The group stage of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships threw up some surprise results as players battled to secure a place in the knockout stage and a possible meeting with one of the big guns.

With Paul Drinkhall and Helshan Weerasinghe having withdrawn through injury and illness respectively, two lucky losers would also go through from the Men’s Singles, drawn at random from the second-placed group finishers – which ensured there were no ‘dead rubbers’ in any of the groups.

In the event, the two players out of the hat were Lorestas Trumpauskas, who will face Tom Jarvis, and Felix Thomis, who has a prize draw against Andrew Baggaley.

In the Women’s Singles, Saskia Key was the eye-catcher, winning her group despite being the third-ranked player, to set up a plum tie with top seed Tin-Tin Ho.

The Men’s Singles headline act was Olly Cornish, who took out the highly-ranked Josh Bennett.

All photos by Alan Manview more here.

The knockout draws are now complete – click here for all the draws and results.

Remember, you can watch the action on the show court on Saturday live on Recast.

Click here to visit the event home page for full details of the tournament.

Men’s Singles

Olly Cornish

Josh Bennett started his men’s singles campaign in Group 1 with a straight-set win over Thomas Rayner. After a nervous start, Bennett was able to find some composure to win the first set 13-11. The next two were more straightforward for the 22-year-old, winning them 11-7, 11-4.

However, it was Olly Cornish who topped the group with a stunning 3-2 win over Bennett (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 14-12), adding to his earlier 3-0 success against Rayner. At two sets each, Cornish raced into a healthy lead, but Bennett wasn’t going to roll over. Cornish showed great determination to take the fifth set 14-12, on his fifth match point.

Group 3 started with an exciting match between Joesph Hunter and Naphong Boonyaprapa. Despite being ranked lower, Hunter showed no signs of any nerves and unleashed several forehands which his opponent couldn’t counter. He won 3-1 (13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4). Hunter continued his form to shock Lorestas Trumpauskas to go through to the knockouts. He won 3-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6) with a clinical performance. Hunter will face Green in the next round.

Meanwhile, Trumpauskas was a 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8) winner over Boonyaprapa to cement a second place which was to prove lucky.

Felix Thomis

In Group 8, Graeme Barella overcame higher-ranked Rhys Davies 3-1 (12-10, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7) to make it through, having earlier defeated James Hamblett in four (12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7). He will next play David McBeath. Davies was second in the group, beating Hamblett in four.

Connor Green won Group 2, with wins over Aaron Geung (11-5, 11-4, 11-3) and Olly Tyndall (11-6, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6). Tyndall defeated Geung in three to take second place.

Fresh from his U21 Men’s Singles triumph, Shayan Siraj started his senior campaign with a comfortable win over Felix Thomis (11-3, 12-10, 11-5) in Group 4. Siraj continued this with another straight-set win over Toby Ellis (11-3, 11-7, 12-10). He will play Darius Knight in the knockouts, while Thomis was second – and took a lucky loser place – thanks to a 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 15-13) win over Ellis.

Joe Ferguson

Left-handed Louis Price was the favourite in Group 5 and he got through after a tough game against Ben Piggott. Despite it being four sets, there were lots of long rallies where Piggott held his own. Price won it 3-1 (10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4). He will now play Cornish. Both Price and Piggott beat Howard Onweng.

Gabriel Achampong came through Group 6 with two four-set wins. He beat Krish Chotai (11-3, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6) and Larry Trumpauskas (11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-4). He will next play Sam Mabey. Chotai defeated Trumpauskas in three for second place.

Joe Ferguson won his two games in straight sets to finish top of Group 7. He saw off Naphat Boonyaprapa (11-9, 11-7, 11-5) and Jamar McGlashan (11-8, 11-9, 11-9). Top seed Sam Walker will be his opponent in the next round. Boonyaprapa took second spot with a four-set win over McGlashan.

Women’s Singles

Saskia Key

Saskia Key beat two higher-ranked players to win her group and secure the prize of a match against top seed Tin-Tin Ho in the last 16.

Key started with a 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8) victory over Bethany Ellis in Group 5, then defeated the group’s top-ranked player, Millie Rogove, 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4). The group’s final match was largely academic, Rogove taking it 3-0 against Ellis.

Mya Sultan was another group winner against seeding, as she sunk Anaya Patel 3-1 (11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7) in the Group 6 decider. Her reward? To take on second seed Maria Tsaptsinos in the first round tomorrow.

Both had earlier defeated Isabelle Lacorte, 3-0 in Patel’s case but 3-2 for Sultan, who had to come from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win it 7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5.

Group 3 saw a three-way tie between Scarlett Anders, Ella Pashley and Stefania Popa, who all won one each. Popa first defeated Pashley 3-2 – it was 14-12 in the fifth – and Anders then saw off Popa in three straight.

Pashley, who narrowly missed a medal at the recent Cadet National Cup, then put in a hugely spirited display to overcome Anders 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8) – but it was Anders who had the better record on countback, and will face Mari Baldwin next. Pashley hasn’t had the rub of the green in recent weeks, but looks a terrific prospect at just 13 years old.

Mya Sultan (left) ad Scarlett Anders (right) made it through

Evie Collier topped Group 1, as expected, though she was extended to a fifth game by Lisa Rinnhofer, who made a fine comeback before Collier clinched it 3-2 (11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5).

Collier, who will face Lois Peake in the last 16, had earlier beaten Jodie Morris in three; Morris was second in the group by virtue of a 3-0 victory over Rinnhofer.

Group 2 came down to a shootout between top-ranked Jasmin Wong and second-ranked Anna Green, who had both earlier defeated Ella Barnard.

Green scented an upset as she led 2-0 after edging a tight second game, but Wong found a higher gear to complete a super comeback and triumph 3-2 (6-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8).

It means Wong faces newly crowned under-21 champion Charlotte Bardsley in the last 16 – and a chance to avenge her defeat in the U21 quarter-finals, in which Bardsley saved a match point.

Letitia McMullan set up a clash with Mollie Patterson by topping Group 4. The results went as expected, McMullan defeating Rachael Iles 3-0 (9, 11, 4) and Charlotte Weatherby 3-1 (11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9). Weatherby edged Iles 3-2 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-4) for second place.

Groups 7 and 8 both went according to seeding. In the former, Amy Marriott overcame Megan Jones 3-0 (though it was a close 11,  9, 9) and Eve Witterick 3-1. Jones edged Witterick 3-0 (12-10, 11-9, 12-10) for second place.

Group 8 went to Erin Green, who beat Eva Eccles in three and Rebecca Savage in five, the latter scoreline was an unusual looking 12-10, 11-2, 1-11, 10-12, 11-7. Savage was on the right side of a five-setter against Eccles, taking it 11-2, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5.