England’s top young players will converge upon Grantham College this weekend (January 11-12, 2014) for the 2013/14 National Junior Masters – one of the toughest competitions on the domestic circuit.
The best 12 boys and girls will face each other in a round-robin contest to decide who is the ‘Master’ of the under-18 age group from across the country.
Skegness star Tom Jarvis, who last week was crowned the Cadet Masters Champion, will be hoping to complete an unprecedented double when he returns to the table in his home county of Lincolnshire.
The 14-year-old won the Cadet Masters title in dramatic fashion in Burton when he finished with the best record of three players who were tied on nine wins apiece. Jarvis, who is seeded sixth for the Junior Masters, had a better head-to-head record against both of his rivals Hugo Pang and Alex Ramsden following a hard-fought Boys’ Singles.
The main hurdles for the English No. 1 cadet will be top seed and National Junior Champion Helshan Weerasinghe as well as 2012/13 runner-up Igor Morais, who will be hoping to go one better in Grantham this year.
The Girls’ Singles also looks likely to be a closely contested competition with long-term table rivals Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos once again going head-to-head for the title.
Last year it was Tin-Tin, the top seed from Paddington, who emerged victorious, winning all her matches including a 3-0 win over Tsaptsinos, en route to her first Junior Masters crown.
However, the tables have been turned at the start of the 2013/14 season as not only did second seed Tsaptsinos win the School Games title in Sheffield (defeating Tin-Tin’s victor Yuki Wat in the final), but she also took the National Junior Girls’ Singles title in Preston with a 3-1 (15-13, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6) win in the final.
Another one to watch out for in Grantham could be Emma Torkington who, if fully fit, could be able to spring a number of surprises during the two-day event in Lincolnshire.
The National Junior Masters take place at Grantham College, Stonebridge Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 9AP on January 11-12th.
Play commences at 11.30 on Saturday and 09.30 Sunday. The venue will be open and available for practice on 10.00 on Saturday.
For more details (including timings), players, coaches and parents are encouraged to refer to the ‘2013/14 Junior masters selection criteria’ document on the ETTA website.
Any player that withdraws before the competition starts should please notify Diccon Gray (Tel: 07970 575285) at their earliest convenience to allow time to call up replacements.
Written by Russell Moore (January 9, 2014)