It was third time lucky for Chesterfield’s Liam Pitchford, as he finally sealed the men’s singles title at the English Senior Table Tennis Championships.
The 19-year-old lost in the 2010 final to Andrew Baggaley, and was defeated last year by Paul Drinkhall at Ponds Forge.
But Pitchford overcame his demons and beat four-time national champion Drinkhall 4-2 (8-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9) after six impressive sets.
The two train regularly together with England, and Pitchford said: “We know each other’s games. Every match is difficult, but I’m just happy to have finally won one.
“He blew me out of the water in the third game with some ridiculous shots.
“After that I just said to myself ‘look, you’ve just got to try something different.’
“I started putting more topspin on my serves, waiting for him to flick and then playing down the lines – luckily it worked.”
Pitchford, who had been out with a hip injury over Christmas, then teamed up with beaten finalist Drinkhall to win the men’s doubles title.
Reigning women’s singles champion Kelly Sibley was able to defend her crown from 2012 by defeating Joanna Parker 4-3.