FINALS : Lopez and Gear are the Champions

2023 Springfield Scottish Squash Open DAY FIVE, FINALS

Edmon Lopez (Esp) 3-1 [2] Ben Smith (Eng)  9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (64m)

[2] Grace Gear (Eng) 3-0 Asia Harris (Eng)  11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (26m)


Grace Gear – beaten finalist in the last edition – and Edmon Lopez – champion in 2019 – are the 2023 Springfield Scottish Squash Open Champions after contrasting victories in today’s finals at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club.

It’s second time lucky for Grace

Having seen off a trio of tricky Egyptian opponents to win through to her second SSO final in a row, second seed Grace Gear faced unseeded fellow Englishwoman Asia Harris in the title decider.

Grace was clinical in the opening game, pouncing on anything loose from Asia, who just couldn’t get into the game which quickly finished 11-2. England’s top junior – competing in her biggest ever PSA final – started to get into the match in the second game, but couldn’t stop Grace from doubling her advantage 11-6.

The start of the third was much more competitive, with Asia briefly holding the lead mid-game, but Grace was having none of it as she pulled away at the end to claim the title at the second attempt.

“It feels incredible” said the new Champion. “I had a tough set of matches to get through to the final, and I didn’t come here with any expectations.

“I was trying to keep the ball out of the middle and I think I did that really well in the first two.

“I kind of lost it a bit in the third, but managed to get it back and happy to win in three.”

Second SSO title for Edmond

Unseeded after a period of injury woes, Spain’s Edmon Lopez had come through a pair of brutal matches – including taking out Scottish top seed Rory Stewart – to reach the final against English second seed Ben Smith.

The pair battled it out for just over the hour, with rarely much between them both on court and on the scoreboard. Ben finished the first strongly after an even start to take the lead 11-9, but Edmon opened up leads in the next two games and closed them out 11-8, 11-8 to take the lead.

Edmon was quickly on top in the third, taking a 6-1 lead, and although Ben closed the gap to 8-5 Edmon wasn’t to be denied as he closed the match out 11-6.

“You seem to like it in Scotland,” MC Kevin Moran said to Edmon. “Yes, maybe it’s something in the water!” replied the two time champion.

“I’m so exhausted but so, so happy about my second win here in Scotland. It’s bee a tough few days but I’m happy the way I’ve been through my protocols to recover after each match and I’m just really really happy to win this title again.”