Holland & Lecoq Spring Surprises In French Junior Open

21 Feb 12

England's Olivier Holland and home heroine Julia Lecoq claimed the U19 titles in the French Junior Open Squash Championships against expectations after upsets over the top seeds in the long-established European Squash Federation Junior Circuit event in Wambrechies, France.

LeCoq, a 3/4 seed in the women's U19 event, prevailed in an all-French final against top seed Melissa Alves. Both are aged 18 - and both from Creteil in Paris.

But LeCoq was looking for revenge after losing to Alves in last year's quarter-finals. Alves went on finish as 2011 runner-up.

LeCoq battled back from 2/1 down to beat Alves 11-6, 4-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3 to win the title for the first time - and consign her opponent to a runner-up finish for the second year in a row.

It was a victory over men's favourite Tom de Mulder in the semi-finals that took 17-year-old Holland to the event's first ever all-English men's final. The 3/4 seed's opponent was Richie Fallows, a 9/16 seed who had progressed three rounds beyond his seeding prediction - and who had ousted second-seeded compatriot Tom Ford in the semi-finals.

But Nottingham-based Holland became the first English winner of the title for four years when he defeated 16-year-old Fallows, from Essex, 11-8, 11-9, 11-1.

Men's Under-19 quarter-finals:
[1] Tom de Mulder (BEL) bt [5/8] Ashley Davies (ENG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
[3/4] Oliver Holland (ENG) bt [5/8] Taminder Gata-Aura (ENG) 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-1
[9/16] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [5/8] Matthew Sidaway (ENG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8
[2] Tom Ford (ENG) bt [9/16] Lyell Fuller (ENG) 12-10, 12-10, 11-7
Semi-finals:
[3/4] Oliver Holland (ENG) bt [1] Tom de Mulder (BEL) 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 16-14
[9/16] Richie Fallows (ENG) bt [2] Tom Ford (ENG) 1-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7
Final:
[3/4] Oliver Holland (ENG) bt [9/16] Richie Fallows (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-1

Women's Under-19 quarter-finals:
[1] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt [5/8] Brogan Lane (ENG) 11-2, 11-2, 11-7
[3/4] Caroline Sayegh (GER) bt [9/16] Enora Villard (FRA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-4
[3/4] Julia Lecoq (FRA) bt [5/8] Victoria Temple-Murray (ENG) 11-9, 12-10, 1-11, 11-3
[2] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [5/8] Katie Smith (ENG) 11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 13-11
Semi-finals:
[1] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt [3/4] Caroline Sayegh (GER) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5
[3/4] Julia Lecoq (FRA) bt [2] Nele Gilis (BEL) 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4
Final:
[3/4] Julia Lecoq (FRA) bt [1] Melissa Alves (FRA) 11-6, 4-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3