Tuesday, May 28, 2024

BSPA: Top seeds take Edinburgh titles

Top seeds take Edinburgh titles

WSA Final:
[1] Emily Whitlock (Eng) 3-2 [2] Lauren Selby (Eng) 11/2, 9/11, 11/6, 5/11, 11/3 (51m

BSPA Final:
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1 [2] Tom Richards (Eng) 11/4, 3/11, 11/6, 11/7 (45m)

From STEVE CUBBINS in Edinburgh
In two all-English finals it was Daryl Selby and Emily Whitlock who captured the title at the Edinburgh Sports Club Open today.

The women’s WSA final pitted world #25 Emily Whitlock against Lauren Selby, the world #46, and it was the top seed who made a great start, taking the first 11/2 and quickly going 6/1 up in the second.

“It was closer than the scoreline suggests” was already pencilled in on this reporter’s notebook, as Whitlock continued to pile up the points at the end of competitive rallies. But a stirring fightback from Selby, using the height of the court well, brought her back to parity at 8-all and she went on to level the match 11-9.

The rallies continued to be well constructed, both players varying their game and pace, but it was the teenager who reasserted in the third, consilidating a 7-2 lead to regain the advantage 11-6. Again though Selby fought back, and a 9-1 lead in the fourth was soon converted 11-6 to set up a decider.

The momentum swung just once more as Emily made a quick start to the fifth, 4-0, then 6-3 and a flurry of five points to finish it 11-3 and claim her first Edinburgh and her sixth WSA title.

“She’s really tough to play,” said a delighted and somewhat relieved winner, “she lobs really well and used the court to her advantage. After I made a good start she came out all guns blazing and It took me a while to get used to it, but I managed to settle down in the end.

“It’s good to know I can battle it out in these matches and I’m delighted to win here, there’s a really good atmosphere to the place.

“Now it’s off to Cleveland on a 10am flight tomorrow!”

Emily Whitlock jumps on the ball against Lauren Selby

The men’s final, also between the English top seeds, started off with a rally that the watching Kevin Moran described as “probably longer than my whole match with Tom, #ClassSquash!”

Yes, St George’s Hill teammates Daryl Selby and Tom Richards put on a real show for the packed Edinburgh crowd, and the 11-4 scoreline in the first game didn’t reflect the quality and evenness of the rallies.

It was Selby, the two-time champion and top seed who finished most of them, but in the second it was Richards, just two places behind his opponent in the world rankings, who came out firing and found a series of winning shots to go 6-0 up in a flash before levelling 11-4.

Daryl got back up to speed from the outset of the third, and for the next two games got the better of a match that had speeded up considerably, and by the end both players were feeling the pace.

Daryl pulled clear from 6-all to take the third 11-6, and again from 7-all in the fourth as Tom was rushed into some annoying – from his point of view – errors.

The fourth went to Daryl 11-7 and a third Edinburgh title was his.

“There were some long rallies in the first but I managed to finish them better,” said the champion. “Then he pushed up in the second and was too far ahead before I could do anything about it.

“There were plenty of tough rallies in the third and fourth, but I was pleased with how I managed to build them and finish them off. At 7-all in the fourth it still could have been anyone’s though, but I just managed to push through.

“There’s some really good names on this trophy, so it’s great to be the first one to get my name on it three times!”

Full coverage:  www.bspasquash.com

Daryl Selby in action against Tom Richards in Edinburgh


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