Local Hopes Dashed in Artemis Edinburgh Open Quarters

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The WSA Artemis Edinburgh Open began on Friday night at the Edinburgh Sports Club to commence a busy weekend for those involved. 

Local hope Frania-Gillen Buchert had a good run in the event, upsetting No7 seed Sally Skaarenborg of Denmark after coming back from 2-0 down to win an epic 5-setter. 

Afterwards Gillen-Buchert said: “I made it really difficult for myself, it took me a while to implement my game plan. She had a good volley and was really quick. She got more back than I expected.”

The Scot went on to play No2 seed Orla Noom of the Netherlands, who recorded a comprehensive first round win over Danish Bine Malund Lind

Scottish hopes were buoyed early on, as Gillen-Burchet took a first-game lead over Noom, but was gradually forced further and further into the back of the court as the No2 seed began assert herself on the match. 

Noom held firm throughout periods of pressure from her opponent, and a couple of untimely errors by the Scot gave the Dutchwoman the opportunities she needed to take the game.

Afterwards Noom said: “It took me a game to figure her out. I was panicking a bit, but I was happy to pull through the third.”

Gillen-Buchert was happy with her performance despite the loss: “I’m sore and stiff, but pleased. After time out you forget the basics of competition. This has been a good indicator of what I need to work on.”

Dominika Witowska of Poland fell foul of her unseeded opponent Julia Lecoq in round one, losing in four games 11/2, 11/8, 11/13, 11/2. Lecoq went on to play Austrian Birgit Coufal, who had seen off qualifier Victoria Bell in her first round match, also in four games. 

No3 seed Coufal played a patient and careful tactic against Lecoq, using the lob to good effect and was only really troubled by her opponent when the game sped up in the third game. Winning in three, Coufal explained afterwards: “I slowed the first and second games down with lots of lobs, which you can do [with the high ceiling] on court five. In the third she attacked and I was slow to react. Eventually I straightened the ball and it was ok.”

No1 seed Lauren Briggs dispatched Egyptian Nada Elkalaawy in the first round, before dealing with young Frenchwoman Laura Pomportes in much the same fashion. Pomportes had overcome her national compatriot Melissa Alves in five games to make it to the quarters. 

English Zephanie Curgenven beat Poland’s Anna Jurken in three games, before progressing to beat higher seed Maud Duplomb in a 30-minute contest. Curgenven was delighted with her performance: “I made the second game very physical, and I think it broke her for the third. The fourth was a bit of a battle but I came through.” Duplomb had beaten Cignay Sillevis 3-1 before exiting the competition at the hand of Curgenven.

Semi finals draw:
[1] Lauren Briggs (ENG) vs [3] Birgit Coufal (AUT)
[6] Zephanie Curgenven (ENG) vs [2] Orla Noom (NED)

Quarter final results:
[1] Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt [5] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11/7, 11/7, 12/10
[3] Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt Julia Lecoq (FRA) 11/5, 11/7, 12/10
[6] Zephanie Curgenven (ENG) bt [4] Maud Duplomb (FRA) 6/11, 12/10, 11/3, 11/6
[2] Orla Noom (NED) bt [Q] Frania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) 8/11, 11/6, 12/10, 11/8

Round 1 results:
[1] Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt Nada El Kalaawy (EGY) – 11/7 11/3 11/5
[5] Laura Pomportes (FRA) bt [Q] Melissa Alves (FRA)- 11/7 11/4 4/11 8/11 12/10
[3] Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt [Q] Victoria Bell (ENG)- 11/9 11/5 10/12 11/7
Julia Lecoq (FRA) bt [8] Dominika Witkowska (POL) – 11/2 11/8 11/13 11/12
[6] Zephanie Curgenven (ENG) bt Anna Jurkun (POL) – 11/7 11/5 11/3
[4] Maud Duplomb (FRA) bt [Q] Cigany Sillevis (NED) – 11/13 11/5 11/2 11/2
[Q] Frania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) bt [7] Sally Skaarenborg (DEN) – 8/11 5/11 11/4 11/6 11/8
[2] Orla Noom (NED) bt Bine Malund Lind (DEN) – 11/5 11/5 11/3

Thanks to David Lyons for content and photographs.

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