Tricky Vicky wins final in straight games
By Squash Mad Reporter
England’s Victoria Lust produced a thoroughly professional performance to overcome Guayana’s Nicolette Fernandes in straight games to win the final of the 2016 Granite Open, PSA W25 tournament in Toronto, Canada.
Lust, the 26-year-old world number 21, delivered a display of maturity and composure as she controlled the court throughout the encounter to complete a great week in Toronto.
The number four seed intelligently utilised variation of length and deception on the ball to cause her athletic challenger all sorts of trouble and she was rewarded with a 3-0 victory that saw her collect her eighth PSA World Tour title.
The final scoreline read: 11-6, 11-2, 11-4, with victory achieved in an absorbing contest lasting 45 minutes.
Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes and England’s Victoria Lust will compete for their first PSA World Tour titles of 2016 in the final of the Slaight Music and Roundtable Capital Granite Open, PSA W25 event after they managed victories over Dipika Pallikal and Fiona Moverley, respectively.
Fernandes went behind early on in the opening game of her fixture with last year’s runner-up Pallikal and found herself a game ball down. Some fantastic counter drops and cross court winners soon saw the World No.28 overturn Pallikal’s lead though to seize a one-game advantage.
A brief blood break disrupted play in the second but the battle soon resumed with some frantic attacking play from both players. Fernandes eventually got the better of the Indian No.2 with an extremely hard-fought 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 victory to move through to the final, where she will fight for a first PSA World Tour title since 2012.
“I just thought that was a beautiful, clean game of squash,” said Fernandes. “We train so hard to play games like that. Squash prevailed, you know. I was just happy that I played well. Now I need to regroup and start again tomorrow.”
Lust halted the fine form of compatriot Moverley, who had already caused a storm early on in the event when she eliminated former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf and seventh seed Samantha Teran.
Moverley took the opener and seemed poised to continue her spectacular run but an assured display from Lust saw the World No.21 up the consistency of her shots to take the win in four games.
England’s Fiona Moverley kept up her superb start to the Slaight Music and Roundtable Capital Open, PSA W25 event after coming through a brutal five-game thriller against experienced Mexican Samantha Teran in the quarter-final.
Moverley was out for revenge after her last encounter with Teran resulted in the 28-year-old bowing out of the prestigious J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions at the final qualifying round stage.
However, coming just a day after her stunning triumph over former World No.2 and title favourite Jenny Duncalf, Moverley was in scintillating form and went ahead twice before she found herself pegged back by her opponent to set up a dramatic fifth game.
Moverley wasn’t to be denied though and a number of expertly placed drops and superb court-craft laid the foundations for her 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 victory.
“I’m delighted to be in the semi-finals,” said Moverley. “I knew tonight’s match was going to be tough and long because of her athleticism. It’s not easy to win a rally when the ball keeps coming back. But I stuck to my game plan and mentally stayed strong throughout the match to finally see out the fifth.
“I can’t wait to play again tomorrow.”
There is guaranteed to be an English finalist after Moverley’s compatriot, Victoria Lust, stormed to victory against United States player Olivia Blatchford. Lust dominated the 31-minute encounter and has set up a semi-final meeting with Moverley as she looks to reach her first PSA World Tour final since August.
Second seed Dipika Pallikal is also through to the last four thanks to a straightforward win against Salma Hany Ibrahim and will go head-to-head with Nicolette Fernandes, who came back from two games down to defeat Welsh qualifier Deon Saffery, for a place in the final.
World No.42 Fiona Moverley managed one of the biggest scalps of her career in the opening round of the Slaight Music and Roundtable Capital Granite Open, PSA W25 event after a stunning 3-1 victory over title favourite and former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf.
Top seed Duncalf edged the early stages of the game and rose into a one-game lead after moving Moverley into all four corners of the court and attacking with vigour whenever her fellow Englishwoman hit a loose shot. However, in a flurry of high-quality efforts from both players, Moverley fought back to take three games without reply and complete a superb win for the Hull-based 29-year-old.
Moverley will face experienced Mexican Samantha Teran in the last eight after she dispatched Belgian teenager Nele Gilis in four. The duo last met as recently as a fortnight ago in the final qualifying round of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions with Teran triumphing on that particular occasion.
“I’m over the moon to have won that match,” said Moverley. “Even though I believed I could win and went on feeling positive, it’s always hard to convert that into a win.
“She punished anything loose and I had to fight in some of the big points, especially when I was down in a couple of the games, so I’m pleased with the way I stuck in until the end. I can’t wait for the next match tomorrow against Sam.
“We only played recently and I’m looking for my revenge.”
Former World Champion Rachael Grinham also fell to a lower-ranked opponent, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat against Welsh qualifier Deon Saffery.
The Australian No.1 made a number of errors early on in the match which allowed Saffery to build up an unassailable lead. Saffery is set to face Nicolette Fernandes in the next round thanks to the sixth seed’s win over New Zealand’s Amanda Landers-Murphy.
Last year’s runner-up Dipika Pallikal remains on course to reach a second successive final after seeing off Egypt’s Nouran El Torky in a confident four-game salvo. Salma Hany Ibrahim awaits the Indian No.2 in the quarter-final after edging Canadian wildcard Nikki Todd in a 3-2 triumph.
Victoria Lust and Olivia Blatchford, meanwhile, will contest the event’s other quarter-final fixture after they claimed victories over Misaki Kobayashi and Millie Tomlinson, respectively.
$25,000 Women’s Slaight Music & Roundtable Capital Granite Open 2016, Granite Club, Toronto, Canada
 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt  Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (45m)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Fiona Moverley (ENG) 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (41m)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 (62m)
Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt  Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9 (60m)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt  Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-1 (31m)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [Q] Deon Saffery (WAL) 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 (77m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt  Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 12-10, 11-2, 11-4 (34m)
Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 (44m)
 Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) 11-9, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8 (69m)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 (68m)
 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 (34m)
[Q] Deon Saffery (WAL) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (33m)
 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 12-10, 11-1, 16-14 (43m)
 Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [WC] Nikki Todd (CAN) 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9 (58m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [Q] Nouran El Torky (EGY) 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7 (37m)
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt Hollie Naughton (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (32m)
Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (55m)
Deon Saffery (WAL) bt Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 11-8, 11-3, 11-2 (20m)
Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK) 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8 (55m)