year Award went to Leeds-based coach Louise Assioun.

Final Results


Paul Ryb – Multiple Visually Impaired Tennis Champion Interview

Paul Ryb interview

Paul Ryb is multiple British Visually Impaired Tennis Champion, former City of London banker, and trustee for a number of sight loss charities – including RNIB. In this inspirational interview, he speaks to Jill Barkley about his journey through sight loss and his greatest achievements to date.

The Original post & broadcast  of this podcast was from RNIBConnect Radio

Listen to other great audio podcasts from the RNIB here #howisee


Paul Ryb has International hopes after retaining national visually impaired tennis title!

Paul Ryb in action Photo James Jordan

Original  Article  By Ben Pearce from http://www.hamhigh.co.uk

Ryb aims to take on the world after retaining national visually impaired tennis title

Highgate’s Paul Ryb is ending 2015 on a high after winning the National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships for the third year in a row – and he is hoping to have the chance to earn international honours for the first time in 2016.

Paul Ryb with Trophy NVITC 2015Paul Ryb shows off his latest medal. Pic: James Jordan 

The 44-year-old, who lives in Bloomfield Road, beat his main rival Chris Bailey in the final of the B3-B4 category to retain his title at the National Tennis Centre after previously taking the crown in 2013 and 2014.

That follows success in five of the six regional tournaments he has attended this year, and he is determined to stay at the top of his game.

“It gets tougher every year – I get older and the others get younger,” Ryb told Ham&High Sport. “The aim is to maintain that level.

“There are some players that are really up there challenging me –Callum Lock and Chris Bailey won the national doubles title.

“Callum is an 18-year-old kid, he’s got an amazing style of tennis, and he’s young. It’s his first season in visually impaired tennis. Chris Bailey is a good player and he also plays for a club in a sighted capacity – he’s my main challenger at the moment.

“They won the doubles this year and they were both hoping to take my crown, but I was able to beat them both – one in the semi and one in the final, which was great.

“We’re hoping it’s going international next year. The British Tennis Association and LTA have pledged that there will be an international tournament. There are lots of countries playing visually impaired tennis now, and next year I hope to defend all my titles.”

Ryb, a retired investment banker who now sits on the board of two major sight-loss charities – RNIB (the Royal National Institute for the Blind and Macular Society – played football, rugby and tennis when he was younger, while winning a host of go-karting trophies.

He lost much of his vision in 2007 but was inspired by a presentation from Odette Battarel of the London-based Metro Blind Sport Group, encouraging participation in visually impaired tennis.

The court is shortened by a quarter on each side of the net, while a ‘Japanese sound ball’ is used, which is twice the normal size of a tennis ball and contains ball bearings so the bounces are more audible. Ryb, who plays regularly at Islington Tennis Centre, was soon hooked.

“When you’re visually impaired and you’re used to playing team sports or doing things yourself, you want to find another sport that’s got edge, competitiveness and fills that gap, and tennis is brilliant,” he said.

“I’ve always had bad eyesight. My excuse for losing is now clear to my friends. Playing normal tennis, the ball’s too fast, too small.

“When my sight adjusted and I was able to find the visually impaired sport with the bigger, slower ball and the two bounces with the shorter courts, I was in my element. I was always fairly good in my reflexes and this is just as much to do with fitness, reflexes and intuition as it is to do with visually impaired sport.

“It’s wonderful because a lot of people might say ‘the better sight you have, the better player you’ll be’ but actually we’ve got visually impaired players who can beat sighted players. It’s about ability as much as anything else.

“It’s a great sport and you can play it with sighted people, non-sighted people, with your kids.”

That is one of the great benefits of visually impaired tennis. B3-B4 players are allowed two bounces on their side of the net, while opponents with no visual impairments are only allowed one bounce as usual, providing a level playing field which allows Ryb to compete against his friends and his daughters Olivia, 15, and Alice, 13 – who both attend Channing School in Highgate.

“Sighted guys I play, who are good tennis players, love it – they say it’s a brilliant work-out because the rallies are very long,” said Ryb. “Tactically it’s great as well because you’ve got a lot of sensitivity on the ball in terms of slicing and spinning. It’s short tennis on steroids basically.

“The techniques are very similar to badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis – the racquet sports all rolled into one. I use a smaller racquet than some of my competitors, kids’ racquets, to get more wrist control on the ball.”

Ryb also credits his sessions at the Xen-Do Martial Arts studio in Golders Green for the trophies in his cabinet.

“The main reason for my victories over the last three years, to be honest, is fitness,” he said. “What I do as a visually impaired person is to do very intense hand-eye coordination once a week with a kickboxing studio.

“The two senseis there know about my visual impairment so we do one-on-one fitness and hand-eye coordination sessions. It was always their mission to get me fit for the championships, and I’m convinced that that gives me the edge over some of the better players.

“I started doing that three or four years ago. I played [in the National Championships] in 2010 but I didn’t win – I got knocked out in the semis or the final to better players, and then I decided an edge which was more fitness and I took up the kickboxing, and that was really good.”

The Tennis Foundation supports an increasing number of tennis venues that run visually impaired sessions across the country.

For more information visit the website at www.VITennis.org.uk.

Original  Article  By Ben Pearce from http://www.hamhigh.co.uk