Boston Open Finals

Sunday, Day THREE

Women’s Final

[1] Sarah-Jane Perry 3-2 [2] Millie Tomlinson 8/11, 7/11, 11/3, 11/5, 11/7 (53m)

The women’s final, much like the women’s event as a whole, was the strongest in the Boston Open’s 23-year history. With world #8 and British #1 Sarah-Jane Perry taking on world #25 and defending champion Millie Tomlinson, the crowd that assembled was the biggest the tournament had attracted on its finals day for many years.

Hopes were high for a close and entertaining showpiece and that is exactly what the spectators got. Tomlinson played excellently to win the first two sets, while Perry was often frustrated as the referee was frequently called upon to make decisions – far more so than in the men’s final that followed. There was perhaps a clash of styles between this particular pair of players.

But after falling to her knees in frustration at the end of the second game, Perry began her fightback. “Come on!” she shouted after taking her first point of the third set. Spurred on, she raced into a 5/1 lead and didn’t look back from there. The top seed powered through the next two sets to win the final and deny Millie Tomlinson a sixth consecutive Boston Open title.

Men’s Final

Joe Lee 3-0 Ben Smith 11/4, 11/5, 11/2 (31m)

The men’s final was expected to be a less tight affair than the women’s before it, and so it proved. 17-year-old Ben Smith had upset the seedings to become the second young player from Lincolnshire to make a Boston Open final in as many years, following in the footsteps of Harry Falconer in 2018.

While his opponent Joe Lee was also unseeded in this competition, that belied the fact that he is a former world #29 on his way back from surgery.

It briefly looked as though we might be in for a four-set match at the very least when Smith took a 4/1 lead in the second game. But Lee responded well and won seven consecutive points. He never looked back and won his first Boston Open title.

Saturday, Day ;TWO

Women’s Quarter Finals
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry 3-0 Lucy Beecroft 11/7, 11/8, 11/7 (25m)
[5/8] Julianne Courtice 3-0 [3/4] Hollie Naughton 11/9, 11/8, 11/7 (27m)
[2] Millie Tomlinson 3-0 [5/8] Haley Mendez 11/5, 11/6, 11/7 (26m)
[3/4] Tinne Gilis 3-1 [5/8] Coline Aumard 8/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/9 (47m)

Saturday began with the women’s quarter finals. Sarah-Jane Perry was first to seal her place in the semis, swiftly followed by Julianne Courtice who knocked out a higher-ranked seed in Hollie Naughton. Millie Tomlinson continued her run of not losing a set, let alone a match, at the Boston Open since 2015 (despite appearing in every tournament since) with a 3-0 victory over Haley Mendez in what was a repeat of last year’s final. Tinne Gilis was the last name into the semi finals, beating Coline Aumard 3-1 in a match in which every game was close.

Men’s Quarter Finals:
Ben Smith 3-1 [1] Robert Downer  8/11, 11/8, 11/7, 11/4 (45m)
Ben Sockett 3-1 Kyle Finch 13/15, 11/5, 11/5, 11/8 (48m)
Joe Lee 3-1 [3/4] Mark Fuller 11/7, 11/9, 10/12, 11/3 (57m)
[2] Tom Walsh 3-1 [5/8] Adam Turner { 11/7, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 (41m)

With the first pair of men’s quarter finals it was difficult to know which glass back to turn your head to.

On one court, Ben Sockett and Kyle Finch each played their part in an excellent contest which began with a 28-point set. Sockett recovered from 10/6 down to force a tiebreak and subsequently ended up having a gameball himself at 13/12 before conceding three consecutive points. Nevertheless, he didn’t let his head drop and won the next three games.

At the same time, on the court opposite, we were treated to a fiery encounter between Robert Downer and Ben Smith. Playing in his home county, the unseeded Smith played very well to produce the biggest upset of the competition and knock out the top seed – even after losing the first game.

Joe Lee became the third unseeded semi-finalist in the men’s draw with a win against Mark Fuller that took just shy of an hour, before second seed Tom Walsh progressed in four sets against Adam Turner.

Women’s Semi Finals
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry 3-1 [5/8] Julianne Courtice 5/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (40m)
[2] Millie Tomlinson 3-0 [3/4] Tinne Gilis   11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (33m)

More than 40 people watched Sarah-Jane Perry beat Julianne Courtice in the first of the semi-finals. The top seed will no doubt have been unhappy with her performance in the first set but credit must also go to Courtice, who played Perry when they were juniors and gave her a good run for her money on this occasion. World #25 Millie Tomlinson continued her ultra-consistent form on Boston’s courts, dispatching world #22 Tinne Gilis without so much as a brief wobble.

Men’s Semi Finals
Ben Smith 3-0 Ben Sockett 11/9, 11/5, 11/5 (34m)
Joe Lee 3-0 [2] Tom Walsh 11/8, 11/8, 11/6 (39m)

Ben Smith continued his impressive performance levels through the competition so far with a straight sets win against Ben Sockett. It was in the second half of each game that Smith put together the winning runs that made the difference. Joe Lee also made the final without too much trouble, defeating second seed Tom Walsh in three.

Friday : Day ONE

Due to the highest number of entries in many years, the 23rd edition of the Boston Open began at lunchtime on Friday. The men’s first round was a very straightforward affair – with every match in the round won in straight sets. The first of the ten matches played, between Ian Cox and Paul Warner, turned out to be the joint longest at 22 minutes.

Round one was more eventful in the women’s draw than in the men’s. It included a walkover, a retirement and two five-setters. Sophie O’Rourke had to call time on her Boston Open appearance in the second set of her match against Charlotte Kirkwood due to illness, having been suffering from a nasty cold this week. The round finished with a stonking encounter between Celine Walser and Lincolnshire’s Katie Wells. The 19-year-old from Horncastle let a two-set lead slip and couldn’t recover in the fifth and final game after losing the fourth on a tiebreak.

Boston Open : Men's Round Two
[1] Robert Downer 3-1 Ian Cox         11/3, 11/9, 4/11, 11/6 (24m)
Ben Smith 3-0 Nick Ratnarajah                   11/5, 11/5, 11/6 (24m)
Ben Sockett 3-0 Ziad Salam                        11/2, 11/5, 11/3 (20m)
[3/4] Mark Fuller 3-0 Jack Mitterer             11/3, 11/7, 11/8 (27m)

Kyle Finch 3-1 [3/4] Nick Mulvey      6/11, 11/7, 11/2, 11/2 (31m)
[5/8] Adam Turner 3-0 Jamie Goodrich      11/8, 11/8, 11/8 (32m)
Joe Lee 3-1 [5/8] Jared Carter            8/11, 11/2, 11/4, 11/2 (50m)
[2] Tom Walsh 3-0 Phil Nightingale           11/6, 11/5, 11/4 (29m)

The men’s second round overlapped with the women’s first round, meaning there were often three matches taking place simultaneously – leaving little downtime for the team of three referees! Top seed Robert Downer progressed to the quarters despite dropping the third set of his match. Former world #29 Joe Lee also secured his passage into the final eight by knocking out one of the seeds. One other upset saw 3/4 seed Nick Mulvey knocked out by Kyle Finch. Mulvey suffered an injury in the first set. He had already raced into enough of a lead to see that game out, but not the ones that followed.

Boston Open : Men's Round Two
[1] Sarah-Jane Perry 3-0 Charlotte Kirkwood 11/4, 11/3, 11/6 (12m)
Lucy Beecroft 3-1 [5/8] Lily Taylor  12/10, 6/11, 11/3, 11/7 (40m)
[5/8] Julianne Courtice 3-0 Lea Barbeau 11/8, 11/4, 11/5 (15m)
[3/4] Hollie Naughton 3-0 Emma Bartley 11/4, 11/3, 11/3 (15m)

[3/4] Tinne Gilis 3-0 Ellie White 11/3, 11/2, 11/2 (18m)
[5/8] Coline Aumard 3-0 Olivia Gow 11/3, 11/2, 11/2 (16m)
[5/8] Haley Mendez 3-0 Alice Green 11/3, 11/8, 11/6 (23m)
[2] Millie Tomlinson 3-0 Celine Walser 11/7, 11/9, 11/6 (21m)

As the last of Friday’s action was finishing up in the men’s event, it was the women’s turn to take centre stage once again. Lucy Beecroft and Lily Taylor were first up. Their match wasn’t on either of the two glass back courts – which was a shame – as they slugged it out for four sets in what was an entertaining match that still drew a healthy line of spectators to the balcony of court two.

While Taylor was defeated, all the other seeds made it through to the quarters. World #8 Sarah-Jane Perry sailed through her first match of the competition. Last year’s runner-up Haley Mendez was last on court at around 9pm, against Alice Green – who she beat in straight sets.


Seven of the world’s top 50 women squash players will compete at Boston Squash and Racketball Club this weekend as it hosts the 23rd annual Boston Open.

It is the strongest women’s draw in the tournament’s history, and for the first time the £4,000 prize pot will be split equally between the men and women. The fact that both draws are significantly up numbers-wise on last year is another reason that 2019 looks as though it’ll be a golden year for the event.

26 men and 24 women will take to Boston’s courts, compared to a combined total of 18 players last year, when the competition was adjusting to the discontinuation of the BSPA Tour – the ‘UK Grand Prix’ of squash which the Boston Open had been part of for many years.

The women’s draw is led by British #1 and world #8 Sarah-Jane Perry. She has previously won the British National Championship and took silver in the women’s singles at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year.

The second seed is world #25 Millie Tomlinson. She has won more Boston Opens than any other player, having come out on top in the last five finals. Tinne Gilis, Hollie Naughton, Coline Aumard, Julianne Courtice and last year’s Boston Open runner-up Haley Mendez are all in the world’s top 50 too.

The men’s top seed, Robert Downer, is the 15th highest-ranked Englishman in the world at #127, but second seed Tom Walsh isn’t far behind – ranking as English #18 and also holding a place in the world’s top 150. Joe Lee, who has been as high as world #29, will be hoping to upset the seedings.