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Kimberley digs deep to book final place

Anna Kimberley produced a monumental comeback to overcome top seed Nessrine Arrifin and book her place in the final of the Bermuda Open Squash Championships today.

Having lost the opening two games and facing match-ball at 10-7 down in the third games, Kimberley, of England, dug deep, saving four match points, before going on to win not only that game. She took the next two as well, to complete the turnaround against her Malaysian opponent, who is 57 places above her in the world rankings, and book her place in the final with a 12-14, 3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9 victory.

There, she will face Marina Stefanoni, of the United States, who came from a game down to overcome Colombia's Catalina Pelaez 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, in the other semi-final.

“At 10-7 down I knew I had almost run out of chances and mistakes and had no time to try anything new; it was all or nothing,” the world No 190 said. “At match-ball down, I had to give it everything and suddenly things started to turn around.

“As soon as I cut the errors out I could feel the momentum turn. I fed off the fact she slowed down after I saved three match points and that definitely gave me more energy going into the remaining games.

“It's given me huge confidence for tomorrow's final because I know I can grind a result out even from the brink of defeat. I've got that never-say-die attitude and I'll be relying on that going for the title.”

Meanwhile, in the men's side of the championship, No 4 seed Jaymie Haycocks prevailed in a war of attrition against Jamaican top seed Chris Binnie, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, and progressed to the final.

The Englishmen was relieved to overcome Binnie and he aims to build on the momentum in the final today against Canadian Nick Shavie, who beat Lyell Fuller 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, and climb back into the top 100 in the world rankings.

“I'm delighted to win the game because it was a really tough battle,” said Haycocks, who is ranked No 118 in the world. “Chris is really tough to play against, so I knew it was going to be hard.

“We play a very similar game and it was a battle throughout. In the end I had to dig deep. It's always great to knock out the top seed. I've been playing well lately, so hopefully I can continue that into the final and go one farther.

“I've dropped down a bit in the rankings. I had a high of 50, but this will hopefully push me back into the top 100.”

Disappointing defeat: Nessrine Arrifin squandered a two game lead and four match points, in her semi-final loss to Anna Kimberley

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Published March 08, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated March 08, 2019 at 12:20 am)

Kimberley digs deep to book final place

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