Selby retains Edinburgh Open title as Habiba Mohamed wins her second WSA crown at the age of just 14!
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Chief Reporter
World number 10 Daryl Selby ended a gruelling week on a high by defeating fellow compatriot Adrian Grant in four games to retain his Edinburgh Open title at the biggest BSPA event of the year.
Selby, who was knocked out of the quarter-finals of the Tournament of Champions on Wednesday, overcame exhaustion and five matches in three days to fend off a spirited fightback from Grant to prevail 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8.
“It was one of the toughest finals here I’ve had,” admitted Selby, who ended home hopes by defeating Alan Clyne in the semi-finals.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Edinburgh Sports Club for putting on another great event. I knew I had to win the fourth or that was it.”
Victory caps an extraordinary week for the England number four, who was in danger of missing the $10,000 event with the Tournament of Champions final coinciding with his first-round match.
However, the 31-year-old confirmed his place in the main draw after losing to world number four Mohamed El Shorbagy in New York on Wednesday and proceeded to end a wretched run of losing in four consecutive finals since April last year.
However, the 2011 British National champion was given a stern test by Grant and was grateful to several unforced errors from the world number 21 as he overturned an 8-5 deficit by winning six successive points to edge the opening game.
The second game followed a similar pattern and although Grant led 5-4, the 33-year-old won just one point thereafter as Selby doubled his advantage to move within one game of victory.
Grant, who beat Indian number one Saurav Ghosal to win the title in 2010, forged another lead in the third game and although Selby clawed back from 9-7 down to tie the scores at nine-apiece, Grant capitalised on a couple of contentious refereeing decisions to halve the arrears.
Selby quickly regained the ascendancy in a one-sided fourth game and punished Grant’s looseness to race into a commanding 8-2 lead.
The Essex-based Selby eventually amassed six game balls but although Grant threatened a comeback of epic proportions by winning four consecutive points, a forehand drive to length secured back-to-back titles at the Edinburgh Sports Club for the top seed.
Selby, who has been competing at the Edinburgh Open since he was 19, will also feel his decision to miss the Motor City Open will be vindicated; although he will endure an anxious wait to see whether he remains in the world’s top 10 when the latest rankings are released.
In the women’s final, 14 year-old Habiba Mohamed won her second WSA title after top seed Coline Aumard was forced to retire after the first game.
The French world number 38 suffered an ankle injury during her semi-final victory over fellow comatriot Laura Pomportes but despite heavy strapping, she was forced to concede the final after losing the opening game 11-4.
Victory for Habiba, who became the youngest winner of a WSA event by winning the Malaysian Tour Grand final in November, follows her British Junior Open success in Sheffield earlier this month and could herald a rise into the world’s top 50 next month.
Final – Men’s Result:
Daryl Selby 3-1 Adrian Grant 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8
Final – Men’s Result:
Habiba Mohamed 3-0 Coline Aumard 11-4 ret.
Semi-Finals – Men’s Result:
Adrian Grant 3-1 Greg Lobban 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4
Daryl Selby 3-1 Alan Clyne 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6
Semi-Finals – Women’s Result:
Coline Aumard 3-0 Laura Pomportes 11-6, 11-4, 12-10
Habiba Mohamed 3-0 Lily Taylor 11-6, 11-7, 11-6
Quarter-Finals – Men’s Results:
Daryl Selby 3-0 Doug Kempsell 11-8 11-2 11-9
Alan Clyne 3-0 Darren Lewis 11-8 11-6 11-9
Greg Lobban 3-1 Joe Lee 3-1: 7-11, 14-12, 11-3, 11-6
Adrian Grant 3-0 Andy Whipp 13-11, 11-2, 11-5
Quarter-Finals – Women’s Results:
Coline Aumard 3-0 Cyrielle Peltier 11-6, 11-4, 12-10
Laura Pomportes 3-1 Olga Ertlova 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7
Habiba Mohamed 3-2 Lucie Fialova 3-2: 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5
Lily Taylor 3-0 Nada Elkalaawy 11-4, 11-9, 11-8
Pictures courtesy of Edinburgh Open