Day two of the English Open saw England no. four Hannah Hicks (World ranked no. 598) secure a superb winner over Neha Aggarwal (India) (no. 272) after a drama packed match, a result that means she has qualified for the Competition proper in the Under 21 Girls Singles. After hard-fought 13-11 wins in the first and third games it looked as if the match had finally slipped away from Hannah as she trailed 10-6 in the fifth end. Was she beaten? No way! A series of well-executed points followed including the inevitable “time-out” at 10-9 as called by her opponent’s camp but it was the Bournemouth girl who proved the braver. She eventually won 13-11, 6-11, 13-11, 4-11, 12-10.

She didn’t qualify but didn’t 15 year-old Chloe Whyte (World ranked no. 976) play well. Having lost 2-3 against World no. 541 Niveditha Arumbakkam (India) the England no. 27  had little to lose against Marine Zanardi (France) ranked no. 291 – higher than all English girls except Jo Parker and Kelly Sibley.   Chloe pulled off a sensational victory fighting back from 2-1 down to win 6-11, 11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, a result that may well cause the ETTA Ranking Computer to blow a fuse!

Naomi Owen (Wales) has a wealth of experience of International events and she has made it though to the Competition Proper in the Under 21 Girls Singles. Ranked no. 324 globally she followed her victory over Mary Fuller (England’s up-and-coming no. 16) (11-6, 11-4, 11-7) with a determined display against Laura Perocheau (France – World no. 436) winning 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8.

Image: Chloe Whyte, courtesy

Steve Kerns