Chris Doran is presented with the overall series champion's trophy by Table Tennis England Board member Kelly Skeggs

Doran joins Le Fevre in retaining title

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Mike O’Driscoll narrowly failed to pull off the tournament victory that would have given him the overall men’s singles title as the Grand Prix season came to an end in Redbridge, London.

The veteran was defeated by Gavin Rumgay in the final – the victory claiming his 26th Grand Prix title, which meant Chris Doran, absent injured from this event, kept hold of his champion’s trophy.

Karina Le Fevre retained the women’s title – she was not in London having built up enough points to ensure she could not be caught.

The Under-21, Veteran and Open Doubles titles, both on the day and overall, were also decided.

Click here to see all the final standings on our Grand Prix home page

Men’s Singles

Gavin Rumgay and Mike O’Driscoll with Kelly Skeggs

There was to be no photo finish to the season as Mike O’Driscoll fell one win short of nicking the overall title from Chris Doran’s grasp.

With Doran sporting a pair of crutches as he recovers from a foot operation and unable to influence anything, O’Driscoll knew that if he won the London title, he would add the overall crown by just half a point.

It also meant a £735 differential between first and second-placed prizemoney if the left-hander could overcome seedings and defeat Gavin Rumgay as the top two met in the final.

In the event, it was something of an anti-climax as Rumgay took a grip on proceedings from the start and never let go, winning 3-0 (8, 4, 6) to notch his first singles Grand Prix victory since Bristol 2014/15 and his 26th overall.

Both men had relatively straightforward paths to the final, Rumgay beating Yury Zhelyabouskiy, Shayan Siraj and Tibor Kadar in three and then, in the semis, Romain Gaspar in four (-9, 8, 3, 4).

O’Driscoll saw off Joe Walker and Ho Yin Lee in three, Victor Guang Shi in four and then Sam Mabey in three in the semi-finals.

So, Doran retained his overall title ahead of O’Driscoll, whose quarter-final victim Guang Shi was third.

O’Driscoll said:

The final was disappointing – normally we have a pretty good match. He started well and I never felt I could get into it, every game I was four or five points down. He was sharper and I was a bit below par.

But I played well up to the final and it’s been a good season overall. In fairness, Chris probably deserves it as he won more tournaments.

Rumgay, who is off to the North Korea Open next week, added:

We practise a lot together and I’ve got a lot of respect for him – what he’s doing at his age is remarkable. I knew I had to start well.

Overall final positions: 1 Chris Doran, 2 Mike O’Driscoll, 3 Victor Guang Shi, 4 Niall Cameron, 5 Callum Evans

Women’s Singles

Elena Todirca (left) and Melinda Ciurcui

Top seed Melinda Ciurcui of Spain won 3-0 (5, 2, 8) against Elena Todirca to take the title on the day.

Ciurcui came through every knockout round in three straight, ending the hopes of Hannah Winfield, Katya Manavska and Viktorija Stirbyte on the way to the final.

Todirca overcame the Ianau sisters in the last 16 and quarter-finals – Patricia in three and Natalia in four respectively – and then had a marathon semi-final against Jacintha De Hoop from the Netherlands, eventually taking it 3-2 (12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10).

Overall, no one playing could have caught Karina Le Fevre, who successfully defended her title. Mollie Patterson confirmed second by reaching the quarter-finals – where she lost to De Hoop 3-2 (11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7). Emily Bolton and Yolanda King could not advance on third and fourth as they went out in the last 16.

Overall final positions: 1 Karina Le Fevre, 2 Mollie Patterson, 3 Emily Bolton, 4 Yolanda King, 5= Raquel Sao Pedro, Beth Richards

Under-21 Men’s Singles

Callum Evans (left) and Alex Gillen

Callum Evans came all the way back from 2-0 down as the last match of the day went to a decider.

The Welshman defeated Ireland’s Alex Gillen 3-2 (4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5).

Evans took a while to shake off Shayan Siraj in the semi-finals, eventually going through 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7). In the other semi, Gillen overcame Matthew Daish 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-8).

Gillen had difficult moments of his own, having come through the last 16 when he had to fight back from 2-1 down to get past Martin Johnson 3-2 (11-8, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-6). That followed a 3-2 (11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9) defeat of Zak Cantor in the first round.

Overall, James Hobson had already won the title but there was movement in the other prize places. Evans climbed above Gabriel Achampong in second, both players having qualified today. Olly Tyndall, who reached the quarters, rose above Cantor into fourth.

Overall final positions: 1 James Hobson, 2 Callum Evans, 3 Gabriel Achampong, 4 Olly Tyndall, 5 Zak Cantor

Under-21 Women’s Singles

Runner-up Kornelia Jonsson (left) and winner Mollie Patterson

It was a double celebration for Mollie Patterson as she rubber-stamped her overall title by also claiming the event prize.

The Norfolk player could not be caught anyway, but she put a gloss on her championship by beating Kornelia Jonsson of Sweden 3-1 (11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7).

Both players had challenges on the way to the final, Patterson getting past another Swedish player, Alva Themner, 3-2 (8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8) in the quarter-finals and Jonsson overcoming a third Swede – Nomin Baasan – in the semi-finals by a 3-2 (11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8) margin.

Overall final positions: 1 Mollie Patterson, 2 Beth Richards, 3 Danielle Kelly, 4 Raquel Sao Pedro, 5 Grace Clement

Veterans’ Singles

Winner Daryl Strong (left) and runner-up Richard Jermyn

Daryl Strong beat Richard Jermyn 3-0 (6, 10, 6) in the final to take the title on the day.

Jermyn came through his semi-final in three against Rory Scott (2, 1, 9) while strong needed four Martin Smith (-9, 5, 5, 9).

Scott’s semi-final defeat made no difference to the destination of the overall title, which he had already claimed.

Overall final positions: 1 Rory Scott, 2 Ryan Stockham, 3 Kyan Chin, 4 Elroy Edwards, 5 Helmuth Osborne

Open Doubles

Melinda Ciurcui and Tibor Kadar

Melinda Ciurcui added the doubles title to her singles victory on the day as, in partnership with Tibor Kadar, they defeated Dutch pair Sanne & Jacintha De Hoop 3-0 (12-10, 11-7, 11-6) in the final.

Both pairs came through semi-finals in four – the De Hoops defeating Chris Cockburn & Tony Zeqiri 11-7, 14-12, 10-12, 11-3 and Kadar & Ciurcui beating Kieran Smith & Phil Lenormand 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8)

Smith & Lenormand had earlier overcome Gavin Rumgay & Boris Zhokov 3-2 (11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).

No overall prizes were awarded as no players had played enough tournaments to qualify.

Two more presentations were made on the day – to four players who competed at all eight Grands Prix this season and to the player of the weekend:

Four players who competed at all eight main Grand Prix events this season (from left) Yury Zhelyabouskiy, Joseph Goss, Rory Scott and Fraser Riley with Kelly Skeggs
Player of the weekend Romain Gaspar

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