Runa Reta and Shahier Razik
crowned national champions
CALGARY – Fourth-seed Runa Reta of Montreal completed
a strong run at the Canadian squash championships on
Saturday winning the women’s final over Alexandra Norman.
Top-seed Shahier Razik of Toronto easily took the
In the women’s final, Reta defeated Norman, a British-born
player who has lived in Montreal for the past three years,
11-5, 11-8, 11-4. One of Canada’s top player for many years,
it is Reta’s first national senior title. She was seeded
second last year and eliminated in the second round. She was
second in 2007 and third in 2005 and 2006 despite being the
top-seed those three years.
‘’It was a tournament I was starting to dread because of my
disappointing performances,’’ said Reta. ‘’But I learned
today that it’s a really nice title to have and I always
felt it was one that was missing. This year I just tried to
have some fun with it and not worry about the past.’’
Reta won the tournament in convincing style. In her four
matches this week, she only lost two games. Another
highlight, besides winning the final, was eliminating
number-one seed Tara Mullins of Toronto in the semifinal.
On Saturday, she was facing an experienced player in Norman
who lost last year’s final as well.
‘’I just focused on keeping the ball tight,’’ said Reta.
‘’My goal was to have an answer for anything she threw my
way. I know she picks up a lot of balls and is very athletic
so I wanted to make sure I was hitting it back at her very
quickly. That strategy seemed to work.’
In the third place match, Mullins defeated Carolyn Russell
of Vancouver 11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-9. Mullins three
wins this week were in five games.
In the men’s final, Razik collected his third career
national title beating third-seed David Phillips of
Pointe-Claire, Que., 11-3, 11-7, 11-3. Razik lost only one
game in four matches this week.
‘’I can’t complain about my performance this week,’’ said
Razik, ranked 29th in the world. ‘’I started off a bit slow
but once I got into gear I played well. I had a tough
semifinal and today I was more relaxed and played well.’’
Matthew Giuffre of Edmonton won the third place match in a
walkover as Jamie Crombie of Calgary withdrew due to injury.
Runa beats top seed in semis
CALGARY – Runa Reta of Montreal advanced to the final
at the Canadian squash championships on Friday upsetting
top-seed Tara Mullins of Toronto in four games while
Shahier Razik of Toronto is headed to his fifth straight
final in men’s play.
Reta, seeded fourth and a veteran international player, won
the match 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 to return to the final at
nationals after an early elimination last year. Reta lost
the final in 2007 and was third in 2006.
Mullins was coming off hard matches in the second round and
quarterfinal that both went the five-game limit. Meanwhile
Reta had won her two previous matches in straight games.
In the other semifinal, second-seed Alexandra Norman
of Montreal advanced to her second straight final defeating
Carolyn Russell of Vancouver 11-9, 11-9, 11-3. Norman lost
last year’s championship match to Alana Miller of Winnipeg
who was unable to compete this year due to injury.
“I knew I was in for a hard match against Carolyn, she’s a
very experienced player,” said Norman, who is originally
from Sussex, England and has lived in Montreal for three
years. “I played well and kept it simple. I stayed patient
and shot well.”
On the men’s side, top-seed Razik defeated Matthew Giuffre
of Edmonton 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8. Razik is vying for a
third career national crown.
He’ll face third-seed David Phillips of
Pointe-Claire, Que., who eliminated Jamie Crombie of Calgary
in the other semi 11-3, 11-1, 11-4.
The women’s final goes at 3 p.m. (local time) on Saturday at
the World Health Club and will be followed by the men’s
another close battle
CALGARY – Top-seed Tara Mullins of Toronto overcame
an 0-2 deficit in games to advance to the semifinals in
women’s play on Thursday at the Canadian squash
Championships. The competition is being held this week at
the World Health Club.
Mullins defeated Canadian university champion Stephanie
Edmison of Toronto 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4 in her
quarterfinal. Mullins also needed five games on Wednesday to
eliminate Genevieve Lessard of Montreal in Wednesday’s
The top-four seeds in the end all made it through to the
semis. Number-two Alexandra Norman of Montreal
defeated Samantha Cornett of Ottawa in her quarterfinal
12-10, 9-11, 11-8-11-5; number-three Carolyn Russell
of Vancouver beat Kelsey Souchereau of Victoria 11-5, 11-8,
11-6 and number-four Runa Reta of Montreal took
Miranda Ranieri of Waterloo, Ont., 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5.
The semifinal match-ups for the women are Mullins-Reta and
In the men’s quarterfinals, Calgarians Jamie Crombie
and Graeme Schnell had a wild battle with Crombie needing
extra points in the fifth and deciding game to complete a
comeback from a 0-2 deficit. Crombie took the match 6-11,
10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 14-12.
In other quarters, top-seed Shahier Razik of Toronto
defeated Matthew Serediak of Regina 11-3, 11-2, 11-6;
fifth-seed Matthew Giuffre of Edmonton eliminated
number-four Robin Clarke of Ottawa 11-7, 3-11, 11-4, 11-3
and third-seed Dave Phillips of Pointe-Claire beat
Andrew McDougall of Calgary 11-7, 11-13, 11-2, 11-5.
Russell continues comeback
CALGARY- With the effects from last year’s back surgery
starting to subside, Carolyn Russell of Vancouver
launched her pursuit Wednesday for the gold medal in the
women’s open competition at the Canadian squash
Russell, a five-time world championship team member and the
Canadian champion in 2006, opened the tournament with a
hard-fought 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 victory over Jaime Laird of
“I was pretty happy with the way I played,” said Russell,
seeded third. “Playing at altitude took some getting use to.
I didn’t get a chance to practice this morning so my only
warm-up was at game time. But I’ve had a pretty good season
so far and I’ve set my objective at winning this
After surgery on March 20, 2008, Russell was off the court
until August. She was named to the Canadian squad for the
world team championships and helped 10th seeded Canada to a
ninth place finish which was four spots better than in 2006.
“I’m feeling very good but I’m still recovering,” she said
about the back. “It’s a really long haul but I’m just
finally to start really good and normal. I’m training very
In other key round of 16 matches, top-seed Tara Mullins
of Toronto was extended to five games defeating Genevieve
Lessard of Montreal 11-2, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4 while
fourth-seed Runa Reta of Montreal defeated Nikole
Todd of Regina 11-4, 11-8, 11-6. Second-seed Alexandra
Norman of Montreal also advanced.
Defending champion Alana Miller of Winnipeg announced
last week her withdrawal due to a leg injury.
Top-seed Shahier Razik of Toronto opened with a 11-6,
11-4, 11-2 win over Arjun Gupta of Toronto while Matthew
Giuffre of Edmonton, seeded fifth, eliminated Dane Sharp
of Ajax, Ont. Second-seed Shawn DeLierre of Brossard,
Que., withdrew due to injury.