Briggs Wins All-English Final

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Lauren Briggs
claimed the 10th WISPA title of her career this week at the Tour 4 Le Sport Open in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

Briggs won an all English final with victory over rising star and local girl Emily Whitlock in front of a packed house.

Both players had shown superb squash all week and the final between the top two seeds always looked likely. However, Briggs had to fend off a spirited challenge from hard hitting Sarah-Jane Perry in the semi final.

Although only one place apart in the rankings, Whitlock’s 57 to Briggs’ 58, they are 14 years apart in age!

The match up was a much anticipated one, both players having been in great form all year. Whitlock had already reached two tour semi finals and her first final in March at the Wimbledon Cup and who could forget her win at the British Junior Open in January as well. Briggs has been imperious. Since her return to the tour in November after 6 months out with injury, she had compiled a 19-2 win-loss record coming into this tournament, including 4 titles.

The final was a high quality affair and there was little to separate the two players throughout the match. Both played at a high pace and displayed great retrieving skills. However, it was the accuracy and experience from Briggs and a few too many errors from Whitlock that allowed Briggs to claim the match in straight games.

The home crowd were left disappointed but were thoroughly entertained.

Briggs has now won four tournaments this year, more than anyone else on tour. Also by winning four tournaments in a row, she follows Nicol David, Kasey Brown and Lisa Camilleri as only the fourth player currently on tour to ever achieve this feat.

Briggs will return to the top 50 next month in the rankings. She has said her intentions are to return to the top 20 and in this kind of form there is no reason why this won’t happen.

Final:
[2] L Briggs (ENG) bt [1] E Whitlock (ENG) 11-9 11-5 12-10

Semi Final:
[1] E Whitlock (ENG) bt [5] M Dorenbos (NED) 11-6 11-3 11-6 (32m)
[2] L Briggs (ENG) bt [6] S-J Perry (ENG) 11-5 10-12 11-9 11-8 (40m)

Quarter Final:
[1] E Whitlock (ENG) bt [7] V Bell (ENG) 11-7 11-7 11-5 (35m)
[5] M Dorenbos (NED) bt [4] C Mesic (FRA) 11-6 11-4 11-6 (27m)
[6] S-J Perry (ENG) bt R Willmott (ENG) 7-11 11-7 6-11 11-5 12-10 (60m)
[2] L Briggs (ENG) bt [8] S Sinclair (ENG) 11-6 11-1 11-5 (25m)

1st Round:
[1] E Whitlock (ENG) bye
[7] V Bell (ENG) bt B Etchechoury (ARG) 11-2 11-9 11-9 (27m)
[4] C Mesic (FRA) bt L Tamilla (ENG) 11-7 11-6 8-11 11-3
[5] M Dorenbos (NED) bt H Williams (ENG) 11-5 11-6 11-3 (27m)
[6] S-J Perry (ENG) bt C Pearson (ENG) 11-8 11-6 11-7 (22m)
R Willmott (ENG) bt [3] L Eriksen (NOR) 7-11 12-10 8-11 11-3 11-4 (60m)
[8] S Sinclair (ENG) bt E Harlow (WAL) 11-2 12-10 6-11 11-4 (30m)
[2] L Briggs (ENG) bye

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