Jill Campion, a member of Henley Squash Club, won this year’s British Open Masters O60s squash tournament, retaining the title she won in 2019, the last time the tournament was held. This is her fourth British Open Masters title, having won it twice in the over 55s category and now twice in the over 60s category.
Jill breezed through her quarter final match against Maureen Duke (Essex and Ireland) in just 14 minutes, playing an impressively accurate and varied game. In the semi-final she played Karen Hume (Kent and England), a former over 60s world champion, and in recent years they have had closely fought matches which can go either way. However, this time Jill had the edge, playing her brand of clever controlled squash to win the semi final in four games.
In the final she met Lesley Sturgess (Durham and England) who upset previous form and seedings to beat double National Champion Sian Johnson of Wales. Jill came into the final as the favourite but Lesley has been on fine form and took the first 15/13. Jill came back in the next two games, gaining 2-1 lead. Lesley fought back in the fourth, wining it 11/9, so it was all down to the fifth game. It was a rather nervous battle but Jill managed to steady her nerves and edged ahead playing controlled squash to win the last game 11/7.
Commenting on her victory, Jill said: “The British Open is a hugely prestigious tournament, right up their with the Worlds and the Europeans. Most of the top players in my category are British and so were able to compete in the tournament. I went into the tournament feeling slightly underprepared, as I had had minor aches and pains since September. Luckily, I felt fine during the tournament and my performance in the quarters and semis boosted my confidence. Lesley is a highly experienced player and she reads the game very well. We always have close matches and I luckily managed to control the game and the vital moment in the fifth. It is great to be back playing major tournaments again after a two-year hiatus.”