Forexx Dutch Open Squash  02 to 07 Sep 2008 Amsterdam

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TODAY in Amsterdam - Sun 7th, Finals

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [2] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
           11/9, 11/9, 11/4 (55m)

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [3] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
           11/8, 11/6, 6/11, 12/10 (79m)

Finals Day Video 

It's Nicol and Nick ...

It was one repeat and one new winner at the Frans Otten Stadion as Nick Mathew and Nicol David claimed the Forexx Dutch Open titles in front of a packed crowd at the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam.

Having contested ten major finals over the last two years, David and two-time Dutch champion Natalie Grinham were no strangers. Their matches are invariably long and this was no exception - the first game alone lasted 23 minutes. Grinham led in the first two games but David fought back to take both 11/9. An early lead in the third proved too much for the newly-Dutch Grinham to overcome as the Malaysian world number one retained her title, and her unbeaten run of almost a year.

The men's final guaranteed a new name on the trophy. Top seed Nick Matthew, back on court after an eight-month injury layoff, faced improving Australian Cameron Pilley, who had beaten home favourite Laurens Jan Anjema in a marathon semi-final.

Matthew, still ranked eight in the world despite his layoff, took a two-game lead. Pilley pulled one back and, despite his obvious tiredness, hung in to take the fourth game to extra points before the Englishman completed a very successful comeback to take his first Dutch Open title.

Head to Head

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [2] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
           11/9, 11/9, 11/4 (55m)

Nicol's run continues ...

Nine wins out of ten meetings in major finals is probably a big psychological advantage to take into a match, and it stood Nicol David in good stead today at the Frans Otten Stadion as she beat Natalie Grinham to retain her Dutch Open title, and her unbeaten record that goes back to last October.

The three-nil scoreline doesn't nearly say enough though, as the Malaysian world number one found herself behind in both of the first two games, winning the first with a run of six points, the second with a run of five, to leave her opponent somewhat frustrated.

Natalie certainly started the better, and in the early stages it was Nicol who was doing most of the rushing, making two or three uncharacteristic unforced errors as Natalie surged ahead, 6/3 and 9/5.

At 9/8 Natalie took a time out to bandage a finger she had cut on her nail - "it happened at 9/5 but I didn't want to break my momentum if the referee didn't notice, but it was preying on my mind so I had to go off and fix it". The break didn't stop Nicol's momentum and she won the next three points to take the lead.

The rallies were long of course, they always are with these two. The first game took 23 minutes, the second, which followed a similar pattern, took 15 as Nicol again finished with a flourish to double her lead.

As if that wasn't bad enough for Natalie, the Malaysian raced to 6/0 in the third, thanks in part to some lucky bounces off the back and side walls. "How many of those can anyone do in one game," muttered Natalie.

The newly-Dutch Australian stopped the rot with a run of three points of her own, but a full comeback always looked unlikely. At 9/4 when Nicol flung her racket at a ball clinging to the sidewall and saw it rebound gracefully into the nick in the opposite front corner, we knew it was going to be her day again.

"That was a great match, we had some really monster rallies, like we always do, and it definitely didn't feel like a 3/0.

"She took it on when she had the opportunity, she trains on this court and she was finding some lovely angles in the first game. I had to try to find my game and step it up, and luckily I managed to get those last two points in the first two games.

"I'm really pleased with my focus and my game, and I'm delighted to win the Dutch Open again, I'm looking forward to next year already!"

"Most people go on against Nicol trying to hit winners because she's such a retriever, but I try to keep it going and force her to actually win the match. We're both retrievers so we always have long rallies. I like to go short more than her but I have to hold back on that because she just loves running.

"It was disappointing to be two down after being so close to winning both of them and I was probably a bit mentally fatigued in the third from that."

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [3] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
           11/8, 11/6, 6/11, 12/10 (79m)

Nick's Back ...

It's been a long wait for Nick Matthew, eight long months since he played his last competitive match, in the final of the English Open way back in December. After a couple of false starts he finally got back on court here in Amsterdam, improved in every round and tonight he's very proud to be the new Forexx Dutch Open Champion.

He had to work for it though - his and Cameron Pilley's recent records suggested we had a battle on our hands, and so it proved.

The Englishman held sway for the first two games, staying a few points ahead however hard Cameron tried, but the punishing rallies were taking their toll on both players.

The Australian went on to take a slender lead in the middle of the third, and seemed to decide that now was a good time to finish it as he started going for - and getting - some outrageous kills. He was obviously tired by now, after his marathon win over Dutch favourite LJ Anjema yesterday, but those kills were special, especially the one to finish the game off, and the crowd were duly impressed.

Nick reasserted at the start of the fourth though, moving into a 6/3 lead, then 8/4.

Cameron went into kill-frenzy mode again - "I had to do something, I was so tired," he said afterwards - and it paid off as he pulled it back, even taking the lead at 9/8.

Cameron was definitely tired though. He'd already received a couple of "hurry up" messages from the centre ref, so we knew he was hurting.

It went to ten-all. Nick hit out on his first match ball. He thought he'd won it at 11/10 but the refs decided Cameron had just about cleared. Let.

Cameron definitely didn't clear the next time though, and the ref didn't have to announce the result as the players shook hands.

Welcome back, Nick ...

The opening rally of the third game saw Cameron drill the ball into Nick's posterior - cue apologies and grimaces

Nick after the match

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