Le Roux denies Mister Whippy

29th January 2012

Bidding to win the Artemis Edinburgh title for the first time, Andy Whipp probably started his third final here the favourite over Shaun Le Roux, appearing in his first, and even when the South African international took the first, many probably thought it was just one of Whipp's customary slow starts.

Thing is, Le Roux not only matched his opponent in the hard hitting game, as you would expect, but also in the slower-paced, mixed-up periods too, which you - or at least I - wouldn't.

From 3-all Le Roux steadily pulled away, taking the first 11,/6, and continued to dominate in the second, taking it 11/3 and looking well in control.

He carried that momentum into the third too,, [pulling clear from 3-all to lead 7-4, still getting the better of most aspects of the game, but now Whipp, grunting and groaning as he put in a big effort, took seven points in a row to pull one back 11/7.

Had the tide turned? Not really. The fourth was competitive, but again from 5-all it was Le Roux who built the advantage, going ahead 9/5 and urging himself on loudly.

In truth, Shaun had been a little 'intense' for much of the match, engaging the officials in sporadic discussion, earning himself rebukes and warnings, and when Andy hit a lucky winner for 9/6 he bounced his racket off the floor earning himself a conduct stroke for 9/7.

That could have been a turning point, but rather than lose it - as, to be fair, Shaun has been known to do - he buckled down, took the next two points and with it the title.
"In the first two I played the best game against him I possibly could," said a delighted Le Roux. "I tried to nullify his high pace and play as straight as I could, it worked very well, almost perfect.

"He came out quicker in the third, but in the fourth I just told myself to get back to what I was doing and thankfully I managed to take it first time.

"It's been a good weekend, the club, the supporters and of course the sponsors look after us well, and it's nice to get my name on that trophy with some of the other big names who have won it."