Pablo Ramirez Rioja had to dig very deep before lifting his first national table tennis title.

The Stevenage teen had to save match points in his quarter-final clash before going on to win the U13 boys' single crown at the National Championships in Wolverhampton.

The 13-year-old, who goes to the Nobel School and is a member of the Table Tennis England Futures squad, won his group with ease and made it safely through his last 16 tie.

He took on Zihan Lin in the quarter-finals and faced a crisis when he trailed by two games in the best-of-five clash.

But he dug in, using all of his experience from the international circuit, to save match points in both the third and fourth games before eventually winning 6-11 5-11 12-10 14-12 11-8.

His semi-final against fourth seed Aarav Parihar was also dramatic, Ramirez Rioja winning a lengthy first game but twice seeing his opponent fight back to level the score before the top seed won it in the fifth set, 18-16 9-11 11-8 7-11 11-6.

He faced Teagan Khazal from London in the final and even though his opponent was not among the top eight seeds, he is a previous U10 and U11 national champion.

It was another tight encounter but this time Ramirez Rioja earned the edge after taking the first game 13-11 and went on to win 13-11 11-7 10-12 11-7 in four sets to take the gold.

There was no double gold, however as Khazal and partner Theo Kniep defeated Ramirez Rioja and Dimitar Dimitrov 5-11 11-8 12-10 8-11 11-6 in the semi-finals of the U13 boys’ doubles.