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Coronation London Open 2013
10-15 Dec, London, $25k+$10k

15-Dec, FINALS:

[2] Emily Whitlock
(Eng) 3-0 [4] Coline Aumard (Fra)
        11/8, 12/10, 11/5 (37m)
[3] Adrian Grant (Eng) 3-1 [4] Chris Simpson (Eng)
        7/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (60m)

Whitlock and Grant in English Double
at the Cumberland Club ...

Arthur Curran reports

And today we came to the conclusion of the tournament with two great finals to look forward to. Before the start of the squash the audience was treated to a short exhibition of Racketball between the UK No 1 Ted Jeal and the UK No 3 Elliott Selby, which I am sure was enjoyed by the small crowd.

Women's Final:

We were treated to a really good exhibition of women’s squash today, played in a very good-spirited manner with both these young ladies showing great skill and determination but overall Emily had the edge from the start, taking an early lead at 4/2, then 9/5 and despite Coline pulling back a few points Emily went on to win 11/8.

Coline went into a 6/3 lead in the second before Emily got back to lead 8/6 then got game ball at 10/7, however Coline fought back bravely to level at 10/10, but Emily managed to take two points to win the game 12/10.

Emily was well on top now and although Coline fought with great determination she could not stop Emily from taking the game 11/5 and winning the title.

Men's Final:

Once again we were treated to a grand exhibition of squash between these two stalwarts of English squash. The rising star and younger player Chris, now up at #24 in the world rankings, started off much
the better against the rather elder player Adrian Grant, now at #20 in the world rankings, as Chris soared into a 6/1 lead then despite Adrian scoring a few points in between Chris took the game 11/7.

Was it going to be youth beating experience as Chris again led 4/1? Not if Adrian could help it. He pegged the score back to lead 5/4, then 8/6 and reached game ball at 10/8. Chris saved one but Adrian took the game 11/9. From there onwards it was definitely experience winning over youth as Adrian battled well to take the next two games 11/4 and 11/6 and win the 2013 Coronation London Open Squash Tournament.

Afterwards we had the presentation ceremony to thank all the sponsors and the tournament organisers, without whom we would not have any tournaments to attend.

So we come to the end of a very enjoyable week, and thanks to Tournament Director Zubair Khan who looked after me brilliantly.

London Open Photo Gallery

VIDEO: London Open in two minutes

VIDEO: London Open in two minutes

American visitors to the London Open.

Today we had some interesting visitors to the London Open, outlying members of the Khan dynasty from Pakistan.



Firstly we had legendary former World Number 2 Hiddy Jahan, then also former World Number 7 Zarak Jahan, both brothers of tournament director Zubair
Jahan Khan, also a former World Number 8.

Zarak, now based in Seattle, Washington USA, had brought along his son Shahjahan Khan (pictured) to take part in his uncle’s tournament.

Shahjahan, a rising star in the squash world at 18 years of age, is the No 1 ranked Junior in the USA and already ranked in the World at #225. He turned down the chance of entering the US Junior Open, presently taking place at Yale University, to come over and play in this.

Coronation London Open 2013
10-15 Dec, London, $25k
Round One
12 Dec 
Quarters
13 Dec
Semis
14 Dec
Final
15 Dec
[1] Alister Walker (Bot)
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 4/11, 11/9 (85m)
[Q] Fares Dessouky (Egy)
[Q] Fares Dessouky
3/11, 12/10, 11/8, 11/6 (61m)
 Lucas Serme
[Q] Fares Dessouky

11/7, 11/7, 11/8 (45m)

[4] Chris Simpson

[4] Chris Simpson

 

7/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (60m)

 

[3] Adrian Grant

20th PSA title for Adrian

Lucas Serme (Fra)
11/7, 11/6, 10/12, 11/3 (49m)
Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Shaun le Roux (Rsa)
9/11, 4/11, 11/1, 11/2, 5/2 rtd (63m)
Rex Hedrick (Aus)
Rex Hedrick
11/0, 11/7, 11/9 (30m)
[4] Chris Simpson
[Q] Joel Hinds (Eng)
11/8, 11/7, 11/9 (55m)
[4] Chris Simpson (Eng)
[3] Adrian Grant (Eng)
3/0
Shahjahan Khan (Pak)
[3] Adrian Grant
11/8, 11/9, 10/12, 11/9 (77m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed
[3] Adrian Grant

11/9, 7/11, 6/11, 11/5, 11/6. 83

[2] Stephen Coppinger

Andrew Wagih (Egy)
11/7, 8/11, 11/7, 11/7 (45m)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (Egy)
Christopher Gordon (Usa)
11/6, 11/7, 11/7 (40m)
[Q] Declan James (Eng)
Christopher Gordon
11/4, 11/8, 11/2 (39m)
[2] Stephen Coppinger
Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
11/5, 14/12, 9/11, 11/2 (47m)
[2] Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
11-Dec, Qualifying Finals:
 
Fares Dessouky (Egy) 3-2 Ben Coleman (Eng)    11/5, 7/11, 11/2, 9/11, 11/7 (80m)
Joel Hinds (Eng) 3-1 Tom Ford (Eng)                           11/9, 11/9, 9/11, 11/9 (60m)
Declan James (Eng) James Earls (Eng)                       6/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/8 (45m)
Zahed Mohamed (Egy) 3-1 Richie Fallows (Eng)        10/12, 11/9, 11/7, 11/5 (45m)


10-Dec, Qualifying Round One:

Ben Coleman (Eng) bt George Parker (Eng)               11/8, 11/3, 2/11, 11/6 (50m)
Fares Dessouky (Egy) bt Tristan Eysele (Eng)                      11/4, 11/5, 11/5 (30m)
Joel Hinds (Eng) bt Abid Khan (Pak)                                  11/4, 11/5, 11/6 (20m)
Tom Ford (Eng) bt Reuben Philips (Eng)                             11/5, 11/2, 11/9 (38m)
James Earls (Eng) bt Nathan Lake (Eng)                   9/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/8 (55m)
Declan James (Eng) bt Anthony Graham (Eng)  11/6, 14/16, 9/11, 11/4, 11/1 (88m)
Richie Fallows (Eng) bt Yann Perrin (Fra)                    11/2, 9/11, 11/7, 11/8 (50m)
Zahed Mohamed (Egy) bt Adam Auckland (Eng)        7/11, 11/7, 12/10, 11/9 (60m)
 
Coronation London Open 2013
10-15 Dec, London, $10k
Round One
12 Dec
Quarters
13 Dec
Semis
14 Dec
Final
15 Dec
[1] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
9/11, 11/7, 12/10, 12/10 (47m)
Gaby Huber (Sui)
[1] Nicolette Fernandes
11/7, 11/9, 12/10 (38m)
Habiba Mohamed
[1] Nicolette Fernandes

11/7, 2/0 rtd

[4] Coline Aumard

[4] Coline Aumard

 

 11/8, 12/10, 11/5 (37m)

 

 [2] Emily Whitlock

8th WSA title for Emily

[6] Olga Ertlova (Cze)
12/10, 11/6, 11/5 (28m)
Habiba Mohamed (Egy)
[5] Lucie Fialova (Cze)
11/9, 11/7, 11/8 (25m)
Victoria Temple-Murray (Eng)
[5] Lucie Fialova
9/11, 11/9, 11/5, 9/11, 11/9 (88m)
[4] Coline Aumard
[4] Coline Aumard (Fra)
15/13, 7/11, 11/6, 11/7 (35m)
[Q] Chloe Mesic (Fra)
[Q] Lily Taylor (Eng)
10/12, 11/6, 12/10, 11/8 (45m)
[3] Tesni Evans (Wal)
[3] Tesni Evans
11/9, 11/8, 2/1 ret. inj (20m)
[Q] Nada Elkalaawy
[3] Tesni Evans

11/5, 11/7, 8/11, 11/3 (58m)

 [2] Emily Whitlock

[Q] Nada Elkalaawy (Eng)
11/5, 11/6, 6/11, 11/6 (25m)
[8] Birgit Coufal
[Q] Hollie Naughton (Can)
11/7, 9/11, 11/7, 11/9 (33m)
[7] Deon Saffery (Wal)
[7] Deon Saffery
13/11, 6/11, 11/4, 11/3 (48m)
[2] Emily Whitlock
Sina Wall (Ger)
11/3, 11/4, 11/3 (20m)
[2] Emily Whitlock (Eng)
11-Dec, Qualifying Finals:
 
Hollie Naughton (Can) 3-0 Franziska Hennes (Ger)     11/6, 13/11, 12/10 (30m)
Chloe Mesic (Fra) 3-1 Anna Klimundova (Cze)      13/15, 11/6, 11/7, 11/9 (40m)
Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) 3-0 Georgina Kennedy (Eng)      11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (23m)
Lily Taylor (Eng) 3-0 Julia Lecoq (Fra)                         14/12, 11/9, 11/9 (25m)

10-Dec, Qualifying Round One:
 
Hollie Naughton (Can)   bye
Franziska Hennes (Ger) bt Roxanna Keshavarz (Eng)            11/5, 11/2, 11/1 (25m)
Chloe Mesic (Fra) bt Kate Russell (Eng)                                11/8, 11/7, 11/2 (30m)
Anna Klimundova (Cze) bt Leonie Holt (Eng)        11/4, 8/11, 11/5, 8/11, 11/3 (50m)
Georgina Kennedy (Eng) bt Selina Sinclair (Eng)                    11/7, 11/7, 11/7 (33m)
Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) bt Julianne Courtice (Eng)  7/11, 9/11, 11/9, 11/7, 13/11 (45m)
Lily Taylor (Eng) bt Enora Villard (Fra)                           11/3, 11/6, 9/11, 11/0 (35m)
Julia Lecoq (Fra)   bye

14-Dec, SEMIS:
Three English through to finals


Chris Simpson and Adrian Grant set up an all-English final of the London Open at the Cumberland Club with contrasting semi-final wins.

Simpson ended the run of Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouky in straight games while Grant upset second seed Steve Coppinger in an 85-minute five-game marathon.

The women's fional will be between England's Emily Whitlock and fourth-seeded Frenchwoman Coline Aumard.

Whitlock justified her second seeding with a 3-1 win over Tesni Evans, while Aumard#s opponent, top seed Nicolette Fernandes, was forced to retire through illness after one game of their semi-final.

Simpson v Dessouky

A great match of English resilience against the graceful Egyptian skills. The 19 year old Egyptian Fares Dessouki, WR# 109, who had come through the qualifiers to reach the semis, showed all his skills which had brought him this far in what turned out to be an excellent match of squash against Englishman Chris Simpson, No 4 seed and WR# 24. There was not much sign of the huge difference in the rankings as both players gave a supreme exhibition of great volleys, superb graceful and skillful drop shots alongside some fantastic retrieval shots. C

hris started off the better on the scoreboard leading 5/3 then 9/6 before finishing the game off at 11/7. In the second Chris again got off to the better start as he led 4/0, but Fares levelled at 4/4, Chris led 6/4, Fares led 7/6 but the experience of Chris allowed him to finish the game off in one hand at 11/7. Fares appeared to be tiring in the third as Chris took advantage to get to match ball at 10/4 but Fares held out for a while as with some amazing shots he pulled back to 8/10 but then finished the next rally with a shot into the tin to give Chris the game at 11/8 and the match in three.

The score of three games to nil just does not do justice to the amazing match of squash we have just seen.


Whitlock v Evans

The first women’s semi final was absolutely no less a great match than the first men’s as the battle of North Wales brought Welsh girl Tesni Evans, seeded No 3 and WR# 38 up against English girl Emily Whitlock, who now resides in North Wales not too far from Tesni, seeded No 2 and WR# 25.

This again was a wonderful exhibition of squash even though the scoreboard made it look easy for Emily as she took the first game 11/5, the score definitely not showing the skill and fighting spirit of Tesni, although Emily was able to finish off most rallies to her advantage. Again in the second the scoreboard favoured Emily as she was able to finish off the rallies better and she took this game 11/7. Tesni seemed to get a better grip on the match in the third game as she took a lead of 5/1, then 8/5, got game ball at 10/7, Emily saved one but Tesni finished off to take a well deserved game at 11/8.

From 3/3 in the fourth Tesni was gasping for air after every rally and just ran out of steam to allow Emily to finish the game off in one hand at 11/3, and the match 3 games to 1. Once again the scoreboard just does not do justice to the excellence of the match.

Grant v Coppinger

The second men's semifinal turned out to be the real battle we could expect, as the South African Warrior Steve Coppinger, No 2 seed and WR# 19 faced up to the English Lion that is Adrian Grant, No 3 seed and WR# 20. Steve zipped into a commanding 6/2 lead in the first but Adrian slowly pulled it back and eventually took the game 11/9.

In the second the score went slowly up to 5/5 but then Steve got on top and gradually took the game 11/7 despite Adrian saving one game ball. The third started very much the same until Adrian went in front at 6/5 but warrior Steve was not lying down and in one hand finished off at 11/6. The signs were looking rather ominous for Adrian but in the fourth he slowly worked his way into the game to lead 6/2 then eased out the game at 11/5.

And so to a decider, which was what could be expected considering the closeness in the rankings. Slowly the score moved to 4/4 then with Steve tiring a little and unable to get his retrievals back as he had been doing Adrian roared in like the lion he is and finished the game off at 11/6 to take the match 3 – 2 and set up an all English final.

Aumard v Fernandes

Sadly not much to report on this final match of the evening as Nicolette took to the court obviously in some discomfort and although she tried fighting hard Coline eased her way through the first game to win 11/7.

Nicolette was obviously in great pain and at 2/0 to Coline she had to concede the match to Coline. Sympathies to Nicolette but congratulations to Coline for reaching the final where English girl Emily awaits her.
 


13-Dec, QUARTERS :
Quarter-finals at Cumberland :
Dessouki jopins top seeds in semis
Arthur Curran reports

First up was a ladies match between Czech girl Lucie Fialova and French girl Coline Aumard, a match that turned out to be a rather physical marathon. No 5 seed Lucie started off the better taking a good 8/2 lead then 10/5 game ball.

Coline, the No 4 seed, managed to save 4 game balls before Lucie took the game 11/9. Lucie again took a lead in the second at 8/5 but Coline fought back strongly to take the lead at 9/8 before finishing off the game at 11/9. Helped by a few mistakes from Lucie Coline took the third fairly comfortably at 11/5.

Lucie started better in the fourth taking a 7/4 lead but Coline came back again to lead 9/8 before Lucie took the game 11/9, and the match into a decider. Coline was on top through the final game and got to match ball at 10/6, but Lucie was not going down without a fight and pulled back to 9/10 but after a good long rally she put the ball into the tin to give Coline the game and the match, to the obvious delight of Coline.

After a change of the tin we came to the first men’s match featuring No 4 seed Chris Simpson from England and the Australian Rex Hedrick. Chris started off playing an almost perfect game of squash and left Rex a little bewildered as he coasted through to take the game 11/0.

Rex came more into the match in the second game and from 3/3 he took the lead at 6/3, but Chris was not losing his grip on the match and took the game 11/7. Rex again took an early lead 6/2 in the third but Chris in one hand got to match ball at 10/6 and despite Rex saving three match balls Chris finished off at 11/9 to take the match in three.

Another change of the tin brought us the next ladies match between No 3 seed Tesni Evans of Wales and young qualifier Nada Elkalaawy now of England.

The game started lively for Nada as she eased into a 5/2 early lead, but Tesni showed all her skills and extra experience to move into a 9/5 lead in one hand then although Nada came back to level at 9/9 Tesni eased out the game at 11/9.

Again in the second Nada eased into a 5/3 lead, Tesni took the lead 6/5, Nada levelled at 6/6 but with Nada showing a little difficulty with her movement towards the end of the match Tesni used her experience to take the game 11/8.

With Nada showing obvious discomfort in her right leg at the start of the third, with Tesni leading at 2/1 Nada conceded the match because of her injury.

Next men’s match up saw No 3 seed Adrian Grant of England facing up to an Egyptian qualifier Zahed Mohamed. The Egyptian held his own right through the first two games, keeping the score very close but the much more experienced Adrian managed to close both games off at 11/8 and 11/9.

From 3/3 in the third Zahed eased out to lead 7/3, Adrian struck back to 6/7 then got to match ball at 10/9, but Zahed stuck in to take the game 12/10. Zahed moved into an early 6/3 lead in the fourth before Adrian came back to lead 9/6 then match ball at 10/7. Zahed saved another two match balls but could not manage another as Adrian took the game 11/9 and the match 3 – 1.

Another ladies match up next, to bring us the No 1 seed and favourite for the tournament Nicolette Fernandes form Guyana facing up to the young Egyptian Habiba Mohamed. Despite young Habiba playing some very skillful squash, keeping very close score wise, Nicolette showed all her vast experience and squash skills to ease through in three games, even though Habiba took her to extra points in the third.

Again a change to the tin for another men’s match which saw another Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouky against Lucas Serme from France. Lucas started off like a house on fire as he took the first game comfortably 11/3, but then Fares took an early 5/1 lead in the second before Lucas fought back to lead at 9/7, Fares fought back to get game ball at 10/9, Lucas levelled but could not stop Fares taking the extra points to win 12/10. Although Lucas fought hard he could not quite keep up with Fares as he took the next two games 11/8 and 11/6.

No tin change this time as another men’s match followed, bringing No 2 seed Steve Coppinger from South Africa up against American Chris Gordon. The much more experienced Steve kept Chris at bay fairly comfortably throughout, apart from the second where he came fairly close, but Steve finished the match in three good games.

After a final change of the tin we came to the final match of the evening only 45 minutes behind schedule, and this brought on to court English girl Emily Whitlock, the No 2 seed who now lives in Wales, and the No 7 seed Deon Saffery from Wales but who now lives in England. Deon took a good lead 8/2 in the first before Emily came back strong to get to game ball at 10/9, Deon then levelled at got game ball herself at 11/10 but Emily fought back to take the game 13/11.

Deon was much the stronger in the second to take the game 11/6. However from there onwards Emily proved much too strong and took the next two games 11/4 and 11/3, to finish off a great night of squash.

Arthur Curran

Draws & Results

 


12-Dec, Round ONE:
Dessouki takes out top seed
Arthur Curran reports

A busy day at the Cumberland Club saw one massive upset as qualifier Fares Dessouki stunned top seed Alister Walker in an 85-minuite marathon ...


The first men's match brought an international touch to NW London with Shaun le Roux of South Africa playing against Australian Rex Hedrick, although Rex tells me he has recently moved to London to get more tournaments in. Higher ranked Shaun started off really well in the first two games taking a 6/3 lead in the first and a 6/0 lead in the second, and finishing them both off at 11/9 and 11/5. From the start of the third game it was fairly obvious that Shaun was having difficulty with his movement and Rex took advantage to take the next two games 11/1 and 11/2. At 5/2 for Rex in the fifth Shaun finally conceded the match.

Next up was an all English match between WR# 24 Chris Simpson and qualifier Joel Hinds WR# 82, with the first game staying very tight up to 8/8, but then Chris took three straight points to take the game 11/8. Both the next two games again were very close until Chris once again eased out at the end to take them both 11/7 and 11/9.

American Chris Gordon WR# 49 took to the court next to face young Englishman qualifier Declan James WR# 91, and although Declan played some great squash as always, and kept each game fairly close up to the middle but then Chris managed each time to take a few points in one hand to finish each game off at 11/6, 11/7, 11/7.

Now we came to an all Egyptian match between No 8 seed and WR# 60 Andrew Wagih and compatriot qualifier Zahed Mohamed WR# 80. In a very tight and close score first game both players were showing amazing skills as all Egyptians do, but Zahed managed to ease out at the end to take the game 11/7. In the second Andrew came out strong to lead 6/0, then 9/3, and got game ball at 10/6.

Zahed saved two but could not manage a third as Andrew took the game 11/8. In the third Andrew took an early 3/0 lead but then Zahed eased his way into the lead to go to 7/5, and carried on to take the game 11/7. The fourth game saw Zahed go into a 5/0 lead and despite Andrew coming back slowly with some very good squash Zahed eventually took the game again at 11/7 and the match 3 – 1.

Next up was No 2 seed WR# 19 South African Stephen Coppinger, fresh from his deciding win for Duffield on Tuesday night, playing against WR# 62 Jamie Haycocks, who also had a good win at Birmingham on Tuesday. Steve started in great form taking a 7/2 lead, then got game  ball at 10/3 and despite Jamie saving two game balls he went on to take the game 11/5.

Very much an up and down game in the second, Jamie taking a 3/1 lead, Steve pulling back to 4/3, Jamie pulling back to 6/4, Steve to 8/6, Jamie to 9/8, Steve at game ball 10/9, Jamie at game ball 11/10, Steve at game ball 12/11, Jamie levelled 12/12 but Steve held out in the end to take the game 14/12. Jamie got on top early in the second but Steve slowly pulled back to 9/9, then Jamie closed out well at 11/9. Steve roared back into life for the fourth to take it comfortably
11/2.

Next up was No 3 seed Adrian Grant of England against wild card entrant Shahjahan Khan from Pakistan, as well as being the nephew of tournament director Zubair, is the latest in the long list of the Khan dynasty in squash. Unfortunately for Shah, as well as he played, he could not overcome the great squash skills of Adrian, who went on to win in three straight games.

Now we came to a real shock of the tournament. No 1 seed and WR# 15 Alister Walker came up against qualifier and WR# 109 Fares Dessouki from Egypt. A very close and see saw scoring match, Fares just took the first game 11/9, which showed the way the match may go and indeed it did. Another close battle in the second which Alister took 11/9.

From 5/5 in the third Fares took control and in one hand closed the game out 11/5. Then almost in an image, from 4/4 in the fourth Alister raced to take the game in one hand for an 11/4 win. All down to the final game and boy was this close, all the way point for point up to 9/9, but then Fares struck for two consecutive points to take game 11/9 and the match 3 games to 2. What an upset!!.

And finally we came to the final men’s match between Frenchman Lucas Serme against Englishman Charles Sharpes, and despite Charles putting up a brave performance, especially in the third game which he eventually took 12/10, Lucas triumphed in four late after the scheduled finishing time, as is usual.

The first ladies match was an all French affair, with WR # 40 Coline Aumard taking on her compatriot WR # 98 Chloe Mesic who had come through qualifying. The first game was a real struggle for supremacy as the score stayed very level, Coline got her first game ball at 10/8, and although Chloe saved 4 game points in extra time Coline eventually took the game 15/13. Chloe played extremely well against her much higher ranked opponent and managed to take the second game 11/7, but then the experience of Coline helped her to take the next two games for an excellent win.

Next up was a match between Lucie Fialova of the Czech Republic WR# 47 and wild card entrant Victoria Temple Murray of England WR# 85, in which Lucie held the lead slightly in each game despite Victoria playing some very good squash and keeping the score close, but Lucie eased in at the end of each game to win in three.

Young English player Nada Elkalawaay, still only 18 years old, after coming through qualifying now had to face the experienced WR# 57 Austrian player Birgit Coufal, but she showed great skill and agility by taking the first two games 11/5 and 11/6. Birgit used all her experience to come back to take the third 11/6, but then Nada used all her skills to take the fourth 11/6 to go through to the next round.

The 17 year old qualifier Lily Taylor from England now faced the not much older but much more experienced Welsh girl Tesni Evans, and as Tesni eased into a 6/2 early lead it seemed that her experience was telling, but then Lily eased ahead 7/6, showing some fine fighting qualities and lovely skills with the racquet, then levelled at 8/8. Tesni got to game ball at 10/8 but Lily in one hand managed to level then take the game 12/10. Tesni came out strong on the third to roar to a 9/1 lead and despite Lily putting up some strong resistance she managed to take the game 11/6.

Lily moved out to a 5/0 then 7/3 lead in the third but Tesni showed her experience to pull back to 7/7 then take game ball at 10/8. Lily managed to level to go to extra points but Tesni took the next two for the game at 12/10. Again Lily showed just how well she was playing to take a 4/1 lead in the fourth, but Tesni fought back to lead 5/4, Lily fought back to lead 7/5, Tesni fought back to lead 8/7, Lily levelled at 8/8 but then Tesni used all her experience to take the next three points, the game 11/8 and the match 3 – 1. A great show of squash from Lily playing a much more experienced player ranked some 112 places above her.

Next up was Welsh lady Deon Saffery, No 8 seed and WR# 50, against qualifier Hollie Naughton from Canada, WR# 81. Deon stayed slightly in front throughout the first game and managed to take it 11/7. In the second game Hollie took a 5/1, 7/3, 8/5 lead before Deon levelled at 8/8, Hollie got game ball at 10/8, Deon saved one before Hollie took the game 11/9. Third game was very level up to 5/5 then Deon eased ahead to 8/5, and then despite Hollie winning a couple of more points Deon took the game 11/7. Hollie fought really hard in the fourth game, leading three times up to 8/6, but one great hand from Deon took her to match ball at 10/8, Hollie saved one but Deon took the game 11/9 and the match.

English girl Emily Whitlock, the No 2 seed for the tournament, eased fairly comfortably into the next round with a 3 – 0 win over Sina Wall from Germany.

Next up was the No 1 seed and favourite for the WSA tournament Nicolette Fernandes from Guyana against late replacement Gaby Huber from Switzerland due to changes in the draw. The match started with Gaby taking an unexpected 4/0 lead, and then playing some fabulous squash she went to 10/6 game ball, Nicolette pulled back to 9/10 before Gaby took the game 11/9.

Nicolette started well in the second staying in the lead all the way through and took the game 11/7. Nicolette was coming much more into the game now and took an early 6/3 lead but Gaby, playing some really excellent shots, moved into an 8/6 lead, Nicolette levelled at 8/8, then got to game ball at 10/9, Gaby levelled but Nicolette finished off well to take the game 12/10. Gaby took a really good lead 6/3 in the fourth and looked on form to maybe cause an upset, but Nicolette fought bravely to level at 6/6, then Gaby got to game ball at 10/7, but Nicolette put in a fantastic hand to level then take the game 12/10 and the match 3 – 1.

Finally on the ladies court we had No 6 seed Olga Ertlova from the Czech Republic against a young Egyptian player Habiba Mohamed, who I am told is only 14 years of age (?), and after the first game in which Olga seemed to be in control but then lost out in the end at 12/10, Habiba took control of the match and finished it off in three games.
 

Draws & Results

 


11-Dec, Qualifying Finals:
Arthur Curran reports

Egypt and England shared the honours in the men's qualifying finals, while the women's matches also two home home players progress to the main draw ...

The men's qualifying finals were led by Joel Hinds winning a very very tight match against fellow Englishman Tom Ford in four games, all of which were very close all the way through. Joel now plays Chris Simpson.

Next up we saw two young stalwarts of the English game, with the tall and rangy Declan James pulling back from losing the first game to the much more compact James Earles to take the next three for a close win. Declan now plays Chris Gordon.

Next up was a marathon between Egyptian Fares Dessouki and Englishman Ben Coleman, which carried on for 80 minutes of extremely up and down squash as well as being very noisy, especially from the Egyptian.

In the first Ben took an early lead 4/0 but then Fares went through to game ball at 10/4 in one hand, Ben saved one but no more, game to Fares 11/5. In the second Ben kept a small lead all the way through then finished it off at 11/7, then Fares zoomed though to take the third 11/2.

The fourth went slowly from 3/3 to 7/7, then 9/7 to Fares but Ben took hold and finished it off 11/9. With plenty of noise coming from the court, with both players doing a lot of complaining, Fares took an early 6/0 lead and despite a brave fightback from Ben, Fares took the final game 11/7. Fares now plays Alister Walker.

The final match eventually took to the court nearly one hour over the schedule, and this was another contentious and noisy match again between an Egyptian and an Englishman, Zahed Mohamed and Ritchie Fallows.

Zahed took an early lead of 4/0 in the first, then went on to game ball at 10/4, but in a fine show of squash Richie fought back brilliantly to take the game 12/10 in one hand. From then on Ritchie was playing catch up squash with Zahed staying just in front in each game to take the next three for a win. Zahed now plays Andrew Wagih.

First up for the ladies was the young English/Egyptian player Nada Elkalawaay, playing against another young English girl Georgina Kennedy from Kent. Nada managed to take control at the end of each game despite a strong fight from Georgina, especially in the second where she got a game ball but unfortunately lost out. Nada plays Birgit Coufal.

Next up saw the French player Chloe Mesic suffer at the hands of Czech player Anna Klimondova for the first game, which Anna took eventually 15/13 after a tremendous battle, but then Chloe managed to pull back and win the next three games although Anna fought bravely with some great squash. Chloe plays Coline Aumard (good all French match).

Hollie Naughton from Canada then managed to hold out in three games against German girl Franzisca Hennes, although the last two games were really hard fought with both of them going to extra points. Hollie plays Deon Saffery.

Finally we saw young English girl Lily Taylor, still only 17, win a great match against much higher ranked French player Julia Lecoq in three games, all three very close especially the first which finished 14/12. Lily plays Tesni Evans.

Georgina Kennedy was drawn out as the lucky loser, there being a doubt over the appearance of Habiba Mohamed of Egypt.
 

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