Scottish Open Finals Day: A Case Of Smash and Grab For Neslihan

By RJ Mitchell

TURKEY’S Neslihan Arin has revealed that her smash was the decisive factor after she defeated Estonia’s Kristin Kuuba 25-23, 21- 13 in 43 minutes to claim her first Scottish Open title.

The world No.37 had to come from behind in a tense opening stanza, saving two set points, before prevailing 25-23.

Nerves settled, the Turkish No.1 became increasingly dominant, with her smash proving very hard for Kuuba to read while its accuracy, particularly on a cross court flight-path seemed to leave the Estonian at times baffled.

Post match, the new Scottish Open women’s singles champion, who also won the Belgian International this season, was delighted with her victory: “I am so happy as it was my first time in Scotland and I just loved the atmosphere. I felt I stayed very focussed throughout the match and especially in the first set when I was behind at 20-18, I stayed very calm.

“Then in the second set I felt my level went up and it was a very good performance.”

Yet Estonia’s Kuuba will rue her failure to convert those first set points when she found herself out manoeuvred when it mattered most.

At the start of the second set another couple of missed opportunities, when she steered adroitly angled cross courts just wide with the court at her mercy, ultimately seemed to take some of the fight out of the fourth seed.

Yet as the new champion admitted when it came to the decisive factor her smash did indeed help her grab the title: “My smash was good and in the second set I managed to win a lot of points from it at important times.

“I am just so happy with this win.”

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