Nathan Watson and Jacqui Wood retained their singles crowns at the Alpine Motel Marlborough closed table tennis championships on Saturday.
In a repeat of the 2018 final, Nathan beat Alex Kennedy 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 in another high-quality encounter between these two.
Both played some superb attacking shots, Alex hitting a string of winners to level the games scores at 2-2 before Nathan turned on the power in the next two games to take the match.
Nathan had a tough match in the semi-final against Matthias Krönert who pushed, chopped and hit to square up at two sets all before Nathan again found another gear to prevail 11-3, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8.
Alex reached the final with a win over Matt Millar. In the quarter finals, Alex had a great match with Matt Pigou, taking it
11-8, 10-12, 15-17, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 with both players firing forehands at each other.
The two singles finalists combined to win the men’s doubles final 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 over Matthias and Matt Pigou.
Jacqui beat her daughter Vanessa Wood-Lin in the women’s final 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5. Jacqui was able to score points with powerful topspin but the left-handed Vanessa did well to win the second set with some cross-court forehand winners.
The mother/daughter combination, who reached the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the South Island champs last week, beat Kylie Hurren and Megan Stratford 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 in the women’s doubles final.
Alex and Vanessa beat Jason Kennedy and Jacqui 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12 in the final of the mixed doubles.
In the final of the under-21 singles, Alex beat Vanessa 11-6, 11-5, 11-5.
In the 22-39 grade, Nathan beat Matthias in four sets in the final.
Matt Millar dominated the over-40 grade, winning three titles. In the men’s singles final he beat Jason Kennedy in straight sets. The two singles finalists then combined for a win in the open doubles over Kylie and Kristin Ruwhiu.
His third title was gained when he paired with Kylie for a 13-11, 11-13, 11-5, 9-11, 15-13 win over Jason and Kristin.
Kylie took the women’s singles title from Marion Wood.
Second seed, Warren Haszard, beat top-ranked Ken Thompsett in the final of the over-50 singles while Malcolm Honour beat Peter Welsh 11-9, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4 in the final of the over-60s.
Other titles decided:
Men’s Singles Plate: Peter Welsh bt Malcolm Honour 12-14, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8. Under-21 Open Doubles: Alex Kennedy/Josh Sim bt Vanessa Wood-Lin/Joseph Ruwhiu 12-10, 11-3, 12-10. 22-39 Doubles: Matthias Krönert/Matt Pigou bt Nathan Watson/Jacqui Wood 2-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7. Over-50 Doubles: Warren Haszard/Malcolm Honour bt Peter Cowdrey/Peter Welsh 11-8, 11-9,11-5. Over-60 Doubles: Warren Haszard/Malcolm Honour bt Steve Rowsell/Peter Wells 11-6, 11-6, 11-8.
Meanwhile Jacqui Wood, Vanessa Wood-Lin and Warren Haszard competed in the South island individual championships in Invercargill the previous weekend, bringing back 11 medals – seven gold and four silver.
Jacqui was in a tough qualifying group in the women’s singles, losing to Canterbury’s Jianyi Zhou who went on to win the title.
Jacqui combined with men’s singles winner Hongyi Li in the mixed doubles, where they reached the final, then she paired with Southland’s Shelley Neal in the over-30 combined doubles and the B grade women’s doubles, winning both titles. Her third title came in the over-30 mixed doubles when she paired with Southland’s Jeremy Gibson for a win over the top seeds.
Jacqui lost close matches to Shelley, a member of the NZ squad, in the finals of the over-30 and B grade singles.
Warren won gold medals in the D grade doubles, the over-60 men’s doubles and the C grade doubles, as well as reaching the final of the over-60 mixed doubles.
Vanessa won the under-15 girls’ doubles with regular partner, Lydia Mercer-Beumelberg from Canterbury. She qualified for post-section play in the under-15 girls’ singles but lost to second-seeded Lydia in five sets.
Junior titles decided
The Marlborough Junior Closed table tennis championships were played over the last two weeks with many close matches from some talented youngsters.
Theo Sandford-Jury won the under-13 singles, Rory Osborne took out the under-15 boys and under-18 finals while Vanessa Wood-Lin claimed the under-18 girls title.