Maria Tsaptsinos, one of our youngest sponsored players has successfully defended her national junior title beating number one seed Tin-Tin Ho in a five set thriller.
The expected final between top seeds Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos duly materialised and lived up to all expectations.
It was the defending champion who was quickest out of the blocks as she took the first 11-6, only for Ho to hit back 11-7
The pattern of one player dominating alternate games intensified as the champion hit the front again with an 11-5 scoreline, followed by Ho again levelling, this time 11-3.
But there was no suggestion of the momentum building in favour of Ho as the start of the fifth was cagey, with the players locked at 4-4. Tsaptsinos swapped ends 5-4 to the good at the start of a run of four points which proved crucial.
It gave Tsatpsinos the buffer to eke out the three points she needed to retain her title.
Tsaptsinos said: "I didn’t think I was on form at all until the final – I thought Tin-Tin was going to wallop me.
"But for some reason when I get into a final, sub-consciously something changes and I start playing table tennis.
It’s much better (than last year) because it’s my last year and it’s nice to finish on a high."
Maria also claimed the junior girls doubles title with Tin-Tin Ho and was runner up in the mixed junior doubles with her partner Danny Lawrence.
TT365 director Chris Dangerfield said: "We are delighted for Maria, she's a bright star for the future and a pleasure to work with and support."
Excerpts of article taken from the Table Tennis England website here