Joelle King (Nzl) 3-0
 Annie Au (Hkg)
11/5, 11/6, 11/9 (36m) Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-1  Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/7, 5/11, 11/6, 11/5 (82m)
Photo from Joelle's facebook page
It's a Kiwi double in Melbourne
It was a great day for the Kiwis in Melbourne as Joelle King
and Paul Coll took the Australian Open titles, both beating
the top seed in the final.
NEW ZEALAND STEAL THE SHOW ON AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINALS
DAY Ross Solly reports
Paul Coll has caused a massive upset by beating top seeded
Australian and training partner, Cameron Pilley, as New Zealand
stole the show on finals day at the Australian Squash Open in
Coll and former world number four, Joelle King, made it a winning
double for New Zealand, with second seed King also upsetting the top
seed, Hong Kong’s Annie Au, in the women’s final, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9.
convinced was 23-year-old Coll that he couldn’t win the Australian
Open, he booked a flight back to New Zealand for Saturday afternoon.
His 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 victory is also the first time a New
Zealander has won the Australian men’s title.
“I never even imagined being here,” Coll said. “There was massive
butterflies before I even started, as soon as I walked in here I saw
the crowd, I knew it was something special.
“But I had nothing to lose, my coach just told me to relax, I’d
already done well, so I played with a bit of freedom tonight.”
Pilley, who lost his only other Australian Open final in five games,
recently invited Coll to train with him in The Netherlands. Coll
said he hopes the training relationship will continue.
“He’s a great guy, and we have some great training sessions
together,” Coll said. “We get on well, I hope he keeps on with me,
he’s a really experienced player and I can still learn a hell of a
lot from him.”
was an emotional Joelle King who claimed the women’s title, in just
her second tournament back after a serious Achilles injury.
“As soon as I finished the match I got quite emotional,” King
said. “You just remember all the work you’ve done leading up to that
moment. It’s been a long ride.”
is setting her sights on climbing back up the world rankings, after
slipping into the 50’s since her injury. She believes her win in
Melbourne shows getting back to number four is achievable.
“Definitely, there’s no reason why not,” she said. “Anything is
possible, especially when I think back to where I was eight or nine
months ago, and where I am now.
"I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement, I’m still not
exactly where I want to be – so look out top ten!”
Double Kiwi success in Melbourne semis
as Pilley survives all-Aussie marathon The
first two semi-finals at Melbourne Squash and Aquatic Centre bost
saw New Zealand winners as Joelle King continued her comeback
with a straight-game win over Delie Arnold and undeeded Paul Coll
continued his spectacular run to beat Nasir Iqbal in five games.
There was disappointment for the home crowd in the second women's
semi as top seed Annie Au came from a game down to overcome
Rachael Grinham, but as far as the Aussie fans were concerned the
best was kept for last as top seed Cameron Pilley beat Ryan
Cuskelly in an all-Aussie marathon.
PILLEY INTO FINAL OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN Ross Solly reports
Australia’s Cameron Pilley will take on his New Zealand
training partner Paul Coll in Sunday’s final of the
Australian Open squash in Melbourne.
Pilley beat fellow Australian Ryan Cuskelly over five sets 11-8,
9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, to move into Sunday’s final.
beat me in the nationals in December, and I knew if he played that
well again today he’d beat me again,” Pilley said.
“I had to limit his options. There were patches where I restricted
him to nothing, and other times he was too good for me.”
An Australian has not won an Open title since Stewart Boswell’s
victory in 2009, but Pilley is looking forward to the challenge.
“It would be pretty special with the return of the Australian
Open to have an Australian win it,” Pilley said. “I went pretty
close before, losing the fifth set to Stewart Boswell 11-9, so
hopefully tomorrow will be different.
“It will be a little weird playing Paul, given we train together so
Coll came into the Australian Open unseeded, but has claimed several
big scalps on his way to the final, including the fourth, fifth and
beat Pakistan fifth seed, Nasir Iqbal, 7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6,
and credited much of his improvement in form to training in The
Netherlands with Cameron Pilley.
“Words can’t describe how happy I am now,” he said. “I didn’t
even think I could do it, I’ve had to change my flight home because
I’m supposed to be leaving in an hour from now.
“I train a lot with Pilley, but I wouldn’t say I know his game
because he’s pretty tricky. And I played Ryan last week – I just
know it’s going to be tough.”
Rachael Grinham’s fairytale of a second Australian Open title ten
years after her first was snuffed out in four games by Hong Kong’s
Annie Au. 38-year-old Grinham won the opening game , but then
Au took control to take the next three and move into Sunday’s final.
She’ll come up against former world number four Joelle King,
who has played better as the tournament progresses.
New Zealander is playing in just her second tournament since a
serious Achilles injury, and beat Malaysia’s Delia Arnold 14-12,
11-2, 11-7 to book her finals spot.
“Coming back from injury, it was a big hill to climb, so now I
feel like everything else is a bonus,” she said. "I’m really
enjoying myself on court, which I guess sometimes when you do
something for a living you put too much pressure on yourself.
"I think coming back and feeling free to express myself on there is
something that’s really nice to feel.”
07-Aug, Quarters: Iqbal and Coll crash into Melbourne semis
While the women's
semi-finals will be as predicted by the seedings, there were two
significant upsets in the men's quarer-finals in Melbourne.
Unseeded Kiw Paul Coll beat fourth seed Leo Au in
straight games while young Pakistani Nasir Iqbal got the better of
second seed Nafiizwan Adnan in just under an hour's play.
They'll meet to guarantee a surprise finalist.
The top half of the draw was already sure to produce an Australian
finalist, and top seed Cameron Pilley and third seeded
Ryan Cuskelly won through their all-Aussie matches. Pilley came
from a game down to beat Rex Hedrick, while Cuskelly took just short
of two hours to get past Steve Finitsis in five.
In the women's draw the top sour seeds, including Australia's
Rachael Grinham, will contest the semi-finals after contrasting
Grinham beat Hong Kong's Joey Chan in straight games to set up a
meeting with another HK player, top seed Annie Au, a
straight-games winner over Joshana Chinappa.
In the bottom half of the draw Joelle King and Delia
Arnold both survived tough encounters, second seed King beating
Donna Urqhart in four, winning the last two games 12/10, Arnold
coming from two games down to defeat Denmark's Line Hansen. AUSTRALIANS CLOSER TO OPEN FINALS Ross Solly reports
Ten years after winning her
only Australian Open squash title, evergreen Rachael Grinham is just
one win away from playing in another final.
38-year-old Grinham could not have been more impressive in beating
seventh seed Joey Chan, of Hong Kong, in straight games 11-9, 11-6,
13-11 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
The tournament third seed will now play another Hong Kong player, to
seed Annie Au, in Saturday’s semi-final.
In the men’s draw, Australia is guaranteed a player in Sunday’s
final with top seed Cameron Pilley and third seed Ryan Cuskelly to
face off in one of Saturday’s semi-finals.
Grinham said she didn’t expect to get this far in the tournament.
“I’ve had a few issues in the months leading up to this, so on a
personal level I came here not having any expectations how I was
going to play,” she said. “But I’ve managed to pick up my form a
bit, I’ve been getting a bit more confidence.
“To be fair this wasn’t one of Joey’s better days. I’m not the
fittest, I haven’t plated that many matches, I had to take every
opportunity that was there.”
Both Cuskelly and Pilley are chasing their first ever Australian
titles, with Pilley beating fellow Australian Rex Hedrick 5-11,
11-3, 11-3, 11-5 in the quarter finals.
And Cuskelly had to see off determined fellow Australian, Steve
Finitsis, who had his third consecutive five-game marathon at the
Open. 28-year-old Cuskelly eventually triumphed 11-7, 10-12, 12-10,
“That was my first five game match for two weeks, so it was pretty
tough,” Cuskelly said.
"He played really well and attacked, and I was a bit defensive
tonight. I have to work on that for the next round, because I want
to be aggressive but I was a bit defensive, so lesson learned.
“I won the first a little easier so I thought he might slow down,
but he came out firing.”
In Saturday’s other semi-finals, two New Zealanders will have a
chance to make Sunday’s finals.
Former world number four Joelle King will continue her comeback from
serious injury when she takes on Malaysia’s Dalia Arnold.
King beat Australia’s Donna Urquhart in four games to make the semi,
while in the men’s draw fellow New Zealander Paul Coll - the only
unseeded player left in the tournament - will take on Pakistani
fifth seed, Nasir Igbal.
06-Aug, Round Two Coll and Finitsis suprise in Melbourne
Round two at the Melbourne Squash & Aquatic Centre saw two upsets in
the men's draw as Paul Coll beat seventh seed Greg Lobban in
straight game and Steve Finitsis took out sixth seed Mahesh
Mangaonkar, coming from two games down to win in 88 minutes.
No upsets in the women's draw as all eight seeds made it through to
Gritty Grinham into Australian Quarters Report from Ross Solly of
It took her five gruelling games, but Australia’s Rachael Grinham
is into the quarter finals of the Australian Open Squash in
through is Australia’s second-ranked female, Donna Urquhart,
who will take on former world number four, Joelle King of New
Zealand, in Friday’s quarter finals.
Four Australian men are through to the quarterfinals, headed by top
seed Cameron Pilley and third seed Ryan Cuskelly.
Grinham, seeded third in Melbourne, had to dig deep to beat South
Africa’s Siyoli Waters 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8.
knew it was going to be a tough match, as Siyoli is a form player at
the moment,” Grinham said.
“I’ve been looking forward to it, hanging around for a week waiting
to play. Win or lose I would have enjoyed it, but obviously I’m
happy to have won it.”
Urquhart has looked in good form over the open two rounds with two
3-0 wins, the latest against fellow Australian and Commonwealth
Games doubles partner, Lisa Camilleri.
Urquhart will next take on second seed King, who is playing her
second tournament since a major Achilles injury.
“I feel like Lisa maybe let me off with a few unforced errors
today,” Urquhart said.
“Joelle has been as high as number four in the world, and I still
regard her as a top class player. I go out there tomorrow expecting
that from her and nothing less.”
Also through to the quarter finals is tournament top seed Annie
Au of Hong Kong, and fourth seed Delia Arnold, of
In the men’s draw Pilley, Cuskelly, Rex Hedrick and Steve
Finitsis are the Australians through to the quarters.
Second seed Nafiizwan Adnan had to survive a five-set
thriller against India’s Harinder Sandhu, with Hong Kong’s Leo Au
and Nasir Iqbal also needing five sets to make the quarters.
Finitsis has had two five-set matches in a row to make day three,
the latest against Indian sixth seed Mahesh Mangaonkar 7-11, 4-11,
11-9, 11-9, 11-7.
“I’m happy to get another win, especially after being two-love
down,” Finitsis said.
“I just tried to fire myself up and be more aggressive. I won the
third and then just had to hang in there, I guess I was lucky to get
Australian squash fans have waited
three years for their premiere tournament to return, and they
weren’t let down on the opening day of the Australian Open at the
Melbourne Sport and Aquatic Centre where the CWG took place in 2006.
And while the Australian men gave the home crowd plenty to cheer
about, it was a tougher day at the office for the women, with some
Men’s top seed, Cameron Pilley, had an 11/5, 11/4, 11/5 win
over Welshman Joel Makin. “I haven’t played a tournament since
May, the British Open, so I was always going to be a bit edgy, a bit
“If you think about being the top seed you put a bit of pressure on
yourself that you don’t need, but a little bit of pressure is not a
“It’s in the back of my mind. I’ve been close before, but I’ve never
been the number one seed. It’s a tough event with some tough players.”
Australian third seed, Ryan Cuskelly, carried on the form
that won him last weekend’s Victorian Open with an 11/6, 12/10, 11/5
win over New Zealand’s Lance Beddoes.
“It was pretty hard to get going again after just two days rest,”
Cuskelly said. I’m still feeling a bit flat after last week. I’ve
had a lot of matches, this is my fourth tournament in a row. But I
feel better this week than I did last week.”
There were several five/set winners on the opening day of the main
draw, including New Zealand’s Evan Williams 11/2, 9/11, 11/6, 9/11,
11/8 win over England’s Robert Downer.
Australia’s Steve Finitsis was also made to work hard for his
11/6, 4/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/6 win over New Zealand veteran, Kashif
In the women’s draw, top seeds Annie Au, Joelle King and Rachael
Grinham had the day off, but there were good wins for Malaysia’s
Arnold sisters, Rachel and Delia, New Zealand pair Megan
Craig and Amanda Landers/Murphy, and Denmark’s Line Hansen
(Mrs Cameron Pilley for those who missed their wedding in Vegas a
few weeks ago).
Of the Australians, Donna Urquhart had an 11/6, 12/10, 11/4
win over New Zealand’s Danielle Fourie, and will next play fellow
Australian Lisa Camilleri, who showed no signs of the injury
that has plagued her this year with an 8/11, 13/11, 11/6, 11/7 win
over Malaysia’s Vanessa Raj.
“This is one of the biggest events I’ve played for a long time, I
was a little bit shaky out there actually,” Camilleri said.
“I’ve just had five months off with my hip, but every match I play
it’s getting a little better.”
There was also a straight sets win for Australia’s Christine Nunn,
11/4, 11/5, 11/5, over fellow Australian Stephanie Wighton. She’ll
take on Joelle King in one of the matches of the day on
“There all tough matches here,” Nunn said. “She’ll be well
rested for tomorrow. I’ve never played her before, so I’m really
excited. “I haven’t played a lot of the top 20 players before, it’s
all part of the experience. There’s lots to learn from those girls.”
of the Australian Open attracts quality field If the quality of entries can be used as a guide, the return of the
Australian Open to the national calendar this year can already be
considered an enormous success.
The women’s draw has attracted 12 players ranked in the top 50 in
the world, headed by Hong Kong’s Annie Au, New Zealand’s Joelle King
and Australia’s own Rachael Grinham.
And the men’s draw will be headed by Australia’s
with players from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan and India snapping
at his heels.
Annie Au is currently ranked 10th in the world and has been in
outstanding form in recent weeks. She won two big events in her home
country of Hong Kong, including the HKFC International, and also
finished runner-up to World number one, Malaysia’s Nicol David, in
the Asian Championship.
New Zealand’s Joelle King, who beat Annie Au in the 2009 Australian
Open final, is second seed in Melbourne, as she continues her return
to squash after injury. The 26/year/old was ranked fourth in the
world before injury struck her down last year, but made the quarter
finals of the British Open on her return to the playing arena.
2005 Australian Open winner and world number 14 Rachael Grinham is
seeded three this year, with in-form Donna Urquhart the next best
Australian, seeded eight. While Nicol David won’t be in Melbourne to
chase a hat/trick of Australian Open titles, Malaysia will be well
represented by world number 15, Delia Arnold. Arnold made the
semi/finals of this year’s British Open, defeating Annie Au on her
In the men’s draw, three-time Australian Open runner-up and duel
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Cameron Pilley will have his
best chance to finally break through for a national title. Pilley,
19th in the world, took a break from squash after the British Open
to freshen up for his assault on the Australian title [and to get
Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan is looming as Pilley’s major
threat, with an impressive victory in this month’s New Zealand Open
and quarter finals in both the HKFC International and the Asian
Championships this year already.
Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly is seeded three, after some
outstanding results in North America this year. 27-year-old Cuskelly
won the Northern Ontario Championship and the Oregon Open, made the
semi-finals of the Pittsburgh Open and the quarter finals of the
Squash & Racquetball Victoria Executive Director,
said the quality of entries for this year’s Australian Open is
“To have 18 players ranked in the world top 50 is fantastic and
we are keen to show the sporting public how good squash can be live.
The all glass court is a great showcase for the sport and we are
hoping for sell/out crowds for the finals. Melbourne is the sporting
capital of Australia, so come on Victorians let’s prove it! ”