Lobban kept the BSPA Edinburgh Open title in Scottish hands as he
beat top seeded Englishman Daryl Selby in straight games in front of
a packed crowd on ESC's court 5.
Lobban, appearing in his first final, denied Selby a sixth triumph
as he controlled the first two games, then almost let a lead slip in
the third as Selby, railing at some of the late decisions, fought
back saving two match balls before Lobban took the title on an
"Daryl maybe wasn't at his best today,2 said a delighted winner,
"but he made me work hard for it all the way. It feels great to win
this title, it's always one of the highlights og the year and to
keept it in Scottish hands [after two wins from Alan Clyne] feels
"Hopefully the success of this tournament and the crowds and
recognition it draws will help to bring more professional events to
other parts of Scotland.
Top seeded Egyptian Shahin faced Julianne Courtice, the sixth seeded
Englishwoman who had beaten higher-ranked Egyptians in the two
previous rounds - both appearing in their first PSA $10k final.
The match was a full-on affair, fast paced and hard hitting from the
word go, and all five games were hotly contested with a lot of
decisions required of the referee.
Courtice took a two game lead as Shahin made errors at the end of
both games, but the Egyptian squeezed home in the third then saved a
match ball in the fourth before forcing a decider.
The fifth was nip and tuck, Courtice just ahead to 8-7, then Shahin
took the lead, and clinched the title on her second match ball.
"That was really hard, probably the toughest match I've ever
played," said the delighted winner. "It's my 8th PSA title but my
biggest, so I'm delighted. I've really enjoyed my first trip to
Scotland and I'm sure I'll be coming back!"
Cardwell admitted to "a tough match, I felt rushed all the time and
went back to what I know, chasing around rather than trying to take
control of affairs."
In the final Shahin will face defending champion Julianne Courtice,
after the Englishwoman scored a second succesive upset win over an
Egyptian opponent, beating world junior champion Rowan Elaraby in a
seesaw five setter.
"It was an up and down match," said Courtice," neither of us could
maintain a rhythm, and each game was dominated by one or the other.
"It's my first $10k final, so I'm really happy to be there, and if I
can beat a third Egyptian in a row to finish it off then even
Scottish #2 Greg Lobban kept hopes of keeping the ESC Men's title in
home hands - Alan Clyne won the last two events - as he came from
1-2 down to beat England's 3/4 seed Chris Simpson to the delight of
a packed court five crowd.
"When Chris plays well he's very tough to get points off," said
Lobban, "and he outplayed me in the second and third games. I just
had to dig in, and Paul Bell told me the right things to do so I'm
happy to be able to recover from there.
"This is one of the best nights of the year, and I've lost out in
two or three semis here, so to make the final for the first time is
In the final he'll face top seed Daryl Selby, the five-time ESC
champion who denied the crowd the all-Scottish final they craved
with a 12-10 in the fifth win over Rory Stewart.
Stewart, the 5/8 seed, had a walkover against Jaymie Haycocks in the
afternoon quarter-finals, and after a slow start push Selby all the
way, recovering from 7-10 in the decider to force extra points
before Selby finally won through.
"It was comfortable at the start ... and then it wasn't comfortable,
I just had to dig it out!"
Double upsets in women's quarters as Aitken bows
out and Courtice's title defence continues
The quarter-finals of the upgraded PSA $10k women's event saw two upsets
and two Egyptian winners at Edinburgh Sports Club.
Top seed Nadine Shahin came through a tough five-game battle to stop top
Scottish hope Lisa Aitken, and in the semis she'll face Australia's
Saarah Cardwell, who got the better of third seed Misaki Kobayashi in
four fast paced games.
"I'd played Lisa once before, three years ago in South Africa ," said
Shahin, "and that was 3-2 so I knew it was going to be another tough
one. "I'm happy to get through that one and looking forward to contining
my first trip to Scotland."
Cardwell, who had a marathon first round match, reckoned today's match
was shorter, but tougher. "I've changed my training and the way I play,
and it seems to be working," she said. "I don't have to run and scrap as
much as I used to, but I had to today, that was a really tough match.
"Last time we played I was 10-4 up in the fifth and lost, so when I got
to 10-6 in the fourth I was determined I wasn't going to let it happen
World Junior Champion Rowan Elaraby ended home interest as she beat
Alison Thomson in straight games, but the prediceted all-Egyptian
semi-final failed to materialise as defending champion Julianne Courtice
won a hotly contested four game match against second seed Nada Abbas.
"I played Nada a year ago and lost 3-2, so I knew what to expect," said
the sisth seed. "Today was similarly scrappy, tougher mentally than
physiaclly and I was pleased with how I dealt with it and stayed focused
on the next point.
"This is a good club for me, I could end up playing three Egyptian in a
row depending how the results go!"
Men's seeds through to quarters
The BSPA men's event main draw started, with two rounds to determine the
Long story short, all eight seeds - six Englishmen and two Scots - won
through to the quarter-finals, which take place on Saturday lunchtime
with the semis to follow in the evening.
The womenís matches all went to seeding until the very end, although not
all of the seeds had an easy time of it.
The Egyptian trio of Nadine Shahin, Nada Abbas and Rowan Elaraby -
seeded #1, #2 and #4 - all had to work hard for their wins, Elaraby
fending off an energetic challenge from ESCís own Georgia Adderley.
Defending champion Julianne Courtice came through safely enough, anh
toip home hope Lisa Aitken breezed through to the quarters.
Sarah Cardwell went through in the longest match, a gruelling 70-minutes
against British U23 champion Lucy Turmel, and Misaki Kobayashi the
shortest, a quickfire 3-0 ovet Tessa ter Sluis.
It wasnít until the last match of the day that the first upset - and the
second home winner - arrived as Alison Thomson edged out Chloe Mesic in