- Sat 30th, Day THREE
Steve Cubbins in Scotland
Draws & Results
Quarters and Semis
Two rounds of action today for the men and women, with the
finalists decided by the close of play.
Some tremendous matches, but at the end of the day just one
upset as Vanessa Atkinson, Nicolette Fernandes, Saurav Ghosal
and Adrian Grant progress to the Artemis Open finals.
Of course, it was all a little bit more complicated than that
out as seeds go through ...
Vanessa Atkinson - playing her first ever BSPA match -
eased into the quarterfinals with an 11/4, 11/2, 11/7 win over
Alex Clark in 17 minutes.
top seed was a little nervous going into the match: "I wasn't
sure how it was going to be, having just flown in from New
York," she said. "But the courts are quite bouncy so it allows
you to work your way into your game and get yourself out of
"That's not a bad little start, looking forward to the semis
In that semi she'll meet Lauren Selby, who beat Leonie
Holt 11/7, 13/11, 11/6 in 27 minutes. Leonie competed strongly
in all three games, having a game ball in the second, but it was
the Essex girl who pulled clear from the midpoint of the first
and third games, as well as saving that game ball of course.
"You have to concentrate," said the victor, "that court's really
dead. When it got to about sixes I knew I needed to wake up. I'm
glad to get off in three though, save my legs for tonight, I'll
need them ..."
Scottish interest was ended when Victoria Lust and
Nicolette Fernandes justified their seedings to defeat Lisa
Aitken and Frania Gillen-Buchert.
Both matches featured runs of points, with Lust recovering from
8/3 down to take the first 12/10, easing ahead from 6-all to
take the second 11/6, and almost squandering an 8/2 lead in the
third, winning it 11/6, all over in 25 minutes.
Gillen-Buchert gave Fernandes, like Atkinson just back from
America, a torrid time but just couldn't close out the games.
7/3 ahead in the first Nicolette scraped it 12/10; 10/5 ahead in
the second she squeezed home 11/9; 6/3 up in the third she lost
The fourth was point for point with the Guyanan again edging
home, 11/9 in 41 minutes.
"That was tough," she said, "I think I'm still on American time,
but I'll be good for tonight!"
was obviously disappointed to get so close. "I felt like I could
have at least taken another game, in fact it feels like I should
have won it.
"But she played well, she worked the ball really well and closed
it out when she had to."
upsets again but Jaymie so close
Saurav Ghosal maintained his unbeaten BSPA record (well,
a whole three matches and counting) as he beat 2008 champion
Simon Parke in an entertaining match that the ESC crowd really
The Indian won the first two games 11/3, 11/4, and although he
was on top, the scoreline was deceptive as the rallies were
generally long, it was 'just' that Saurav kept winning them.
"Those two probably should have been 11/7, 11/8," he admitted
Parke reversed the trend at the start of the third, opened up a
6/2 lead, but Ghosal fought back, eventually taking it 15/13
after 43 minutes.
both play a counterattacking game," said Parke, "and if I put
anything loose at the front he'd be onto it like a flash. In the
first two we had good rallies, but he always produced the extra
shot to win it every time.
"It shouldn't have come as a surprise though, we practice a lot
together and everyone know he's quick!"
"I didn't think I was tired from yesterday, I felt fine this
morning, but as soon as we got into those rallies I knew I'd
been in a match yesterday."
"Too young, too quick, too good," concluded the legend.
Meanwhile Daryl Selby was having a first game against
John Rooney that lasted longer than Ghosal's first two. The
second seed won it 18/16 and proceeded to take the second 11/2
in no time flat.
The Irishman fought back in the third though, led 8/4 in the
third before Selby came back at him, then on match ball they
played out a humungous rally which left them both dead on their
feet at the end of it, but Daryl in the semi-final, 11/9 after
Top seed Adrian Grant got off to his now customary slow
start as Edinburgh veteran Andy Whipp took the first game 11/7,
but quickly got into gear to finish off the match 11/2, 11/6,
11/8 in 33 minutes.
"I enjoyed it," said the top seed. "Andy's always been an
aggressive player and he came out firing right from the start.
"I've got bad blood blisters on my feet at the moment, so it
takes me a while to get going, but once I did I felt I could
control it and start to counter-attack.
Grant was pleased to get off quickly: "He sort of gave up in the
second half of the second and third games and played in patches
in the fourth, so although it was 3/1 it wasn't very long, which
is the important thing.
With no upsets so far there was only one match left which could
deliver one, but when Ong Beng Hee went two game up
against Jaymie Haycocks it didn't look like that would happen.
But the Englishman could easily have taken either of those
games, losing them both 11/9 after leading 9/6 in the second. He
did take the next two, 11/6, 11/8 to set up a decider, but it
was the Malaysian who reasserted to take it 11/7 to claim a
can't be disappointed," said a disappointed Haycocks, "I played
well but I've had a lot to do this week, I'd already lost 3/2 to
Parky and Kashif [Shujah].
"I think I try to do too much when it gets close, but I've
definitely improved recently so I'm happy with how it's going.
So there you have it - all the seeds through to the semis, there
must be an upset coming soon, don't you think, lads ?
Atkinson bt [3/4] Lauren Selby
9/11, 11/2, 11/5 (38m)
 Nicolette Fernandes bt [3/4] Victoria Lust
13/11, 11/6 (47m)
Top seeds survive
We might joke about Vanessa Atkinson still being unbeaten in
BSPA after just two matches, but as she said herself after a
see-saw semi-final against Lauren Selby, "at 2/1 down I thought
to myself I'd be seriously annoyed if I lose this."
The first game was over in a flash, no real rallies at all, but
Vanessa came out sharp in the second, raced to 8/0 and quickly
third was the closest of the match. Neither seemed to believe
they were playing well, but Lauren was playing that much better
as she regained the lead.
Same again as Vanessa picked up the pace again to take the
fourth with ease, and at 8/2 ion the decider there was no way
back for Lauren.
"She knows exactly when to up the pace from 2nd to 5th gear,"
said Lauren with a wry smile. "But I'm not disappointed, I gave
her a good run."
The victor was full of praise for her opponent: "She played very
well, and to be fair I didn't expect her to be that good. It's
not a good sign if I'm still underestimating opponents at my
"I just spaced out now and then and she's good enough to take
advantage. I knew I had to play fast, and once I'd stopped being
lazy I was ok. Maybe I needed a game like that to get me
sharpened up a bit."
For Nicolette Fernandes
it was also a case of what might have been - she could easily
have beaten Victoria Lust 3/0, but she might just as easily
still be on there, battling away in a decider.
"I don't mind the score," she said, "I'm just thankful to win.
Victoria played well to earn a 10/6 lead in the first,
nearly threw it away with two tins and two strokes, but managed
to hold on to take the lead.
was well on top in the second, but had to work hard to take the
third 13/11 although she never faced a game ball.
Victoria has been known to self-destruct, and in the middle of
the fourth it looked like happening again as she fell 6/2
behind, 7/2 after a conduct stroke for an unkind description of
She held it together though, but by then it was too late as
Nicolette moved into the final.
"Last time I played her she kept cool all the time," Nicolette
revealed, "but I know that even when she gets annoyed she can
come back, so it never meant I was winning easy.
"It will be the first time I've played Vanessa, I'm looking
forward to that ..."
For her part Victoria was happy enough: "First tournament of the
year, and I just didn't play well enough, that's all, but it's
good practice for the Nationals which is my next target."
Ghosal bt  Daryl Selby
11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (45m)
 Adrian Grant bt [3/4] Ong Beng Hee
6/11, 3/11, 11/8, 11/5,
Saurav shocks Selby as
Grant 'tests his fitness' ...
Well, we finally got our first upset as Saurav Ghosal continued
in the form he showed at lunchtime to oust second seed Daryl
Selby in straight games.
It was similar to his quarter-final against Parky, out of the
block like a whippet for the first two games then coming from
behind to take the third.
For the first two games Saurav was firing in drops from
everywhere, and scampering around the court like he does,
retrieving most things Daryl could throw at him.
The Englishman improved in the third, led 5/1, but couldn't stop
his opponent's comeback to take the match. As with his
quarter-final, the match finished with a looooooooong rally,
Daryl lifting the ball off the backwall to above the out line on
the front wall ... a strange ending indeed.
"He was just too good for me today," said Daryl. "It's the first
tournament of the season for me, I'm just not good enough yet,
so I'm not too disappointed."
While Saurav remains unbeaten, Daryl quipped, "he's just
condemned me to my second ever defeat in about 48 BSPA matches!"
looked as though we were in for another upset when Ong Beng Hee
went two games up on top seed Adrian Grant, but as he did
yesterday, Grant shrugged off the deficit and came back to win.
There was only one player in it for the first two games, Bengy
looking sharp and eager, Adrian a little laclkustre.
He was sharp enough as soon as the third started though, upping
the pace and intensity as he eased away from mid-game parity to
pull one back.
The fourth was a bit of a phony war, Bengy not imposing himself
at all as Adrian easily levelled the match.
Battle was well and truly joined from the first rally of the
fifth though, both playing hard and fast, rather than just one
was nothing in it as the 33-minute battle raged, point for point
they went. Yes, there were a lot of lets, particularly towards
the end, but a lot of punishing rallies too.
Adrian took earned his first match balls at 10/8, Bengy saved
one with a glued drive, one with a stroke. A tin gave Bengy
match ball, but he was starting to suffer now. Adrian levelled
with a crosscourt flick then Bengy tinned twice to finish the
"I got cramp at 11-all," he said, "so I thought I'd better just
go for it!"
Grant was blasé about his slow starts this week: "I'm, just
testing my fitness out with a few games ... and I'm feeling