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TODAY in Rotterdam

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Sun 29th, Day SIX: The Final

 [4] Daryl Selby (Eng)[2] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
                 11/9, 4/11, 11/7, 12/10 (104m)

Selby survives Dutch Marathon

Daryl Selby is the new Dutch Open champion after the English fourth seed prevailed over Cameron Pilley in a marathon encounter at the Victoria Club in Rotterdam.

With both players taking few risks in the early stages, the opening game alone took 30 minutes. It was Selby who took a slender lead and was generally one or two points ahead. Pilley came back to lead 8-6 but Selby reasserted, taking the game with a little crosscourt flick that was probably better than the shot he intended to hit, much to Pilley's disgust.

The Australian came out firing in the second though, putting in more attacks and taking the game comfortably in just 11 minutes.

It was back to business in the third, as Selby kept his opponent on a much tighter leash. Again he took an early lead, 5/1, and although Pilley levelled at 6-all with two volley winners, Selby went ahead again with two of his own. The score stuck at 9-7 for minutes, with seven long rallies ending in lets, before Pilley tinned and Selby put in a winning drop off a loose boast to regain the lead. 30 minutes.

The fourth was another gruelling game, mixing the long rallies of the first and third, but both more eager to pounce on a good opportunity now. There was nothing in it up to 8-all, Selby played a long dropshot and got a stroke to take him to 10-8, but tinned on the next two rallies.

He thought he had another match ball when the central referee announced a stroke on the next rally, only for Pilley to point out that two of the refs had signalled a let. But the Australian's relief was short-lived as he tinned the next service return.

Five scrambling rallies, five lets, but finally Selby put in a shot was too tight for Pilley to retrieve and turned, delighted to see three flat hands signalling the end of the 25-minute game, the last of 78 decisions made.

He may have had an easy semi-final, but boy did Daryl have to work in his other three matches this week. Tough luck on Cameron to finish runner-up again, but Daryl deserved it on his efforts this week.

"It was pretty crucial to come back and take the first game, because he just played too well in the second.

"Then it was just a question of hanging in there.

"We both wanted to win obviously, it's a big tournament, a four star, and Tommy and his team always organise them so well."



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