The Sussex Women & Girls 1* Winter Singles attracted a record entry of 61, with more than half of them Juniors and more than half unranked players.
The third in a series of all-female tournaments, the sell-out event demonstrated that there is a strength of players around the country looking for new events that suit them. You can read about the results below.
There are two more female tournaments upcoming – the next one is a 1* at Cippenham TTC on February 26. Click here to enter.
Sussex will then play host to the very first all-Women’s 2* on July 1 with an extension of the events on offer. Entries are now live – click here.
Sussex Women & Girls 1* Winter Singles report
The under-21s saw seed No 1 Saskia Key breeze through to the final, seeing off Luna Archard in three, Mia Lakhani in four and Jonabel Taguibao in three in order to meet Parmis Ahsani in the final.
In the bottom half of the draw, Anna Piercey saw off both Eva Yarell and Georgina Hunter in three sets before a long five-setter against Ahsani sent her to the third/fourth place play-off.
Both the final and third-place matches were resolved in three straight sets. Saskia took gold against Parrmis 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 and Anna beat Jonabel 11-4, 11-6, 11-9.
The consolation saw Emilie Guilloux and Nour Alamine battle in the final with Emile coming out on top in three straight sets (11-7, 11-1, 11-9).
Top seed Ayano Takeda of the USA stole the show from the start of the Over-21s event, storming through to the final after winning her group, beating Clare Styles (Bedfordshire) and Lily Cherry (Dorset) both 3-0.
The bottom half of the draw saw a storming performance from Sussex’s own Christine Wicks. She beat Becky House (Staffordshire) in the quarter-final and Suzy Kalman in the semis to take her place in the final against Ayano.
The final was a fantastic display of attack and defence but ultimately Ayano came through in three straight sets (11-4, 11-4, 11-5)
The third/fourth place play-off between Lily Cherry and Suzy Kalman was the outright game of the event, going the full distance. Suzy took a commanding lead winning the first two sets 11-6 and 15-13 but Lily was having none of it and the third set was a battle all the way 10-10 before Lily took the set 12-10. The fourth was 11-3 and a fifth set was on the way, which wastTaken by Lily 11-9 at the death. A fantastic game all round.
The consolation saw birthday girl Sylwia Pajak and Donna Hammond in the final after overcoming Sandra Yee (Sussex) and Amanda Newton-Worne (Sussex) respectively. A three straight sets final went 11-3, 12-10, 12-10 in favour of Sylwia.
The Open saw 12 full groups of women from 12 different counties take part in an action packed event.
The outcomes of the last 32 set up a number of interesting games including a sister vs sister duel between Isabella and Eleanor Turner-Samuels (Isabella coming out in 4 sets), Mia Lakhani overcoming Anisha Rasan 13-11 in the fifth and Parmis Ahsani overcoming Christine Wicks in five sets that couldn’t get any closer (10-12, 9-11, 14-12, 13-11, 11-7).
Ayano Takedo (USA) beat Parmis to reach the semis in three sets, Mia beat Lily Cherry in four, Anna Piercey beat Jadiene Augustin in four and Saskia Key saw off Isabella Turner-Samuels in four, which set up two very different semi-finals, the first of which say Ayano see off the challenge of Mia in three routine straight sets; 11-2, 11-7 and 11-4.
The other semi-final was between Anna Piercey and Saskia Key. It started fast and furious and Saskia rampaged to a 2-0 lead, 11-3 and 11-1 and things felt like this to would be over in three routine sets. But Anna had very different thoughts and blasted to an 11-7 win to bring us to 2-1.
The next went toe to toe with rallies at full speed as Saskia spun on her forehand and Anna controlled them right back and before you knew it with a 12-10 fourth set we headed into a fifth and final all equal at 2-2.
Both players took their time out, both had experienced coaches in their corner and each alternated to win each point all the way to the end, which was 15-13 to Anna, a hall full of applause and definitely the match of the day.
The final had big shoes to fill but it was plain sailing for Ayano who took the match 3-0 and her second event gold of the day
The Open Consolation was again a fully packed event starting at the last 32. Becky House (Staffordshire) had a great run through to the semi-final by beating Sylwia Pajak (Middlesex) in four sets, Lydia White (Kent) had a full length battle with Sandra Yee (Sussex) before finally winning the fifth 11-9, Maisha Patel (Essex) overcame Naome Fessahaye (Middlesex) in four and Nour Alamine (Middlesex) over cam Jen Watkins (Sussex) in five. Lydia beat Maisha in the final.
Watch Ayano’s blog of the day on YouTube here:
Our all-female initiative looks to encourage participation from female players who are entering the tournament circuit for the first time, looking to finesse their play against other like-minded players or those who for whatever reason haven’t been competing up until now.
With this, the Sportswoman Award was presented to Parrmis Ahsani from Greenhouse who embodied the mission of this event on the day by winning some, losing some and loving every minute.
A huge thank you to all those who made this event possible – Jim Skinner (Sussex Chairman), Brett Holt (Organiser), James Pettigrew (Umpire extraordinaire) and Colin Eley at TTE with support from the Level the Table fund.