‘Perfect’ Tin-Tin signs off in style
9th June 2012
Tin-Tin Ho signed off at her final U11-14 National Championships tournament by playing the perfect competition and not dropping a single game on her way to the title.
Also the doubles champion alongside her singles final opponent, Emily Bolton, she made no mistakes against her team-mate to win 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-3).
Ho made the final after a series of comprehensive 3-0 wins in which she held her nerve several times to keep her perfect games record intact.
She won four times in her group without fuss before continuing this form into the knock-out stages by beating Kristelle Brook, Kate Nixon and Letitia McMullan by straight-games scorelines.
Bolton’s path to the final was a similar trapse of success, although she did scrape through in her quarter-final against Amy Humphreys in the game of the day.
After recording four 3-0 wins in her group and a 3-0 win over Amy Hutchings in the first round she had to battle all the way with Humphreys in a five-game thriller. The second seed breathed a sigh of relief at clinching a dramatic 3-2 (9-11, 14-12, 16-14, 9-11, 11-9) win.
She recovered her composure in the semi-final as she easily disposed of Jazmin Johns 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-3).
In the under-14 boys singles final Alec Ward was crowned champion in Walsall after a nail-biting five-game final against Marcus Giles that kept both players on their toes during numerous long topspin rallies.
It was the second seed Ward who saw out the match and held his nerve in the deciding game 3-2 (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5).
Ward was one of the few seeds not to fall in the under-14 boys singles as the knock-out stages produced a number of shocks, and a few heroes, as the afternoon progressed.
Ward had avoided any shocks after steady victories over his opponents. He won his three groups games comfortably before beating Omar Khassal (3-1), Hugo Pang (3-0) and the impressive James Garrod (3-1) to reach the final.
Giles also won his group after three 3-0 wins before winning his knock-out games against Liam Grant (3-1), Matthew Leete (3-0) and Billy Forster (3-1).
Garrod caused one of the shocks of the day by beating Luke Savill 3-1 (5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 13-11). He saved three game points in the fourth before taking his first match point to seal a great win. The other ‘cupset’ provider was Billy Forster who beat Tom Jarvis 3-2 (11-9, 9-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-4) in their frantic quarter-final.
Jane Li was triumphant in the under-13s girls singles title after recording a ‘perfect’ tournament – just as Tin-Tin had done earlier.
Her final win against defender Zahna Hall was well-controlled by the top seed who came through comfortably 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-9) to seal the match and the trophy.
Li and Hall reached the final through very different routes with Li winning her three knock-out matches 3-0 while Hall fought every step of the way to get there with two consecutive 3-2 victories.
Both won all their group games but Li raced through the second stage with wins over Ffion Myers, Imogen Barber and Dominique Williams. Hall meanwhile, had to beat Shreya Mehta (3-0) and then Kate Cheer 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8) and Kate Nixon 3-2 (4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8).
Possibly one of the most impressive players of the day, Hugo Pang, demonstrated clinical efficiency in the final of the under-13 boys singles to defeat Luke Savill and take home the deserved title after an excellent day’s play.
Pang was vicious in attack with clean-cut forehands and backhands particularly prominent during his 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-9) triumph.
Savill had quelled his under-14s disappointment to reach the final in the under-13s with a series of consummate performances. He had five straight 3-0 victories before Tom Jarvis became the first player to take a game off him in the semi-final.
However, Savill still prevailed 3-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8) against a player who had been in fantastic form.
Pang, on the other hand, found his route to the final steadily become harder with each passing knock-out round. He recorded three 3-0 wins in his group and another against Carl Baldry in the first round but then began to fight hard.
After his 3-1 win against Alex Ramsden in the quarter-final he had to concentrate all the way in a five-game come-back victory against Josh Bennett. Bennett had led 2-0 (11-5, 11-9) before Pang fought back 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 to take his place in the last match.
Tin-Tin Ho and Emily Bolton brushed all their opponents aside as they deservedly took home the under-14 girl’s doubles title.
Sometimes being heavy favourites before the tournament can bring added pressure and complacency but none of this was apparent as the pair waltzed their way to the final with successive 3-0 victories over Imogen Barber/Grace Potter and Kate Nixon/Kate Cheer.
In the final they met Letitia McMullan and Amy Humphreys, who had earlier come through successive five-game battles in their respective quarter and semi-finals. They first beat Imogen Scarles and Amy Blagborough before scraping past Jane Li and Denise Payet.
The final again was a demonstration of Tin-Tin and Emily’s excellence. Their 3-1 win was generally comfortable, although they did let their concentration slip for the first time in the tournament when they led 6-0 in game two only to lose it 11-8.
In the boy’s doubles it took an epic five-game encounter between Marcus Giles, Hugo Pang, Tom Jarvis and Daniel McTiernan for the title to finally be decided.
Giles and Pang reached the final by dropping only one game in their two matches while Jarvis and McTiernan had to battle past the second seeds Luke Savill and Josh Bennett in their semi-final to reach the last stage. However, Jarvis and McTiernan blew past the second favourites 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-6).
That semi-final was a fantastic exhibition of tense table tennis with all of the four games at least going to nine. In the end Jarvis and McTiernan won 3-1 (11-9, 12-14, 11-9, 13-11).
Meeting Giles and Pang in the final turned out to produce a similar affair during a topsy-turvey match. Jarvis and McTiernan started the brighter to take the first game 11-8 but Giles and Pang fought back to level 13-11. When Jarvis and McTiernan took game three 12-10 it looked pivotal but their opponents immediately responded with an 11-2 demolition job of game four.
The title was therefore decided in the fifth game, which Giles and Pang won 11-8 despite nerves fraying between the four competitors.
U11-14 Nationals Day One Results:
Alec Ward bt Marcus Giles 3-2 (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Emily Bolton 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-3)
Hugo Pang bt Luke Savill 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-9)
Jane Li bt Zahna Hall 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-9)
Under-14 Boys Doubles:
Giles/Pang bt Jarvis/McTiernan 3-2 (8-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-8)
Under-14 Girls Doubles:
Ho/Bolton bt McMullan/Humphreys 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6)