Shock eliminations and exciting matches as country's best juniors clash

Rhys Davies

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There were shock eliminations and exciting matches as the country's best juniors returned to competitive action in the 4-Star Open in Cippenham earlier this month.

A host of highly ranked players took part in the event and shockwaves were sent through the draw when top seed and England number three Naphong Boonyaprapa was beaten by Yiannis Kazantzidis, ranked 112 places lower, however, Boonvaprapa recovered to finish second and reach the knockouts. The other top seven seeds all progressed without a mishap, but Kazantzidis' early form petered out as he lost to Oliver Maric-Murray in the knockouts, who in turn lost in the next round to Ralph Pattinson.

Larry Trumpauskas eased past Pattinson in their quarter final and then beat third seed Nahom Golton, having only progressed to the knockout stages as a runner-up.

In round two, David Gofton, the fifth seed, was eliminated by Daniel Goltom, who then fell to the impressive Trumpauskas.

Oliver Cornish was displaced by top seed Boonyaprapa in the fourth round, while Harry Yip also lost to David Hay.

Hay however, met his match in Nahom Goltom in the quarter finals while a resurgent Boonyaprapa beat sixth seed Bertie Kelly to reach the semi-finals.

Second seed Rhys Davies was too good for seventh seed Joshua Bruce and then came from two games down to beat Boonyaprapa 3-2 with the deciding game settled 11-9. Davies then went on to beat Trumpauskas 3-1 in the final having played each other in their preliminary round groups.

Of the Cippenham players, Shae Thakker won his group but was eliminated at the first knock out stage by the higher ranked Barney Mindlin, while William Saint, runner-up in his group, nearly pulled off a sensational result before losing 3-2 to eventual finalist Trumpauskas.

The tournament concluded with a victory for Tianer Yu, who failed to register in time and was only allowed into the draw following the withdrawal of the fourth seed.

Second seed Samadhi Udamulla was defeated in her group by Emily Flynn and the shocks continued to flood in during the knockout rounds.

Eighth seed Abbie Hurley lost her first-round match to Eva Eccles, who in turn was beaten in the next round by Jodie Morris. Sixth seed Ruby Elliot was another first round faller, beaten by Jyothi Ghanta, who lost to Evelyn Pace in the next round. Pace carved her way through to the final, beating Isabeele Lacorte and Jodie Morris in the quarter final and semi-final, however, the final was one step too far for the unseeded Pace as Yu won comfortably.

Two Cippenham players were pitched against each other in the groups, with Hannah Silcock beating Rachael Iles in a titanic struggle that went to deuce in the fifth game. Both players had match points before Silcock took the match 12-10. In the knockout stages Silcock beat third seed Saskia Key before becoming one of Yu's victims. Iles was eliminated by Scarlett Anders while Anna Piercey finished third in her group.

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