The thirty-one year old from The Hague needed four games (11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5) to overcome his regular training partner on the show court of the renowned Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam to move one step closer to match the achievements of his father Robert-Jan, who won twelve Dutch titles in the seventies and early eighties.
“It’s never easy to win a national title”, said the jubilant champion to compere Alex Nelissen after the final. “Expectations are always very high and all the boys are out to show that they can compete with me. Piedro put up a tremendous fight today and I am really glad to have come through this tough battle”, added the world number sixteen.
Earlier in the day Milou van der Heijden created a huge upset in the women’s final by defeating much higher ranked Natalie Grinham to clinch her first national title. The world number fifty-one took the match to her far more experienced opponent from the outset and despite losing the opening game romped home to a stunning 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 victory over the three time Dutch champion.
“I simply can’t believe I won”, was the first reaction from the twenty-three year old after the match. “When I travelled up here this morning I didn’t think about winning, but in the first game I could see Natalie was struggling to move. Although she was clearly not playing at her best, its still a great result for me and I am delighted to be able to call myself Dutch Champion for the upcoming twelve months”, added Van der Heijden.
Thirty-five year old Grinham wasn’t too downhearted after her shock loss. “Milou really deserved to win today. She was all over me from the start and I just didn’t have the energy or the movement to trouble her. I managed to hang in all of the games due to my experience, but I simply don’t have the explosiveness anymore in my game”, said the world number twelve who recently announced that she is over three months pregnant again from her second child.
Dylan Bennett and Margriet Huisman took home the bronze medals after beating Sebastiaan Weenink and Tessa ter Sluis respectively in similar fashion (3-1) in the bronze medal play-offs.