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
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.
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
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
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
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 …
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
"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."
 Nick Matthew (Eng) bt  Cameron
11/8, 11/6, 6/11,
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.
had to work for it though - his and Cameron Pilley's recent
records suggested we had a battle on our hands, and so it
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.
was definitely tired though. He'd already received a couple of
"hurry up" messages from the centre ref, so we knew he was
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
Welcome back, Nick ...
rally of the third game saw Cameron drill the ball into Nick's
posterior - cue apologies and grimaces