Courtice is Ipswich Open Champion

Courtice is Ipswich Open Champion

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Julianne Courtice is the new Christchurch Vets Ipswich Open Champion after her 3-1 victory over 2nd seed Hana Moataz. The final at Ipswich Sports Club was a quality match that was a fitting end to an excellent tournament.


Moataz and Courtice before their match


The evidence from the semis on Saturday was that Moataz could dominate play if allowed to play her devastating deep drives, constantly pinning her opponent down. And from the outset it was clear that Courtice had the game plan to counteract that with much of the play being in the front of the court. Both players started a little nervously and there were a lot of drops catching the tin, but they soon settled and the greater accuracy from Courtice saw her take the first 11/7.

The 2nd game was important; Courtice racing to game ball before some deft volley drops got Moataz back to level the game and take it 14/12. So, although Moataz had won the 2nd the Courtice game plan still looked pretty good and she stuck with it. Some of the confidence seemed to drain from Moataz in the third. She wasn’t being allowed to play her powerful driving game and it began to tell with Courtice racing to big leads in the third and fourth games before closing out the match 3-1.

So another victory to a resurgent Courtice after her maiden victory in the Edinburgh BSPA event at the end of January and she clearly is enjoying competition. “This time last year I was working full time and I never thought I’d be doing this, so to be playing on the circuit and having some success is a great feeling.” It is also refreshing for audiences to see a more varied, entertaining game rather than a ‘slug it out’ big hitting contest.


A happy Courtice during her post-match interview


Although she lost, Moataz made a lot of friends during her week in Ipswich. She played some great squash over the week and, at only 17, she has many years to make her mark on the sport. Certainly the Ipswich audience would be more than happy to see a rematch in a year’s time!


Julianne receives her winner's cheque from Squash Chairman Kris Day


Final result

[5] Julianne Courtice (Eng) 3-1 [2] Hana Moataz (Egy) 11/7, 12/14, 11/5, 11/6 (49m)

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