Squash » Australian 09

  News Archive
  Tumblr Highlights

   Carte Blanche
   Squash Camps
  SquashSkills Blog
  Lest we Forget
  Tumblr Highlights
     SquashSite News
     Fram's Corner
     YellowDot Pages
     Press Alerts
     SquashSite Egypt
     Events & Posters
     Daily Photo
     Yes I remember it well
     Tweets of the Week

  France - SiteSquash

  Photo Galleries
  SquashSite Photos
  Google Squash News
  Squash on TV

  The Old Site
  Useful Info

SquashSite HOME

Premier Squash League

BSPA Circuit

French Sister Site

Other Sites we do:

British Open Squash
National Squash Champs
Squash Photos

Clare Valley
Australian Open 2009

14-19 July, Clare, Australia

19-Jul, Finals:

[2] Stewart Boswell (Aus) bt [3] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
           11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9 (98m)
[6] Joelle King (Nzl) bt [2] Annie Au (Hkg)
           11-6, 11-13, 14-12, 11-7 (48m)

Boswell claims number four
Andrew Dent reports

Canberra’s Stewart Boswell claimed his fourth Australian Open squash title when he beat New South Welshman Cameron Pilley in a thrilling five game final in Clare, South Australia on Sunday.

Boswell downed doubles partner Pilley to move to fourth place on the men’s all-time list of Australian Open winners.

The match, a repeat of the 2007 final, was full of high quality squash as the two Australian teammates traded shots for over an hour, both refusing to give an inch in a drama-charged final.

There was nothing between the two players for the whole match as first Boswell, then Pilley gained the ascendancy, each game being won by the barest of margins. Going into the fifth there was still no indication as to who would end on top until at 6-6 Boswell stepped up a gear and opened a three-point break.

Pilley clawed it back to 9-9 but Boswell regathered to win the next two points and the championship.The 30-year-old from Canberra added the 2009 title to wins in 2002, 2006 and 2007 and will now defend his title when the Australian Open moves to Canberra in 2010.

"It had a bit of everything - it was a decent match as far as both grinding it out – I just probably got a bit lucky with the calls towards the end.”

"It's always difficult playing him, we practice together all the time and we both know each other’s games very well so it means the matches are always pretty tight.

The two have now met six times on the professional tour, with Boswell winning five of those, and four going the full distance.

“I am in the twilight of my career and I’m surprised at how I played this week. I thought I might sneak through a couple of rounds but I’m really happy – I will try and build on that form throughout the new season.

"I played better as the week went on. I stuck to my tactical plans better than I have done."

King is queen of Clare

Joelle King became the second New Zealand winner in three years when she beat defending champion Annie Au to claim the Australian Open title.

The 20-year-old King was seeded sixth heading into the Open but she downed top seed Kasey Brown in the semi-finals before accounting for Au, the second seed, in the final.

Her power and speed proved the difference against Au, a player who relies more on placement than sheer force. The Kiwi also showed enormous determination as she saved five game balls in the crucial third game, which would have given Au a 2-1 lead.

King began the match as she left off Saturday’s semi-final against Brown, hitting the ball with immense power and chasing down every shot.

Au appeared to feel the pressure and made a number of unforced errors, handing King the early advantage.

The defending champion played much better in the second and had King under pressure by moving her around the court, bringing her forward and then sending her to the back of the court.

Despite the pressure, King had two game balls but Au saved both then took the game in a tie-break and raced to a 10-5 lead in the third.

However, the Kiwi saved all five game balls then won the tie-break to take a thrilling third game.

She was always in control in the fourth as she took the match to join fellow New Zealanders Kitchen, Susan Devoy and Leilani Joyce on the Heather McKay Cup.

"This is just huge for me – this is a big step in my career and I’m just absolutely over the moon. I knew that if I could keep on top of her with my pace I would be okay but it’s hard to do that against a class player like Annie.”

"I don’t know where that mongrel in me came from in the third game, it was just a kind of blur from 5-10 down and then a few quick easy points and you’re back in the game.

"I think winning the third got me up for the fourth."

"This is by far the biggest title I’ve ever won. At the end of last year I got to a certain point on my natural talent and ability and I knew that I had to put in some big work physically and mentally to take me to the next step, and I’ve done that this year.

"I’ve always thought I could be a top 20, top 10 player and now that I’m starting to beat these girls I definitely know it’s possible."


Clare Valley

"I think if I had won that third game the result would have been different, but I lost concentration and she didn’t give up – I think maybe she was more eager to win than me.

"She played more shots and I felt like I was under pressure all the time."

Canberra to host Australian Open 2010-2013

Squash Australia announced on Sunday that Canberra will host the Australian Open for the next four years, beginning in 2010.

The tournament will be held next July on an all-glass court set up in one of the city’s major venues. Prize money will be boosted for both the men and the women’s events, ensuring participation by even more of the world’s top players.

The Australian Open has been held in the South Australian wine growing town of Clare for the past three years and has grown in stature and exposure over that time.

Squash Australia president John Holland said holding the tournament in the nation’s capital would mean more exposure for a tournament steeped in Australian squash history.

“Squash ACT put in a very impressive bid, backed by important support from the ACT Government,” Holland said. “While other cities were interested in hosting the Australian Open, Squash Australia believed that the ACT bid was far and away the best and it was a unanimous board decision to award Canberra the tournament.”

Squash ACT president Gary Hampson said that with nearby Queanbeyan having produced Heather McKay, arguably the best player in history, the area had a proud squash history. He said Squash ACT envisaged turning the Open into a major sporting event which would draw visitors to the city.

“Half of Canberra seems to disappear off to Melbourne for the Australian Open tennis in January – we want people to head for the Australian Open party and squash festival in Canberra in July,” he said.

“It’s more than just the Men’s and Women’s Championships. There will be parties, coaching seminars, tours and mini-tournaments for all level of players. What other major sporting event in the world encourages the spectators to come along and play their sport alongside the touring professionals? It will be a real festival of squash.”

ACT Sports Minister Andrew Barr said the tournament had the potential to become a tourism drawcard as the city heads towards its centenary in 2013.

“The Australian Open represents the premier squash tournament in this country and for it to be held in Canberra for the next four years is a fantastic achievement,” he said. “I congratulate Squash ACT on their successful bid and I am excited by their proposal to develop a ‘Festival of Squash’ with the Australian Open as the showpiece.”

Canberra continues to produce world class players, with three-time Australian Open champion Stewart Boswell currently ranked number 20 in the world and 18-year-old Christine Nunn about to head off to India with the Australian Junior Women’s team. Boswell, in Clare for the 2009 Australian Open, said playing the tournament in his home town would be a career highlight.

“I have spent so much time overseas that to come home to play the tournament in Canberra would be something special.”


18-Jul, Semis:

Pilley & Boswell set up all-Aussie final
Andrew Dent reports

Australia’s Cameron Pilley fought off a stirring comeback from top seed Ong Beng Hee on Saturday to move into the final of the Australian Open and another clash with doubles partner Stewart Boswell.

Pilley beat the Malaysian top seed 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, before three-time Open champion Boswell saw off the challenge of dangerous Egyptian Tarek Momen 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6.

The final is a rematch of the 2007decider, which Boswell won in five tough games, and ensured at least one local winner following the demise of both remaining Australian players in the women’s semi-finals.

Ong was pushed all the way by Kiwi Martin Knight in Friday’s quarter-finals before grinding out a win, but he was unable to do so again against the 26-year-old New South Welshman. Pilley came out all guns blazing and took the opening two games comfortably, only for the Malaysian to regroup and come charging back as Pilley went off the boil.

In the decider Pilley opened up a handy lead and had two match balls at 10-8, but Ong saved both and a second last-gasp win in as many days looked on the cards.

But the tall Australian had one more chance and this time there was no answer from the top seed.

"I went on so focused at the start of the match and I was really pleased with the first two games. I was on top of him and hitting the ball well, putting the pressure on him before going short, and then I took my foot of the gas a bit.

"My length was a foot or two short and he was able to step up, take it early and put the pressure on me. He got such a good start in the fifth – for some reason I don’t have a great record in five and I don’t know why that is.

"I was trying to make amends for that and at 10-8 up I was just trying to hang in there and I said to myself ‘just play the way you’ve played the last three or four points’.

"In the end, I would have done anything to win that match."

Boswell and Pilley won the Australian Open doubles title in Melbourne last week and know each other’s games very well.

“He played really well today,” Boswell said. “It’s hard to play someone like that because we play doubles together and we’re good mates as well.”

Momen tried every trick in his arsenal to try and throw Boswell off his game, but the 30-year-old from Canberra was able to withstand the pressure, winning in just under an hour to give himself a chance of winning his third title in four years.

“I’ve played Tarek a couple of times over the last few months – he’s definitely a handful and plays a different kind of squash to what most people do, so it’s pretty hard to counter that,” Boswell said.

“I had to stick with what I was doing and not get sucked into his game.”

King reigns in Clare as Au reaches another final

New Zealand’s Joelle King recorded the biggest win of her career when she stunned top seed Kasey Brown in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in Clare, South Australia on Saturday.

King, the sixth seed, downed the 2006 champion in five games 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2 to reach the final of Australia’s most prestigious tournament.

She will play defending champion Annie Au of Hong Kong in Sunday’s final after Au’s 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 win over New South Wales’s Donna Urquhart

King, who will be aiming to become the second New Zealander to win the Australian Open in two years following Shelley Kitchen’s 2007 triumph, has been in tremendous form over the past month, winning both the NSW and Victorian Opens.

However, she was not expected to trouble the 23-year-old Brown, who at number 14 is ranked almost 40 places above the New Zealander.

King had other ideas though and began to dominate Brown from 5-5 in the opening game, moving the Australian around the court with some deft placement and blistering power.

She opened up a two-game lead and appeared in control, only for Brown to come storming back and take command of the next two games. However the effort of getting back on terms seemed to sap Brown’s energy and King took an early lead in the decider and didn’t look back.

Brown beat King at this stage in 2008 but the Kiwi has improved markedly since then.

"This is the biggest win I’ve had in my career. I’m a bit speechless at the moment – it’s been a little while coming but finally I got it.

"I’ve put in a lot of hard work this year, mainly on my fitness and I just know now that I’m stronger and I can push through when it comes to hard times, and that is the difference.

“When I got hit I hit [in the face with a racket in the third game] I just seemed to lose momentum and I let her get on top of me. She then played well and took control in the next two, but I managed to claw it back in the last."

Au looked in imposing form as she downed Urquhart in straight games. The defending champion took the pace of the ball brilliantly and didn’t allow her taller opponent any rhythm.

Urquhart had her chances in the second game but couldn’t convert and Au took full advantage, closing out the match in impressive style.

“I think Joelle is playing very well and I think it will be difficult for me because she hits the ball so fast,” Au said. “I won’t be able to make too many mistakes. Last time I played against her at the World Juniors I lost three-love.”

17-Jul, Quarters:

Ong survives thriller
Andrew Dent reports

Top seeded Malaysian Ong Beng Hee was forced to save a match ball in the fifth game before eventually subduing the challenge of New Zealand’s Martin Knight in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in Clare, South Australia on Friday.

World number 14 Ong won the first game easily but was then locked in fierce battle with the seventh seeded Knight before winning 11-2, 9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 13-11 in the best match of the tournament to date.

He now takes on New South Welshman Cameron Pilley in the semi-finals, with the winner to play either three-time champion Stewart Boswell or classy Egyptian Tarek Momen.

“I think after I won the first game easily I relaxed too much, but that is probably the best Martin has played against anyone,” Ong said. “He made it hard for me to volley and step forward. All credit to him, I was very lucky to win.”

When Ong raced away with the first game there was no indication of the drama that was to follow. From the start of the second Knight began to chase down everything the Malaysian hit at him and increasingly fire off winners of his own.

He took the second game to even the match up and had game balls in the third to take a 2-1 lead, but Ong held steady to regain the lead, then took the initiative in the fourth, getting his first match ball at 10-9.

Knight saved that and took the fourth before racing away to lead 4-0, then 9-5 in the decider before Ong launched a superb fight back to take the match.

“When I was down in the fifth I had to play a very safe game to try and win point by point,” he said. “After the first game my attacking game just collapsed somehow, so that’s something I need to work on.”

Earlier the 26-year-old Pilley continued his dominance over Hobart’s Aaron Frankcomb with a hard fought 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 win.

Pilley, the world number 22, conceded he would have to lift his game if he was to reach the final after beating Frankcomb for the eighth consecutive time.

“I’m playing well enough to beat Aaron in three -- Aaron’s a good player but he’s number 40 in the world,” Pilley said. “Ong’s pushing top 10 so I will have to step it up another gear.”

Momen was in breath-taking form as he cruised into the semi-finals with an 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 win over Scott Arnold of Sydney. After battling with jetlag in his first round match, Momen said he had been worried heading into the quarter-finals.

“I didn’t think I would progress any further but once I got on court I felt great,” the fourth seeded Momen said.

Boswell looked equally comfortable in his 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson. The 30-year-old from Canberra won the title in 2002, 2006 and 2007 and cannot be easily discounted in 2009.

Brown on fire, Au forced to fight

Top seed Kasey Brown showed she is still the one to beat in the women's draw when she downed the Czech Republic’s Olga Ertlova 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 in the quarter-finals.

Brown, champion in 2006 and runner-up for the past two years, took advantage of the eighth seeded Ertlova’s inexperience on the glass court as she raced away with the first two games.

Ertlova came back into the match as she adjusted to the conditions but Brown was too steady in the closing stages and came back from 4-7 down in the third to close out the match.

She will now play New Zealand’s Joelle King in the semi-finals, just as she did at the same stage in 2008. King reached the last four with an upset win over fourth seeded Queenslander Lisa Camilleri 11-8, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6.

“I’m looking forward to playing Kasey – I haven’t played her since last year -- and it’s a good occasion as well,” the 20-year-old said.

King has been in top form heading into the Australian Open, winning the state titles in Sydney and Melbourne and she showed she cannot be discounted this year as she beat Camilleri for the second time in three weeks.

“Lisa’s a class player so it’s always nice to get a win over a player like her,” King said. “I was worried that after I beat her at the New South Wales Open she would come back hard, and she did, so I was pleased to get another win over her.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work this year and I’ve got a good team behind me at home, and the results are showing.”

The second semi-final will be between defending champion Annie Au of Hong King and Donna Urquhart from$ Yamba in New South Wales.

Au was forced to fight hard to overcome Victoria’s Amelia Pittock 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 11-3 while Urquhart demolished Au’s countrywoman Elise Ng 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.

“I was a bit nervous playing on the glass court for the first time this week,” Urquhart said. “I had a hit on it yesterday and had a few miss-hits, and I was worried I wouldn’t play well today, but I seemed to hit it alright.”

Urquhart lost to Au in the quarter-finals in 2008 and admitted she was in for a tough semi-final.

“Annie’s really good so I’ll have to be bringing my A game tomorrow,” she said.


Last chance to
see Australian Open in Clare

Northern Argus Article with player profiles -  recommended


Australian Open 2009
14-19 July, Clare Valley, $30k
Round One
16 Jul
17 Jul
18 Jul
19 Jul
[1] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11-7, 13-11, 11-8 (34 mins)
[Q] Wade Johnstone (Aus)
[1] Ong Beng Hee
11-2, 9-11, 13-11, 10-12, 13-11 (83 m)
[8] Martin Knight
[1] Ong Beng Hee

11-8, 11-5, 8-11,
5-11, 12-10 (86m)

[3] Cameron Pilley

[3] Cameron Pilley

11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9 (98m)

[2] Stewart Boswell

[8] Martin Knight (Nzl)
 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (42 mins)
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
[3] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (21 mins)
Justin Beard (Aus)
[3] Cameron Pilley
11-5, 11-9, 11-6
[6] Aaron Frankcomb
[6] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (61 mins)
[Q] Bradley Hindle (Aus)
Scott Arnold (Aus)
11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10 (57 mins)
[5] Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
Scott Arnold
11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (20m)
[4] Tarek Momen
[4] Tarek Momen

11-7, 10-12, 11-9,
11-6 (56m)

[2] Stewart Boswell

[Q] Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (34 mins)
[4] Tarek Momen (Egy)
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (80 mins)
[LL] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
[LL] Campbell Grayson
11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (34m)
[2] Stewart Boswell
[Q] Steve Finitsis (Aus)
11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (31 mins)
[2] Stewart Boswell (Aus)

Qualifying Finals:

Bradley Hindle (Aus) bt Luke Forster (Aus)                                 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
Wade Johnstone (Aus) bt Nathan Stevenson (Aus)   11-5, 3-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 (49m)
Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bt Zac Alexander (Aus)   11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 13-15, 11-8 (54m)
Steve Finitsis (Aus) bt Adil Maqbool (Pak)                                14-12, 11-8, 11-1 (27m)

Qualifying Round One:

Bradley Hindle bt Josh Cardwell                             11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (27 mins)
Luke Forster bt Tyler Hamilton (Can)                   11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (29 mins)
Wade Johnstone bt Alex Grayson (Nzl)                  11-4, 11-9, 11-4 (29 mins)
Nathan Stevenson bt Nathan Turnbull            11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4 (32 mins)
Zac Alexander bt Jake Alexander                          11-2, 11-7, 11-6 (24 mins)
Matthew Karwalski bt Ben Werchon                       11-3, 11-5, 11-2 (20 mins)
Steve Finitsis bt Jason Mudge               9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5 (49 mins)
Adil Maqbool (Pak) bt Peter Taylor                       11-7, 11-9, 13-11 (31 mins)

13-Jul, Pre-qualifying:
Round 1:
Tim Cowell bt Ross Hewitt 10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10
Round 2:
Peter Taylor bt Luke Forster 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-2
Jason Mudge bt Tim Cowell 11-3, 11-4, 11-3

Australian Open 2009
14-19 July, Clare Valley
Round One
16 Jul
17 Jul
18 Jul
19 Jul
[1] Kasey Brown (Aus)
11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (24 mins)
[Q] Jane Kennedy (Eng)
[1] Kasey Brown
11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (26m)
[8] Olga Ertlova
[1] Kasey Brown

 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2 (53m)

[6] Joelle King

[6] Joelle King

 11-6, 11-13, 14-12, 11-7 (48m)

[2] Annie Au

[8] Olga Ertlova (Cze)
 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 (36 mins)
Melody Francis (Aus)
[4] Lisa Camilleri (Aus)
11-4, 11-2, 11-3 (23 mins)
Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
[4] Lisa Camilleri
11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (36m)
[6] Joelle King
[6] Joelle King (Nzl)
11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (17 mins)
[Q] Tamika Saxby (Aus)
Joseffa Bertilsson (Swe)
11-1, 11-3, 11-5 (13 mins)
[5] Elise Ng (Hkg)
[5] Elise Ng
11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (19m)
[3] Donna Urquhart
[3] Donna Urquhart

11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (28m)

[2] Annie Au

Zoe Petranovsky (Aus)
11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (16 mins)
[3] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Amanda Cranston (Nzl)
11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (23 mins)
[7] Amelia Pittock (Aus)
[7] Amelia Pittock
 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (31m)
[2] Annie Au
Jackie Laurenson (Nzl)
11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (18 mins)
[2] Annie Au (Hkg)


Tamika Saxby (Aus) bt Bonny Wu (Aus)                            11-5, 11-5, 11-6 (19m)
Jane Kennedy (Eng) bt Alma Kushartanti (Aus)        11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 12-10 (31m)

2008 Event   2007 Event

16-Jul, Round One:
Au sends out warning
Andrew Dent reports

Defending women’s champion Annie Au of Hong Kong sent out an ominous warning to her rivals as she downed New Zealand’s Jackie Laurenson 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 in the first round of the Australian Open in Clare, South Australia on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Au stunned observers in 2008 when she came from two games down to beat top seed Kasey Brown in the final. She entered this year’s tournament as a hot favourite and didn’t disappoint as she comprehensively outplayed Laurenson to notch a straightforward win.

Au, the tournament’s second seed, said there was more pressure on her this year compared with 2008.

“I am confident of getting to the final but I think Kasey will be better prepared this year,” Au said. “Last year I didn’t expect that I would play in the final because I hadn’t played many senior tournaments, so last year it was very important for me to be champion.

“And last year nobody expected me to win, so this year there is a lot more pressure.”

The top seeded Brown was equally impressive in her 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over Sydney-based Englishwoman Jane Kennedy.

Brown won the Open in 2006 but has finished runner-up for the past two years and said she was determined to change that this year.

“It was good to get that first match over with – you always feel a few nerves in the first round,” she said. “Hopefully I will get better as the tournament goes on – I’ve lost in the final the last two years and this tournament means so much to me, I’m hoping I can break through this year.”

It was a good day for the seeds with all eight winning through and only the Czech Republic’s Olga Ertlova dropping a game.

Third seed Donna Urquhart set the tone in the first match when she beat training partner Zoe Petrovansky in straight games 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.

She will now take on fifth seeded Elise Ng of Hong Kong following Ng’s 11-1, 11-3, 11-5 demolition of Sweden’s Josefa Bertilsson.

“I’m really happy with how I played today,” Urquhart said. “When you are playing against someone you train with all the time you have to make sure you perform on the day, even if it’s someone you think you should be able to beat.

“I don’t think Zoe had one of her best days, but I think I played well.”

North Queensland’s Lisa Camilleri and Kiwi Joelle King set up a rematch of their NSW Open final from two weeks ago after both recorded straight games wins over promising Australian juniors.

Camilleri downed 17-year-old Sarah Cardwell 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 and King was too powerful for 16-year-old Tamika Saxby 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.

King won their last encounter but both women admitted the possible rematch had been on their minds since they first saw the draw.

“I lost to her in Sydney but hopefully the glass court will suit me a bit better,” Camilleri said. “I’ll have to hit a better length because she volleys a lot, so hopefully I can hang in there and get revenge.”

In other matches the eighth seeded Ertlova dropped the second game against Melbourne’s Melody Francis before winning 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, while Victoria’s Amelia Pittock outlasted powerful New Zealander Amanda Cranston 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.

Arnold ousts Shuja as top seeds impress

Top seeds Ong Beng Hee and Stewart Boswell looked in impressive form as they overcame high quality opponents in the men's  first round.
Boswell downed Queenslander Steve Finitsis 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 while in the
last match of the day Ong was too good for US-based Victorian Wade Johnstone 11-7, 13-11, 11-8.

However, both men will be looking over their shoulders at their likely
semi-final opponents as both third seeded Cameron Pilley and Egyptian fourth seed Tarek Momen were also impressive winners. Pilley beat South Australian wildcard Justin Beard 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 and Momen overcame bad jetlag to outlast Matthew Karwalski 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4.

The only seed to fall on the first day was 2008 runner-up Kashif Shuja, who was beaten by Sydney's Scott Arnold 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10.

Other winners included Tasmanian Aaron Frankcomb, who beat Queensland qualifier Bradley Hindle 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, and New Zealand duo Martin Knight and Campbell Grayson.
Knight ousted Brisbane's Nathan Stevenson 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 while Campbell secured a tough 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 win over Ryan Cuskelly.

Boswell, a three-time Australian Open champion, said he was getting back into the swing of it after some time off.

"It's been a few months' break since the last tournament --- I played a bit of doubles last week but it's a bit different to singles so it's good to get back on the singles court," Boswell said.

The 30-year-old from Canberra has won the Australian Open three times and said he would love to make it number four this year. "It's definitely one of the tournaments that when I was younger I wanted to win," he said.

Ong, looking to become the first Malaysian to win the title, was always in control against a tenacious Johnstone.

"For me the first round is always the toughest," Ong, who plays Knight on
Friday, said. "You have to get the feel of the tournament, especially because I haven't played for three months, so I was a bit nervous and I didn't know what to expect. I am happy to get through three-love."

Arnold caused the only upset in either draw when he beat Shuja. Shuja was runner-up in 2008 and made the 2007 semi-finals but he appeared out of sorts against the 23-year-old Sydneysider, who will now go on to meet  Momen in the quarter-finals.

The win over Shuja was sweet revenge for Arnold, who was beaten by the New Zealand number one in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last year.

"I seem to play Kashif every time I come back to Australia so I think we know each other really well," Arnold said. "We always have four or five setters and I've never finished on top before. I've been training really well and I knew that I had enough behind me that if I stuck to my game plan I could do it."

Momen survived a torrid battle with Karwalski, coming from 2/1 down. "It was my first match on this court and I wasn't used to the surface and at the same time I am still jetlagged - I only slept for three hours last night," he said.

"But I didn't expect for Matthew to play that well. He played really well and was moving great. "He played a really good match so thank God I got through."

Quarter-Final Results

Last chance to
see Australian Open in Clare

Northern Argus Article with player profiles -  recommended


Elise Ng has a hit with even year old Alex Haydon after her match

Karwalski & Alexander ...

15-Jul, Qualifying Finals:

Locals clean up in qualifiers
Andrew Dent reports

Queensland’s Steve Finitsis downed Pakistan’s highly-rated Adil Maqbool in straight games in today's men's qualifying finals of the Clare Valley Australian Open to lead a surprise all-Australian quartet through to the main draw at Valleys Lifestyle Centre.

Finitsis won two tight games before steamrolling Maqbool in the third to win 14-12, 11-8, 11-1 and move into the first round proper, where he will play second seed and three-time champion Stewart Boswell.

Other men's qualifiers were Mackay’s Bradley Hindle, New South Welshman Matthew Karwalski and US-based Victorian Wade Johnstone.

Hindle ended Luke Forster’s run with a straightforward 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 win. However, Johnstone and Karwalski were both taken the distance by their compatriot opponents - Johnstone beating Nathan Stevenson 11-5, 3-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 and Karwalski holding off Zac Alexander 11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 13-15, 11-8.

Nathan Stevenson gained a welcome reprieve, however, when seventh-seeded Frenchman Stephane Galifi withdrew injured at the last minute, handing the Queenslander a place in the main draw as a lucky loser.

Finitsis said he was mentally tougher than Maqbool, and that was the difference between the two men.

“I was down in the first two games but I stayed strong and got the big points,” he said. “Once I got the first two games, he didn’t seem to want to do the hard yards in the third.”

The Amsterdam-based 26-year-old will play Tasmania’s Aaron Frankcomb in the first round and said anything was possible this week.

“As the score shows, I pretty well just played my match and didn’t make too many mistakes today,” he said. “Everyone is wary of everyone this year -- it could be a tournament where any one of the qualifiers could win it, and so could any of the main draw players.”

Johnstone, playing his first tournament in Australia in four years, said he was suffering from a lack of match fitness.

“I was very tired – I’ve been off for a couple of months with a hamstring injury and I just started training again a few weeks ago, so match fitness isn’t quite what it should be,” he said. “It’s too hard to be consistent when you can’t move to the ball.”  

Kennedy & SAxby

In the qualifying finals for the women's event, England’s Jane Kennedy prevented further local domination in the event by beating South Australian Alma Kushartanti 11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 12-10 – while Tamika Saxby, the 17-year-old from Coffs Harbour in Australia, ousted Adelaide’s Bonnie Wu 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.

Dittmar recovering from brain injury

14-Jul, Men's Qualifying Round One:
Forster stuns Canada’s Hamilton
Andrew Dent reports

Queenslander Luke Forster caused the first major shock of the 2009 Clare Valley Australian Open squash tournament when he downed Canada’s Tyler Hamilton 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 in the first round of qualifying in Clare, South Australia on Tuesday.

Forster, the 24-year-old from Toowoomba, lost his pre-qualifying match on Monday and only made it into the draw as a lucky loser when Melbourne’s Steven Robinson was a late withdrawal.

But he showed no signs of fatigue from his tough five game loss to Peter Taylor as he downed Hamilton, who at number 124 in the world is ranked 99 places above Forster.

“I was up two-love against Pete then lost the next couple of games pretty quickly so I wasn’t feeling too bad at all today,” Forster said.

Forster will now play top qualifying seed Bradley Hindle for a place in the main draw after Hindle downed Josh Cardwell 11-3, 11-5, 11-3.

“I’ve played Brad many times, he is an old training partner of mine from when I was based in Holland,” he said. “I know how well he can play, so I know it’s going to be tough.”

Hindle, who reached the semi-finals in Hong Kong last week, said he was feeling good on court and said he was confident of reaching the main draw.

“I’m getting back to where I want to be – I feel like I’m getting my rhythm back,” he said. “I am reading the ball pretty well and taking advantage of that.”

US-based Victorian Wade Johnstone had a comfortable win over young New Zealander Alex Grayson 11-4, 11-9, 11-4 and will play in-form Queenslander Nathan Stevenson. Stevenson, from Caboolture just north of Brisbane, defeated fellow Queenslander Nathan Turnbull in four games 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4.

Zac Alexander played his younger brother Jake for the second national tournament in a row, and just as at the Australian Closed Championships last month, the older Alexander came out on top with an 11-2, 11-7, 11-6 win. He takes on Matthew Karwalski, just as he did at the Australian Closed when he beat the New South Welshman in a thrilling five-game semi-final on his way to the title. Karwalski showed South Australian junior Ben Werchon no mercy with an 11-3, 11-5, 11-2 win in just 20 minutes.

Innisfail’s Steve Finitsis downed South Australian Jason Mudge 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5 in the longest qualifying match and must now regroup for Wednesday’s clash with Pakistan’s Adil Maqbool.

Maqbool, who reached the quarter-finals at the 2008 Australian Open, was pushed all the way before ending the challenge of Ipswich’s Peter Taylor.
Taylor fought hard but Maqbool was able to win the big points on his way to an 11-7, 11-9, 13-11 victory.

“He’s a real shot maker,” Finitsis said of the Pakistani. “You’ve got to keep it tight against him because if he gets any loose balls he’ll put them away.”

Dittmar recovering from brain injury

All systems go for Australian Open
Andrew Dent reports

Some of the world’s best squash players will descend on South Australia this week for the Clare Valley Australian Open, the country’s most prestigious squash tournament.

The Australian Open will be held on the all-glass court in the historic wine growing town of Clare for the third year in a row and has attracted players from across Australia and around the world.

Leading the men’s field is Ong Beng Hee, the world number 14 and Malaysia’s most successful male squash player ever, while former champion Kasey Brown is the women’s top seed.

However, both draws are so strong that it’s almost impossible to predict who will eventually be crowned the 2009 champions.

Ong will be strongly challenged by Australians Stewart Boswell and Cameron Pilley, while Egyptian Tarek Momen, 2008 runner-up Kashif Shuja from New Zealand and Frenchman Stephane Galifi will also feature strongly.

Three-time champion Boswell (2002, ’06, ’07) said the quality of the field was the best in years.

“The depth is really strong this year and the winner could come from anywhere,” he said. “Obviously ‘Bengie’ is the one to beat, but Cam Pilley will be tough as well. “Tarek Momen and Galifi are quality players, but the younger Australians could also give it a shake.”

Boswell won the Australian Open Doubles men’s title last week alongside Pilley and said that the win had given him a lot of confidence.

“I haven’t played a singles tournament for a long time so I’m a bit rusty, but I think all the top seeds are in the same boat so hopefully that will even things out,” he said. “But I’m feeling fit, and injury wise I’m okay so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Brown will have to get past defending champion Annie Au of Hong Kong and in form Australians Donna Urquhart and Lisa Camilleri if she is to add to her 2006 title.

New Zealand’s Joelle King, who this month won the NSW and Victorian Opens in successive weeks, has also shown she is more than capable of pulling off a shock win.

Brown lost to Au in last year’s final after leading by two games to love and said she was after revenge this year, but she warned it wouldn’t be easy.

“It’s going to be pretty tough just to get to the final – I mean Lisa and Joelle are playing really well,” she said. “I think I’m going to have to take it one match at a time and really focus this year to get there, and hopefully I’ll get a win this year. For me it’s such a prestigious tournament and I’m sure that’s the same for all the other Australians, so I think it’s going to be pretty tough.”

The Australian Open honour board features some of the most famous names in Australian and world sport -- Heather McKay, Vicki Cardwell, Michelle Martin, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Dame Susan Devoy are just some of the winners of the women’s trophy, while Geoff Hunt, Jahangir Khan, Jonah Barrington, Chris Dittmar and Ken Hiscoe all have their names on the men’s trophy.

Although the tournament has enjoyed a glorious history, it was languishing somewhat until the town of Clare applied to host the championships in 2007.

The tournament will be played in the town’s Valleys Lifestyle Centre, with the all glass court erected in the basketball stadium, surrounded by seating on all four sides.

This is the last year the tournament will be held in Clare, but Squash Australia chief executive officer Gary O’Donnell said the community should be proud of what it has achieved.

“The support from the townspeople is amazing,” he said. “The tournament is brilliantly run and the players love coming here. After the first year in Clare, the word of mouth among the players was so good that we had a big increase in entries the following year, and that support is just as strong this year.”

The Australian Open begins with qualifying on Tuesday, with the men’s and women’s finals to be held on Sunday.
Au back to defend Aussie crown

Annie Au, fresh from claiming her first Hong Kong National title, will be back to defend her crown when the Clare Valley Australian Open squash championships are held in the South Australian wine growing town of Clare from July 14-19.

Au enjoyed a breakthrough victory when she came from two games down against top seed Kasey Brown in a thrilling finale to last year’s tournament.

The 20-year-old entered the 2008 event as a rank outsider, but since then she has climbed to number 18 in the world and, seeded two, will be one of the favourites for this year’s title.

Trying to stop her will be Brown, the 2006 champion and runner up in 2007 and 2008 who is top seed for this year's event.

Brown, the 23-year-old from Taree in New South Wales, is the world number 13 and will be desperate to add her name to the famous trophy for a second time.

However, both women could be upstaged by the in-form Donna Urquhart, who claimed the Australian Closed title last weekend. Urquhart has won two tournaments in 2009, following her success at the Top End Open in Darwin in May, and will go into the Australian Open full of confidence.

Clare attracts the crowds - Northern Argus

Other prominent entries so far include Queensland’s Lisa Camilleri, rising New Zealand star Joelle King and Victoria’s Amelia Pittock.

The international flavour of the tournament will also be boosted by an appearance from Czech player Olga Ertlova. Ertlova, the world number 66 from Prague, is making her first trip to Australia.

All about Clare Valley

HOME ] Calendar ] Rankings ] Search ] Archive ] Links ] Contact ] Jobs ] Tournaments ] Players ] Categories ] Rules ] Tumblr ]

©2014 SquashSite