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Wales' Evans retains British National title

Sam France reports

Defending champion Tesni Evans retained her crown at the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships in Nottingham with a dominant straight-games victory over fourth seed Emily Whitlock.

Third seed Evans became the first Welsh player to win the tournament in 2018 and never looked like relinquishing her title this time around, winning 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 in 31 minutes

There was a distinctly Welsh feel to the final as Evans beat the Colwyn Bay-based Whitlock, who was appearing in her first final.

Evans was the early aggressor in the match and took the first game in dominant fashion.
After Whitlock had brought an early deficit back to 3-3, Evans forced the issue and took the lead with eight consecutive points, winning the opening game 11-3.

Whitlock had shocked the number two seed Alison Waters in the semi-finals but she was powerless to resist on this occasion as Evans stretched her points streak to 14, storming into a 6-0 lead in the second.
The underdog rallied and levelled at 6-6 but Evans regained her touch and took firm control of the match, taking the second game with her first game ball in an 11-6 win.

The final game had a more back-and-forth feel to it as Whitlock fought tooth and nail, but Evans’ quality showed as she forced her way through to an 11-5 win, winning on her first match ball.

“It’s pretty special,” said Cardiff-born Evans, now based in Rhyl.

“It makes it even more special that I can defend it and take it back to Wales, that makes it even better.

“Last year was amazing to win it and I definitely didn’t think I’d be standing here after winning it again.

“It feels amazing, and I’m happy with how I played as well.

“I think the court probably suited me a little bit. I tried to play as fast as I could and take the ball as early as I could and that hurt her and I think it maybe took her a little bit by surprise.

“I’m just happy with how I played because I can’t play much better than that, so it was perfect.

“I’d love to win a third title, that would be amazing!”