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Draw Challenge Winner Wins VIP Trip To Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Henman, Jean© Jean ButlerJean Butler has run Tim Henman's official Fan Club, Topspin, since 1996.

Great Britain’s Jean Butler won a VIP trip for two to the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after putting on a late surge to win the 2010 ATP World Tour Draw Challenge with strong showings in the final two brackets.

Ironically, Jean had spent time studying the players’ records and head-to-heads earlier in the season, but her Shanghai and Paris brackets, in which she finished seventh and 18th respectively, were completed off the cuff and in a rush.

“I got really lucky with the Shanghai bracket,” said Jean. “I did it late at night very, very quickly because I’d been out and when I got back it was late on the Saturday night. I hardly checked any head-to-heads or anything; just went straight down the draw and just went with my gut instinct.

“Earlier in the year, I would spend more time. If it was players I wasn’t sure about then I’d have a click on the head-to-head, see how well they’d been playing this year. I do follow tennis, I do watch it whenever I can and I get the results emails from, so I’m aware of how players are performing.”

Jean realised she was on the verge of winning on the eve of the BNP Paribas Masters final, when she was the only one of the Top 4 on the leader board who had predicted Robin Soderling to win the tournament. Cue Jean and her husband, John, sitting around the television cheering the Swede to victory on the Sunday afternoon.

Jean has long been a tennis fan after travelling far and wide to watch British No. 1 Tim Henman, whose official Fan Club, "Topspin", she has run since 1996. “If it hadn’t been for Tim, I wouldn’t have won!” declared Jean as she credited Henman for her increased interest in tennis, having previously followed the careers of Stefan Edberg and Andre Agassi. Two weeks ago, Jean took a group of 20 of the 100 active Fan Club members to the Royal Albert Hall to meet Henman and see the Briton compete at the AEGON Masters Tennis, where he reached the semi-finals.

With the retired Henman now more active on the golf course than on the tennis court, though, Jean is looking forward to seeing defending champion Roger Federer at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals next year. Of course, she’d rather like to see (and thank!) Soderling too.

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