Sharpes and Urquhart take Dulwich titles
The 2017 edition of the Dulwich Open sponsored by Harvey & Wheeler saw one new winner and a returning champion as the club witnessed some of the highest qualify squash in its history.
Australian World no.16 Donna Urquhart was a late replacement for top seed Sarah-Jane Perry and she took full advantage winning the women’s event in four games over World no.10 Alison Waters.
It was Waters who started the brightest winning the first, but Urquhart levelled at 1-1 and the third proved pivotal with the Australian edging it 14/12 and going on to lift the title.
In the Men’s draw Nathan Lake was in impressive form throughout as he looked to go one better than the runner-up spot he achieved in 2016. En-route to his final berth he broke the hearts of the Dulwich faithful, first knocking out first team captain Tim Garner in the Quarter-Finals before putting paid to Dulwich’s resident Brazilian Vini Rodrigues in the Semis.
Rodrigues had, however, given the crowd cause to cheer in the previous round knocking out Kiwi 4th Seed Ben Grindrod. In the other half, Ben Ford had rolled back the years and saved 6 match-balls to beat the highly fancied Jaymie Haycocks in the Quarters. However, the effort had clearly taken its toll and despite some spectacular winners was unable to trouble World no.49 Charles Sharpes in the semi-finals.
The Men’s final was a high quality encounter and again the result may have revolved around a game that went to a tie-break. Lake had taken the first, but couldn’t consolidate a two-game lead that may have been decisive as Sharpes held his nerve to take the second 14/12. The match ebbed and flowed as both players fought for ascendancy but it was Sharpes who eventually closed out things 11/8 in the fourth.
The Dulwich Club was a superb host to the final BSPA event of the regular season, the players commentating how welcoming they had been made to feel. Players were fed and housed for free, and capacity crowds came along to support the players.
Thanks to event partners Fison Fitness, Haynes Dental and Harvey & Wheeler, whose Gareth Martin presented the trophies.
Women’s Final: Donna Urquhart 3-1 Alison Waters 4/11, 14/12, 11/7, 11/9
Men’s Final: Charles Sharpes 3-1 Nathan Lake 8/11, 11/7, 14/12, 11/8
The last stop of the year will be at Roehampton Club (May 22nd-24th)
for the BSPA UK Grand Prix Finals.