Chris Doran rolled back the years in defeating Connor Green to reach the men’s singles semi-finals in a pulsating seven-game match which lasted well over an hour. 

Doran’s reach and use of angles – plus perhaps a dollop of experience at key moments – was key to his victory, the highlight of day two of the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships.

Photos by Alan Man

After the first two games were shared, Doran won the next two to put him within a game of the final. Green narrowed the gap but Doran built a lead in the sixth as some excellent backhands gave him a 7-4 lead.

Green drew it level at 9-9, and a match point came and went for Doran, as the younger man claimed the game 13-11 to take it to a decider.

At 10-7 up surely the under-21 champion had done it, but Doran would not be beaten. He clawed himself back to 10-10 and let out a primeval roar after completing his run of five successive points to win it 12-10, the final ball hitting the floor to stop the match clock at 71min 20sec. 

Defending champion Tom Jarvis was given a decent workout by Joseph Hunter in their quarter-final, but still won in four straight, the middle two games going to 13-11 and 15-13. He will face Doran in the semi-finals.  

Top seed Paul Drinkhall made the semi-finals yet again with a 4-0 win over Toby Ellis. Sam Walker will be his opponent after the third seed overcame Shayan Siraj in four games. 

The results went to ranking in the round of 16, but a few players were given stern tests. Hunter was pushed to six games against Joe Sawyer. Hunter found himself 2-1 down against Sawyer’s touch and defensive skills. But Hunter then accelerated towards the quarter-finals in clinical style. Towards the end, Sawyer treated the crowd to two shots behind his back and one with his left hand.  

Ismaila Akindiya

Ismaila Akindiya, who won the mixed doubles last year, roared through the first game against Green, but Green swept the next four games without breaking a sweat.  

Siraj had a close match with U21 men’s finalist Felix Thomis. Despite winning 4-1, each game was a close affair with several outstanding rallies.  

Doran found himself 10-4 down in the first game against Sam Mabey, but somehow he managed to win it. He kept his momentum going to win in 4-0.  

Top seed Drinkhall lost a game on his way to beating Ralph Pattison, while defending champion Jarvis also needed five games to get a win against Larry Trumpauskas.  

Walker made light work of lucky loser Nahom Asgedom, winning in four games, and Ellis beat the para player Ashley Facey in straight sets – though Facey later had to pull out of the rest of the competition through injury.

Jasmin Wong defeated former finalist Mari Baldwin in seven games in the pick of the women’s matches, to reach the semi-finals.  

The match ebbed and flowed with Wong trying to break Baldwin’s defences. After splitting the first four games, Baldwin took a 3-2 lead, winning the fifth game 14-12. But Wong fought hard and outmanoeuvred her opponent to win the next two games to book her place in the semi-final.  

Jasmin Wong

She will face second seed Emily Bolton who looked better with each game as she beat Letitia McMullan 4-1.  

Defending champion Tin-Tin Ho eased into another semi-final with win in four over Millie Rogove. She will face third seed and women’s U21 champion Tianer Yu after she beat the youngest player in the draw. Sienna Jetha, 14, put up an excellent performance, losing 4-1. 

In the round of 16, McMullan had an impressive four-straight win over Ella Pashley, who reached the women’s U21 final the previous day.  

Rogove was in fine form as she beat eighth seed Scarlett Anders 4-1, while Jetha played with maturity as she demolished Mabel Shute in four games.  

Fourth seed Baldwin had a tough time against Rebecca Savage, as the former finalist found herself 2-1 down. However, Baldwin used her tricky style to her advantage to work her way back into contention, winning it 4-2.  

Ho and Bolton won 4-0 against Anaya Patel and Sally Hughes respectively, and Wong beat Ella Barnard 4-1. Yu’s 4-0 win was against Erin Green.

Tianer Yu