High five for Millie at Boston Open

The Boston Open finalists with Boston Squash Club's Mark Hildred (centre).
The Boston Open finalists with Boston Squash Club's Mark Hildred (centre).

World number 25 Millie Tomlinson won an unprecedented fifth consecutive Boston Open title at Boston Squash and Racketball Club at the weekend.

She was joined as a champion by fellow top seed and world 49 Nathan Lake, writes Patrick Hildred.

The two winners headed up the men’s and women’s draws of the 22nd edition of Boston’s professional squash tournament in as many years.

The competition experienced a reduced number of entries, but not quality, in its first year running since the BSPA Tour (effectively the UK Grand Prix of squash) disbanded in the summer.

This meant that Friday’s action consisted only of two men’s qualifying matches.

There were no upsets in the women’s quarter-finals on the Saturday, but in the men’s quarters 3/4 seed Nick Mulvey was knocked out by the unseeded Lewis Walters, who won 3-1 in what would prove to be the longest match of the tournament at 53 minutes.

Top seed Nathan Lake, second seed Nick Wall and the other 3/4 seed, Grimsby’s Harry Falconer, all progressed as expected.

Millie Tomlinson and Haley Mendez each won their semi-finals against younger opponents with relative ease.

Nathan Lake finally ended Lewis Walters’s fine run in a high-tempo match. The second men’s semi-final, and the last match of Saturday night, was fittingly the only five-setter of this year’s Open.

Twenty-year-old Harry Falconer twice came from behind to beat British under 19 champion Nick Wall.

Sunday’s women’s final was the most competitive since 2015.

Haley Mendez can count herself hard done by not to have taken at least a set, after losing a cracking and constantly close first game 19/17 despite having multiple gameballs herself.

Losing such an extraordinary first set appeared to take the wind out of the American’s sails as Millie went on to win 19/17, 11/3, 11/3 in 36 minutes.

The men’s final followed a broadly similar pattern to the women’s final.

Harry started brightly, taking a 4/0 lead in the first game, but Nathan fought his way back to a tie-break victory before dominating the next two games to win 13/11, 11/5, 11/5 in 39 minutes.

At the presentations, the tournament’s organiser Mark Hildred thanked the sponsors, players and officials and said he looked forward to the 23rd Boston Open next year.