Darius Knight and Tin-Tin Ho were the English stars at the Finlandia Open (December 5-8, 2013) after taking on a mix of the world’s best players in Helsinki.

Knight, the third seed in Finland, finished in his expected position but he had to fight hard before he secured a place on the podium.

An early defeat to Russian Vildan Gadiev (WR 470), who eventually finished seventh, halted his progress but he was boosted by a great run of form at the end of the tournament to remain unbeaten and secure third spot.

His run included a 4-1 victory over compatriot Chris Doran, who himself had just beaten the top seed Jan Zibrat (SLO, 280) 4-3 (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8), before victories over Simon Arvidsson (SWE, 360), Michael Tauber (ISR, 676), Viktor Brodd (SWE, 339) and finally Benedek Olah (FIN, 355) 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7) completed his draw.

Fifteen-year-old Tin-Tin meanwhile, made great strides in the Women’s Singles as she finished as the highest Brit in tenth place, narrowly beating Wales’ Charlotte Carey to the high finish.

The Paddington girl began well with wins over Kristin Eng (NOR, 1274), Daniela Moskovits (SWE, 469) and Sara De Nutte (LUX, 241) but a defeat to Bulgarian Sibel Remzi (423) 4-3 (9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 4-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-5) gave her a tough draw against top seed Antonina Savelyeva (RUS, 216).

She was defeated by the Russian but a 4-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8) win over Carey (308) helped her to an eventual 10th place finish, despite a tight final defeat to Poulomi Ghatak (IND, 276) 4-3 (10-12, 11-8, 11-1, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-4).

Full results from the 2013 Finlandia Open can be found here. including all the English competitors. The final finishing positions can be seen here.

Written by Russell Moore (December 13, 2013)