Coronation London Open 2011 final
A packed out crowd had gathered to watch the finale of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event, as both players gave it 100 per cent from the very start.
It was the Spaniard who sprang into the lead early on, with some tight lengths and impeccable lunges to hold a five-point advantage on his opponent. But Coppinger dug his heels in and stormed through an incredible 8points in a row to claim the first game, 11/8.
Golan, refocused in the second game, went toe to toe with Coppinger as both players demonstrated a determined refusal to let the ball die. Neither player could forge the kind of lead seen in the first game and stayed within a point of each other the South African edged ahead at 6-4 with some precision drop-shots. But the Spanish no1 tightened his game to force errors out of Coppinger to draw level at 9-all. The world no25 desperately hunted the winning shot at 10-9, diving across the floor on two occasions in one rally, reaching the first but missing the second by centimetres to force a tiebreak. Golan though, closed the second game off 13/11.
Coppinger’s night wasn’t over yet though. From 4-2 up, he reduced Golan to snatching at shots and keeping him deep in the back. His only points from then were two spectacular but desperate volley-drop kills. The South African saw out the game as Golan admitted defeat towards the end of the fourth game, conserving his energy for the inevitable fifth game.
It turned out to be a wise tactic by Golan, as he seemed refreshed coming back on court for the final game of the match. He took an emphatic 6-0 lead as Coppinger seemed to have grown sluggish during the break. By then it was too far for the South African to come back from and Golan closed out the final match of the event, 11/3.
This title win puts Golan, from Santiago, Spain, third in the list of current Tour players with the most titles - behind Egypt’s four-time world champion Amr Shabana, but ahead of England’s world number one Nick Matthew and Egypt’s Ramy Ashour.
Borja said after the event: “When you play a final like this, the score is not important. Steve is playing really really well at the moment, and since I’ve been back from injury I cant remember playing such a hard match. So to win today I really had to play out my skin!
“Playing here in London has been great. The court is really nice to play on and the people here, the spectators, they are really kind. I played Englishman Chris Simpson in the semi and they still clap both players and are just pleased to see to great squash. The crowd has been very respectful and it’s really nice to experience.
“It’s a great thing for me to follow Stewart Boswell on the trophy. To me he was a great example of a player. He retired two weeks ago and I really hope I can still be playing at this level at his age.”
Final result:  Borja Golan beat  Stephen Coppinger 8/11, 13/11, 11/9, 4/11, 11/3 (73mins)
WISPA result:  Tania Bailey (ENG) beat  Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) – 9/11, 13/11, 11/8, 11/2