Fourteen-year old Anna Hursey has won the inaugural WTT Youth Contender trophy in Portugal – scoring a thrilling 3-2 victory in the Under 17 girls singles final.
It was Hursey’s first singles title on the international stage.
Hursey qualified for the final in Vila Real by beating Annett Kaufmann (Germany) in the last 16 round, Julia van Hauwaert (Belgium) in the last eight tie and Mia Griesel (Germany) in the semi-finals.
Her opponent in the final was Elena Zaharia – a 16-year old Romanian ranked 10 in the world at U17 level (15 places ahead of Hursey) and the pre-tournament favourite.
Hursey started well and won the opening two games, before Zaharia fought back to level it 2-2. Zaharia nudged 10-8 ahead in the fifth and final game, before a stunning performance under enormous pressure saw Hursey come through to celebrate a truly famous victory by winning 12-10.
“I’m very happy that I won,” said Anna. “I was super nervous. But I tried and managed not to show that. There were many upsets in this competition as a lot of high-level players and high seeded ones went out quite early. I had a very though match against Mia Griesel at the semi-finals but I managed to go through that.”
“It was an amazing performance – Anna has done everyone proud winning the U17 singles in Portugal,” added Table Tennis Wales National Coach Stephen Jenkins.
178 youth players from 21 countries competed at the WTT Youth Series.
Hursey’s tournament continues, as she is also playing in the U15 championship – where she is ranked number one in Europe.