The group stages of the men’s and women’s singles at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships threw up some interesting results as players battled to secure a place in the knockout stage and a meeting with one of the big guns. 

It saw two three-way ties which with group winners decided on countback by virtue of the number of games won. 

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After an impressive performance in the U21 women’s singles, 13-year-old Sienna Jetha continued her remarkable form by winning her group, to set up a tie with U21 champion Jasmin Wong in the next round. 

On the men’s side, the best performance was from Felix Thomis, who beat the runner-up of the U21 men’s singles, Joe Ferguson, in an excellent five-game match. He will now face defending champion Tom Jarvis. 

Felix Thomis

In the women’s singles, Ella Pashley made it out of group one, surviving a major scare against Naomi Coker. Pashley was outplayed in the first two games, losing them both 11-4. Coker was in fine form, rarely missing the table. However, Pashley woke up in the third game and went on to win the next three 11-5. Pashley sealed her place in the next round, where she will play third seed Emily Bolton.

Erin Green eased through group two, with wins over Rachael Iles and Fliss Pickard – she next meets eighth seed Scarlett Anders.

Group three saw a three-way tie between Amy Marriott, Ella Barnard and Mia Longman. Barnard failed to capitalise on a two-game lead over Longman, losing 3-2. However, Marriott beat Longman in three and lost to Barnard in three. Barnard topped the group on games won and will next play the beaten finalist from 2020, Mari Baldwin.  

Megan Jones will face second seed Denise Payet in the next round after she beat Mabel Shute and Olivia Fletcher.  

Megan Jones

Bethany Ellis will play Anna Green after wins over Mya Sultan and Isabelle Lacorte. 

After the withdrawal of Lauren Loosemore, Anaya Patel and Saskia Key faced off for the chance to play Mollie Patterson in the next round. Patel came through 3-1. 

In group seven, the withdrawal of Sara Williams meant that it was a winner-takes-all match between Mia Lakhani and Lisa Rinnhofer, to decide who would play top seed Tin-Tin Ho in the first knockout round. This was an excellent match, with both players going toe-to-toe until Lakhani won in the fifth game, the final score 16-14, 9-11, 11-1, 6-11, 11-9. 

At just 13, Jetha is the youngest player in the women’s singles draw. However, she didn’t let her lack of experience stop her as she swept Abbie Hurley in three games to win her first match. Things then got even better for Jetha as she came from 2-1 down to beat Rebecca Savage, the final score: 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2.  

In the men’s singles, Toby Ellis went straight into the knockouts, beating Olly Cornish in four games. Ellis will play the vastly experienced Darius Knight in the next round. He goes straight through after the withdrawal of former men’s U21 winner Shayan Siraj. 

Toby Ellis

In group two, men’s U21 winner Connor Green eased through against Graeme Barella and Ben Piggott. He will next face Josh Bennett. 

Gabriel Achampong secured his spot in the next round by topping group three. The 23-year-old beat Naphat Boonyaprapa and Jake Haygarth. 

Felix Thomis was rewarded for two outstanding wins in group four, with a knockout round match against defending champion Tom Jarvis to come. Thomis began by beating Naphong Boonyaprapa in straight games, before facing up against Joe Ferguson who had lost the men’s U21 final earlier on Friday. Thomis put in an inspired performance, with his shouts getting louder each game. The final score was 3-2 (8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6). 

Talented left-hander Louis Price booked his place in the next round, where he will face second seed Paul Drinkhall. He beat Alim Hirji and Maxim Stevens. 

Shaquille Webb-Dixon set up the plum tie against England No 1 Liam Pitchford. However, he didn’t make it easy for himself, being pushed to five games in both matches. In the first, he overcame Jakub Piwowar, where he took the first two games with the 15-year-old fighting back. However, Webb-Dixon kept his cool to win the fifth game 11-5.

Then he came up against Josh Bruce, with the winner facing Pitchford. After going 2-1 up, Webb-Dixon looked to be cruising at 7-3 up, only for Bruce to fight back to take it 11-8. However, after a lengthy break before the start of the decider, Webb-Dixon accelerated to the win, 11-3.  

Ismaila Akindiya edged though group seven, despite a three-way tie with Larry Trumpauskas and Artur Caltabiano. Trumpauskas eased by Caltabiano 3-0, but lost to Akindiya 3-0. Caltabiano threw a spanner in the works by beating Akindiya 3-2. However, Akindiya topped the group on games won and will next play Chris Doran.  

Ralph Pattison beat 53-year-old Lorestas Trumpauskas in four games to secure his spot to play David McBeath in the next round. Earlier in the day, he also beat Adam Dennison by the same margin.