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TODAY at the World Open Squash 2011                                                       facebooktwitter
Day THREE, Sun 30th, Men's Round ONE                                         
Fram and Steve in Rotterdam
Another busy day at Victoria ...

Another 32 matches today at Victoria Squash, with the top half of the men's main draw and women's qualifying second round.

Palmer & Lincou survive ...

Playing probably his last world open, two-time champion David Palmer took an hour and a half to fend off the challenge of Scotland's Alan Clyne. After taking a two-game lead Palmer found himself at 8-all in the fifth before finally clinching the match, much to the relief of himself and his watching family.

"It was always going to be tough, we played last week in Qatar on the glass court, it was always going to be to my advantage, while here, it’s warm, on a bouncy traditional court, it was always to be to his advantage," said a relieved Palmer.

"I knew that in the fifth, if I could stay reasonably close at the end, I had the shots and the experience to close it out."

That was just one of three Aussie victories to start the day, as Ryan Cuskelly beat Joey Barrington and Stewart Boswell beat Nafiizwan Adnan, both in straight games.

If the first match on the show court wasn't close enough, Thierry Lincou, like Palmer a former world champ who has spent the last ten years in the top ten and may well be playing his last world open, found himself 5-0 down in the fifth to Canada's Shawn Delierre. The Frenchman recovered to 7-all but had to save two match balls on his way to a 15/13 in the fifth win after 98 minutes.

I really saw myself going home today," said Lincou, the 2004 champion. "He just played great squash on there, and if you lack a bit of intensity – like I did today – against tricky players like him they make you visit the four corners… end result, a permanent discomfort on there!"

The rest of the morning session was all Egyptian as Omar Mosaad beat qualifier Omar Abdel Meguid in just under and hour, and Wael El Hindi and third seed Karim Darwish both registered quick wins.

There was much less drama in the evening session - Mohamed El Shorbagy beat Jon Kemp 3/1 in a 36-minute shootout, Simon Rosner eased past Clinton Leeuw after taking a tight first game, and defending champion Nick Matthew did the same after being 8/5 down in the first against qualifier Stéphane Galifi.

"I felt really threatened in the first game really," admitted Matthew. "I only got to practice on court this morning as the qualifiers were playing on it for the two past days, so I did struggle a little at the start. After Qatar, I worked on my movement intensity, which means to higher the pace, I move faster instead of just hitting faster. And that’s what I did. Now I’m used to the court, it will get better next time."

Matthew's conqueror in Qatar Tarek Momen beat Tom Richards 3/1, reversing last month's result in Philadelphia, and he now meets Matthew again on Tuesday.

Steve Coppinger made sure there would be South African interest - and another noisy gallery of springbok supporters - in round two as he beat Chris Simpson in straight games, and now meets another Englishman in seventh seed Peter Barker who eased past Aussie Aaron Frankcomb who was struggling for fitness.

The day was rounded off with a fourth Australian win as Cameron Pilley blasted his way past qualifier Raphael Kandra, and a third English winner as Chris Ryder came from a game down to beat Finn Olli Tuominen.

Women's qualifying hots up ...

After a first day of three-nil victories all round, the women's qualifying competition was anything but dull today ...

If the men's matches started with disappointment for the Scots, there was better news in the women's qualifying as Lisa Aitken beat seeded Alexandra Norman 3/0 to progress to a final against Ireland's Aisling Blake. Gaby Huber and Olga Ertlova also progressed in straight games, but then the drama started in the women's matches.

England's Lauren Selby also upset the seedings, coming from 2-1 down in a bruising encounter to beat Lucie Fialova 11/9 in the fifth after 91 minutes, the Czech finishing the match sprawled on the floor after hitting the ball back into the middle for an obvious stroke.

"It's just down to focus and determination when you get stuck in a match like that," said a relieved Lauren. "I can't say I enjoyed it, but I managed to keep my head at the crucial stages at the end."

Egypt's Nour El Sherbini also finished her match on two strokes, and how she needed them after England's Sarah Jane-Perry recovered from 2-0 down to reach 10-9 match ball in the fifth only to have her string break at that crucial moment.

"I gave her too much respect in the first two," admitted Perry, "and I hit too many tins too! After that it was much better, but match ball wasn't a good time for my strings to go, and after that I hit the corner of the front wall twice in a row for strokes. Next time, next time ..."

Maud Duplomb, who lost a nailbiting qualifying final in Qatar last week, added to the upsets as she beat Italy's Manuela Manetta in four, while Kylie Lindsay's straight-game win over Leonie Holt was tough, but thankfully lacking the drama of the preceding matches.

There was mixed success for the all-conquering Egyptians as the evening session got under way, with a comfortable wen for Heba El Torky, a less straightforward one for 15-year-old Yathreb Adel over Canada's PanAm Games heroine Sam Cornett, and a straight-games defeat for Salma Hany at the hands of England's Vicky Lust.

Germany's Sina Wall and Welsh tigress Tesni Evans had never met before, despite "seeing each other at countless junior events". Wall twice took the lead, but Evans fought back, established a lead in the decider and took the match against a tiring German number one in just under an hour.

"Too long," said Tesni, not exactly a picture of freshness herself, "I knew it was going to be tough and it's never easy when you're always behind, but I'm really pleased to be able to come back and win that."

The last Dutch interest in the qualifying competitions came to an end when Siyoli Waters came from a game down to beat Milou Van Der Heijden before a partisan home crowd.

"Milou made it hard for me, but I also made it difficult for myself," admitted the South African, "I made a few errors trying to create something out of nothing and lost some good leads.

"You put more pressure on yourself to win when it's a big event like this, so I'm just aiming to play good squash in my next match and not worry about the score, the opponent or the crowd."

That next opponent will be Kanzy El Dafrawy who boosted the already impressive Egyptian tally with a 3/1 win over yesterday's quickest winner Birgit Coufal, although Kanzy needed to refocus after dropping the third game 11/0, which she did to take the fourth 13/11.

The final pair of matches saw two of the more experienced World Open campaigners set up a meeting in the qualifying final. Latasha Khan, making her 12th appearance in the event, came from a game down to beat Coline Aumard while Lauren Briggs, in her seventh World Open, ended the hopes of Sally Skaarenburg. They've both been as high as 18 in the world, but one of them will miss out tomorrow ...

Men's Round ONE (top)

[8] David Palmer (Aus) bt Alan Clyne (Sco)
        11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 4/11, 11/8 (90m)
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) bt Joey Barrington (Eng)
          11/5, 11/7, 11/5 (48m)

[10] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (Can)
           13/11, 4/11, 11/3, 4/11, 15/13 (98m)
Stewart Boswell (Aus) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
            11/3, 11/6, 11/4 (46m)

Borja Golan (Esp) bt Julian Illingworth (Usa)
            11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/3 (59m)
[14] Omar Mosaad (Egy) bt [Q] Omar A Meguid (Egy)
           14/12, 12/10, 9/11, 11/9 (59m)
[3] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt [Q] Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
             11/4, 11/1, 11/2 (21m)
Wael El Hindi (Egy) bt Arturo Salazar (Mex) 
              6/11, 11/7, 11/3, 11/1 (35m)

[9] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
       12/10, 11/8, 7/11, 11/6 (36m)
Simon Rosner (Ger) bt [Q] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
      12/10, 11/6, 11/3 (40m)
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Stephane Galifi (Ita)
       11/8, 11/1, 11/3 (35m)
Tarek Momen (Egy) bt Tom Richards (Eng)
       11/9, 8/11, 11/1, 11/5 (53m)

[7] Peter Barker (Eng) bt Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
        11/4, 11/1, 11/4 (17m)
Steve Coppinger (Rsa) bt Chris Simpson (Eng)
         11/1, 12/10, 11/8 (46m)
[16] Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
         11/2, 11/3, 11/8 (32m)
Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Olli Tuominen (Fin)
         8/11, 11/4, 11/4, 11/4 (55m)


Women's Qualifying R2

Aisling Blake (Irl) bt Stephanie Edmison (Can)
               11/8, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)
Lisa Aitken (Sco) bt Alexandra Norman (Can)
               11/6, 11/5, 4/11, 11/5 (44m) 
Gaby Huber (Sui) bt Imelda Salazar (Mex)
               11/0, 11/2, 11/6 (22m)
Olga Ertlova (Cze) bt Zephanie Curgenven (Eng)
                11/4, 11/4, 11/4 (25m)

Maud Duplomb (Fra) bt Manuela Manetta (Ita)
                12/10, 11/7, 4/11, 11/7 (45m)
Lauren Selby (Eng) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 
                14/12, 11/13, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9 (91m)

Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng)
                11/7, 11/5, 10/12, 7/11, 12/10 (59m)
Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) bt Leonie Holt (Eng)
               11/6, 11/6, 11/9 (27m)

Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Samantha Cornett (Can)
              11/6, 8/11, 12/10, 11/8 (46m)
Victoria Lust (Eng) bt Salma Hany (Egy)
              11/1, 11/5, 12/10 (30m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Sina Wall (Ger)
              9/11, 11/4, 9/11, 11/4, 11/7 (54m)

Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Thaisa Serafini (Bra)
              11/9, 11/6, 11/9 (18m)

Siyoli Waters (Rsa) bt Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned)
              4/11, 11/4, 12/10, 11/8 (42m)
Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy) bt Birgit Coufal (Aut)
            11/8, 11/9, 0/11, 13/11 (42m)
Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Sally Skaarenborg (Den)
             11/7, 11/4, 11/2 (20m)
Latasha Khan (Usa) bt Coline Aumard (Fra)
     9/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (38m)

Match Reports from Framboise

En Bref #1

Photo Galleries

Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) bt Joey Barrington (Eng)
          11/5, 11/7, 11/5 (48m)

Not winning much at the moment, am I…

First time ever I played him, can’t even remember practicing with him…

He played well, he’s got an aggressive type of squash, typically Australian, excellent attacker. He’s got a lot of confidence at the moment, with Zac Alexander and Rodney Martin, they are working very hard….

He is coming into a good time in his career, he is a decent lad….

Nice win, but still it was pretty tough.

I tried to be aggressive from the start, and keep attacking, favouring my short game, to make sure we wouldn’t get into long rallies that he dwells on, and not giving him a chance to get in the match.

I’m pretty happy with the way I felt on there, and glad to see that the hard work we are doing with my coach Rodney Martin is starting to pay off.

Looking forward to the next round, and hoping that I’ll keep going in this tournament.

Borja Golan (Esp) bt Julian Illingworth (Usa)
            11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/3 (59m)

I heard that Julian had been injured, but I tried and did my best to put it out of my head. He is a very technical player, he is top 30, so you know what to expect.

In the first two games, I was in control, I was consistent, and made only one error during those 2 games. But in the third, he played better, I relaxed a bit, played a few loose shots and gave him the control of the middle, plus a few tins… Lost that one 11/9.

In the 4th, I made sure I remembered the way I played in the first 2 games, I was more patient, and also lengthen the rallies, to make him do more work.. And it worked, but I really had to play out of my skin to win that one…

I felt pretty good on there, it’s the first tournament in a couple of tournaments where I feel fine physically, nice to play real squash instead of ghosting shots and do court sprints….

I knew he won last week, and that he was obviously playing well, so I knew it was never going to be easy.

Can’t wait to go to HK, I’m first qualifier, so I’m hoping that one of those guys will have enough after this tournament and let me in!!!!

[14] Omar Mosaad (Egy) bt
[Q] Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
        14/12, 12/10, 9/11, 11/9 (59m)

Today, both of us tried to play a good game of squash. It was not perfect, but it was not too bad.

It was the first time ever we were playing on the PSA circuit. Last time we played was for the British Junior Open U17, and I was a very close 3/2. Today was no different.

Yesterday, he finished late, and I thought he might be tired, and I made the error of wanting to close the rallies too quickly, volleyed too much and made far too many unforced errors.

His short game was really good today, and he really contained me a lot. I did struggle a bit in the 2nd and 4th, but I’m happy with the fact that in the 1st, 2nd and 4th, I was down and mentally was strong enough to come back every time….

Steve Coppinger (Rsa) bt Chris Simpson (Eng)
         11/1, 12/10, 11/8 (46m)

My length was pretty good I thought, and more importantly, I was consistent throughout the whole match..

Last time we played, it was the same, in the first game, 11/1, and he went on to win the match 3/1! He really switched on after the first one!!!

So today, when he got up in the second, I really didn’t want a repeat of the last match… We always have tough matches, today I just had a better day…

[16] Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt
 [Q] Raphael Kandra (Ger) 11/2, 11/3, 11/8 (32m)

I felt pretty good today, I played two finals of the Dutch open on that court, and lost only 1 match on 9, so, I know the court, I know the bounces, I’m home on that court! Plus, I lived two years in Holland, and getting that vocal support is really a great feeling, it’s a bit home away from home…

We got a few quick balls, I tried and changed it, but it was as bad as the previous one, so we kept it, but I think I got used to it much quicker than he did.

It was my first time playing Rafa, but I picked up a few things from the warm up, technical things, and I think that in the first two games, he got frustrated not to score many points. But all credit to him, he kept digging in and digging in the third game, just couldn’t shake him off!!!!

[8] David Palmer (Aus) bt Alan Clyne (Sco) 
             11/7, 11/6, 6/11, 4/11, 11/8 (90m)


Already I told you that I was a bit wary about this tournament, so many matches, and so little time to give the respect they deserve to each and every one of them.

But then, when my two Old Mates decide to go for 90m match for David, up 2/0 up finally winning 11/8 in the 5th after being down 2/4, or Thierry leading 2/1 to finally clinch the last two rallies on strokes 15/13 in the 5th in 98m, that DOESN’T HELP people.

In other word, lost the plot completely for the other matches, schedule went out of the window, drowning completely….

David, well, was controlling the match, and poor Alan didn’t stay too long on the T for the first two games, being made to do an awful lot of work on there, and it really looked like a simple 3/0.

But that was not knowing the determination and grit of the Scot who in the 3rd, dug in, slow down the pace and made the rallies longer, and longer and longer. David made a few impatience errors, and Alan took the lead, 8/5 then 9/6, greatly helped by three more unforced errors from the Marine. The Scot is back right in.

The 4th is just all about Alan who plays perfect squash from the start, counterattacking ever short ball, making the Australian legs feel very heavy indeed, and making him look very tired indeed.

And to be honest, my money was on the Scott in the 5th. He was playing the match of his life and raised his game even more in that decider. The Australian was dead, running of fumes, taking more and more times to recover between points. Each rally won or lost got a reaction from them, celebrating with a closed fist, or shouting in despair and anger.

I didn’t think that David had anymore left in the tank, I know him, he was really really struggling on there, but as his wife Mel said, with a bit of emotion, “He is a fighter”. That he was. And he finally took it. What a match.

What to say? That Mr Alan Clyne proved today that no, he is not only a long distance runner, that he can attack, counter attack, push, build rallies, and threaten the top 10 guys. And that Mr David Palmer lives to see another day.

It was always going to be tough, we played last week in Qatar on the glass court, it was always going to be to my advantage, while here, it’s warm, on a bouncy traditional court, it was always to be to his advantage…

At the start, I struggled to see the ball on the backhand wall [Glass], and when you don’t know where the ball is going to, your natural instinct is to stand at the back of the court more than you would normally do, and it caused me some troubles because he counter attacked very well today.

I thought I started well, was in control, but in the middle of the 3rd, he stepped his game up, and I didn’t quite respond, we had some very hard rallies, and he managed to take that one. In the fourth, I just had to clear my head to prepare for the 5th.

I knew that in the 5th, if I could stay reasonably close at the end, I had the shots and the experience to close it out. It’s always been my strength in my career, when it was getting close, to find the pace and the shots to finish the match off… So I knew I could do it again. And I’m glad that I finally forced a few mistakes out of him….

Nice to have a day off tomorrow, I’ll be fine physically, I needed a match to get going. But playing Ryan won’t be easy, should be an interesting match, he is playing well, and he’s got nothing to lose…

[10] Thierry Lincou (Fra) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (Can)
           13/11, 4/11, 11/3, 4/11, 15/13 (98m)

Now, Thierry versus Shawn.

From the first game, I had the feeling this match had the sign 5 setter written all over it. Why? Because Thierry was not that sharp at the front, although he was not moving too bad, while Shawn was – like Alan – playing out of his skin, finding some superb length Lincou style that glued to the wall, preventing the Frenchman to adjust his short game.

And although Thierry took the first game, I knew that the battle was only commencing…

The second, the Frenchman just didn’t come out of the changing rooms. Completely fooled by the radical change of tactic from the clever Canadian, who went from slow pace up and down the wall clinging to the wall to attacking like a lunatic, varying the angle, pace and choice of shots. It was a Delierre festival on there…

Third, Thierry adapt, and it was Shawn now not to come on court, the Frenchman closing it down in 6m, 11/3. And about the same in reverse in the 4th, 11 minutes, 11/4 for Shawn.

Needless to say that betting on the winner was a bit of Mystery Meg challenge, although the vision became clearer when our Canadian, now playing sublime squash was flying 5/0, 6/2, 7/3.

The rallies became longer and longer, more and more physical, as circulation on the left side of the court became more and more virile, not to say rugby like! The crowd supporting the Frenchman, was very loud and booing the refs at some points, or clapping their decisions, it was a bit of a mad house of there to be honest…

Lincou, playing with the nerves of his support camp, came back to 7/7. Then we moved to 8/8. 9/9. Match ball Lincou, 10/9, saved on a stroke. 10/10. Match ball Shawn after a gigantic rally where he threw himself on the floor in vain. 11/11. Another match ball for the Canadian, 12/11, saved with a drive that die on the backwall, no let. 12/12.

Match ball Lincou 13/12. No let. 13/13. Stroke. Third match ball for the French, 14/13.Three let decisions for Shawn and another stroke. Game, set and match, 15/13 for Lincou.

Never in doubt.

I’m pretty happy with the way I played today, I played soft when I had to, I played hard when it was needed, I kept on switching from one to the other.

It’s weird, some games, there was no battle at all, just win easy, and the first and the last one, just fight till the end, pushing, leaving everything on there….

In the last game, I think I got some no lets that were really harsh, and losing the match on two decisions, also, pretty tough that it had to come down to that to win or lose a match, but I guess I could have lost before too…

I think I raised my game today, I certainly played well, even if so many times during the match I saw myself going home..

I really saw myself going home today….

For about three days, I have a little niggle on the left hamstring, nothing enough to prevent me from playing, but enough to make me struggle a bit mentally and hold my movement a bit.

Conditions today were pretty difficult, a hot court, a flying ball, some trouble to see the ball on the backhand side wall, and a tricky match against a player that has nothing to lose and plays his game superbly, plenty of little crosscourts, and little boast that we old men really hate. He just played great squash on there.

And against those players, if you lack a bit of intensity – like I did today – they make you visit the four corners…. End result, a permanent discomfort on there …

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Stephane Galifi (Ita)      11/8, 11/1, 11/3 (35m)

I felt really threatened in the first game really....

I only got to practice on court this morning as the qualifiers were playing on it for the two past days. So I did struggle a bit on the backhand, and it spoiled my tempo a little bit.

Plus, a few little elements like, being the first match of the world open, then, last time I was in a tournament, didn’t go that well, and it’s better to have a good memory when you get on court, plus title holder, and to be honest, when I found myself 8/5 down in the first, I thought, “that’s NOT good!!!! Especially as we had two near upsets already.

After Qatar, I worked on my movement intensity, which means to higher the pace, I move faster instead of just hitting faster. And that’s what I did.

He had the advantage of having played already on those courts, that was an advantage to start with, but when it got to the end of the match, he had the disadvantage to have had two hard matches the two previous days, and the hard work I put paid dividends in the end…

Now I’m used to the court, it will get better next time I go on court…

Good start, and after that, the “Nick Machine”… He never dropped the pace and I really suffered on there today….

But really happy with my tournament, and especially to come back here in Rotterdam, I played for their team and there was a real home feel for me this week…

Tarek Momen (Egy) bt Tom Richards (Eng)  
                11/9, 8/11, 11/1, 11/5 (53m)

Apart from the second game where he played so well, and I lost a bit of patience and concentration, I’m happy with my unforced errors count, which I kept very low.

It’s nice to take my revenge from the US Open where he beat me three weeks ago. I had a very long game with Robbie Temple, won 3/2 and finished at 9pm, and was first one on court, so it was a bit tough physically. Today, I was much fresher…

I really like this court, the drives stick to the wall, and it suits my game to a T…

So much went wrong….

I just said to Peter [Genever, his coach] that I didn’t do myself any justice today. The quality was not good enough, he was dictating everything, which is very disappointing in such an important event as the World Open.

Very frustrating.

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