Pett and Tomlinson celebrate Solent Classic success

Oliver Pett, left, with Rui Soares Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Oliver Pett, left, with Rui Soares Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Oliver Pett claimed the Solent Cup for a second time after he triumphed at the 2018 PSA Solent Classic.

And there was a debut win for Millie Tomlinson in the ladies’ event as some of the world’s top players descended on Lee-on-the-Solent for the prestigious tournament that has been running for 10 years.

Gosport-based Pett, who was unseeded, overcame Portugal’s Rui Soares 3-1 in a highly-competitive men's final, while world-number 24 Tomlinson defeated fellow England player Lilly Taylor 3-0 following some clever squash.

Pett, who is a former world no 48, reached the men’s final after a great battle with home favourite and one-time coach, Tim Vail, in the last four.

Both players served up a great match that consisted of some creative and fast-past squash, only for the former to book his spot in the last two thanks to a 3-1 scoreline.

Top-seed Soares, currently ranked 91 in the world, saw off up-and-coming Englishman Tom Walsh 3-0 in his semi-final - and he took that momentum into the first set of the final by taking a 1-0 lead.

However, a short break and some words of advice saw Pett come back with a new plan.

Moving the ball deeper, quicker and capitalising in the middle of the court, Pett managed to level the score, before taking a 2-1 advantage.

The fourth set saw both players unwilling to give much ground, but Pett fought deep to close out the match 3-1.

Tomlinson’s route to the ladies’ final consisted of a 3-0 semi-final win against Celine Walser.

Meanwhile, Taylor got the better of teenager Alice Green 3-1 to set up a mouthwatering finale.

Tomlinson, the more experienced of the two, showed great quality from the beginning.

Taylor, though, played some clever squash, out-manoeuvring her rival with her deft short game and quick hands around the court.

But a few mistakes crept into the match at crucial parts of the game for Tomlinson to capitalise.

She then ran out a worthy winner to claim her first Solent Classic tittle.