Emma Beddoes claimed the inaugural Courtcare Open title yesterday in Chorley, England.
The WSA Tour10 boasted a strong British contingent of players, reflected in the top five seeds. Qualifier *Salma Hany Ibrahim Ahmed* delivered a number of surprises in the event, first dispatching sixth seed *Gaby Huber* in the opening round, before then dismissing top seed *Sarah Kippax* after fighting back from two games down.
After comfortable early-round wins, a narrow semi-final round saw Emma Beddoes take on No.2 seed *Sarah-Jane Perry* in a nail-bitingly close match. Beddoes’ experience gave her the advantage throughout the early exchanges, and the 27-year-old established a solid two-game lead against the higher seed. As she is known for doing, a resilient Perry fought back in the third game, and was able to launch successful comeback to level the score at two games each. The fifth and final game was decided by the narrowest of tie-break margins, where an error from the No.2 seed gave Beddoes the opportunity of match ball. The world No.34 made no mistake, moving past Perry and into her first final since her Meadowood Pharmacy Open 2012 victory.
In the top half of the draw, *Victoria Lust* was also embroiled in a marathon clash against qualifier Salma Hany. Having already dispatched top seed Kippax, the 16-year-old was high in confidence and took a frantic first game against Lust. Hany’s positivity continued to show, but a number of errors in the second game allowed Lust to establish herself in the contest and she duly took advantage, swinging the momentum in her favour. The 23-year-old extended a lead to 2-1, but Hany was still causing problems, seizing a lull in pressure from her opponent and forcing a deciding fifth game. The younger player began to fall off the pace in the fifth, while Lust continued to rack up the points before claiming an impressive third consecutive WSA final appearance.
Beddoes was able to continue her unbeaten run against Lust, playing precise strategy to cause her opponent problems in the first game. A strong lead established in the first game gave her more confidence, and her momentum extended into the second game too, where she was able to counter Lust’s attempts at gaining a foothold in the contest. The higher seed closed out a narrower second game, but Lust took confidence from the improvement in her game, and her third game efforts matched the 27-year-old, benefitting from a more tactical approach. She deservedly won a close third game, before Beddoes upped the pace once again, regrouping well and controlling the final rallies to close out the win and her eighth WSA World Tour title.
Beddoes thanked the crowd and sponsors after the match, adding: “It’s been an amazing event and I’d like to thank Laura [Massaro] and Chris for putting on a great event. It makes a real difference having a player run an event as she knows what we want and we have had everything we needed all week from them. I hope to be back next year!"
CourtCare have pledged a five-year deal to sponsor the WSA World Tour event. *
Final: * Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG)11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6
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Malaysian David bidding to become the first player in the 60-year history of the championship to win the title three times in a row, and Egyptian teenager El Sherbini looking to repeat her shock World Championship victory over the world number one in March.
Tonje Daffinrud produced the round of the day in the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa to maintain her bid for a top five place in the rankings and earn her Ladies European Tour card for next season.
It was back in March that the pair last met - in the final of the WSA World Championship in Malaysia where Massaro clinched victory 11-9 in the fifth to win the sport's most prized title for the first time.
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