Matthew Daish – National School Champion!
Matthew Daish has become the new Under-11 ESTTA champion! The 11-year-old beat James Smith (seeded 1st) in the fifth to win the prestigious title of ‘National Champion’.
Matthew (whose progress was streamed live on the New Milton TTC site) started the day at 9am by beating his first opponent Harry Nicholls in straight games: 11-6 11-8 11-6. His second opponent in the group stages was Aalhad Kulkarni who again he beat in straight games: 11-6 11-2 11-6. Matthew’s next opponent was Ben Worley who was a little tougher than the last two but Matthew struggled and achieved another win: 11-9 11-8 14-12.
After an hour and a half wait Matthew returned to the stage to face his next opponent Gruff Mattias who was standing in for no-show Louis Simmons. Daish thrashed Mattias: 11-4 11-5 11-2. Matthew’s last opponent in the group stage was Timothy Kilbey. Matthew struggled in the first game but came back and beat Kilbey: 11-8 11-2 11-5.
Almost two hours passed till Matthew was called up for his quarter- finals match against Amir Hussan. Again, Matthew struggled in the first game, lost the second and the third but managed to come back to win fourth and fifth: 13-11 3-11 6-11 11-5 11-1.
On to the semi-finals and Matthew’s opponent was 11 year old Joey Chen who was playing well in his matches that day. Joey though couldn’t stand up against Daish resulting in another 3-0 win for Matthew beating Chen: 11-8 11-9 11-5.
4pm heralded the Under 11 final: Matthew Daish vs. number one seed James Smith and one spectacular final to come! Smash after smash Matthew ending up winning a tight first game. He held on but couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost the next two games which left Matthew 2-1 down. In the fourth (and possibly last game for Matthew) the opponent called “time out” though winning 13-12. In a dramatic turn of events following the” time out” Matthew persevered under extreme pressure and came back to win the fourth 15-13. The fifth and final game came down to the wire with scores even at 10-10. Smith tried to loop the ball past Matthews backhand but failed with the ball flying over the edge of the table putting Matthew in the lead. Matthew won the next point to seal the victory and the title of National Champion.
Final scores: 11-9 0-11 6-11 15-13 12-10
Katie Holt and Daisy Kennard also participated in the National Tournament.
Katie won 2 and lost 2 in the group and only just missed out going through on countback as two players won 2 lost 2. She had good wins against Katie Shephard 3-2 and Anna Raymakers 3-1.
Daisy Kennard in the U16 girls battled hard in all her matches and played extremely well.