Connor Green successfully defended his Under-21 Men’s Singles title, while Tianer Yu won the Under-21 Women’s Singles on her first appearance at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships.

The under-21 titles were the first to be decided at the three-day event, which continues today with the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles group stage and the early rounds of the Mixed Doubles.

Photos by Alan Man

Under-21 Women’s Singles

Tianer Yu won the women’s title on her tournament debut in a close match against surprise finalist Ella Pashley. 

After an even start, Pashley took the initiative in the first set with some ferocious forehand topspin, winning it 11-6. Yu then started to execute some brutal returns, giving Pashley little chance, taking the second set 11-4. The next two sets were close, with Yu taking them both 11-9 to mark an outstanding debut for the 16-year-old.  

Tianer Yu

Pashley made the final with a four-set win over Anna Green. The 15-year-old fought hard to keep her great form going. 

Yu knocked out last year’s winner Jasmin Wong in a five-set thriller. After splitting the first two sets, Wong took the lead. But top seed Yu found another gear, taking the fourth and fifth 11-4, 11-5.  

Pashley came from two games down to beat second seed Mari Baldwin. Pashley showed exceptional fight to win games three and four 12-10, 15-13. Despite being behind for most of the fifth, she won the big points to take it 11-9.  

Defending champion Wong had a tough quarter-final against Sienna Jetha. Wong won the first two, but Jetha mounted a comeback, taking it to a decider. Wong’s class showed with the 20-year-old winning the fifth 11-6.  

Top seed Yu was made to work hard for her place in the semi-final, with a five-set win over Erin Green. Despite going 2-1 down, Yu’s quality shone through, winning the fifth set 11-7.  

Erin Green

Anna Green eased into the semi-final with a straight-set win over fourth seed Scarlett Anders.  

In the group stage, Jetha made light work of group one, losing just one set in beating Amy Marriott and Megan Jones.  

Pashley looked in good form, beating Mabel Shute and Bethany Ellis to win group two. 

Group three saw the imperious Erin Green beat Anaya Patel and Saskia Key in straight games.  

Anna Green was given a stern test in group four. After beating Millie Rogove, she was pushed all the way by Rebecca Savage. In the deciding set, Savage raced to a 6-1 lead. But Green kept calm and mounted an excellent comeback, claiming the decider 11-9.  

Under-21 Men’s Singles

Connor Green retained the title he took last year, chiselling out a tough win over Felix Thomis. 

Green was made to work hard for the crown, after breezing through the early rounds. After an even start, Thomis clinched the first set 11-9. Green then raced into the lead in the second set with some lightning fast returns, winning it 11-4, but Thomis got the advantage back in the third set, going 9-5 up and winning it 11-7.

However, Green then took his game to another level and Thomis had no answer. He won the fourth and fifth sets 11-2, 11-3 to retain the title.  

Connor Green

Thomis and Toby Ellis went toe-to-toe in the semi-final, with Thomis coming out on top. The left-hander won the first two sets, but second seed Ellis fought back to force a decider. Thomis raced into a healthy lead in the fifth set, taking it 11-4.   

Green was in amazing form as he made light work of the talented left-hander Louis Price in three straight to make the final. 

Second seed Ellis survived a scare from Isaac Kingham. The 15-year-old used his long reach and devastating power well to take the first set. However Ellis fought back, taking the next two. Kingham then won the fourth and found himself 8-6 up in the decider. But his inexperience then showed, and two big misses opened the door for Ellis to take it 11-9.  

Joe Sawyer

Price held off Ralph Pattison to reach the semi-final. He won the first two, but Pattison mounted a comeback, taking it to a fifth. But Price raced to take it 11-4.  

Thomis continued his good form with an impressive five-gamewin over third seed Larry Trumpauskas, while Green made light work of Nahom Asgedom in three.  

Thomis had earlier made it through group one, but was given a stern test by newcomer Joe Sawyer. Thomis eased to victory against Jakub Piwowar, but struggled against Sawyer’s awkward defensive style. However, the left-handed Thomas managed to win 3-1.  

Group two had a three-way tie with one win each for Asgedom, Oliver Cornish and Rohan Dani. Asgedom beat Dani is straight sets, but lost to Cornish despite being two sets up. Dani, 15, had an outstanding win over Cornish to send it to countback. Asgedom won five sets in total, putting him through to the quarter-finals.  

Olly Cornish shows his frustration

Powerful left-hander Price saw off Benj Piggott and Adam Dennison to make it through group three.  

Kingham threw up the biggest shock in the group stage. A three-way tie meant he topped group four thanks largely to a 3-0 victory over Maxim Stevens. He then took a two-set lead against Joseph Hunter, but ended up losing 13-11 in the fifth. However, Stevens beat Hunter in five sets, sending Kingham through to the quarter-final.