Edinburgh SC Open Finals

Day Five: Coll and El Hammamy are the ESC Champions

Paul Coll and Hania El Hammamy are the 2019 Edinburgh Sports Club Open champions after comprehensive victories in today’s finals.

[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [1] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (Usa) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (32m)
[1] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [2] James Willstrop (Eng) 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)

Hammamy, the second seed, completed a full set of three-nil wins as she beat top seeded American Olivia Blatchford Clyne, taking the early initiative as she took both opening games 11-5.

The third was closer as the the 18-year-old Egyptian edged ahead from 3-all, but although she maintained the lead she wasn’t able to break away as Olivia worked hard to stay in touch. Hania reached match ball at 10-8 and needed just one chance as she put it a precision drop to claim her third, and biggest, PSA title.

“I think I controlled the first two games well,” said Hania, “but the third was really close and I had to work hard to stay ahead, I really didn’t want it to go to a fourth.

“I think I’ve played well this week, it will give me confidence going into some important tournaments coming up. And it’s my biggest PSA win, so I’m really happy!”

Coll took on England’s James Willstrop, and the match followed a similar patter to yesterday’s semi-final against Daryl Selby, the Kiwi getting the better of the opening games but making his opponent work so hard in those that the third was more comfortable.

“I didn’t play badly at all,” said Selby after the semi-final, “but I just couldn’t make much impression on him, even when he was out of position he would still get there.”

It was a similar story today and Willstrop, feeling the effect of some brutal rallies at the end of the second, went 0-6 down in the third. As the end approached Willstrop asked for a let … “it’s got to be, I’m two-nil down and getting hammered,” he pleaded, and the ref (from Yorkshire) agreed. It was only a stay of execution though a Coll wrapped up the title soon enough.

“It’s been a really good weekend,” said the new champion, “the atmosphere has been great from the start and I’ve loved playing on this court with a big crowd, even if not many of them were supporting me!

“The timing was good too, getting some tough matches in the buildup to the worlds to thanks to the club and the organisers, if the schedule allows I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Day Four: Top seeds through to Finals

Top seeds Coll and Willstrop deny former champs

Top seeds Paul Coll and James Willstrop – both making their first appearance at the event – beat former champions Daryl Selby and Alan Clyne in contrasting semi-finals to guarantee a new Edinburgh Sports Club Open men’s champion.
[2] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-1 [5] Alan Clyne (Sco)   16-14, 2-11, 11-9, 11-9 (64m)
[1] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 [3] Daryl Selby (Eng)   11-4, 11-7, 11-2 (36m)
Willstrop took over an hour to deny Clyne, the 2016 and 2017 champion, and a brutal first game accounted for half of that time. Having taken it 16-14 Willstrop ‘hit a bit of a wall’ in the second as Clyne levelled 11-2. The third was again close, and when Willstrop took it 11-9 it felt decisive and so it proved as the Englishman established a winning lead before closing out the fourth to end a run of three Scottish champions.
“That first game was so tough,” admitted James, “there wasn’t a lot I could do in the second, but coming back to take the third was crucial in the end. Winning that gave me a boost of impetus and confidence, but it’s always tough on club courts like this. I need to recover now, whoever I play in the final it’s going to be a tough one.”
Selby has won the event five times and is well accustomed to ESC’s court five, but tonight Kiwi Coll, the new world #6, took an early lead in the opening game and held  Selby’s courtcraft in check as he won in straight game, accelerating through the third.
“It’s great fun playing here, the crowd really gets involved even if they’re not on my side,” said Paul.
“It’s always a tough match with Daryl but I was pleased with how I played. I’m looking forward to playing James in the final, it’s always a good clean and  enjoyable but tricky match against him.”

Top seeds storm through to women’s final

The PSA Challenger 20 women’s final will be contested by the top seeds after impressive semi-final wins by Olivia Blatchford Clyne and Hania El Hammamy at Edinburgh Sports Club on Saturday evening.
[1] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (Usa) 3-0 Rachael Chadwick (Eng)  11-3, 11-8, 11-9 (31m)
[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [4] Alexandra Fuller (Rsa)  11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (25m)
Blatchford Clyne was up against England’s unseeded Rachael Chadwick, who had produced the only two seeding upsets in the draw to reach this stage. Her run was ended though as the American #2 raced to a three-nil win in just over half an hour.
From 3-all in the first Olivia didn’t concede another point, and established good leads in each of the next two. In both Rachael closed the gap but couldn’t quite get on terms as Olivia closed out the match.
“Rachael appeared out of nowhere for the world juniors in Chennai 09 and you could see she was a bit different, and very effective,” said Olivia. “She’s had some good results so I knew I had to be onto it from the start, I’m just pleased to win and especially pleased to make my first final since Colombia two years ago.
“Recently I’ve only played the bigger tournaments and I’ve had a run of only getting one game, so it’s also good to know that I’ll be having four matches in a row here!”
Second seeded Hammamy, the newly re-crowned British Junior Open U19 Champion, was in devastating form against Alexandra Fuller, the South African falling behind early in each of the three games and never able to catch up as Hania piled on the pressure and kept the flow of winners rolling.
“I played Alex three years ago and it was tough, so I knew I had to be sharp from the beginning,” said Hania. “I’m pleased with how i played, I had a game plan and I’m glad I was able to stick to it and not lose focus.
“Olivia and I have played three times and it’s 2-1 to me, so it should be a good final tomorrow.”

Day Three: Semifinalists decided

Men: Clyne dethrones Lobban 

The opening men’s quarter-final was a much anticipated all-Scottish clash between Greg Lobban and Alan Clyne, who between them have won the last three titles with Lobban coming in as the defending champion.


Clyne managed to control the play for the most part, taking both opening games 11-8 then dominating the fourth after a threatened Lobban comeback.

“Greg’s been playing well and getting some great results,” said Clyne, “so it’s really pleasing to be able to get a win over him. Hopefully I can go on to regain the title and keep it in Scottish hands.


Englishman James Willstrop and five-time champion Daryl Selby beat compatriots Patrick Rooney and George Parker in straight games, with second seed Willstrop set to meet Clyn for a place in the final while Selby meets new World #6 Paul Coll after the top-seeded Kiwi ended the run of unseeded home favourite Rory Stewart 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.

Women: Chadwick gatecrashes the semis

Rachael Chadwick recorded her “best ever win” to oust 2015 champion and third seed Fiona Moverley in a nailbiting five-setter to open the quarter-finals at Edinburgh Sports Club.


Each game was desperately close, with Chadwick fighting back from deficits in the fourth to earn a couple of match balls, and in the fifth on her way to a first victory over a top 30 player.

“I can’t believe I did that after the fourth,” she said, “I thought I’d blown it but managed to come back again in the fifth. Biggest win of my career, I’m really really pleased!”

She’ll meet top seed Olivia Blatchford Clyne who won a close four game tussle against fellow American Olivia Fiechter – their first matchup!


In the bottom half of the draw Egyptian second seed Hania El Hammamy beat Satomi Watanabe in straight games while South African fourth seed Alexandra Fuller came through in five games to deny Enora Villard.

Women’s Quarter-Finals
[1] Olivia Blatchford Clyne (Usa) 3-1 [8] Olivia Fiechter (Usa)12-10, 14-16, 12-10, 11-8 (46m)
Rachael Chadwick (Eng) 3-2 [3] Fiona Moverley (Eng) 16-18, 11-9, 16-14, 10-12, 11-8 (66m)
[4] Alexandra Fuller (Rsa) 3-2 [6] Enora Villard (Fra)11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4 (52m)
[2] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [5] Satomi Watanabe (Jpn)11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (26m)

Men’s Quarter-Finals
[1] Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Rory Stewart (Sco)11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (41m)   [3] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-0 [6] George Parker (Eng)11-7, 11-9 , 11-9 (35m)
[5] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-1 [4] Greg Lobban (Sco) 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4 (64m)
[2] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 [7] Patrick Rooney (Eng)12-10, 11-4, 11-9 (35m)


Day Two: Women’s Quarterfinalists decided as five Scotsmen advance to face seeds

Thursday evening at Edinburgh Sports Club saw yesterday’s women’s winners take on the seeded players as they bid to reach the quarters, plus eight men’s matches to decide who was pitted against the men’s seeds.

Seven of the women’s matches went to seeding, the exception being Rachael Chadwick’s straight games win over 7th seed Menna Hamed, and she faces a quarter-final against the only other Englishwoman left, 2015 champion and third seed Fiona Moverley, who almost let two big leads slip as she beat Salma Youssef in straight games.

South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller also won in three, but the fourth seed had to come from 3-10 down in the first and 7-10 in the third to see off Farah Momen. She meets sixth seeded Frenchwoman Enora Villard, who survived a really tough five-setter against Jasmine Hutton.

An American semi-finalist is guaranteed after top seed Olivia Blatchford Clyne and Olivia Fiechter both won impressively – Feichter ending the run of local heroine Georgia Adderley in straight games.

The sole Egyptian success came as second seed Hania El Hammamy accelerated away from Anna Serme after a close first game, setting up a quarter-final against Japan’s fifth seed Satomi Watanabe who ended hopes of home success with a four game win over Ally Thomson.

There were five home victories in the men’s matches as Kevin Moran, Dougie Kempsell, Jamie Henderson, Rory Stewart and Fergus Richards all booked matches against the seeds tomorrow, Richards having the hardest run as he overcame former British O35 champion Darren Lewis in a 72-minute five game marathon.

The 2019 edition of the Edinburgh Sports Club Open got under way in the Scottish capital with eight first round matches in the Women’s PSA Challenger 20 event.

There were two home wins as home club wildcard Georgia Adderley came through a tough five-setter against Clhoe Mesic and Alison Thomson beat Nadia Pfister in straight games. It wasn’t to be a home hat-trick though as Anna Serme beat Elspeth Young in three, to claim her first ever Edinburgh win after many attempts!

Recently crowned British U23 Open champion Jasmine Hutton came from a game down to upset Milnay Louw, further English success came as Rachael Chadwick got the better of Tessa ter Sluis in five games and Kace Bartley beat Wales’ Ali Loke in three.

There were two Egyptian winners, Salma Youssef and Farah Momen booking their places in tomorrow’s round two which sees the top eight seeds enter the fray.