Lust too strong for Milou ...
They both enjoyed comfortable wins yesterday, so today's
first final, the all-English matchup between Lauren Selby,
26, and Emily Whitlock, the recently re-crowned
British U17 champion, looked interesting.
It was a good matchup too, Selby had more power to call on,
but Whitlock compensated with some determined retrieving and
her usual precise shot placement.
Selby led for most of the first game, 9/6 became 10/8 but
two Whitlock dropshots brought it level, then a mishit from
the back and a straight drive deep into the corner gave the
youngster the lead.
Selby led the second too, but was caught at 6-all, and again
Whitlock closed out the game with precise winners - a lob
that glued itself to the sidewall and a clean volley kill.
You guessed it, Lauren led in the early part of the third
too, 3/1, but this time was caught at 4-all.
players were questioning some of the referee's decisions,
but Lauren let it get to her more - two consecutive strokes
gave Emily a 7/4 lead, as the momentum swung her way - again
she finished proceedings nicely with another tight dropshot
and a lob that died in the back corner to take an unexpected
"I didn't expect to win that one," she admitted, "but I
didn't expect to win yesterday either, and I'm not normally
very good at putting in back to back performances!
"I watched Lauren in February when she had a massive match
against Carrie [Ramsey] so I knew it was going to be really
"I though I played well though, I'm pleased with that."
It's early days in her WISPA career, but she's hoping to
play more - "I've played a few, at home in Wales, Ireland
and Cairo, but now I'm in sixth form I can take more time
out for tournaments like this."
In the second match Victoria Lust became the second
English qualifier as she proved too strong on the day for
Milou Van Der Heijden, who made too many mistakes for
her own good, saving her best run of points until she was
already match ball down.
outlasts Temple - just,
Joel doubles the upsets ...
The first men's match was the longest of the tournament so
far as Jens Schoor prevailed in an up and down
contest against Robbie Temple, ranked some 40-odd
places higher than the German.
It's not as if there were an inordinate amount of lets, and
yes Schoor took a few minutes to get a cut elbow seen to by
'Nurse' Sina Wall, but essentially they slugged it out with
long rallies, neither able to dominate for long spells but
then one or the other would make the breakthrough and win a
rush of points.
pulled clear at the end of an even first game, but Schoor
hit back quickly to take the second. That momentum carried
him into a 7/1 lead in the third, but the tables turned
again as Temple played solidly to level at 8-all before
regaining the lead.
The Englishman enjoyed the better of things in the fourth
too, a game which features sequences of consecutive long
rallies, moving from 6-all to a 9-6 lead with the finishing
line in sight. TCue momentum swing number three as Schoor
took the next five points to force a decider.
Again Jens maintained the ascendancy, quickly going 4/1 up
in the fifth, and once he's extended that to 6/2 the end
approached quickly as the German racked up several quick
points to reach 10/3.
Cue another change as he started going for a quick finish,
hit the tin five times and extra points loomed. One more
attempt at a winner off his opponent's serve did the trick
though, and with a scream that seemed more in pain than
ecstasy Jens was through.
was cramping up at the end of the match," he revealed
afterwards. "It started in my right toe and spread to my
calves, I was in agony at the end but I was trying not to
let Robbie or the referee see it. Luckily I had enough
points in hand and eventually got the winner I needed!
"It was a strange match - the first two games were pretty
normal, then I lost a good lead in the third, he did the
same in the fourth, and the fifth was getting pretty tense
at the end.
"I'm pleased to get through obviously, but it's an expensive
match - I need new shoes, I broke my racket and I have
another cut right next to where I got cut in yesterday's
upset result followed as Joel Hinds came through
against Scott Arnold in three close games.
It was a closely-contested match, with both players hitting
the ball crisply with intent, but the Australian simply
found the tin too many times (seven times in the third game
"I felt I was overhitting a lot, especially on the
forehand," said Joel after the match, "and he was trying to
crack it back, sometimes for a winner but he hit the tin a
few times too."
"I'm very pleased with that, especially since I struggled
Comfy for Fernandes
Women's top qualifying seed Nicolette Fernandes eased into
the main draw with a solid win over Leonie Holt. Fernandes,
just back from the PanAm Championships in Guatemala, was
quickly into her stride and in good control for the most
part as she won 11/3, 11/9, 11/4.
Leonie enjoyed her best spell as she took a 7/2 lead in the
second, but the Guyanan fought back to 7-all, aided by a
couple of lucky bounces that did the Englishwoman's
confidence no good at all, and doubled her lead with a pair
of crisp winners before taking early control of the third.
who has been sitting at the top of the centre court watching
all today's matches, was happy enough with her performance:
"I thought I played well there. She played better at the
start of the second and I dropped off, but you always get
"There's been some good squash today, I've enjoyed watching
it, now I'm looking forward to seeing who I get to play in
the main draw ..."
stretched by Milja
Milja Dorenbos, the last Dutchwoman left in
qualifying, couldn't pull off another upset against Sina
Wall, but my didn't she try.
German didn't have too much difficulty in the first game,
with Dorenbos struggling to find her game, but she had to
work very hard to take the next two.
Dorenbos did a lot of running, some spectacular retrieving
and some heavy hitting. It wasn't quite enough in the second
as Wall hit three winning shots from 8/7 to go two games up,
but it paid dividends in the third as Milja advanced to
Now it was Sina's turn to dig in. She was still under
pressure from the Dutchwoman's shots, but back she came, to
10-all, then taking three matcxh balls at 11/10, 12/11 and
13/12, finally taking the match with a lob that the out of
position Milja for once couldn't run down.
"I'm very happy to win that three-nil," said a relieved Sina,
"she played much better after the first game, I just wasn't
focused enough and she took advantage. At 10/5 down I just
told myself to play my own game and win as many points as I
keeps the faithful
The Victoria crowd was out in force to support the last
Dutch hope Piedro Schweertman as he took on Kashif
Shuja. There was nothing to choose between them for a
game and a half, Schweertman just edged the first but then
caught a dose of tin-itis from 5-all in the second as the
The tables were turned in the third as the Dutchman ran away
with it from 4-all, then turned again as Shuja quickly went
4/0 up in the fourth. As Schweertman fought back the crowd
got more and more involved, and the match developed into an
entertaining, but tense, battle.
was very much Piedro on the front foot, trying to force the
pace while Kashif was for the most part trying to take the
sting out of things, stroking the ball around trying to work
positions rather than blast his opponent away.
6-all, 7-all, 8-all, 9-all, Kashif got a game ball but
couldn't retrieve Piedro's dropshot. In extended extra
points Kashif would have two more game balls at 14/13 and
15/14, but it was the Dutchman who prevailed on his fourth
match ball as Kashit tried to feather a volleydrop but saw
it clip the tin.
"I played him last month in a league match and lost 3/2,"
said the victor, "I ended up playing him at his own game
then, so I knew I needed to try to keep the pace high today.
"It was a funny match, I made a lot of errors in the first
two games, the third was much better but the fourth was up
and down, very tense in the end, I think I just wanted to
win too much!"
flies into main draw
There was just no stopping Steve Finitsis today as
the big Aussie made it four out of four upsets in the men's
matches in beating Julien Balbo in four games.
The Frenchman took the first, pulling away from 8-all, but
everything went wrong for him in the second, from lucky
nicks from Finitsis to missed sitters from his own racket.
11/2 and it was quick too.
The third was much the same, but this time it was all down
to Finitsis' play, he was firing in winners from everywhere,
covering the court like lightning with those huge strides
and reach, and getting better of the drop exchanges that he
liked so much and Balbo was unable to extract himself from.
To go 6/2 up Steve executed a superb backhand crosscourt
flick from deep that dribbled out of the nick, earning him
applause from the crowd and his opponent, and for good
measure he repeated it at 10/3 to take the game.
his credit Balbo fought back and made a real game of it in
the fourth, and up to 6-all and 7/8 it was anyone's, but an
error and a stroke gave Finitsis match ball and another
stroke left the Frenchman fuming (conduct stroke, so
technically the game finished 12/8!) and Finitsis
contemplating an all-Aussie first round match.
"I haven't played Aaron [Frankcomb] for a while," he said on
being told of the draw, "it'll be a physical test that's for
sure, I'm looking forward to it."
On the match: "I played a bit too cautiously at the start,
maybe I was a little nervous, but I got it together in the
second and third. The fourth was very tight, but I knew I
had to keep on trying to mix it up, and rely on my movement
to dig me out of any trouble.
"Those shots in the second, sometimes they work, sometimes
they don't, but it's nice when they do, especially to win a