Donna's Darwin success
YAMBA'S Donna Urquhart and Hong Kong's Max Lee have taken the honours at the Top End Open squash tournament in Darwin, the first event on the 2009 Australian professional tour.
Urquhart claimed the fourth title of her career when she downed Victoria's Amelia Pittock in a classic women's final 9-11, 11-8, 8-11 11-4, 13-11.
The 22-year-old has been suffering from the flu all week and was still not feeling 100 per cent heading into last night's final.
But she recovered enough to withstand everything Pittock threw at her, clinching a hard fought match to claim her second title of the year following her success in the Australia Day Challenge in Brisbane in January.
Urquhart looked down and out when she faced two match balls in the fifth game, but she hung in and saved both before claiming the narrowest of victories.
“I don't know how I won that,” she said later.
“There was one match ball when I just threw my racket out and closed my eyes and I thought I was gone.
“I couldn't believe it when I saw the ball coming back and the rally was still going.”
Urquhart rated the tournament win as one of the best of her careers considering she was bedridden with illness two days before it began.
“It's definitely up there because I've been feeling so bad all week and I didn't think I'd be able to get through it.
“Then today I thought I'd blown it when I opened up a lead in the fifth game but blew it, and then I was two match balls down, but I hung in there and didn't give in.”
“She just wouldn't die” a frustrated Pittock said afterwards.
Urquhart now has three weeks off before heading to Korea for the Seoul Open.
In the men's final, 21-year-old Lee ended the run of New Zealand-based South Australian Mike Corren with a four-game victory.
Lee recovered from losing the first game to a player 14 years his senior to win the biggest title of his career, taking the match 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8.
The win was the culmination of a highly successful week for the sixth seed.
He beat second seeded compatriot Dick Lau in the quarter-finals then downed fourth seed Zac Alexander in the semis.
“After I played Dick I was very, very tired, and it was the same after I played Zac,” Lee said.
“Today I tried to slow the game down, but I was still very tired.
“I think the hot conditions suited me - the ball was very bouncy in the back court and I could keep the points going.”Lee said he had being trying hard to improve his consistency and said he had been able to maintain his good form throughout the week.
Corren, on the other hand, said he had peaked in his quarter-final win over top seed Scott Arnold and had slipped in the semi-finals and the final.