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11/04/2011
BRITISH U23 2011
 

Lust & Waller Cruise To U23 Glory

LUST AND WALLER CRUISE TO U23 GLORY
 
The British U23 Championships were held this past weekend at the Hunts County Squash Club where Britainís top young professionals fought for U23 Glory. Spread over three days the event had plenty of tough matches each day as well as showcasing some real talent from the top seeds.
 
Victoria Lust (Bedfordshire) came into the event in fine form and holding a much improved world ranking of 36 making her the events top seed and favourite.  Lust was mostly untroubled by her competition as she confidently brushed aside Kirsty West (Cheshire) in the quarter finals and Rachel Willmott (Sussex) in the semi finals, both 3-0. Meeting her in the final was Sarah Jane Perry (Warwickshire) who unlike Lust had a marathon match in her quarter final with Victoria Bell (Cumbria) which lasted 65 minutes. Perryís semi final pitted her against former European Junior Champion and second seed Carrie Ramsey (Yorkshire), with Perry herself a former European Junior Champion it was set to be an intriguing clash. Ramsey started well but Perry soon started to dominate the proceedings and used her experience to keep Ramsey behind her as she attacked the front of the court and eventually ran out a 3-1 winner.
 
The Final displayed a level of maturity from Lust which will be a welcome addition to the fiery temperament that she sometimes displays on court. With Perry once again vying for dominance in the middle of the court it was Lust who played a perfect game plan with patience and steady build up play before waiting for the right moment to attack. Perry was unable to get into any kind of rhythm and once Lust took the first game 11-9 she found it hard to compete with the pace as Lust piled on the pressure. Lust quickly closed out the game with a 3-0 victory, a worthy champion who finished the event without dropping a game.
 
Much like Lust, the Menís top seed, Adrian Waller (Hertfordshire) also arrived at Hunts County as firm favourite after a good season on the pro tour which boosted his ranking up to 53 in the World. Waller made his way into the semi finals with relative ease, winning each match 3-0 and setting up a semi final with Charles Sharpes (Surrey). Sharpes has also made great strides of late as he leaves the junior scene behind and focuses on the seniors. It was a commanding display from Waller who controlled the match and set a pace that Sharpes was ultimately not able to compete with, a 3-0 victory sent Waller into the Final.
 
The second Menís semi final saw an in form 3/4 seed Oliver Pett (Sussex) face the second seed Eddie Charlton (Nottinghamshire) who earlier in the day had faced Anthony Graham (Gloucestershire) in the quarter finals which lasted a grueling 73 minutes.  Charlton showed great determination in the semi final and some excellent retrieving as both players pushed each other to each corner of the court, however the longer the game went on the less likely it was that he would advance to the final. With the game level at 2-2 and moving past the 50 minute mark it was advantage to Pett which he duly took, 11-5 in the fifth after 63 minutes.
 
The Menís Final was a showcase of attacking squash that was played at an incredible pace with some phenomenal retrieving. Waller moved quickly into a 5 point lead only to be pegged back by Pett who then managed to match Waller until the game was sent into a tie breaker, Waller taking it 13-11. Both players continued in the same fashion in the second, matching each other and trading points but with the score at 8-9 down Waller stepped up a gear to close the game out 11-9. Pett came out fighting in the third and took early leads, only for Waller to once again move a gear up and regain control. Pett was desperate not to lose and showed fantastic pace and movement around the court as Waller forced him into a number of retrievals that had the packed gallery gasping in amazement. In the end Waller was too good and finally clinched the title with another 3-0 victory in 50 minutes.
 
Waller now adds the U23 title to his collection which includes a national title at every age group, the only national title left for him to contest is the senior National Championships and at only 21 you wouldnít bet against him.