Evans' precision lands Open title

Going by his ability to wrong-foot an opponent, one can only speculate just how great an outside-half Wales lost when David Evans chose squash ahead of rugby.

Going by his ability to wrong-foot an opponent, one can only speculate just how great an outside-half Wales lost when David Evans chose squash ahead of rugby.

Yesterday the 25-year-old from Pontypool, who once wore the coveted No 10 shirt for his country's Under-16 rugby team, ensnared his Australian opponent Paul Price in a web of trickery to become the first Welshman to win the British Open, regarded by most players as the most prestigious tournament in world squash.

At 6ft 5in Evans is the tallest player on the circuit, and in winning 15-11, 15-6, 15-10, he used his reach to superb effect to counter Price's speed around the court.

Having established control, he repeatedly deceived Price with cross-court drop shots of gut-ripping accuracy. The Australian fought hard, producing some fine winners of his own, especially on the forehand drive, but he also hit the tin far too often.

"I made a good start and got more comfortable as the match went on," said Evans, currently ranked World No 11. Both he and his coach, Chris Robertson, stressed that there is considerable improvement to come.

If the men's winner was, in the context of the tournament as a whole, something of a surprise, the winner of the women's final was not.

The New Zealand Maori Leilani Joyce had not dropped a game on her way to the final and England's Sue Wright never looked like denting that record, going down 9-7, 9-4, 9-2.

The 26-year-old Joyce is by some margin the most athletic player on the circuit, and knowing she was up against a younger, fitter player, Wright did her utmost to keep the rallies short, constantly looking to hit winners and, in the first game at least, using every trick in the book to slow the game down.

Joyce refused to be knocked off her stride, chasing down Wright's drop shots and using the lob to keep her 30-year-old opponent at the back of the court. "The plan was quite simple - to weather the storm and keep her moving, never let her settle into a pattern," Joyce said. She executed that plan to perfection, and in doing so moved from a world ranking of two to No 1.

That Wright was unable to threaten the New Zealander should not, however, detract from her achievement in reaching the final. A former World No 3, she missed most of last year after falling dangerously ill with viral pneumonia. In some respects she is still recovering - inner ear damage means she is still unable to fly - and to work her way through the qualifying rounds to the final, beating seeded players in every round, was a remarkable effort.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester...

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London