Tin-Tin Ho defeats second seed en route to last-16 place at inaugural European Under-21 Championships

Tin-Tin Ho

Tin-Tin Ho - Credit: Archant

Paddington’s Tin-Tin Ho defeated the second seed on her way to the last 16 at the inaugural European Under-21 Championships.

The 18-year-old from Upbrook Mews was ranked 11th of the 54 players who qualified to compete in Sochi, Russia.

Ho started in fine style by winning all three of her group matches in the first stage – 4-0 against Turkey’s Simay Kulakceken (ranked 33rd), 4-1 over Austria’s Karoline Mischek (No31) and 4-0 against Annika Lundstrom of Finland (No53).

She maintained her imperious form in the second group stage, beating 29th-ranked Anna Wegrzyn of Poland and the Slovakian 41st seed Tatiana Kukulkova, both 4-0.

But most impressive was a 4-3 win over Germany’s Nina Mittelham, who was seeded second and had beaten Ho comfortably when their respective countries met in a European Championships qualifier in December.

Ho took a 2-0 lead and, altahough her opponent fought back and won the next three sets, the Englishwoman found her form again to complete a 4-3 (11-3, 11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6) victory.

Her run was ended in the last 16, however, with Belgium’s 19th-ranked Lisa Lung prevailing 4-2 (11-7, 11-1, 6-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7) on her way to winning a bronze medal.

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Lung was also a doubles champion alongside compatriot Eline Loyen. Ho partnered Charlotte Carey of Wales but the ninth-ranked pair were defeated in the first round by Austrian Mischek and Airi Avameri of Estonia, who triumphed 3-2 (5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6).

Ho said: “In general it went quite well, especially the win against Nina, which was quite important to me because I’ve lost to her several times.

“I think my game is getting somewhere. Obviously I’m quite disappointed about my loss in the last 16. She played really well but I just played the wrong tactics I think. I tried my best but it didn’t happen – but I’ll keep learning.”