Tom Jarvis reflected on the toughest match of his career as he successfully defended his under 21 singles title at the PG Mutual National Championships.
The Skegness 17-year-old faced his doubles partner Helshan Weerasinghe in a repeat of last year’s final.
His opponent recently beat England number two Liam Pitchford in a tournament in Sweden, and was within two points of knocking Pitchford’s fellow Olympian Paul Drinkhall out of the men’s singles here.
It went all the way to the wire before Jarvis came through 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8).
“I think that’s the toughest match I’ve ever had to fight through in my life,” said Jarvis, who trains full time in Sweden.
“He’s been in really good form in the last few weeks, so I knew I would have to play my best and do something special.
“Last year was amazing to win but it means a lot more this time.”
Jarvis was knocked out of the men’s singles in the last 16, defeated 4-2 (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5) by number four seed David McBeath.
Jarvis had reached the semi-finals last year.
In the men’s doubles, Jarvis and Weerasinghe beat number two seeds Sam Walker and McBeath 3-1 (11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6) in the quarter-finals, but were then beaten in the semis, going down 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-4) to Chris Doran and Mike O’Driscoll.
In the mixed doubles, Jarvis and Maria Tsaptsinos were edged out in the quarter-finals by Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Danny Reed and Kelly Sibley, 14-12 in a deciding fifth set.
“I played Dave in the singles, it was a tough draw,” said Jarvis.
“I felt good and I had a 2-1 lead but he found the tactics and the right way to play and it was difficult for me.
“Me and Helshan really played well in that match against Sam and David, but our intensity wasn’t the same in the semi-finals.”