Fiona Moverley wins Edinburgh final after five years away from the WSA pro tour
By Squash Mad Reporter in Edinburgh
Daryl Selby and Fiona Moverley took the titles at the Edinburgh Open. For Selby, it was his third consecutive success in the Scottish capital and fifth overall. For Moverley, it was her first WSA title after five years out of the game.
The unseeded Moverley won a hard fought four-game battle over Belgian teenager Nele Gilis in the first of the day’s finals at Edinburgh Sports Club.
The 28 year old Yorkshirewoman was fastest out of the blocks, taking an early 4-1 lead which she extended to 7-3. Gilis started to find her game, lengthening the rallies as she fought back to 7-8, but two unforced errors gave the momentum back to Moverley who took the lead 11-7.
Moverley had the edge early in the second, but this time her 5-2 lead was pegged back, Gilis levelling at 6-all then continuing to force the pace as she levelled the match 11-7.
There was hardly a point between them in the third, and both were fired up and playing determined squash. At9-all a Moverley slip at the front gave Gilis a game ball, but Moverley took three points in a row to regain the lead 12-10.
After Gilis took the first two points in the first, it was Moverley mostly in command of the rallies, and she took the lead and slowly eked out an advantage, Gilis getting frustrated with some errors. From 8-6 Moverley put it a dropshot that was too tight, powered a ball deep for match ball and then another drop to claim the title.
“”She’s a real battler,” said Moverley, “it looked like she was tired but she never stopped. I knew I needed to move her around and play my short game when I could, and I did that well for the most part. She’s better than me at a hard-hitting game, so I needed to mix it up and I was pleased with how I played at the end.
“It feels great to win another WSA title [her fourth]. After five years off the circuit, mainly because of lack of funds, I thought it was time to give it another go and I’m really enjoying it. I should be back in the top 100 now. I just need to get a few more tournaments in.
“I’m having a great time playing in Hull, where squash is really on the up with all the work at the Humber Junior Squash Academy and the support that Dr Allam is giving to all the squash projects in the area. Long may it continue!”
In the men’s BSPA final defending champion Daryl Selby made it three Edinburgh titles in a row and five overall with a finely balanced win over second seed Shaun Le Roux, himself a former Edinburgh champion.
The packed crowd in Edinburgh Sports Club’s “bearpit” court five were treated to two fiercely contested first games with neither player able to make any significant headway against the scoreboard.
It was Le Roux who had the first opportunity, eking out a lead from 7-all, earning two game balls at 10-8. Selby, who has made a habit of saving game balls this weekend, did it again as he dug in for some long rallies, and took the next four points to lead 12-10.
The second game was a carbon copy, Le Roux again edged ahead for 10-8, Selby again taking the next four for another 12-10!
Le Roux came out firing in the third, was quickly 6-1 up and with Selby seemingly saving some energy it was quickly 10-1, then 11-3 to reduce the deficit.
It was pretty much the same story in the fourth, Le Roux again forging ahead, 7-3 and at 10-5 we were surely in for a decider. Not to be though, as Selby mounted another comeback, this time seven points in a row with Le Roux unable to find a finish.
Selby’s precision was too much in the end as the South African maybe tried a little too hard to find a winner, clipping the tin three times before Selby finally took the match with a dropshot leaving his opponent stranded.
“I’ve certainly saved a few game balls this weekend,” said a delighted winner.
“Shaun’s tough to play. He volleys well and he’s very accurate with his drives. He’s difficult to beat. It could easily have been one-all, although I wouldn’t have let the third go if it had been.
“To be honest in the fourth I was starting to try to build up some momentum for the fifth, but I think he got a bit nervous and I played a few good rallies that got me back into it, I was feeling better as that game went along.
“I’ve been coming here for maybe 10 years now, and it’s a fabulous tournament every year. Big credit to Simon, JJ, the club members and spectators and sponsors, they all make it what it is, and the quality of the entries and the matches are testament to how good it is. It’s great to see such commitment in all the graded events too.
“Very happy to win my fifth title here, I haven’t won a PSA title since 2012 so it’s nice to get a trophy on the shelf early in the year, hopefully there’s more to come!”
Edinburgh Open – Finals
Fiona Moverley (Eng) 3-1  Nele Gilis (Bel) 11/7, 7/11, 12/10, 11/6 (51m)
 Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1  Shaun Le Roux (Rsa) 12/10, 12/10, 3/11, 12/10 (68m)
Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS