|Tuominen and Serme Take European Titles|
|Written by Howard Harding @ Squashinfo.com|
|Sunday, 27 May 2012 04:51|
Upsets in both finals of the European Individual Squash Championships in Finland led to Olli Tuominen and Camille Serme winning the titles for the first time - local hero Tuominen delighting the crowd at the Talihalli in Helsinki by becoming the first Finn to put his name on the men's trophy and Serme by stopping Dutch favourite Natalie Grinham from claiming the women's crown for the third time in four years.
Tuominen, the 33-year old world number 23 from Helsinki, drove the home crowd wild by beating number two seed Borja Golan of Spain 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 in the men's final of the European Squash Federation event.
"Tuominen showed his supporters his best play," said tournament spokesman Pete Saarnivaara. "In the first game the ball did not reach the back wall too many times, as both Tuominen and Golan were hitting hard and low and volleying as much as possible.
"In the third game Tuominen continued his one-inch-above-the-tin drop shots and Golan lost faith. Tuominen took the game 11-3 and secured the gold medal."
An ecstatic Tuominen, who compared the feeling to winning the European Junior Championship in front of a home crowd in 1997, said: "To tell you the truth, I would never have believed that I would win the title. This was a great ending to a season that has been better and better towards the end. Now a good summer training and I'll come back stronger next season."
Both players had some difficulties keeping the length in their shots and avoiding mistakes. It was Grinham who took the early lead after winning the first game.
Serme took the next two and the Australian-born world number 9 fought bravely in the fourth game but finally had to give in to an increasingly confident Serme. The world number 10 from Paris took the fourth game 11-9 and raised her hands in the air to celebrate her first title in front of the French team.
"I think I'll buy champagne for the whole team tonight." the young champion smiled. "I don't know if I could have handled a fifth game. It's been a long season and this tournament took a lot of energy."
Runner-up Grinham took comfort in the fact that she had good time to make it to her flight back home to celebrate her son Kieran's second birthday on Sunday. "Neither of us played our best game. I wasn't very comfortable with the court and the lighting outside it. But Camille would have been a tough opponent anyway," said Grinham.
News reported by Howard Harding at SquashInfo.com