Squash Manitoba Open 2011

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Manitoba Open 2011
08-13 Mar, Winnipeg, Canada, $25k
Gene Turk reports

It was a great match.

Julian came out quickly and found his length and width and pinned Adrian in the back corners and was able to work his magic. He kept control of the T and looked strong throughout the entire first game.

In the 2nd and 3rd, it was Adrian who took control. He started each rally with his targets being in the back corners and kept Julian running from side to side. Adrian was now in command and he exercised patience waiting for the proper time to attack.

Adrian commented after the match that "those 2nd and 3rd games were the best two games that I played in the whole tournament."
The fifth was a different story as Julian found his length that had been successful in the first game and the two of players traded points to a 12-10 finish.

Over a 100 spectators were treated to a superb final.


US number one Julian Illingworth upset second-seeded Canadian Shahier Razik in the Winnipeg Building & Decorating Ltd Manitoba Open to earn a surprise place in the final of the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg, Canada.

The New Yorker, ranked 34 in the world, took the opening game - but the Canadian, ranked eight places higher, fought back to draw level, then opened up a 5-0 lead in the third before reaching game ball at 10-5.

But the record six-time US champion held his nerve to whittle down the lead to take the game into a tie-break - before clinching his own game ball at 12-11.

It was level to four-all in the fourth when 27-year-old Illingworth took complete charge to race through to his 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 victory after 70 minutes - and reach his 14th Tour final.

In their first meeting for over four years, Illingworth will now face Englishman Adrian Grant.

The top seed from London maintained the upper hand throughout the other semi-final against Ryan Cuskelly, beating the third seed from Australia 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 in 48 minutes.

The 30-year-old left-hander, ranked 18 in the world, is celebrating his 26th appearance in a PSA World Tour final.

Previous rounds reports

Manitoba Open 2011
08-13 Mar, Winnipeg, Canada, $25k
Round One
10 Mar
11 Mar
12 Mar
13 Mar
[1] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-6 11-5 11-8
[Q] Joel Hinds (Eng)
[1] Adrian Grant
8-11 7-11 11-5 11-3 14-12 (110m)
[Q] Robbie Temple
[1] Adrian Grant

11-9 11-5 11-7 (48m)

[3] Ryan Cuskelly

[1] Adrian Grant

8-11 11-2 11-2 12-10 65 mins

[4] Julian Illingworth

Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
 9-11 11-9 9-11 11-2 11-3
[Q] Robbie Temple (Eng)
Zac Alexander (Aus)
8-11 11-8 11-7 11-4
Jan Koukal (Cze)
Jan Koukal
11-8 11-4 13-11 (60m)
[3] Ryan Cuskelly
Martin Knight (Nzl)
 13-11 11-5 11-5
[3] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
[4] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
[Q] Andrew McDougall (Can)
[4] Julian Illingworth
11-7 11-7 10-12 11-5 (60m)
Henrik Mustonen
[4] Julian Illingworth

11-6 7-11 13-11 11-4 (70m)

[2] Shahier Razik

Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
12-10 9-11 11-8 11-9
Justin Todd (Can)
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
12-10, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3
[Q] David Phillips (Can)
Arturo Salazar
 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 (70m)
[2] Shahier Razik
Shawn Delierre (Can)
 16-14, 11-6, 8-11, 2-11, 11-9
[2] Shahier Razik (Can)
Quarters in Winnipeg
Gene Turk reports

Robbie Temple came out flying in the first two games against top seed Adrian Grant. He kept the pace high and the angles flying hitting nick after nick. He seemed unstoppable.

Down two games with his back against the wall, Grant had to gain control and did so for two full games. Robbie seemed to tire or was saving it for the fifth.

The big battle was the final game. They traded points back and forth taking it to overtime. Adrian escaped two match balls for Robbie to finally take the match 14-12.

The match was very long but the audience loved it.

The match between American Julian Illingworth and Finn Henrik Mustonen was one of the most entertaining matches of the evening. The audience was not only presented with a high-intensity, high-calibre squash match, but also a match where sportsmanship and competitor respect was illustrated to the utmost.

In the end, the more experienced player, Illingworth, was too much for the young Finn to handle.

Canadian #1 Shahier Razik started off slowly against Mexican hotshot Arturo Salazar. Allowing his opponent to take advantage of the T and utilize his incredible short game, Razik quickly found himself trailing the match, 0-1.

However, as his body loosened up from the hard 2hr match yesterday, the Razik of old started to shine. Closing down the court, eliminating Salazar's opportunities, and retrieving any attempts for winners thrown at him, Razik climbed to a 2-1 lead.

Salazar wasn't to bow out easily though, as the fourth was a sea-saw battle to the end, with Salazar desperately attempting to push the match to a fifth and deciding game. Nearly pulling it off, Salazar lost the final game in a tie-break, 13-11.

Round one in Winnipeg
Gene Turk reports

Local hero and pro, Justin Todd, illustrated his potential to be a top squash player one day when playing Finnish competitor Henrik Mustonen. Showing great speed and shot variety, Justin's only downfall was the amount of errors he made. Henrik, however, recognized this flaw and used his experience to pressure Justin, capitalizing on his mistakes. Mustonen took the match 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9

The big upset of the evening occurred when English hotshot Robbie Temple took out Brazillian veteran Rafael Alarcon. Raf did a great job of controlling the game early on, taking a 2-1 lead. But then Robbie's fast-paced style and quick winners became too much for him. Robbie showed good concentration to capitalize on Alarcon's diminishing fitness.

The final match of the evening was between what seems to be ancient rivals, Shawn Deliere and Shahir Razik. As expected, the first game was long...40 minutes to be exact.

Entering into the second game, Razik decided to use "the hold-and-snap," which Canadian compatriot, Jonathan Power, had taught him years before. This unique strategy allowed Razik to offset Deliere's movement and to take the second game. Trading back and forth throughout the entire match, both players showed almost superhuman speed and stamina, neither giving the other an inch.

Illustrating the desire that both players had to win, the amount of lets, bumps, and exchanges with the referee, while entertaining for the audience, was frustrating for the players. Shawn fought back to tie the match at 2-2. In the end, however, the experienced Canadian #1 came out on top, winning the fifth game 11-9.

2010 Event

09 Mar, Qualifying Finals:

Robbie Temple bt David Letourneau 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 (60m)

The first match of the evening was between Robbie Temple and David Letourneau. Temple started off playing a fast paced squash match giving Letourneau little to work with. Several holds on Temple's behalf twisted Letourneau, sending him in the wrong direction. Before you know it, Temple led the match two games to love. However, in the third game, Letourneau slowed the pace down, enabling him to burry Temple in the corners and use his hold-and-snap strategy to take it 11-8. This didn't last long though, as Temple regained control in the fourth, picking up the pace again. He won the final game 11-5.

David Phillips bt Fred Reid 12-10, 11-4, 11-2 (25m)

Next up was David Phillips against Fred Reid. The first game was a sea-saw battle, Phillips playing fast-paced squash, and Reid using his beautifully executed deceptive holds. It's hard to say how the match would have gone if Reid had clinched the first game, however, Phillips eventually grabbed it 12-10. From then on, it seemed as though Phillips was on cruise control, increasing the pace to a level that Reid simply could not handle. He took the next two games 11-4, 11-2.

Joel Hinds bt Andrew Schnell 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (50m)

The third match of the night began quickly, pitting young Canadian Andrew Schnell against England's Joel Hinds. Both players played a fast paced game and found themselves tied at 7-7 in the first game. Hinds' experience paid off in the end as he put together a string of pressure winners to take the game 11-7. In the second game, Hinds was able to take control of the T position and work the speedy Schnell around the court. Again, tied at 7-7, Hinds was able to pull away and win 11-8. The third game was similar, as Hinds' added experience helped him to pull away from 8-8 to win the final game 11-8.

Andrew McDougall bt Robin Clarke 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 (55m)

The last match of the evening began with Robin Clarke hitting is trademark pressure length against Andrew McDougall. Clarke led 3-0 in the first, but a string of errors and some impressive retrieving from McDougall resulted in an 11-4 win for his opponent. The second game began with more uncharacteristic tins from Clarke, who began to look flustered by the the long and attritional rallies imposed by McDougall. An 11-7 win for McDougall put him 2 games ahead. Clarke was determined not to go down without a fight, and regained control in the third game with some precision length, eventually winning 11-6. The last game of the match was the most competitive with some gruelling rallies. Both players were unwilling to give in. At 8-8 it was anybody's game, but two tins from Clarke and an uncharacteristic winner from McDougall ended the game 11-8.

08 Mar, Qualifying Round One:

Robbie Temple (Eng) v Matt Serediak (Can)              11-9 11-2 11-4 (35m)
David Letourneau (Can) v Alfredo Avila (Mex)    11-6 11-8 7-11 11-7 (50m)

Fred Reid (Can) v Josh Strutthers (Can)   3-11 11-4 12-14 11-5 11-9 (60m)
David Phillips (Can) v Eric Galvez (Mex)  9-11 11-7 10-12 12-10 11-9 (90m)

Andrew Schnell (Can) bt Bradley Hindle (Mlt)   11-9 7-11 12-10 11-9 (70m)
Joel Hinds (Eng) v Dane Sharp (Can)                11-5 9-11 11-8 11-6 (45m)

 Andrew McDougall (Can) bt Tyler Hamilton (Can)      11-7 11-6 11-8 (35m)
Robin Clarke (Can) v Thomas Brinkman (Can)   11-4 11-3 2-11 11-2 (35m)

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