Denise Payet made up for her under-13 quarter-final disappointment on Saturday by comprehensively winning both the under-12s and the under-11s title – dropping just one game in the process of each.
She waltzed through her under-12s group with ease before also recording 3-0 victories over Molly Hancock and Holly Williams in the knock-out stages. The only girl to take a game off her was Tiana Dennison in the semi-final when she won the first 11-9 before Payet fought back.
Dennison had mounted her own comeback victory in the previous round when she held her nerve in a tight quarter-final win against Imogen Scarles 3-2 (9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9).
Payet’s final opponent, Bhavika Mistry, also progressed to the final with ease, dropping a mere three games en-route to meeting the number one seed. Particularly impressive was her 3-0 (13-11, 11-5, 11-6) demolition of Amy Blagbrough in the semi-final where Mistry’s powerful attacking strokes blew Blagbrough away.
Blagbrough herself had dreams of success after knocking-out the second seed, Kate Cheer, in the quarter-final 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7).
The final was very one-sided with Mistry’s attacking prowess nullified by Payet’s control of spin and power as she strolled to the title 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-6).
Payet then doubled up her success in the under-11s with an entertaining 3-1 victory against Dennison.
The number one seed had won all of her previous matches 3-0 but Dennison was a different matter in the final after she had beaten Mistry 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 15-13) in the semi-final.
It seemed the favourite would again have it her own way when she won the first game 11-7 but Dennison fought back to level at 1-1 with an 11-8 game. Once again Dennison was in control in game three at 8-4 up but Payet recovered to win it 11-9.
She then sealed the title in the fourth game with an 11-8 game, which was all-but assured when she raced into a nerve-steadying 6-0 lead.
The under-12 boys singles was a similar story to the under-12 girls as Alex Ramsden, also the top seed, proved dominant throughout proceedings on his way to the title.
He had four 3-0 group wins before beating the impressive Artur Caltabiano 3-1 in the first round. Caltabiano can consider himself unlucky to have met Ramsden so early in the competition.
Further victories over Ben Foster (3-1) and Matthew Daish (3-0) secured Ramsden a final spot where he met surprise finalist Olly Tyndall.
Tyndall didn’t put a foot wrong in his group or early-round fixtures where he easily beat Max Webster and Harry Dai. However, in the semi-final against Ethan Walsh he found himself in a huge battle of attrition until he eventually came through 3-2 (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6).
In the final Ramsden was outstanding. Quick to everything on the table, he consistently picked up shots early and whipped them low over the net giving Tyndall no chance as he flew into a 2-0 (11-3, 11-3) lead. Although Tyndall fought back in the third to lead 9-8, a superb defensive point from Ramsden was finished off with counter-attacking forehands as he took his third game 11-9.
The under-11 boys competition was won by the exceptional Harry Dai who never looked like taking anything less than the title.
He recorded five consecutive 3-0 victories to reach the semi-final stage where he met the challenging Jonathan McMullan. However, McMullan had no answer to the quick-wristed Dai who stormed into a 2-0 lead with 11-2 and 11-4 games. McMullan composed himself to sneak the third game 12-10 but fell short in the fourth as Dai sealed the win with an 11-5 game.
The final was between second seed Dai and top seed James Smith who had comfortably reached the final after three 3-0 group wins and three 3-1 knock-out round triumphs.
This time, however, Smith found the early going hard against Dai who again raced 1-0 ahead with an 11-5 game. The next game was a dramatic, and crucial, game-changer. Smith fought back to lead 10-5 but Dai powered back into a 12-11 lead when he called a timeout.
It worked as he sealed the game next point and a 2-0 lead.
The reverse happened in game three as Dai led 10-4 only to see Smith rally to again level at 10-10 – saving six match points. Despite this fightback Dai still recovered to claim the game 13-11. The deserved champion for sure but it was a bitter pill for Smith who saw the final point take a wicked deflection off the net.
U11-14 Nationals Day Two Results:
Alex Ramsden bt Olly Tyndall 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-9)
Denise Payet bt Bhavika Mistry 3-0
Harry Dai bt James Smith 3-0 (11-5, 13-11, 13-11)
Denise Payet bt Tiana Dennison 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8)
For a full list of U11-14 National Championship results click here
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