Duffield Squash Club’s Millie Tomlinson is the new world university women’s champion.
The 22-year-old, a former pupil at both Long Row and then The Ecclesbourne School, is a now a student at the prestigious Yale University in America, and beat top seed Olga Ertlova in the final of the 2014 championship, held in the Indian city of Chennai earlier this month.
Millie was a 5/8 seed but exceeded pre-tournament expectations by making it to the final and then comfortably beating the number one seed from the Czech Republic 11-8, 11-6,11-1, having already seen off Canada’s Alix Younger, South African 3/4 seed Cheyna Tucker and Egyptian second seed Farah Abdel Megid along the way, all by 3-1 margins, to complete a superb collection of giant-killing feats.
Millie’s victory means she is only Britain’s second world university women’s champion, following in the footsteps of Jenny Tranfield in 1998.
Her dad Edward told the Belper News: “Millie started off playing tennis and then doing some squash playing in the winter months when she was young. She’s been a member of Duffield Squash Club since the age of seven and was able to receive a very good range of coaching there.
“She represented her country all through her teens and won competitions at national level.
“She’s currently in her fourth year at Yale, studying political science, and does plenty of playing while over there.
“There’s a strong squash scene over there in America, and that’s certainly the case among the Ivy League universities.
“When she’s back over here, she has played for Duffield’s Premier Squash Club team, alongside the likes of World and Commonwealth champion Nick Matthew, which she really enjoys.
“Obviously, the seedings in India predicted a finish between fifth and eighth but once she got through to the semi-finals, Millie thought she had a good chance of winning it, and she was very pleased to come out on top.”