The first finals of the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships saw two first-time winners at senior level.
The women’s U21 title went to Jasmin Wong, as she beat former women’s singles finalist Mari Baldwin. The bronzes went to Mollie Patterson and Amy Marriott.
In the men’s U21, Connor Green was supreme in his win against Joe Ferguson. The bronzes went to Nahom Asgedom and Joseph Hunter.
U21 Men’s Singles
Connor Green won the men’s U21 at just 16 years old. Green was superb throughout, dropping only one game on his run to the final.
Green beat Joe Ferguson, five years his senior, in the final in a professional display. The final score: 12-10, 11-3, 11-2.
After the match, Green said: “I’m really happy, every match is tough as we all put pressure on ourselves to get through.
“I’ll try to get as far as I can in the men’s singles, but I’ve got a few years still in the U21s so it would be good to win a few more titles.”
Ferguson had to overcome an inspired performance from 19-year-old Nahom Asgedom, coming from behind in the fifth to win. The first four games saw real quality from both sides with some incredible top-spin rallies. Asgedom found himself 6-3 up in the fifth, but Ferguson’s experience came to the fore as he fought back and won the decider. The final score: 11-5, 11-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8.
In his semi-final, Green swept by Joseph Hunter in three: 11-4, 11-5, 11-3.
Earlier, Asgedom upset Louis Price 3-0 to reach the semi-finals. Price was unable to find his rhythm with his normally ferocious forehands missing the mark.
Ferguson booked his place in the semis with a four-set win over Naphong Boonyaprapa. Green and Hunter set a semi-final date with wins over Toby Ellis and Krish Chotai respectively.
Asgedom cruised into the knockout stage with two wins in group one. The 19-year-old beat Olly Cornish 3-0, before coming up against Josh Bruce. Asgedom was aggressive from the start, pinning Bruce to the back of the court, forcing errors and hitting winners.
Despite losing the second game, he was able to get the job done in the fourth, winning it 11-4. After the win, Asgedom said: “I feel good, I think I played well. I tried to follow my tactics and make sure I didn’t go for too much.”
Ellis beat Larry Trumpauskas and Maxim Stevens to get through in group two.
Chotai breezed into the next round, beating Ralph Pattison and Tom Rayner 3-0 in group three.
Group 4 saw Boonyaprapa beat Rhys Davies in four sets and a tight match against Robert Pelc, winning in five.
U21 Women’s Singles
Jasmin Wong won her first senior national title by beating 2020 women’s singles finalist Mari Baldwin, to win the U21 women’s gold medal.
After splitting the first two games, Wong upped her game and was able to push through Baldwin’s tricky spin. The final score: 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7.
Wong almost didn’t reach the final, after she found herself two sets down to Amy Marriott in the semi-final. Marriott had the final in sight at 11-9, 12-10 up. However, Wong knuckled down and completed her comeback, winning the next three 11-5, 11-8, 11-9.
Baldwin overcame last year’s finalist Mollie Patterson in three impressive games: 11-5, 11-7, 11-9
Patterson eased into the semi-finals with a straight-set win over Rebecca Savage, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6.
Wong also made an excellent start as the top four seeds entered at the quarter-final stage, beating Ella Pashley 11-5, 11-7, 12-10.
Marriott secured a solid win over Anna Green in five sets. The final score: 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-6.
Baldwin lost the first set to Anders, but came through in the end 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.
On her Senior Nationals debut, 13-year-old wildcard Sienna Jetha made a dream start with a 3-1 win over Megan Jones. Despite putting up a good fight in her second game, left-handed Scarlett Anders was able beat her 3-1. Anders was pushed in five close games against Jones, winning to top group one. Jones put up a good fight, but Anders was able to come through in the difficult moments.
In group two, Pashley eased though with wins over Anaya Patel and Rachael Iles.
Savage made it out of group three, coming from two sets down to beat Erin Green, after beating Bethany Ellis.
An epic match between Saskia Key and Maliha Baig had to be decided by a fifth set. Baig saved four match points to win the decider 12-10. However it was Marriott who made it out of group four, beating Key in three sets and Baig in four.