Squash » Madeira2014

  Tumblr Highlights
  News Archive

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

SquashSite HOME
Madeira Open 2014
15-19 Jul, Madeira, $5k
19-Jul, Final:
James wins all-English final
Michael Catling reports
photos by Duarte Teixeira and Ricardo Sardinha

Top seed and world number 80 Declan James secured his second PSA Tour title of his career after thrashing fellow Englishman Chris Fuller at the inaugural Madeira International Open in Canico, Portugal.

Fuller, who was competing in only his third event since suffering an ankle injury earlier this year, looked a shadow of the player who had eased into the final without dropping a game, as James romped to an 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 victory in just 39 minutes at the PSA Challenger 5 event.

But while James celebrated his third win in as many matches over the world number 119 since the turn of the year, Fuller was left lamenting the slippery on-court conditions after suffering a heavy fall during the opening game.

The second seed, who admitted afterwards that he tweaked his adductor during the slip, was forced to change his footwear twice during the match and even complained to the referee that he felt “unsafe” midway through the second game.

In contrast, James ruthlessly exploited Fuller’s tentative movement and amassed an impressive winner count to claim the opening two games 11-3.

Devoid of confidence and facing an uphill task, Fuller suffered another blow when his request to switch courts failed.

And despite winning the opening point of the third game, the 23-year-old capitulated spectacularly to lose the next 11 points and end his hopes of avenging his first round defeat at the Kent Open last month.

James said: “Anyone who has seen Chris play will know that is nowhere near what he is capable of doing and I just hope Chris didn’t injure himself during the match.

“We have all struggled slightly on the courts this week but I think I managed to handle the conditions a little bit better today. I’ve had a lot of bad starts this week, especially in the first games, so it was crucial to get the early momentum and I think that made it difficult for Chris to comeback.”

Fuller, who refused to make excuses for his below-par performance, paid tribute to his younger opponent.

“I’m not sure what was different today. It was a strange match and I just didn’t feel right and really struggled on court.

“All credit to Declan, he didn’t do anything wrong and didn’t give me any time to settle. That’s now two finals I’ve lost against him so it would be great if I didn’t play him in my next one.”

James will now head to the Nottingham Open in August to defend his title, where he is seeded to face Fuller again at the quarter-final stage.

Madeira Open 2014
15-19 Jul, Madeira, $5k
Round One
17 Jul
18 Jul
18 Jul
19 Jul
[1] Declan James (Eng)
 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 (39m)
Claudio Pinto (Por)
[1] Declan James
8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 (65m)
[6] Mark Fuller
[1] Declan James

 8-11, 11-3, 11-5,
11-7 (50m)

[4] Lukas Burkhart

[1] Declan James


11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (39m)


[2] Chris

[6] Mark Fuller (Eng)
11-3, 11-6, 11-6 (29m)
[WC] Iker Pajares (Esp)
[8] Rui Soares (Por)
 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-3 rtd (52m)
[Q] Joe Green (Eng)
[Q] Joe Green
11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11 (59m)
[4] Lukas Burkhart
[4] Lukas Burkhart (Sui)
11-5, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
Joshua Masters (Eng)
[Q] Nick Mulvey (Eng)
12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4 (47m)
[3] Patrick Miescher (Sui)
[3] Patrick Miescher
6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 14-12 (92m)
[Q] Angus Gillams
[Q] Angus Gillams

11-2, 11-8, 11-9 (41m)

[2] Chris Fuller

[Q] Angus Gillams (Eng)
 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (37m)
[7] Jonathan Geekie (Sco)
[Q] Bradley Masters (Eng)
11-4, 12-14, 11-6, 11-6 (62m)
[5] Steven London (Eng)
[5] Steven London
11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (38m)
[2] Chris Fuller
 George Parker (Eng)
11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (60m)
[2] Chris Fuller (Eng)
16-Jul, Qualifying Finals:

[8] Bradley Masters (Eng) bt [1] Sean Conroy (Irl)     7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (46m)
[5] Angus Gillams (Eng) bt [3] Remo Handl (Sui)              13-11, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
[4] Joe Green (Enh) bt [7] Liam Gutcher (Eng)                 11-2, 13-11, 11-5 (31m)
[2] Nick Mulvey (Eng) bt [6] Dani Pascual (Esp) 11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 (56m)

15-Jul, Qualifying Round One:

[1] Sean Conroy (Irl) bt Ricardo Sardinha (Por)          11-4, 11-5, 11-3
[8] Bradley Masters (Eng) bt Pedro Damaso (Por)       11-5, 11-4, 11-2
[5] Angus Gillams (Eng) bt Pedro Pinto (Por)               11-7, 11-3, 11-4
[3] Remo Handl (Sui) bt Paulo Oliveira (Por)               11-2, 11-0, 11-2
[4] Joe Green (Eng) bt Pedro Gomes (Por)                 11-3, 11-6, 11-2
[7] Liam Gutcher (Eng) bt Bruno Silva (Por)               11-2, 11-2, 11-3
[6] Dani Pascual (Esp) bt Milton Teixeira (Por)            11-4, 11-3, 11-5
[2] Nick Mulvey (Eng) bt Zelio Neto (Por)                14-12, 11-5, 12-10
19-Jul, Semis:
Top seeds through to all-English final
Michael Catling reports
photos by Duarte Teixeira and Ricardo Sardinha

Top seeds Declan James and Chris Fuller will contest an all-English final at the inaugural Madeira International Open, after battling past Swiss fourth seed Lukas Burkhart and qualifier Angus Gillams respectively at the PSA Challenger 5 event in Canico, Portugal.

In a repeat of his quarter-final victory over sixth seed Mark Fuller, James was forced to overturn an opening game deficit before triumphing 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, while Mark’s brother Chris ended Gillams’ fairytale run with an 11-2, 11-8, 11-9 success in 41 minutes.

The Nottingham-based duo will now meet in a repeat of their first round encounter at the Kent Open in June, where Fuller will be looking to exact a measure of revenge and secure his first victory over James on the PSA Tour since Le Sport Open in January 2011.

But after another error-strewn performance in the opening game threatened to derail James’ title bid, the world number 80 acknowledged that he needs to reduce his error count to prevail on Saturday afternoon.

“Our matches are always extremely close and I think he is going to be extremely hard to break down in these conditions,” admitted James.

“He is quite a metronomic player, whereas I like to be a little bit more attacking, so it will be really important that I keep my error count down and keep the ball out of the tin.

“I felt I was playing quite well in the opening game (against Burkhart) but at eight all, I made three pretty basic errors which I was quite annoyed about.

“I didn’t let it affect me too much mentally and I think I managed to control the majority of the match after the first game. Although it was important to get the result, I feel like I played my best squash this morning which is a big confidence boost ahead of the final.”

After surrendering the opening game to Burkhart, James stormed back and eased through the next two games as the world number 178 struggled to adjust to an increased tempo.

The reigning Nottingham Open champion continued in the ascendency in the fourth game, but saw an 8-1 lead almost evaporate as Burkhart reeled off the next six points to threaten a remarkable comeback.

A mishit volley, however, halted the Swiss number six’s momentum and James took full advantage to advance into his second PSA Tour final this year.

The top seed will now bid for the bragging rights against Fuller in the final, after the 23-year-old recorded his third successive straight games victory at the Onda Revital Club.

World number 119 Fuller, who was sidelined with an ankle injury for three months earlier this year, raced through the opening game in just seven minutes, as Gillams looked to be suffering the after-effects of his 92 minute quarter-final battle against third seed Patrick Miescher.

However, the 18-year-old teenager returned reinvigorated in the second game and clawed back a three point deficit to level the scores at seven-apiece.

A purple patch featuring three successive winners handed the initiative back to Fuller and the second seed converted his second game ball to double his advantage and move within one game of his first PSA final since triumphing at the Porto Cup in November.

The English duo traded points in the early exchanges of the third game, before Fuller edged two gruelling rallies to claim a 9-7 lead.

A trademark trickle boast from Gillams, supplemented by an unforced error by Fuller, locked the scores at 9-9, before a contentious stroke decision left Gillams facing his third match ball of the tournament.

But unlike his match-saving heroics in the last eight, the world number 249 was unable to force a tie-break as Fuller wrong-footed his opponent to prevail in 41 minutes.

Fuller said afterwards: “Today is definitely the best I have played over the three days, particularly in the first game and a half."

“I was really pleased with how I started and although it got tough towards the end of the second and third games, I managed to control the ball really well and I’m just very happy to get through.

“Declan’s already had a couple of tough matches this week so if I can settle into the first game, I think it will be a really good match.”


18-Jul, Quarters:
Gillams qualifies for Semis
Michael Catling reports

English qualifier Angus Gillams fought back from the brink of defeat to shock third seed Patrick Miescher in a five game epic and advance into the semi-finals of the Madeira International Open in Canico, Portugal.

The 18-year-old, who scalped Scottish seventh seed Jonathan Geekie just 24 hours earlier, was forced to save two match balls in a ferocious fifth game tie-break before securing victory in 92 minutes.

But while Gillams celebrated his maiden appearance in a PSA semi-final, Miescher was left cradling his head in his hands after squandering a two game lead against a player ranked 95 places below him in the world rankings.

A blood stoppage for the Swiss number four early in the third game shifted the momentum in Gillams’ favour as the left-hander reeled off the next five points en route to halving the arrears.

A one-sided fourth game took the contest into a decider, before Miescher recovered from a 6-3 and 9-7 deficit in the fifth to move within a point of victory at 10-9. Gillams, though, refused to give in and capitalised on an unforced error from Miescher to force a tie-break.

The world number 154 then failed to convert a second match ball at 11-10, before Gillams repeated the favour two points later to draw the scores level at 12 apiece.

However, the Hertfordshire-based teenager remained imperturbable and after greeting his second match ball with a fist pump, he benefitted from a stroke decision to guarantee an English finalist at the Onda Revital Club.

“He is a very good player and the fifth could have gone either way really,” admitted an exhausted Gillams afterwards.

“I struggled with my movement and confidence in the first two games because the court was so slippery. But once I managed to forget about the court, I started playing my best squash from the second game onwards so I was really happy with the mental side of my performance.”

The world number 249 is rewarded with a last four tie against second seed Chris Fuller, after the 23-year-old breezed past fifth seed Steven London in 38 minutes.

Fuller, who despatched George Parker in a highly-charged encounter in the first round, wasted little time in recording an impressive straight game victory to remain on course for only his second PSA Tour title.

In the top half of the draw, world number 80 Declan James overcame a sluggish start and a 10-7 deficit in the fourth game to battle into the semi-finals at the expense of training partner and sixth seed Mark Fuller.

Fuller, who needed just 29 minutes to beat Spanish wildcard Iker Pajares in the preceding round, capitalised on seven unforced errors from the top seed in the opening game to take the early initiative.

The second game appeared to be following a similar pattern until two successive tins from Fuller gave James the impetus to overturn a 5-2 deficit and level the scores at one-apiece.

A one-sided third game moved James within a game of victory, before Fuller regained the ascendancy to amass three game balls in the fourth.

But with the spectators preparing for a fifth game, James pegged the 29-year-old back to force a tie-break and duly secured the win in 65 minutes after Fuller mishit a crosscourt backhand drop into the tin.

The 21-year-old from Nottingham will now meet world number 178 Lukas Burkhart for a place in the final, after the fourth seed kept Swiss hopes alive with a four game success over English qualifier Joe Green.

Green, who only turned professional earlier this year, briefly threatened a second successive upset in as many days after edging a first game tie-break 13-11.

But with the 18-year-old leading 6-5 in the following game, Burkhart won 17 of the next 20 points to complete a remarkable turnaround and claim the second and third games.

Green responded valiantly in an attempt to force a decider but after failing to convert a game ball at 10-9, Burkhart secured the win with his second match ball to reach only his second PSA semi-final since turning professional in 2009.
17-Jul, Round One:
English and Swiss dominate in Madeira
Michael Catling reports

Second seed Chris Fuller, one of six Englishmen to win through to the quarter-finals, needed 60 minutes to overcome British Junior Open semi-finalist George Parker  11-9, 11-5, 11-8 in today's first round, but was left with mixed emotions after Parker’s on court behaviour threatened to overshadow an otherwise enthralling contest.

“George is willing to do everything to win and I knew it was never going to be easy,” admitted the world number 119. “I’m not sure his actions are always the right side of the line and it makes it a really physical game and not very enjoyable at times.

“Squash is a difficult game to referee. The decisions were possibly in my favour at times but they are always trying to do their best. I thought it was bad and really unfair how George treated him. But from my point of view, I was able to keep my head and I’m delighted to get through.”

A 21 minute opening game typified the tension, shot-making and controversy that plagued all three games, as Fuller remained composed amid the hostile atmosphere to take the opening game.

Fuller, whose last visit to Portugal culminated in his first PSA victory at the Porto Cup in November, continued in the ascendency in the second game and capitalised on his opponent’s frustrations with the refereeing decisions to double his advantage.

Parker, though, returned reinvigorated in the following game and while his discussions with the match official became more heated, he recovered from a 6-4 deficit to tie the scores at 8-8.

However, two stroke decisions later, punctuated by a tight backhand drive, handed Fuller a spot in the last eight and left a seething Parker to brand the referee’s performance as “awful”.

In the top half of the draw, top seed Declan James progressed through to the next round with a hard-fought straight game victory over home favourite Claudio Pinto.

Despite over 100 places in the world rankings separating the pair, Pinto pressurised the world number 80 into several errors and threatened to force tie-breaks in the first and third games.

However, the 21-year-old Englishman remained unflustered and converted his third match ball to prevail 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 and inflict Pinto’s seventh defeat at the first round stage of a PSA event this year.

James, who amassed 13 unforced errors during the 39 minute encounter, admitted afterwards that he struggled to acclimatise to the “hot and bouncy conditions”.

The reigning Nottingham Open champion said: “I felt a bit tight in the first game and my short game wasn’t quite firing, but midway through the second I was able to let my arm go a lot more and control the front corners.

“I got a bit tense towards the end and made a few more errors but I think I can take a lot of confidence from my performance.

“It’s the first time I have been seeded first in a PSA event so there is a bit of pressure but I’ve been working hard in training and I feel like I’m playing some of my best squash at the moment.”

James will face training partner and sixth seed Mark Fuller for a place in the last four, after the 29-year-old booked his third consecutive quarter-final appearance on tour at the expense of Spanish number six Iker Pajares.

Fuller dropped just three points in a one-sided opening game and although the 18-year-old wildcard improved during a 13 minute second game, Fuller capitalised on his opponent’s inconsistency to triumph 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 in just under half an hour.

Earlier in the evening, English qualifier Angus Gillams produced the biggest scalp of the tournament so far after ousting Scottish seventh seed Jonathan Geekie in straight games.

Gillams, who has yet to drop a game this week, survived a late fightback to triumph 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 and advance into his first ever PSA quarter-final.

Elsewhere, fellow qualifier and compatriot Joe Green ended Portuguese hopes of a home champion following eighth seed Rui Soares’ retirement in the fifth game due to injury.

The Portuguese number one, who breezed through the opening two games, revealed that he “tweaked his hamstring” during the early stages of the fourth game and despite taking an injury timeout with the scores locked at two-apiece, the 20-year-old was forced to pull-out midway through the decider.

Green will now face Swiss fourth seed Lukas Burkhart for a place in Saturday’s semi-final, after the world number 178 overcame a second game blip to beat England’s Joshua Masters 11-5, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7 in 45 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, Joshua’s younger brother Bradley failed to repeat his qualifying heroics as the 17-year-old fell to a 11-4 12-14 11-6 11-6 defeat in 62 minutes against fifth seed Steve London, while Patrick Miescher doubled Swiss representation in the last eight after edging past qualifier Nick Mulvey 12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4.
16-Jul, Qualifying Finals:
Four Englishmen through in Madeira
Michael Catling reports

English teenager Bradley Masters secured his maiden appearance in the main draw of a PSA event, after stunning top qualifying seed Sean Conroy in four games at the Madeira International Open.

The world number 376, who is rewarded with a first round tie against fifth seed Steven London, overturned a first game deficit to prevail 7-11 11-8 11-9 11-7 in 46 minutes at the inaugural Challenger 5 event in Canico, Portugal.

“It’s very pleasing to beat a player ranked 205 and I am really happy with the way I played,” said the 17-year-old from Kent.

“The third game was really important and when he served down the middle at 10-8 and I let the ball run through my legs, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was definitely nervous at that point but I managed to put him under pressure and thankfully I won the game with a drop.

“But generally, I’ve felt quite calm and relaxed in my first two matches and I think I’ve managed to adjust to the hot conditions really well. I know the next round is going to be even tougher but I’m going to go into my match with 100% confidence and I’ll just try and do my best.”

Despite over 175 places separating the duo in the world rankings, Masters showcased a maturity which bellied his years as Conroy struggled to justify his seeding after cruising through the opening game.

Masters, who overcame Portuguese number four Pedro Damaso in the first round of qualifying, reeled off five consecutive points to lead 8-3 in the second game and regained his composure after squandering two game balls to level the scores at one-apiece.

Masters continued in the ascendency in the third game and after racing into a 7-1 lead, two successive boast winners handed the teenager four game balls.

Conroy, though, responded by winning the next three points, but failed to force a tie-break as Masters edged a gruelling rally to move within one game of victory.

The Irish number two, who rose to a career-high 205 in the July world rankings, failed to recover from the psychological blow and Masters benefited from a stroke decision at match ball to join his older brother Joshua in the main draw.

In the longest match of the tournament so far, world number 235 Nick Mulvey booked a first-round matchup with Swiss third seed Patrick Miescher after edging past Spain’s Dani Pascual in a pulsating and physical encounter at the Onda Revital Club.

The 21-year-old from England needed 56 minutes to oust the world number 268 from Barcelona 11-9 4-11 6-11 11-7 11-6 and avenge his defeat at the Geneva Open earlier this year.

Mulvey said: “I think I tired him out today. I have confidence that I am fitter than quite a lot of people and thankfully it paid off today. But mentally, I struggled for two games and I can’t really afford to do that tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, Hertfordshire-based duo Joe Green and Angus Gillams extended English representation in the main draw to 10, after straight game victories over Liam Gutcher and Remo Handl respectively.

Green, who has been given a wild-card entry at the Nottingham Open next month, dropped just two points in a one-sided first game, before saving two game balls in the second to triumph 13-11 in the tie-break.

Gutcher, who was competing in just his third PSA tournament this year, briefly threatened a fightback at 5-4 in the third game, before Green rattled off the next seven points to secure an 11-2 13-11 11-5 victory in just over half an hour.

Meanwhile, Gillams needed four minutes less to upset the qualifying seedings and repeat his 3-0 victory over Handl at the French Junior U19 Open.

The 18-year-old left-hander was forced to save two game balls in the opening game, but barely looked threatened thereafter as he recorded a 13-11 11-4 11-6 win over the third qualifying seed.

Gillams, who finished runner-up at the European Junior U19 Championship in April, tackles Scottish seventh seed Jonathan Geekie in the next round, while Green meets Portuguese eighth seed Rui Soares for a spot in the last eight.

Top seed Declan James will also be in action on Thursday evening and opens his campaign against Portuguese number two Claudio Pinto, before fellow compatriot and second seed Chris Fuller takes to the court to face George Parker in one of two all-English first round encounters.
English dominate Madeira draw
Michael Catling reports

Tournament organisers at the Madeira International Open have been dealt a major blow 24 hours before qualifying gets underway at the inaugural PSA Challenger 5 event, after World Junior Open champion Karim El Hammamy was forced to withdraw due to injury.

The 18-year-old Egyptian, who lost in the final round of qualifying at the CCI PSA Championship to eventual champion Ali Farag earlier this month, was seeded to face top seed Declan James in the semi-final, but is now replaced in the main draw by top-ranked qualifier Joshua Masters.

Co-tournament organiser Luis Ferreira commented: “It’s a great shame that Karim will be unable to compete this week but such is the tournament’s stature now, we still have some fantastic young players in the main draw.

“This will be the first year the tournament has featured on the PSA circuit in its 15-year history and it provides a great opportunity for some of the stars of the future to gain some valuable ranking points.”

James is one of seven Englishmen in the main draw and will be vying for only his second PSA Tour title – nearly 11 months after triumphing at the Nottingham Open.

The world number 80 opens his campaign against Portuguese number two Claudio Pinto on Thursday evening and could meet second seed Chris Fuller in the final – just two months after edging past the world number 119 in a five-game epic at the Kent Open.

However, British Junior Open semi-finalist George Parker will be hoping to upset the seedings against Fuller in an all-English first round clash and will be buoyed after rising to a career-high 188 in the July world rankings.

Swiss number four Patrick Miescher begins his quest for a maiden PSA Tour title against a qualifier, while fellow compatriot Lukas Burkhart is promoted to fourth in the seedings following El Hammamy’s withdrawal and tackles Masters in the last 16.

Elsewhere, world number 175 Mark Fuller will battle Spanish wildcard Iker Pajares for a potential last eight showdown with James, while newly installed eighth seed and home favourite Rui Soares faces a qualifier for a place in the quarter-final.

In the bottom half of the draw, British duo Steve London and Jonathan Geekie will also need to overcome qualifiers, with the latter seeded to meet Miescher for a semi-final berth.

The qualifying for the event, hosted at the Onda Revital Club in Canico, begins on Tuesday 15th July and will feature local and professional players competing over two rounds for four spots in the main draw.

This Month: Prev ] Next ]

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

©2014 SquashSite