A tale of two sisters

Serene and Soraya Rahmani Walentynska win doubles gold at the Mark Bates Ltd Nationals.

The London Academy sisters took home the U13 Doubles title with a tight 5-set win over their schoolmate Assil Sarri, playing with one of last year’s champions, Alyssa Nguyen.

In the Semi-finals they had a superb win over the highly ranked girls from Archway, Hannah Saunders and Amber Louise Lemmon. Assil and her team-mate also took out strong opponenets in the form of Maisha Patel and Violet-Lily Marquis.

The final swung both ways with Serene and Soraya having to come back from a 1-2 deficit to take the title. They showed nerves of steel in the fourth set, saving 4 match points in a row before forcing the match to a decider. They then took the final set 11-9 to win by the narrowest of margins.

In the singles both girls did extremely well against the best opposition the country has to offer. Soraya, competing in the U13 girls alongside Assil and Ruby Gandi Bamidele, won her group and made it all the way to the final, beating the top ranked player, Hannah Saunders, on the way.

In the final she came up against the much improved Violet-Lily Marquis and lost in three sets to take the silver medal.

Serene played in the girls U11 competition alongside her schoolmate Naomi Adeji. She qualified by coming second in her group and then won her quarter final match. This brought her face to face with Cindy Xiao where a three set loss in the semi-finals ended her tournament.

In the U11 Boys tournament, Zack Sarri fought his way to the quarter-finals before going out in three set to World Number 1, Dimitar Dimitrov.