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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific