AW double in Irish Open finals

Today here at Fitzwilliam we entered the Finals’ Day, with two very interesting final matches awaiting our pleasure. Men’s number one seed Alister Walker faced, rather surprisingly, No 3 seed Alan Clyne, eventual winner of last night’s epic against Borja Golan. Women’s No 1 seed, local favourite Madeline Perry faced another surprise opponent, according to the seedings that is, in Alison Waters of England, coming back in great style after her long injury lay off last year.

Arthur Curran reports …

Women’s Final:

[Q] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [1] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11/4, 11/4, 12/10. 40 mins.

Men’s Final:

[1] Alister Walker (Bot) bt [3] Alan Clyne (Sco)  11/4, 11/6, 9/11, 11/3.  54 mins.

Waters dashes home hopes in Dublin

The women’s final promised to be a very close encounter between qualifier, although a former world No 3, Alison Waters, and the undisputed queen of Irish Squash Madeline Perry, the No1 seed and the current World No 4.

Unfortunately for the capacity crowd here at Fitzwilliam the match was not as close as was expected, with Alison taking control from the start and dictating play somewhat, but with both ladies playing with great athleticism and grace, she took the first two games in what appeared quite comfortable style 11/4 each.

Madeline seemed to be struggling a little with her movement, which she explained afterwards was due to very bad blisters on her feet, but she came back into the match much better in the third to take a well earned 7/2 lead.

But slowly Alison bit into the lead to take a match ball at 10/9, and although Madeline saved that first one, thanks to a tin from Alison, Alison then took the extra points for a 12/10 win and a 3 – 0 match score in 40 minutes.

“Delighted to have won here again in Dublin, to have beaten both Laura and Madeline along the way makes it feel really good,” said the new champion.

“I feel as though I am getting back to somewhere near my best as I was before my injury and now I just want to get back to the top of the rankings again.”

“I really struggled with my movement and balance because of these terrible blisters on my feet,” admitted Perry, “but Alison has played really well all week, having to play through qualifying, and she deserved her victory.”

Walker takes men’s title

The last match of the week, the men’s final turned into a really fine match of great quality between No 1 Alister  Walker of Botswana, world ranked 18, and Scotsman Alan Clyne, No 3 seed here and world ranked 30.

Alan may have been feeling the effects of last night’s long semi final, but in his usual style he never stopped running all over the court, however Alister got on top from the start and took the first two games 11/4 and 11/6. Alister carried on in the third to take a 7/4 then a 9/6 lead but he just could not finish it off as Alan came back with a run of 5 points in one hand to take the game 11/9.

Alan must have then completely run out of steam as Alister in just two hands swept through the fourth 11/3 to win the match 3 – 1, and take the trophy – his seventh career PSA title – on his second visit here to Fitzwilliam.

“I’m delighted to win here, backing up from a win in Berkshire in the USA just two weeks ago, it’s been a really big push for me,” said Walker.

“I want to congratulate Alan for a fine display and his good sportsmanship.  I have only played here once before and I was beaten in the first round.   I want to thank the organisers of this great tournament, the sponsors and the management, members and staff of this delightful club, and I shall definitely do my best to return next year.”

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