Several new champions are set to be crowned at the PG Mutual Cadet & Junior National Championships this weekend.
With last year’s singles champions no longer eligible in the same age groups – or, in the case of Denise Payet, on England duty at the World Team Championships – it opens up a real opportunity for players to get their names on a trophy for the first time.
Shayan Siraj and Joe Clark lead the seedings in the Junior Boys, with both aiming to go further than last year’s quarter-final appearances. If Siraj were to win, it would be a second singles national title having won the Under-14s in 2015, but Clark has yet to taste singles glory.
The same could not be said of third seed Ethan Walsh, who has won several age groups previously, including the Cadet Boys last year. Fourth seed James Smith has reached five singles finals down the years without winning one, though he does have several doubles titles to his name.
Charlotte Bardsley leads the Junior Girls’ seedings, ahead of Mollie Patterson, Megan Gidney and Jasmin Wong. She is in good form, having won the Butterfly Schools title last week, and is no stranger to winning national titles – including the Cadet Girls’ Singles last year.
Patterson is a doubles champion but has yet to win a singles event, and the same is true of Gidney, who was defeated in both the Cadet and Junior singles finals last time.
Wong is also top seed in the Cadet Girls and will have high hopes of adding to singles titles she has won at U11, U12 and U13 levels. Her closest rivals in the seedings for the younger age group are Darcie Proud, Cadet National Cup champion Ruby Chan, and Gemma Kerr.
In the Cadet Boys, Amirul Hussain is the top seed and looking to go one better than last time, when he was defeated by Ethan Walsh in the final. Should he win, it would add to the Cadet National Cup title he won last month.
He will face a challenge from second seed Jamie Liu – both have won singles titles at younger age groups – and third and fourth seeds Josh Weatherby and Naphong Boonyaprapa.
The action gets under way at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton on Saturday, with Cadet Boys’ and Girls’ Doubles and Junior Boys’, Girls’ and Mixed Doubles also on the agenda.
Click here to visit the event homepage, where you will be able to find the latest results and details of live streaming during the event.