Friday, February 23, 2024

Paul Coll and Hania El Hammamy are Edinburgh champions

Edinburgh champions Paul Coll and Hania El Hammamy

‘Let please – I’m 2-0 down and getting hammered’ begs weary Willstrop
By STEVE CUBBINS – Squash Mad Correspondent in Edinburgh

Paul Coll and Hania El Hammamy are the 2019 Edinburgh Sports Club Open champions after comprehensive victories in today’s finals.

Hammamy, the second seed, completed a full set of three-nil wins as she beat top seeded American Olivia Blatchford Clyne, taking the early initiative as she took both opening games 11-5.

The third was closer as the the 18-year-old Egyptian edged ahead from 3-all, but although she maintained the lead she wasn’t able to break away as Olivia worked hard to stay in touch. Hania reached match ball at 10-8 and needed just one chance as she put it a precision drop to claim her third, and biggest, PSA title.

“I think I controlled the first two games well,” said Hania. “But the third was really close and I had to work hard to stay ahead, I really didn’t want it to go to a fourth.

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“I think I’ve played well this week, it will give me confidence going into some important tournaments coming up. And it’s my biggest PSA win, so I’m really happy!”

Coll took on England’s James Willstrop, and the match followed a similar patter to yesterday’s semi-final against Daryl Selby, the Kiwi getting the better of the opening games but making his opponent work so hard in those that the third was more comfortable.

“I didn’t play badly at all,” said Selby after the semi-final. “But I just couldn’t make much impression on him, even when he was out of position he would still get there.”

It was a similar story today and Willstrop, feeling the effect of some brutal rallies at the end of the second, went 0-6 down in the third. As the end approached Willstrop asked for a let … “It’s got to be, I’m two-nil down and getting hammered,” he pleaded, and the ref (from Yorkshire) agreed. It was only a stay of execution though as Coll wrapped up the title soon enough.

“It’s been a really good weekend,” said the new champion. “The atmosphere has been great from the start and I’ve loved playing on this court with a big crowd, even if not many of them were supporting me!

“The timing was good too, getting some tough matches in the build-up to the Worlds so thanks to the club and the organisers. If the schedule allows I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Edinburgh Sports Club Open 2019, Edinburgh Sports Club, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Women’s Final:
[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [1] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (Usa) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (32m)
Men’s Final:
[1] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [2] James Willstrop (Eng) 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)  

Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS courtesy of Edinburgh Sports Club


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