World No.37 Donna Lobban has reached a first PSA final in two years after she came back from two games down for a second fixture in a row to set up a final clash with England’s Julianne Courtice at the Edinburgh Sports Club Open, PSA Challenger Tour event.
The Australian was 2-0 up and held off a comeback from top seed Emily Whitlock to win in five games in the quarter-finals, and repeated the feat against No.4 seeded South African Alexandra Fuller to book her place in the title decider.
Fuller controlled the first two games, winning 11-8, 11-6 as her pacy hitting and smooth movement kept Lobban off balance and she was unable to impose herself on the match.
The Aussie started the third strongly and started to find her range, reducing the deficit by winning 11-5 and leading the early stages of the fourth. Fuller levelled at 8-8, but Lobban moved ahead again, levelling the match 12-10 on her third game ball and urging the crowd on as she left the court.
The fifth was nervous, neither player managed to get ahead as the lead changed hands. It was Fuller who edged ahead from 9-all toearn a match ball, but three points in a row for an emotional Lobban and she was through to the final 12-10 in 57 minutes..
“Dramatic or what!,” Lobban said after the match.
“You’d think I love the drama, but I’d much rather win easily. She was playing amazing in the first two games, but maybe I was playing her game too much. I think I did a good job of playing my game after that, it was effective, but I had to work hard to stick to it.
“It was a great match, a tough one to win.”
Second seed Julianne Courtice reached her second Edinburgh Open final in three years as she overcame long-time adversary Rachael Chadwick in four games. Chadwick was ahead throughout the first, taking the lead 11-9 and was 9-7 up in the second before a run of four points put Courtice level.
It was plain sailing after that as Courtice took the third 11-4 and eased through the fourth against a dispirited opponent, winning 11-2 to reach the final in 38 minutes.
“That second was much needed, if I'd lost that it would have been a real battle,” said Courtice.
“But to get to level pegging gave me the confidence to push ahead in the third.
“I've only played Donna once on the PSA and lost 3-2, but she's had some real battles here so far. I hope I can give her another one tomorrow and get the crowd going again, and maybe on my side.”
Results – Semi-Finals: Edinburgh Sports Club Open
 Donna Lobban (AUS) bt  Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-2: 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 12-10 (57m)
 Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt  Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-2 (38m)
Draw – Final
 Donna Lobban (AUS) v  Julianne Courtice (ENG)