Tin-Tin Ho won her fifth women’s singles title at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships, beating Emily Bolton in four straight games.
Tom Jarvis won his second men’s singles title in a row, beating Sam Walker in a repeat of last year’s final.
Ho was determined to win back the title she lost to Maria Tsaptsinos last year, Tsaptsinos having retired from the sport earlier this year.
The match was tight at the start, with Bolton peppering Ho’s backhand on multiple occasions. However, Ho fought back from 7-4 down to take it 11-8.
Ho swept the second game 11-3, but Bolton wouldn’t go down without a fight, in her first women’s singles final. Some heavy topspin helped Ho win the third game 11-9 and she won the title 12-10 in the fourth, holding off Bolton who had fought back from 10-7.
After the win, Ho said: “I had a very good head today, but I was a bit nervous.”
Runner-up Bolton, who took the Women’s Doubles title with Ho earlier in the day, said: “I’m disappointed that I didn’t win. I tried my best, but it has been a good tournament.”
Ho started the day in excellent form, beating Mollie Patterson 11-4, 12-10, 11-3, 11-3 in the semi-finals.
Patterson, who won the Mixed Doubles title on Saturday, looked nervous throughout, missing shots she would have made with no trouble on another day.
Ho was quick out of the blocks, racing to take the first game 11-4. Patterson started to find her range in the second game, fighting back from 7-3 down to take it to deuce at 10-10. However, Ho’s vast experience saw her play the big points well, taking it 12-10.
Ho then accelerated towards the final with some outstanding backhands and slow topspin loops. Patterson showed glimpses of her talent and can be pleased with her showing at the Nationals this year.
Bolton made her first Women’s Singles final of her career, with a solid 4-1 win over the second seed Denise Payet.
The 25-year-old had never made it further than the semi-finals, but she ended that statistic by taking it 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.
In the men’s final, Jarvis got off to a great start with some titanic forehand topspins, but Walker fought back to 9-9 and even had a game point at 10-9. However, Jarvis saved it to win 12-10. The second game saw Jarvis at his clinical best to get a 7-2 lead. There were some amazing rallies with both forced to the back of the court at times. Jarvis winning it 11-8.
It almost looked like a different match in the third game with Jarvis missing time and again. On one occasion he missed a simple forehand smash he would usually hit with ease, Walker taking it 11-4.
The 2022 champion got his act together in the fourth with some lightning fast backhands helping him to win it 11-6 and he sealed the title in the fifth game – Walker took the lead at 8-6. Jarvis could see the end in sight, and let out a huge roar as it took the game and the match, 11-8.
After his triumph, Jarvis said: “This one is more special (than last year). I’m over the moon.”
Walker, who was competing in his fifth men’s singles final, said: “I think Tom played well. I gave everything I had. I lost to a better player today.”
Liam Pitchford’s quest to win a seventh men’s singles title was ended in the semi-final, losing to Walker, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11.
The first game went as expected, as Pitchford raced into the lead with his outstanding backhand flicks on full show. After taking it 11-6, he then looked like taking the second, going 7-4 up. However, Walker started to find his form, with an incredible rally at 9-9 going his way. Walker took the second on his second game point 12-10.
The third game was very close, with the fine margins at this level it was Walker who took it 11-9. Pitchford won the fourth 11-6 to make it 2-2, but Walker’s tactic of heavy topspin was working. He won the fifth 11-9 to put him one game away from a second consecutive men’s singles final. Pitchford took a 7-3 lead in the sixth game, but Walker was a man on a mission.
After getting to 10-10, an incredible rally followed with Walker away from the table, matching Pitchford’s backhands. He saved one game point and hit an excellent backhand flick winner from Pitchford’s serve to give him match point, taking the game 13-11.
Jarvis made his second final in a row with an outstanding performance against second seed and six-time former champion Paul Drinkhall.
Jarvis won in four games in an incredible display of power and precision, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6. The first game saw Jarvis assert himself quickly, going 10-3 up before winning it 11-6.
In the second game, Jarvis was pinning Drinkhall to the backhand side, before hitting winners on the forehand side. The next two games followed a similar pattern, with Drinkhall never able to get a foothold. Jarvis was in sublime form, winning games three and four 11-5, 11-6.