Paul Drinkhall won his seventh Men’s Singles title to dethrone double defending champion Tom Jarvis, while Tin-Tin Ho took a brilliant sixth Women’s Singles crown as Finals Day at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships came to a spellbinding end.  

The victories both elevate the champions into second place on the all-time lists – Drinkhall now four behind Des Douglas and Ho, now level with Mary Wright and only one off the women’s record held by Jill Parker.

And for Ho there was the immense satisfaction of winning the glorious treble of singles, doubles and mixed gold medals.

Tin-Tin Ho

Photos by Alan Man

In the men’s final, Jarvis started well, going 9-3 up in the first game. But he let Drinkhall come back into it, whittling away the lead and then saving three game points as part of a five-point run to take the first 12-10 – it already felt like a key moment. 

The 34-year-old top seed started the second game better, taking it 11-8 to move 2-0 ahead. Jarvis found his range in the third game, with some lightning fast shots seeing him win it 11-7. The fourth game almost saw a repeat of the first with Jarvis going 10-6 up, Drinkhall coming back to 10-10 and then holding a game point at 11-10 – but Jarvis this time held his nerve to clinch it 14-12 and level the match.  

The top seed put that behind him, winning the fifth game 11-7 to go 3-2 up. Jarvis took the lead early in the sixth game, going 5-2 up, but Drinkhall’s grit and determination saw him over the finish line, winning the game 11-8 and taking that magnificent seventh title.  

Tom Jarvis

Back in the semi-finals this morning, Drinkhall made his first final for a few years with a 4-2 win over Sam Walker. After going 2-1 up, the top seed had two game points at 10-8 in the fourth and had two more game points but Walker eventually won it 17-15 with his third game point.  

With the tie delicately poised, Drinkhall was the one to take the momentum to win the next two games to see him through to the final – and Walker still yet to beat him in a competitive match.  

Jarvis booked his place in the final with an entertaining match with Chris Doran. Fourth seed Doran came flying out of the blocks, winning the first game 11-8. He looked like taking a 2-0 lead at 7-4 up thanks to a number of Jarvis errors. But the second seed found his range and levelled the match by taking the second game 11-9.  

Jarvis was on a roll after that, taking the third and fourth games, giving Doran a mountain to climb. Jarvis then raced into a 10-5 lead in the fifth game and Doran, knowing he was beaten, played some lobs to entertain the crowd with the last point. Jarvis won it 11-5, and the pair shared a warm embrace afterwards.  

The Men’s Singles podium

Tin-Tin Ho won her sixth Women’s Singles title with a clinical performance against Jasmin Wong. 

The 25-year-old is just one title away from levelling Jill Parker on seven, and demolished Wong in straight games.  

Her speed and power were too much for Wong, who can be proud to have played in her first final. Ho won the first two games 11-4, 11-8 and went 9-0 up in the third game, with Wong having no answer to Ho’s precision as well as serving two faults in a row. The third game was secured 11-1.  

The top seed’s relentless pressure told in the fourth, winning it 11-8 to complete a clean sweep of the Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.  

Jasmin Wong

In the first game of the day, Wong shocked second seed and former women’s singles finalist Emily Bolton to make the final in seven games. 

Wong played some outstanding backhands as the pair shared the first six games. However Bolton found herself 10-5 down in the decider and Wong took it 11-6. 

Ho made the final after being pushed to the limit by women’s U21 champion Tianer Yu.  

The 16-year-old, making her tournament debut, showed no signs of nerves and took the first game 11-6. Ho then found her game and Yu looked like the pressure was getting to her as the top seed won the next two games comfortably.  

Yu looked beaten in the fourth game, but found another level after she was 8-3 down, coming back to win it 11-8. After sharing the next two games, a decider beckoned. It was a close affair, but Ho made her experience count, winning it 11-9 to make the final once again.  

The champion was visibly mightily relieved at the end – the final score of 6-11, 11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9 showing how close Yu – who surely will win the title sooner rather than later – came to reaching the final.

The Women’s Singles podium