Tin-Tin Ho won her 50th national title by claiming the women’s doubles with Maria Tsaptsinos in a four set win over Emily Bolton and Charlotte Bardsley.
Ho and Tsaptsinos were back together to win the title they claimed in 2019. In 2020, Tsaptsinos was injured, so the title was won Bolton and Densie Payet.
Ho and Tsaptsinos made a solid start to proceedings, showing the wealth of experience they have playing together. They were ruthless as they raced to a 10-3. However, they started to slow towards the end of the first set, winning it 11-6 on their fourth set point.
Bolton and Bardsley made the most of this, taking the second set 11-6. Bolton, who won the women’s doubles with Denise Payet in 2020, and Bardsley were much more consistent. A great top-spin forehand from Bardsley gave them the set, levelling the final.
Ho and Tsaptsinos regained the lead in the third set. Tspatsinos was starting to get pumped, showing her passion on every point. A big miss from Bardsley gave them the advantage at 9-3. They took the set 11-6 on their second set point, putting them one away from the title.
Ho and Tsaptsinos wrapped it up in the fourth, their quality and power too much for Bolton and Bardsley. The younger pair made a good comeback from 5-0 to 5-5, but Ho and Tsaptsinos took it 11-6 to win the title. The final score, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Ho spoke of how much it meant to win a 50th title. She said: “I never thought I would win so many titles. They were all difficult and they all mean the same to me.”
Tsaptsinos said: “I think we all knew Tin-Tin would get to 50 titles! Hopefully the singles final will be really good for everyone to watch.”
Reflecting on the run to the final, Bolton said: “I think we played some good stuff, it’s the first time we played together, so hopefully we can play some more games in the future.”
Bardsley said: “I’m proud I played today, it was a really good experience.”
Sam Walker and Tom Jarvis came from 2-1 down to beat Chris Doran and Joe Ferguson to win the men’s doubles title in a closely contested match.
The first set was a cagey affair with lots of push rallies and not many free-flowing shots. Walker and Jarvis pressed home the advantage to take it 11-5 with Doran and Ferguson unable to assert themselves.
Doran and Ferguson levelled the match by taking the second set with some great, tactical play. They made a good comeback from 5-3 down with well controlled shots. Doran’s long reach working well and a superb chop-block took it to 9-9, winning it 11-9.
Doran and Ferguson then took the lead against the more experienced duo. Doran created some excellent angles which made life difficult for Walker and Jarvis. At 10-6, Walker and Jarvis then got to 10-9 when a timeout was called. This proved to be a good move, with Ferguson playing an incredible backhand block to take it 11-9, on their fourth set point.
However, Walker and Jarvis forced a decider, despatching them 11-2. They wrapped it up in the fifth set with an unrelenting range of attacks. Doran and Ferguson fought hard and can be proud of their run to the final.
After the final, Sam said: “I think we needed to dominate them a bit more, we slowed a bit at the end of the first set it was important to try and get on top in the rallies.”
Tom said: “We have been playing a lot of doubles together and that’s what helped us play well.”