With an entry exceeding expectations and nearly double that of last year’s inaugural tournament, the Cippenham Women & Girls’ 1* Open on Sunday proved an enormous success both for the club and for one if its star players.

The tournament also proved to be very successful for Cippenham’s own Rachael Iles (pictured above) as the 16-year old won both events available to her, the Under-21 Singles in the morning followed by the Open Singles in the afternoon. In both finals she beat Greenhouse’s Parrmis Ahsani but how Ahsani must rue the six match points that came and went in the final match of the day.

Entrants were split into two age groups for the morning events: under-21 and over-21. This, when coupled with the later Open Singles, permitted all players to have two events during the course of the day.

The 20 entrants for the Under-21 Singles were arranged into six groups, the winners being Rachael Iles, Parrmis Ahsani, Anna Piercey, Luna Archard, Evie Knaapen and Jonabel Taguibao. Second-placed players were also included in the main event but none made it through the first of the knockout rounds.

Parrmis Ahsani

Only Cippenham’s Anna Piercey of the top three seeds failed to make their allotted places in the semi-finals, Piercey having been eliminated in the quarters by Taguibao, who was then beaten by Ahsani for the place in the final.

At the top half of the draw Iles was making short work of Valerie Lysikova and Archard and then won her first event of the day, coming back from a game down to defeat Ahsani 12-10 in the fourth.

Meanwhile the 16 entrants in the Over-21 Singles were arranged into four groups with the winners being Sally Hughes, Kinga Oryl, Rita Lopes and Chloe Ireland.

Top seed Sally Hughes beat Holly Holder in the first round but then, injured, conceded to scratch entry Ridhi Rohit after being two games up in her semi-final. Rohit had beaten Chloe Ireland in her quarter-final match between two Slough residents.

In the bottom half of the draw, Gabriela Tankel beat Rita Lopes and Kinga Oryl beat Donna Hammond to set up a semi-final which Tankel won. Tankel then went on to win an extremely well contested final against Rohit 3-2 (16-18, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10).

Gabriela Tankel

Both age groups came together to contest the Open Singles in the afternoon with 36 players arranged into 11 groups.

The final pairing of Rachael Iles and Parrmis Ahsani was their second meeting of the day, having met in the Under-21 event in the morning. Iles once again prevailed but it was a really close-run thing with Ahsani leading 2-1 and 10-6 – and then 10-8 in the fifth – but somehow Ives’ fighting spirit, which has never been in doubt, saved all six match points and secured the title that had narrowly eluded her the previous year.

Prior to that, Ives had seen off challenges from Rita Lopes, Jonabel Taguibao and, in the semi-final, Rushi Rohit.

Ridhi Rohit

Ahsani had dismissed Donna Hammond, Gabriela Tankel and Evie Knaapen while the other quarter-finalists were Anna Piercey and Valerie Lysikova.

In the consolation events, Luna Archard won the Open, with Chloe Evans as runner-up; Nadia Sprung won the Over-21s with Juste Nevar as runner-up; and Freya Allaway won the Under-21s ahead of Emilie Fray.

The tournament was organised by Elena Tant and refereed by Sue Hayes.

Table Tennis England Director Sally Hughes makes a presentation to referee Sue Hayes