Eighteen year-old Emily Whitlock claimed the sixth WSA World Tour title of her career yesterday after beating Lauren Selby to the Tour 5 Edinburgh Open 2013.
Whitlock began her title run by defeating local favourite and Scottish national champion Frania Gillen-Burchet in a straightforward three games encounter. She then fought back from a game down to beat last year’s finalist Orla Noom of the Netherlands. The teen, ranked at world No.25, then moved past fifth seed Victoria Bell in three games to make her expected appearance in the competition’s finale.
There she faced world No.46 Lauren Selby who had dispatched qualifier Victoria Temple-Murray in three games to kick off her 2013 campaign, before also going a game down to her quarter-final opponent Cyrielle Peltier of France. The Englishwoman recovered to win in four games, and took 36-minutes to defeat sixth seed Carrie Ramsey and set up the final of the WSA event.
Top seeded Whitlock made an excellent start to the final contest, racing ahead to a strong lead and closing out the first game before her opponent could get a foothold in the match. A quick start to the second game also had Selby on the back foot, but the battle was deceptively closer than the score would suggest. The experienced Selby fought her way back into the contest well, and tied the game score at 8-all before progressing to level the match.
The teenager reasserted herself in the third, and didn’t allow her lead to slip on this occasion. She closed out the game with a comfortable margin, but spurred on by her supporters, Selby rallied to an impressive lead in the fourth and forced the deciding fifth and final game.
The younger player perhaps had more still in the tank at the late stage of the match, and momentum again swung back in her favour. An early lead put her in a good position, and five consecutive points saw the teenager claim her sixth title of her career, and remarkably, her third back-to-back WSA World Tour title.
“She’s really tough to play,” said the delighted winner. “She lobs really well and used the court to her advantage. After I made a good start she came out all guns blazing and It took me a while to get used to it, but I managed to settle down in the end.
“It’s good to know I can battle it out in these matches and I’m delighted to win here, there’s a really good atmosphere to the place.”
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Lauren Selby (ENG) 11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3 (51m)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Victoria Bell (ENG) 11-1, 11-5, 11-3 (22m)
 Lauren Selby (ENG) bt  Carrie Ramsey (ENG) 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (36m)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Orla Noom (NED) 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-2
 Victoria Bell (ENG) bt  Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-9, 11-6, 11-9
 Carrie Ramsey (ENG) bt  Milou van der Heijden (NED) 13-11, 12-10, 11-9
 Lauren Selby (ENG) bt Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Frania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) 11-3, 11-0, 11-3
 Orla Noom (NED) bt [Q] Nada Elkalaawy (EGY) 11-8, 4-11, 11-8, 11-6
 Birgit Coufal (AUT) bt [Q] Nele Gilis (BEL) 11-7, 13-11, 11-6
 Victoria Bell (ENG) bt Taylor Flavell (NZL) 11-4, 11-4, 11-2
 Carrie Ramsey (ENG) bt Julia Lecoq (FRA) 11-7, 11-2, 11-3
 Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt [Q] Harriet Ingham (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8
Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) bt  Maud Duplomb (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
 Lauren Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Victoria Temple Murray (ENG) 11-9, 11-7, 11-7
Quotes & photographs courtesy of Steve Cubbins & SquashSite