11:00AM, Sunday 19 December 2021
Many of the country's top young players competed at the Cippenham Junior 4-Star Open on December 4-5, and the club's first open competition for nearly two years proved a huge success.
The two-day event saw matches played in two age groups, cadets (u15s) on Saturday and Juniors (u19s) on Sunday.
Isaac Kingham upset the odds to take the title in the boys cadets’ competition, defeating Ralph Pattinson.
Initially the matches followed seed order, with the seven of the top eight players winning their preliminary round groups, the exception being Franceso Bonato, who was beaten by Lewis Austin. Austin then lost in the knockout rounds to Zain Hussain who was foiled by Ryan Chung in the very next round.
The third and fourth seeds failed to make it through to the semis with Larry Trumpauskas losing to sixth seed Pattinson. Fourth seed Yiannis Kazantzidis was eliminated by eighth side Kingham.
Kingham must have felt like his name was on the trophy when he staged an extraordinary comeback to beat England number 1 and top seed Jakub Piwowar in the semi-finals. The score stood at two games all with Piwowar 9-3 in the decider before Kingham won eight consecutive points to snatch victory 11-9 and a place in the final. Pattinson progressed to the final by defeating second seed Oliver Maric-Murray, but it was the lower of the two seeded finalists, Kingham, who took the title after a 3-1 win.
Eight of the country's top 12 England ranked players took part in the girls' cadets’ competition, with top seed Maliha Baig defeating Cippenham player Hannag Silcock in the final.
All the seeds made it through their preliminary group matches, but four of the eight fell at the first knock out stage, including Cippenham's Rachael Iles who was beaten by Chui-Que Wong. The sixth seed Naomi Coker was beaten by Cippenham coaching group member, Mia Lakhani and seventh seed Ruby Elliott came up a little short against Jonabel Tahuibao. Emily Cheung was eliminated by Caron Charles.
Wong was the only unseeded player to reach the semi-finals, but they all ran true to ranking, with Baig beating third seed Sienna Jetha and second seed Hannah Silcock eliminating Wong. Silcock briefly held a 10-8 lead in the final against Baig, but that's as good as it got for the Jersey-based player as Baig recovered to win 3-0.
Maidenhead and Slough travellers have long been waiting for the arrival of Crossrail to whisk them quickly into central London.