21st BSPA Boston Open
Millie makes history and two in two for Scotland
Millie Tomlinson and Georgia Adderley contested the 2017 women’s final. Georgia Adderley produced a determined performance, but it was not enough to stop Millie from becoming the first player to win four consecutive BSPA Boston Open titles.
In the third game Georgia hit a forehand boast down off Millie’s serve, giving her opponent matchball. In the subsequent rally she pleaded with the referee for a let after ending up on the floor, and was awarded one, but it was then that Millie Tomlinson retained her crown with a neat backhand drop shot.
There was an upset in the men’s final. The Boston Open has long had a strong contingent from Scotland, but despite producing a number of runners-up over the years, it was only last year that a Scot, Kevin Moran, finally took a title. The hoodoo is well and truly banished now that Rory Stewart has made it two men’s champions in two years for Scotland.
A run of points at the end of the first game ensured it was first blood to Rory, and the second set followed a similar pattern – again, Jaymie had won a couple of points to get the score to 5/6, before Rory won five consecutive points.
In truth, neutrals would have been disappointed that the third game also went Rory’s way, because it was easily the best set and the match was really heating up into something special. Jaymie initially burst into a 4/1 and then 8/2 lead, so it looked like the final would at least be four games.
Rory fought back to 8/8, and from then on the points swung back and forth with long, intense rallies where neither player could afford to make an error. Jaymie saved a matchball at 10/9 down, but some excellent retrieving from Rory ensured he hung on in to win the game13/11, and the final and men’s Boston Open 2017.
The semi-finals began with Georgia Adderley facing number two seed Elspeth Young. This result went against the seeding with Adderley making the final with ease, only dropping a point in the final game. Similarly, Millie Tomlinson’s margin of victory over Charlotte Jagger increased with each game. The reigning champion did not drop a single point in the final gameas she progressed to a fourth consecutive Boston Open final. Millie hasn’t lost a game in Boston since the 2015 final which she won 3-2 against Madeline Perry.
Jaymie Haycocks took 26 minutes to secure his place in the final. He beat Vini Rodrigues, who had had a gruelling 67-minute encounter against Nick Wall earlier in the afternoon.
He will face Rory Stewart in tomorrow’s men’s final. But the second seed was pushed all the way by British U19 champion Tom Walsh. Tom took the first game on a tiebreak. Despite losing the next two, he came back to win the fourth. It was fitting that the final match of the night went to five games between two closely matched players – Rory Stewart winning in five: 11/13, 11/5, 11/4, 5/11, 11/4 in 65 minutes.
Georgia Adderley 3-0  Elspeth Young 11/5, 11/8, 11/1 (19m)
MEN’S SEMI-FINALS Jaymie Haycocks 3-0 [3/4] Vini Rodrigues [3/4] 11/6, 11/2, 11/6 (26m)
 Rory Stewart 3-2 [5/8] Tom Walsh 11/13, 11/5, 11/4, 5/11, 11/4 (65m)
With just one women’s match yesterday, that event started in earnest on Saturday morning. Georgia Adderley beat Bruna Petrillo in straight sets, while second seed Elspeth Young recovered from an 11/4 defeat in the first game to win 3-1 against Charlotte Kirkwood.
Charlotte Jagger against Ali Hemingway was the closest of the women’s quarters. Charlotte came back from 2-0 down to win 7/11, 5/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/7 in 38 minutes. Top seed Millie Tomlinson sailed into the semis 11/3, 11/0, 11/5 at the expense of Alicia Mead.
In the men’s quarters, Jaymie Haycocks knocked out Harry Falconer 12/10, 11/7, 11/3. At the same time, Vini Rodrigues and Nick Wall contested a real humdinger. Nick looked like causing an upset to the seedings after taking the first two games (both by two point margins) but the match really turned in the third. Nick led 8/4 and despite Vini scraping back a few points, still had a matchball at 10/9. It wasn’t to be and a tiebreak ensued with multiple decisions for the referee. Vini Rodrigues wasted a series of gameballs before eventually taking the 22 minute-long third set 17/15! He went on to take the next two games and the match: 11/13, 9/11, 17/15, 11/6, 11/9 in 67 minutes, letting out a roar as he sealed the deal.
Tom Walsh continued to play well and the 5/8 seed knocked out 3/4 seed Rob Downer pretty comfortably (although the quality of the match was demonstrated by the fact that even though there were only three sets played, it lasted 40 minutes).
The quarters concluded with second seed Rory Stewart bagging his place in the semi-finals, beating Martin Gibson in straight sets.
DAY ONE – QUALIFIERS AND MEN’S ROUND OF 16
Play began at 2.15pm, with four qualifying matches for the men’s round of 16.
Jackson Beresford, Julian Tomlinson and Simon Herbert all progressed in straight sets, while Michael Andrews won in four – dropping the second set on the way to victory against Dan McGinn.
Friday night was relatively busy. 5/8 seed Nick Wall and 3/4 seed Vini Rodrigues both progressed without any trouble. After that pair of matches, number one seed Jaymie Haycocks made his first appearance. Despite losing the third game 11/6, he progressed through to the quarters: 11/9, 11/7, 6/11, 11/7. The battle that took place on the court opposite was undoubtedly the match of the round and the tournament so far. Having played his part in the longest match of last year’s event (66 minutes), Harry Falconer did his bit again. It wasn’t even a five-setter, but his match against Julian Tomlinson was full of excellent rallies and lasted for 69 minutes. Harry eventually pulled through 11/8, 11/2, 10/12, 11/8.
At 7.30pm three courts were in use. Former Lincolnshire champion Martin Gibson, who first played in the Boston Open 18 years ago, beat Craig Valente-Wallace in four, while second seed Rory Stewart began his Open 2017 campaign with a 3-1 victory too.
At the same time, the only women’s qualifier took place. Alicia Mead beat Catherine Rae 11/5, 11/6, 11/4.
The final two matches of the night were both pretty short. 5/8 seed Tom Walsh and 3/4 seed Rob Downer progressed at the expense of Simon Herbert and Adam Hildred respectively.
This is the 21st consecutive year of the BSPA Boston Open, but there is still room for history to be made as Millie Tomlinson aims to become the first player to win four consecutive titles in Lincolnshire.
A win for the women’s top seed and world #22 would see her match the total number of Boston Opens won by Tania Bailey (who won hers between 2000 and 2009).
The 25 year old finished runner-up to world #10 Alison Waters in the Wimbledon Cup and won the $15,000 NASH Cup in Canada in September.
She was also runner-up to world #3 Camille Serme in the European Individual Championship in August, held about 60 miles from Boston – at the University of Nottingham.
Millie’s closest challenger is expected to be Lisa Aitken. The second seed is the highest ranked Scot in the world at #62. This year, she has won PSA World Tour titles in Switzerland and New Zealand, and is joined in the draw by fellow Scots Elspeth Young at 3/4 seed and rising star Georgia Adderley, while Wales’ Ali Hemingway makes her fifth consecutive appearance at the Open
Turning to the men’s draw, Jaymie Haycocks is the top seed. This is his first appearance in Boston since losing in five games to Alan Clyne in the quarter-finals of 2008’s edition. The world #74 made it to the last eight of the British National Championship in February, losing out to eventual winner Nick Matthew. He’ll be hoping to join Mark Cairns and Simon Parke as a player to win the Boston Open at the age of 34.
21 year old Scot Rory Stewart is the second seed. He won the British U23 Open in January and was a semi-finalist in Boston last year. 3/4 seed Vini Rodrigues from Brazil also returns having made the quarter-finals here last year. He won the South American Championship in Paraguay in September 2016. The other 3/4 seed, Rob Downer, is new to this event and reached a highest world ranking of 120 in May last year.
Tom Walsh beat fellow 5/8 seed Nick Wall in the final to win the British Junior U19 Nationals in October. 18 year old Curtis Malik completes the seedings.
There is a quartet of local players – Adam Hildred, Harry Falconer, Dan McGinn and Martin Gibson (who first appeared in the Boston Open in 1999!)
bspasquash.com will have all the results and reports from the event as it progresses, while scores will also be available as they come in @bspabostonopen on twitter.