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Top seeds Walsh and Bardsley prevail in Cippenham's Junior 4-Star Open

The number one ranked player in England, Ethan Walsh, prevailed in the final of the Cippenham Junior 4-Star Open on Sunday last week.

It was the turn of the older boys in the junior boys’ singles competition and Walsh brought too much to the table for Oliver Maric-Murray, his opponent in the final.

However, that was not the case when the pair had met in the preliminary rounds, with Maric-Murray taking the game in the fifth to huge applause from a strong gathering of spectators at Cippenham.

As a result Maric-Murray took his place in the top half of the draw while top seed Walsh had to fight his way through the bottom half, including a match up against the second seed Amirul Hussain in the quarter-final.

Other seeds also tasted defeat in their group matches but managed to make it through to the competition proper. Fourth seed Oliver Cornish lost to Joseph Hunter, but both players still reached the quarter finals, while seventh seed Mahmood Kelani lost to Nathaniel Saunders.

Cippenham’s Pranav Gudipati beat 15th seed Bertie Kelly before losing in round two to Oliver Cornish having been 2-1 up in that game.

Another seed to fall early on was third seed Sam Chesterman who was beaten by Jake Grayson, losing 12-10 in the fifth game of their second round match.

Felix Thomis, buoyed by his success in the Cadet event the day before enjoyed another good run on Sunday, reaching the semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Walsh.

Cippenham’s Shae Thakker, on the eve of his departure to represent Great Britain’s para team in Costa Rica, had a disappointing day, finishing second in his group before being eliminated by Samuel McIvor in the first round.

As with the boys’ event it was the top ranked player in England who lifted the winner’s trophy in the junior girls’ competition.

Charlotte Bardsley did not have things all her own way, and faced an 8-10 deficit in the fifth game of her semi-final against left-hander Millie Rogrove before turning it around to win an entertaining battle.

Bardsley also defeated cadet winner Tianer Yu in the quarter finals with a more straight-forward 3-0 success. This was Bardsley’s third title at these championships having previously won the event in 2017 and the cadet title in 2016.  

Rebecca Savage made it to the semi-finals before being displaced by Mari Baldwin who went on to lose to Bardsley in the final.

The sixth running of the Junior 4-Star Open proved extremely successful with 220 entries across four competitions keeping the nine tables very busy for two days.

Entries secretary Ken Phillips and referee Steve Smith expertly arranged the event with help from a team of busy umpires and volunteer helpers.

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