21-year-old Bruce Brownlee became the first New Zealander to ever win the British amateur squash championships in London on Monday night (20 December).
21-year-old Bruce Brownlee became the first New Zealander to ever win the British amateur squash championships in London on Monday night (20 December). Brownlee beat Britain's Jonathan Leslie 9-3, 10-8, 8-10, 9-5 to take the title.
SYNOPSIS: The final lasted 72 minutes. The game was lively and spectacular, Leslie made several early errors and was never to really gain the initiative after the New Zealand player stormed to an 9-3 first set victory. Later, Leslie agreed that he had lost the match in the opening 20 minutes. "My mistake was making errors in the beginning -- that made it too difficult," he said.
Brownlee hit more winning shots in every game: partly because he was going for them and partly because his retrieving was more resilient than his opponent's. Leslie collected his game in the third set and held five set points at 8-3. However, Brownlee fought on to lose the set by 10-8.
In the final set, Brownlee led 7-3 -- then Leslie came back to make it 5-7 before a series of spectacular rallies eventually saw the New Zealander triumph.
At the presentation after the match, Brownlee said his next goal was the world amateur championships in Canada next September. He said that if he should win that he would turn professional. "I would have a couple of titles behind me and it would be a great thing to world professional champion," he said.