Jack Hunter-Spivey won the class 3-5 showcase final in straight sets, overcoming Dan Bullen, who is an umpire at the nationals.
Bronze medallist at the Paralympics in Tokyo, Hunter-Spivey made an excellent start with some wicked serves, outfoxing Bullen. Despite Bullen finding some good angles, Hunter-Spivey won six in a row to take the opening set 11-3.
The second set saw Hunter-Spivey pull off an outrageous shot. The left-hander waited for the ball to drop and then scooped it up, bouncing once on Bullen’s side, the spinning back, giving him no chance. Hunter-Spivey was comfortable, using the same trick to take the set 11-7.
The third set, was much closer, but it was too late for Bullen. He made a good comeback from 5-2 down to 6-6, with Hunter-Spivey being more defensive. However, some cracking strokes saw Hunter-Spivey take the title on his second match point. The final score, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7.
After the match, Hunter-Spivey said: “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, we keep pushing each other.
“It’s a big motivation having Dan and me push each other to get better every day.”
Bullen said: “I’m proud of how I played, I’m getting closer to beating him.”
Ross Wilson triumphed in the class 7-10 showcase final at the national championships, overpowering junior doctor Kim Daybell in four sets.
Wilson took the opening set, using the angles well to pump the ball into the left-hander’s backhand, taking it 11-7 on his first set-point. Daybell made a better start to the second set, going 3-0 up. However, Wilson then won six points in a row to put him in a good position. Despite a beautiful drop-shot from the left-hander, Wilson played the big points better to claim it 11-6.
Daybell fought back well in the third set, playing more consistently. Wilson made a few more errors, which allowed Daybell to cash in, taking it on his third set point, 11-9. Wilson wasn’t going to let this deter him, going into an early lead in the fourth set, and eventually winning the title on his fourth match point, 11-9. The final score, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9.
After his win, Ross said: “It’s a great feeling, coming back to win again. The plan is to defend my title at the Commonwealth Games, it will be great to have a home crowd.”
Kim said: “It’s always great to play Ross. I think table tennis has been a release for me as I’ve been working on the Covid ward and in A & E. At one point, I nearly decided to hang my bat up, but it’s good to be back here.”