Twins Connor and Anna Green continue to amass matching titles as both won the Under-13 singles at the PG Mutual U10-U13 National Championships.
Both lived up to their top seedings as they stepped up from the Under-12 titles they won last year.
In the Under-11s, top seed Ralph Pattison and second seed Mia Longman were the two champions,
And the doubles saw victory for Jakub Piwowar & Oliver Maric-Murray in the boys’ event and Saskia Key & Katie Bates in the girls’.
The competition continues in Wolverhampton with the Under-10 and Under-12 events on Sunday.
All pictures by Michael Loveder – click here to view more on our Flickr page.
Connor Green justified his top seeding as he never allowed third seed Jakub Piwowar a foothold in the final.
The Nottingham player always had a bit too much for his Torquay opponent, winning 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-6).
Green said:“It feels good to win because I’ve got a shoulder injury at the moment and I’ve had to adapt and play smarter.
“In a way it was a blessing because it’s made me better as a player, because I’m thinking more and I’ve had to work on my backhand more.”
Piwowar got through a monumental five-setter against Joseph Hunter, the second seed, in the semi-finals.
Piwowar led 2-0 but Hunter came back to level and then fought back from 9-5 down in the decider. Both boys had at least two match points before Hunter missed by a whisker to give Piwowar a 3-2 (11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 16-14) triumph.
Green’s semi-final was not such a nerve-shredder, but Ollie Maric-Murray was still a tough opponent before Green prevailed 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4).
The only quarter-final not to be decided in three straight was Piwowar’s 3-1 (11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3) victory over Harry Yip.
There were a couple of thrillers back in the first round, none more so than Francesco Bonato overturning a 2-0 deficit to see off Adam Dennison 3-2 (11-13, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9). Bonato was defeated by Nathaniel Saunders in the next round, who was himself knocked out by Maric-Murray in the quarters.
The other first-round marathon saw Joseph Cooper get through 3-2 (11-3, 2-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9) against Kamari Jagdeo-Bailey. Cooper then beat Georgios Gerakios, but he went down to Hunter in the quarter-finals.
Fourth-ranked Larry Trumpauskas leap-frogged two players above him to follow top-ranked James Hamblett out of Group 5, a performance under-pinned by a terrific comeback in his first match, beating Ojasvil Borah 3-2 (7-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10). A subsequent 3-0 win over Jake Hewitt was enough for him to take second place.
In Group 8, third-ranked Krish Chotai got above Joseph Dennison into second spot thanks to a 3-1 victory – he also beat the fourth player, Christopher Ho, 3-2 (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8). Ho in turn came from 2-0 down to beat Dennison. None of which mattered to group winner Georgios Gerakios, who won all three matches in four.
Group 1 also saw the No 3 player advance – Luke Lowther coming through on countback over Ethan Eaketts and No 4 Sam Gabriel, who all won a match apiece. Eaketts beat Lowther in five, having earlier lost to Gabriel in a decider, which meant Lowther’s 3-0 win over Gabriel was the decisive result.
Completing a trio of No 3s going through was Francesco Bonato in Group 3, behind Jakub Piwowar. Bonato sealed it with a 3-2 (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 3-11, 11-5) win over Ralph Pattison.
In Group 10, top-ranked Jake Haygarth won his three matches, but there was a three-way countback to decide second and it went the way of second-ranked Jenson Moreno ahead of Thomas Nicol and Henry Shaw. Moreno was defeated 3-2 (11-13, 11-6, 13-15, 11-6, 11-8) by Shaw.
The pattern repeated in Group 7, behind No 1 player Nathaniel Saunders. No 4 Kamari Jagdeo-Bailey beat No 2 Lennon Maughan in four, No 3 Jacob Archer beat Jagdeo-Bailey 15-13 in a decider and Maughan beat Archer 11-9 in the fifth. All of which saw Jagdeo-Bailey get the second spot.
Ben Poulter’s withdrawal meant Group 6 was comprised of three players, and Adam Palmer went through behind Harry Yip – though top seed Yip had to dig deep to avoid the group going to countback, as he triumphed over Yiannis Kazantzidis 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 14-16, 13-11, 11-8).
The top two went through from all the other groups as expected, though top seed Tom Powlesland had to hold off second seed Thomas Palmer 3-2 (7-11, 11-9, 1-11, 13-11, 12-10) to top Group 9. It was a similar tale in Group 11, where No 1 Adam Dennison overcame No 2 Joseph Cooper 3-2 (11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9).
Top seed Anna Green reasserted herself after final opponent Maliha Baig threatened a comeback. Baig saved a match point in the third, which she went on to win, and then led 4-0 in the fourth to raise hopes of a turnaround.
But Green got her game together when it mattered and, minutes after twin brother Connor had won his title, sealed a 3-1 (11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8) victory.
Green said: “I’m glad, because I’ve done a lot more training in the last year and it’s good to know it’s paid off. This one feels a bit better than the other titles because it was a tougher competition this year.
“When I lost the third game, it made me more determined – I wasn’t losing another end. I knew Connor had won and I thought ‘I’m not being the Green who loses’.”
In the semi-finals, is was all reasonably comfortable for the top two, Green getting through against Isabelle Lacorte (7, 5, 9) and second seed Baig seeing off the challenge of Katie Bates (8, 3, 5).
Baig had some difficult moments in her quarter-final against Connie Dumelow, saving a match point at 9-10 in the fifth before finally getting over the line 13-11 to seal a 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11) victory.
Lacorte had a difficult passage to the semis. Back in the last 16, she came from 2-0 down to defeat Darcy Brewer 3-2 (4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3). In the quarters, she twice trailed before getting past Saskia Key in five (8-11, 13-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5).
Brewer herself came from 2-1 down in the preliminary round to account for Mabel Shute (11-8, 10-12, 7-11, 13-11, 11-9), a feat matched by Sophie Richardson against Kate Watkinson. Richardson then lost 3-0 (10, 5, 9) in the last 16 to Baig.
Ella Pashley got above Mia Longman to take second place in Group 1, behind top seed Anna Green. In a three-player group, Pashley, who also took a set off Green, won what was effectively a shootout against Longman thanks to a close 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9) scoreline.
Group six became a three-player group because of the withdrawal of Evie Davies, and there was a thrilling match to decide second place.
It was between Inara Ahmed and Chui-Que Wong and it went to the lower-ranked Wong, who twice came from behind to win 3-2 (7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 14-12). Top-ranked Saskia Key won the group, though she dropped a set to Wong.
Second seed Maliha Baig got through Group 2 with no alarms, but she was followed by third-ranked Jessica Felton, who overcame higher-ranked Emily Cheung 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6) in the key match.
Mabel Shute rose from third to second in Group 4, following the top seed Bethany Ellis through to the knockout stage thanks to a 3-1 (11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5) victory over second-ranked Milly Hanrahan.
The top two went through in Group 8 but in the reverse order as Anna Piercey overcame Kate Watkinson 3-1 (3-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9). That was not the deciding factor, though, as Piercey lost to Anna Hartley in four, and had to rely on countback to top the group ahead of Watkinson.
Both girls won two matches, with Piercey’s other victory coming against Sally Atkinson, who she beat in five (11-5, 10-12, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9). Atkinson ended up third as she beat Hartley from 2-0 down, taking it 3-2 (2-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-0).
No surprises in any of the other groups, where the top two got through in ranking order.
Ralph Pattison justified his top seeding as he overcame unseeded Isaac Kingham in four in the final – the scoreline 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Pattison, 11 and from Harlow, said: “Last year, coming second as fifth seed was a big achievement but there’s a lot of pressure being top seed and knowing one false move can lose it for you.
“I want to say big thanks to Neil Brierley and everyone at BATTS (his club in Harlow) for believing in me and enabling this opportunity.”
Pattison’s coach Peter Cleminson won the same title in 1997 and Pattison added: “It’s good to follow in my coach’s footsteps.”
Pattison needed four in his semi-final against Sam Gabriel, the third game proving pivotal as he won 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 13-11, 11-8).
It was three straight in the other semi as Kingham overcame the youngest player, Abraham Earl Sellado 13-11, 11-5, 11-5).
And this is how Ralph Pattison became U11 boys’ singles CHAMPION!! pic.twitter.com/de6PnUC5Y6
— Table Tennis England (@TableTennisENG) June 15, 2019
One of the quarter-finals went to five and was won by Gabriel, who came from 2-0 down to knock out Daniyal Palmer.
There was a terrific comeback in the previous round by Palmer, who trailed 2-0 and 8-2 to Max Radiven but turned it around, saving a number of match points in winning the third 16-14 and paving the way to complete a 3-2 (7-11, 5-11, 16-14, 11-6, 11-8) victory.
Three of the four first-round ties went the distance – Cheung-Turner defeating Leo Nguyen 11-5 in the fifth and Charlie Davidson getting past Sam Davies 11-8 in the decider.
Isaac Kingham defeated the top-ranked player in Group 2, Louis Cheung-Turner, prevailing 3-1 (14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5) – Cheung-Turner beat Prateek Sai Divakaria to go through in second place in the three-player group.
No surprises in the other groups as the top two went through as predicted by the seedings, though Sam Davies needed to mount a comeback to ensure he came through second in Group 4, overcoming third-ranked Kacper Piwowar 3-2 (4-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5).
Second seed Mia Longman took the title with – in the end – a hard-fought 3-1 (11-5, 11-5, 11-13, 13-11) victory over Chui-Que Wong in the final.
Wong saved three match points in the third to take the match into a fourth, but Longman took her second chance to seal the gold.
Longman, who is 10 and from Scarborough, said: “I’m really happy about it. I thought I could possibly get to the semi-finals but not the final. My coach (Martin Lowe) really helped me and when I won the semi-final, I believed I could win the gold.”
Take a bow Mia Longman! You are our U11 girls’ singles CHAMPION!! pic.twitter.com/FskT1A9cI0
— Table Tennis England (@TableTennisENG) June 15, 2019
The competition was blown open in the quarter-finals, when Wong defeated the top seed Sienna Jetha in four (11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4). At the same stage, Coker staved off a comeback by Caron Charles to take her place in the semis thanks to a 3-2 (11-5, 14-12, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6) scoreline.
In the semi-finals, Wong beat Ella Pashley 3-1 (11-4, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4), while Longman got past Coker 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2).
The top two went through in Group 3, though not in the order predicted as Naomi Coker leap-frogged Ella Pashley to take top spot, thanks to a 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11) victory.
Olivia Miners got above Isobel Langridge into second place in Group 1, behind Sienna Jetha. Miners’ feat was all the more impressive as she came from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 (8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6).
Group 2 almost had an identical outcome. Top seed Mia Longman came through her two matches unscathed, leaving Eva Eccles and Chui-Que Wong to battle it out for second place. On this occasion, the higher-ranked Wong came through, but not before fighting back from a 2-0 deficit to triumph 3-2 (3-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5).
Evie Ferrar had no luck in Group 4, losing all three matches in five games, including seeing Millie Noble come from 2-0 down to win 12-10 in the decider. Neither went through, however, as top two Sophie Ackred and Caron Charles finished as expected.
Under-13 Boys’ Doubles
Top seeds Jakub Piwowar & Oliver Maric-Murray duly took the title, nipping a potential comeback in the bud as they saw off final opponents James Hamblett & Harry Yip 3-1 (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-1).
Hamblett & Yip defeated second seeds Connor Green & Georgios Gerakios in the semi-finals. Twice they were pegged back, before winning the decider to clinch a 3-2 (11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7) victory.
They earlier needed four in the quarter-finals, against Joseph Dennison & Joseph Cooper, while their first-round match was won by the strange score of 3-0 (12-10, 11-1, 14-12) against Daniel Clark & Krish Chotai.
Piwowar & Maric-Murray made slightly easier progress, dropping a game in each of the first round and quarter-finals before getting past Jenson Moreno & Joseph Hunter in three straight (6, 4, 4) in the semis.
Maric-Murray said: “I’m to win, because last year we lost in the semi-finals – we played really well this year.”
Under-13 Girls’ Doubles
Saskia Key & Katie Bates took the title in a pulsating final, overturning a last-game deficit to triumph 3-2 (11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9) over Maliha Baig & Sienna Jetha.
Both semi-finals went the distance and saw the top seeds eliminated in the process as Key & Bates defeated Anna Green & Isabelle Lacorte. The underdogs led 2-0 but were pegged back, before eventually coming through 3-2 (11-7, 12-10, 3-11, 6-11, 11-7).
In the bottom half of the draw, second seeds Baig & Jetha were given a fright by Rachael Iles & Anna Piercey, who twice came back from a set down to level. However, the higher-ranked pair sealed it 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7).
Key, aged 13 and from Sevenoaks, said: “It’s amazing. We thought we had a chance at the start of the day and we just tried our best. After we beat the top seeds in the semi-finals, we believed we could get the gold – if we could do it once, we could do it again.”
Bates, 12, from Middlesbrough, added: “When we played Anna and Isabelle in the semi-finals we were nervous but once we beat them, we thought we could do it again in the final.”