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English National U10-13 Championships - 8-9 June 2024

Sai Prasanna Kumar is England's new Under-10 Boys' Singles champion. The 10-years old Cippenham protege, who lives within walking distance of the Club, enhanced his growing reputation still further by adding his first national title to an array of other dazzling performances during a season when he became by far the youngest-ever winner of the singles title at the Maidenhead Closed Championships.

Sai cruised through his preliminary round group in the event at Wolverhampton, winning his four matches with ease. He then had another easy win in the quarter-final before facing his stiffest test in the semis. Sai dropped his only games of the event in this match, the second and fourth, in a tight match against Jayden Chen, before demolishing his final opponent, Daniel Pavia, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8, to clinch the coveted national title.

One day earlier, Sai had nearly caused an upset in the older Under-11 singles competition. He dropped just two games in his four matches to ease through the preliminary group and then dispatched both opponents in the first round and quarter-final 3-0. However, the semi-final was a step too far as Li Hao Chen defeated the Cippenham youngster 11-8 in the fifth game to deny Sai a place in the final.

Sai is the third Cippenham player to win the national under-10 singles title. Bradley Evans was the first, back in 1998-9, and then his brother Gavin went on to win the same age-group event a staggering three times in a row from 2000-1 to 2002-3. Gavin later went on to become European champion at both under-12 and under-15 level and is currently coach of the England men's team.

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