Squash Ľ Weymuller 2012

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Carol Weymuller Open 2012
25-30 Sep, Casino Heights, Brooklyn, New York, $50k

Draw & Results

Iíd like to say a HUGE thank you to some key people who have put a lot of time, effort and generosity into making this tournament what it is. Firstly our corporate sponsors Corcoran, who generously support us year after year and to all our amazing members who bought tickets for the quarters, semi's and finals which contributed to the prize fund. We wouldnít have a tournament if we didnít have this incredible support.

This year we had the best entry to date and the matches were so strong and of such high caliber all the way through from the qualification to the final.

To all the WSA players for choosing to come and play our event and for playing such beautiful squash and inspiring all of us, especially our juniors.

To Jim Wellington and his family who drove all the way from Cleveland to stream our event live on the internet for us. They did a fantastic job as always and we really appreciate their hard work. The streaming is not only great for the squash enthusiasts around the world but itís so lovely for the family and friends of the players to be able to watch the matches live if they chose. We hope that they will come back again next year.

To all our members who opened up their homes to house the players and to Judy Scofield-Miller who excellently organized all housing of the players.
To Steve Cubbins and Framboise Gommendy who put up my reports and photos so quickly and brilliantly on SquashSite every day.

To Emily Lungstrum, our adult squash chair for all her support throughout the Weymuller and the squash year.

To Becky McDevitt the chair of the Weymuller this year, She did a tremendous job and has worked very hard towards the new ticketing system we had this year and even travelled back from Texas to help out this week.

Then last but certainly not least, Cristian, Burak, Jayson, T, Bonnie, Norman and ALL our Heights Casino staff. We have an amazing team of dedicated people here at The Heights Casino, who all pull together and make every event we run here a success. Thanks SO much.

30-Sep, Final:

[4] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-0 [2] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
                          11/8, 11/4, 11/5 (34m)
a 10th WSA title for Laura as she beats the defending champion

Laura relieves Raneem of the Weymuller title
Linda Elrani reports


Today was the final day of our 2012 Carol Weymuller Open. Itís been a tremendous week of squash and the WSA players have definitely left everyone inspired and motivated. We sometimes have the honor of Carol Weymuller herself coming to watch the final, but Carol has sent us a lovely e-mail apologizing that she was very busy and could not unfortunately find the time to come.

Carol started the junior squash program here at The Heights Casino many years back and it has obviously grown and grown over the years. We always like to thank Carol for all her work and dedication at the start as we wouldnít be where we are today with our program if she had not been forward thinking enough to develop squash in this area.


Our final today was between defending Champion and world # 2 Raneem El Weiley and world # 3 Laura Massaro from England. The match started at 2pm with packed out bleachers full of excited members. In the WSA head to head statistics Laura is ahead 7-3, but Raneem won the last time they played, which was here at the Weymuller last year and it was 13/11 in the fifth! Both players semi-final matches yesterday were not too long, so they should have arrived today in the final not too fatigued.

In the first game Laura got off to an amazing start taking an early lead of 4-1 and then 8-3 up. Laura found her rhythm and was hitting tight accurate deep lengths and putting Raneem under a lot of pressure. Raneem started to settle into the game a little and managed to get into the rallies more and play a few winners especially with her backhand drops this gave Raneem a little come back to 7-9 but Laura's amazing court coverage and perfectly formed rallies gave her nothing to play with and Laura won the first 11/8 with a great hold at the front.

In the second Laura got a 3-1 lead and Raneem was still not quite finding a deep length to put Laura under major pressure. On Raneem's first really deep length she won the point, but she didn't seem to be intent on following this type of game plan. Laura continued her perfect plan, pinning Raneem deep and then taking the ball well into the front and volleying everything she could to keep the T. Raneem made many unforced errors and Laura soon took the second 11/4 to go 2/0 up.

We were all left wondering if Raneem could come out in the third and be more patient and start to put Laura under more pressure before going in short at the front. The third started much the same as the first and second games with Laura getting a 6-2 lead and and still controlling the rhythm of the match and T area. Raneem was still going for lots of short shots and not managing to get Laura behind her, though a couple of the short shots were winners but many were errors.

Laura made her first unforced error at 6/4 but Raneem couldn't capitalize on this and even hit a tin off the return of serve to take Laura to 9/5. Laura didn't even finch when she was match ball up and very quickly went through to the win the 2012 Carol Weymuller Open in a glorious style.

A very happy Laura said " I'm really pleased to win the title. I was really happy with the way I played and I managed to stick to my game plan as well as I could. Raneem had such a good week and I knew it would be tough today so it makes it even more special to win!"

When I asked Raneem how she felt, she said..." I feel Off!!!! Laura obviously deserved to win today. It has been a great tournament."

Congratulations to both players for reaching the final, especially to Laura for winning this gold tournament, it was a pleasure to watch them both play.

Tomorrow (Monday) at 5.30pm on the promenade at the end of Montague Street, Nicol and all the WSA players are doing a Flash Mob to try and get some great publicity for the Back The Bid to try and get Squash into the 2020 Olympics. We hope that everyone will join them and make the whole event really successful. Please wear either red or white t-shirts when attending. Good luck to WSF with this Olympic push.

Thanks again and we hope you all enjoyed the 2012 Carol Weymuller Open as much as we did and we look forward to running it again next year.


Congratulations again to Laura and good luck to all the WSA players for the rest of the season. Cheers!

 

Carol Weymuller Open 2012
25-30 Sep, Brooklyn, New York, $50k
Round One
27 Sep 17.30 - 19.45
Quarters
28 Sep
Semis
29 Sep
Final
30 Sep
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/9, 11/5, 11/6
Kasey Brown (Aus)
[1] Nicol David
 11/9, 5/11, 11/3, 11/7
[Q] Alison Waters
[Q] Alison Waters

  11/7, 11/7 11/4

[4] Laura Massaro

[4] Laura Massaro

 

11/8, 11/4, 11/5 (34m)

 

[2] Raneem El Weleily

[5] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/7, 8/11, 11/7, 11/2
[Q] Alison Waters (Eng)
[4] Laura Massaro (Eng)
7/11, 4/11, 11/2, 11/3, 11/8
Low Wee Wern (Mas)
[4] Laura Massaro
 9/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/6
[6] Annie Au
[6] Annie Au (Hkg)
 3/11, 11/4, 9/11, 11/3, 11/3
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Camille Serme (Fra)
4/11, 11/8, 7/11, 11/4, 14/12
[7] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
[7] Nour El Sherbini
 11/6, 11/9, 11/6
[3] Jenny Duncalf
[7] Nour El Sherbini

 11/6, 11/9, 9/11, 11/9

[2] Raneem El Weleily

[Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11/9, 11/6, 11/6
[3] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Joelle King (Nzl)
11/6, 11/5, 11/7
[8] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Joelle King
3/11, 10/12, 11/3, 11/9, 13/11
[2] Raneem El Weleily
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
11/9, 11/9, 11/3
[2] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
26-Sep, Qualifying Finals:

Dipika Pallikal 3-1 Latasha Khan                                12/10, 11/6, 8/11, 11/4
Jaclyn Hawkes 3-1Nour El Tayeb                                  11/9, 11/4, 7/11, 11/6
Donna Urquhart 3-2 Sam Cornett                       7/11, 11/7, 11/13, 11/7, 11/8
Alison Waters 3-1 Amanda Sobhy                               11/9, 12/10, 7/11, 11/6


25-Sep, Qualifying Round One:

Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 3-0 Maria Toor Pakay (Pak)                       11/8, 11/5, 11/3
Latasha Khan (Usa) 3-2 Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)   
8/11, 11/8. 14/12, 7/11, 11/8
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) 3-2 Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 
11/6, 7/11, 8/11, 11/7, 12/10
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) 3-0v Kristen Lange (Usa)                          
11/9, 11/8, 11/6
Samantha Cornett (Can) 3-2
Sarah Kippax (Eng)     11/6, 2/11, 11/4, 5/11, 11/5
Donna Urquhart (Aus) 3-0 Coline Aumard (Fra)                        
11/5, 11/4, 11/8
Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
3-0 Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)                       11/7, 11/6, 11/6
Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 Birgit Coufal (Aut)                               
11/6, 11/4, 11/0


Live video from your Android device on Ustream
 
REPLAY the final   More on the Ustream Channel



Play-a-Pro

Before the semi finals began we held a ĎPlay a Proí event for our juniors so that they had a chance to get on court with some of the top womenís squash players in the world.

World # 4 Jenny Duncalf, world # 14 Rachael Grinham, World # 19 Jaclyn Hawkes, World # 22 Sarah Kippax, World # 17 Donna Urquhart and World # 28 Latasha Khan, World # 12 Joelle King and World # 5 Madeline Perry all very kindly agreed to play with our two groups of juniors.



The juniors all had such a fun time, trying their hardest to win a point or two off the pros! Thanks so much to the WSA players for taking part in this. We really appreciate it.

They are all a huge credit to womenís squash as they are so prepared to give back to the tournaments and help spread the joy of playing squash.

After the Play a Pro it turned into a really fun game of 3/4 court where the pros were playing with their opposite hand that they normally do! It looked like Jaclyn would be the highest in that ranking from what I saw :-))
 

Raneem and Laura pull rank in semis
Linda Elriani reports


Semi finals day is here at the 2012 Carol Weymuller Open. Everyone was excited to see some more action packed squash as the quarter final matches were so entertaining and such a tribute to how strong and amazing womenís professional squash is.


The first semi final today was between the two best Egyptian players in the world, the defending champion and world # 2 Raneem El Weilely and the amazing 16 year old world # 7 Nour El Sherbini.

The head to head was 2-1 in Raneemís favour but Nour beat Raneem 3-1 in the last match that they played, so it was going to be interesting to see who could make it through to the final.

In the first game Raneem got off to a good start and was soon 6/1 up. She was much more patient than she had been yesterday, but there were still plenty of short shots being played by both players, some going in perfectly and some in the tin. The ball was being played all around the court with different shot selections nearly every hit. Raneem put in some great holds and wrong footed Nour and soon went through to win the first game 11/6.

The second game was very similar with Raneem taking a 6/3 lead. Both players played some really outstanding winners with holds and flicks but also a large amount of unforced errors. It was as if the players were worried that if they didnít go short and try to win the point as soon as possible that their opponent might do it first. Nour gave a big push and equalized the game at 8/8, but Raneem came through strong to win the second 11/9.

It was Nourís turn to gain the lead in the third and she hit an array of perfect backhand drops and volley drops from the back corner, middle and front. Nour can be lethal on that backhand side if the length isnít good enough. Nour started to be more patient and moving the ball around the court and waiting for her openings better. Raneem for the first time in the match was starting to react to Nourís game. Nour came through to win the third game 11/9.

In the fourth Raneem came out firing and was very accurate and error free, taking a 4/1 and then 6/3 lead. Nour needed to get her serve on the side wall as Raneem hit several cross court volley nicks off of them allowing her to win easy points.. There were a series of amazing rallies, Raneem made a couple of mistakes and Nour found her patience again and pulled back to 7/8.

Raneem pushed on and tried to take the ball early and came through the fourth 11/8 to take her to her second Weymuller final in a row.

Raneem said after her win: ďIím very very very very happy! I put too much pressure on myself.

"Playing the younger players is not fun! They remind me of myself but a better version! Both players are very very good and they have the best experience and have very strong games.

"I hope that I play well.Ē

Nour said after her semi-final match:

ďI feel great. I think I played good. The last 2 games were so close. It was a little bit of bad luck. Raneem was so good and her shots were so good. Sheís playing great.

"Now we are going to learn the steps for the Flash mob on Monday! Iím looking forward to the US Open and I play a qualifier first round so I donít who I play yet. I hope that I do even better there.Ē

The second semi final match was a totally English affair with Laura Massaro world # 3 playing giant killer Alison Waters currently world # 9. Both players are amazing athletes and very steady and accurate so the quality of the squash was bound to be fantastic. Alison was up 7-3 in the head to head but Laura has had a great season too so would be doing her best to get a win over Alison.

Laura started off the match very well and very quickly found her rhythm and was moving well and moving Alison around the court. You could see Alison trying her hardest to regain some of the spark that she had in last nightís match but she was looking less fresh than Laura due to how physically hard she had to work to beat Nicol.

There were some great rallies but Laura always seems that little more in control. Laura came through to win the first game 11/7.

The second game started pretty evenly and the points went back and forth but gradually Laura edged forward on the score board to take a 9-5 lead. Laura was playing a perfect combination of slowing the ball down and attacking which added to Alison not being to find her rhythm. Alison kept trying to push up and control the middle but to no avail as Laura won the second 11/7.

In the third Laura came out on fire playing a very precise game and keeping a constant pressure on what looked like a tired Alison and was very soon 6/0 up. Laura made her first unforced error at 9/4 up but Alison couldnít capitalize on this and Laura won the final game 11/4.

A smiling Laura said:

ďIím really happy. I thought I played really well today and managed to stick to my tactics and stay focused for most of the match.

"I thought Ali looked like she was struggling a little bit and I tried to keep the pace up for the entire match. Iím really looking forward to playing in a Gold final.Ē

Alison commented:

ďIt was a good learning curve after yesterday. Laura played really well and didnít give me anything. Itís tough to back it up after yesterday but itís something Iíll need to learn to do in the future.

"Iím looking forward to a few days rest and then getting ready for the US Open.Ē

Congratulations to both winners and we very much look forward to the final on Sunday.

Tomorrowís final is between Raneem El Weiley and Laura Massaro at 2pm and everyone is so excited to see who will be the 2012 Carol Weymuller Champion. See you then!




 

Two big upsets and almost a third
in Casino Heights Quarters
Linda Elriani Reports


Tonight is quarter finals night of the 2012 Carol Weymuller Open. The quarter finals night is always my favourite night at tournaments because itís usually four extremely high quality matches all on one court and boy did we did get that and more!!!! A feast of fantastic squash!

First up on the championship court was the world # 4 from England, Jenny Duncalf and young superstar Nour El Sherbini from Egypt, who is #7 in the world. They had only played twice before this evening and it was 1-1 in the head to head. Nour won last time they played 11-9 in the fifth so it was very exciting to see who would come out on top this time!

Would it be Jenny, who is the older more experienced player who has won this event twice before and also has plenty of tricks up her sleeve, or would it be 16 year old Nour who looks hungry for the ball and takes everything early and seems to be improving by the match?

The answer is Nour basically played amazingly! Jenny didnít managed to hit a deep or penetrating enough length for long enough to get Nour off the T and prevent her from chopping the ball off so well. Nour plays incredibly maturely for her age and her shot selection even when under pressure was pretty much perfect!

Nour won the 1st game 11/6 and Jenny gave a big push in the second game but Nour still manage to keep her composure and win it 11/9. In the third game Nour still managed to dominate the T and went 7/3 up. Jenny had a mini comeback to 6-7 but to no avail as Nour came through to win 11/6.

It can only leave you thinking that if Nour can play this well at 16 years old (she turns 17 in Nov) how will she be playing by the time she is 20 years old!!!!

A very happy Nour said after ďI think I played very good. To beat Jenny 3-0 is a very good win for me. I just wanted to finish the points and I didnít want to be doing too much work. Of course I wish for Raneem to win because she is Egyptian. I beat Raneem 3/1 back in May and it was hard. When I played Joelle the last 2 times I won 14/12 in the fifth so either way itís going to tough tomorrow! I hope tomorrow I can have the energy to play even better.Ē

Second on court was the current Weymuller Champion and World #2 Raneem El Weleily from Egypt and New Zealander Joelle King who is ranked #12 in the world. Joelle and Raneem grew up playing junior squash together and now they have both come through to be in the top 12 in the world.

This would be the 3rd time they had played as Professionals - they also met twice as juniors - and Joelle King is yet to beat Raneem but every match is a new one!

This match was so incredibly entertaining. Joelle got off to an amazing start and Raneem was making a lot of unforced errors. Joelle took the first in a convincing style 11/3. Joelle's length was deep and tight and she was moving so well.

The second game was pretty even all the way through and even though Raneem still made a few errors, she did start to be more patient and Joelle did make a few errors. Joelleís movement was so good that Raneem was struggling to wrong foot her which is something she can normally do to players with her hold and flare. Joelle hung on and managed to win the second 12/10. In the third Raneem came out having obviously decided that she did not want to lose this match and started to construct her rallies with more thought behind them. With a few unforced errors from Joelle too before we knew it she had won the third 11/3.

In the fourth Raneem came out strong and was making less errors and moving Joelle around the court more. Raneem took a 4/2 and then a 8/5 lead and Joelle gave an extra push to get her control back. The rallies were so much fun to watch as both players were covering the court so well and using every inch of the court to move each other around and create openings. Raneem just managed to clinch the fourth 11/9 to take the match to 2/2!

The fifth game was one of the most exciting games of squash I have seen a very very long time. The score went back and forth with both players attacking and taking the ball early. Joelle was volleying so well and really trying to keep the T and keep the ball away from Raneem. Joelle took a slight lead of 6/4 and Raneem took a huge risk of a cross court volley drop off the serveÖ.but it paid off and went straight into the nick! Joelle hit a couple of amazing volley drops and kept a lead of 8/6. Raneem gave a huge push and climbed back to 9/9!!!

Another couple of fantastic rallies from them both and Raneem had her first match ball. Joelle still hung on and equalized to 10/10.Raneem had her second match ball at 11/10 and Joelle saved it yet again. Joelle did not get scared and still volleyed and took the ball in short with the same aggression as she had earlier in the match. Raneem got third match ball at 12/11 and finally managed to finish off the point to take her through to the semi finals tomorrow.

The crowd were so impressed and excited by this match they gave the players a standing ovation and clapped non-stop for a couple of minutes!

Raneem said afterwards ď I donít know what I was doing! I donít think that I played that well. Iím very lucky to be through today. In Egypt you say ďThanks God for giving me the chance to have a good a day when I was having a bad day!!! All credit to Joelle, she played fantastic! Last time I played Nour I lost badly. Tomorrow is revenge time!Ē

The third match of the evening is between world # 3 Laura Massaro from England and world # 6 Annie Au from Hong Kong. In the head to head Laura is up 4-1, but the last time that they played Annie won 11/9 in the fifth so an exciting match was almost guaranteed!

They have very different styles with Laura having a fantastic steady, patient and accurate game and Annie being well known for her incredible touch and the ability to cut off any ball short. Who would managed to play their game and contain the others play? Annie came out well in the first and cut off all of Lauraís lengthís if they were not on the wall. Laura didnít really find her rhythm or penetrating length to put Annie under pressure. The game went back and forth but Annie came through 11/9.

Laura played so well in the second game and was steady and got in front of Annie and put her under a lot of pressure with more pace on her lengths. Annie also started to make some mistakes and Laura got to 7 before Annie scored her first point! Laura charged through and won the second 11/4.

The third was even better for Laura, her length was very tight and had good weight and pace on it and gave Annie nothing to hit. Annie kept trying to go finer on her short shots in the bid to win some points and kept making errors. In the third Laura got a great lead yet again and was 6-1 relatively quickly playing a patient, error free game and covering the court really well. Annie gave a last push at the end of the game but could not manage to get Laura off the T and lost the fourth 11/6 to take Laura through to the semi-finals.

Laura said ďIn the 1st Annie played really well and her short shots were going in really well. In the next three games I just managed to find a little more length and width and that allowed me to control the rallies. Itís good to be in the semiís which is my seeded position so Iím looking forward to playing relaxed tomorrow.Ē

Last up on the championship court, but certainly not least was Nicol David, world #1 and six time world champion from Malaysia playing against English Alison Waters world # 9, who has recently climbed back into the world top 10 again after being out with injury for a whole year!

Nicol has won many many WSA titles but she hasn't won this one since 2005 so it was going to be interesting to see if Alison could stop Nicol getting through to the semi-finals. We thought that there couldnít possibly be another fantastic match this evening but indeed there was!!!

The first game was SO attritional and both players did so much work and covered the court so well. Nicol got back so much and Alison almost had to win some points two or three time before actually winning it! Alison had to really win every point as Nicol was error free until 9-7! Alison kept hanging in and moving Nicol around the court and she made Nicol do a lot of work. Nicol looked like she could run around like this forever! Alison did however clinch the first game 11/9.

The second game started with some fantastic long rallies, but Nicolís patience and started to take its toll on Alison and Alison started to lose the amazing patience that she had in the first. Nicol still had to work incredibly hard and retrieve a lot of balls but won the second 11/5. It looked like maybe Alison would now be tired and Nicol may go through to win 3-1 but how wrong could we have been! Alison came out in the third firing on all cylinders. She was dominating the T and keeping the pace up and was managing to rush Nicol and cut off some of her cross courts. Ali was basically awesome in the third and won 11/3.

In the fourth it was pretty even at the beginning but soon Alison began to take control again and for the first time in the match Nicol looked like she was starting to get tired. Alison piled on the pressure even more and Nicol started to make some mistakes and not get to some of Alisonís amazing short shots. Alison was 10/5 up and had 3 match balls till she finally won the last point, beating Nicol for the first in their 19 meetings!

A beaming Alison said ďIím over the moon. Iíve never beaten her before but I felt confident and I actually believed I could win. In the past Iíve never quite believed it but now I feel stronger, not just physically but also mentally too. I play Laura tomorrow . Weíve had some battles in the past and Iím looking forward to playing tomorrow.Ē


We all look forward to the some more amazing womenís squash tomorrow afternoon at 4.00pm and 5.00pm after the Junior ĎPlay a Proí which is on from 2.30pm-3.30pm. Itís our juniors chance to get on court with some of the best womenís squash players in the world. That doesnít happen every day!


 
 
27-Sep, Round One
Linda Elriani Reports


Tonight was the 1st round of the 2012 Carol Weymuller Main draw. The quality of the matches tonight was amazing and the matches were so exciting and closely contested.

 Itís so inspirational for our Heights Casino juniors to watch. Thereís a cute group of our youngest players who come watch nearly all the matches and want to jump on any free court to try and practice what they have been witnessing over the last few days!

The weather in Brooklyn has been a little damp and humid over the last couple of days and this has made for hot court conditions and long hard matches, proving to us even more how fit and athletic the women players are.


First on the Championship court was # 3 seed and world # 4 from England Jenny Duncalf against the young Indian qualifier Dipika Pallikal, world #15. Jenny won the title here in 2009 and 2010 so she knows the courts well. The match got off to an awkward start with plenty of lets until the players got into their groove. Jennyís length was a little short in the first game allowing Dipika to take the ball really well at the front and do some her great holds.

The game stayed even up to 9/9 until Jenny managed to clinch it 11/9. In the 2nd and 3rd games Jenny really found her length and rhythm and moved Dipika around the court better and forced some errors.

Jenny came through her first round match in 3 and afterwards said ďIím happy with a 3/0 win. Dipika has improved in the last year so I wasnít going to take her lightly. Iím happy to be back in Brooklyn and looking forward to the next round.Ē

Also on court at 5.30pm was French # 1 and world # 13 Camille Serme playing Nour El Sherbini the 17 year old Egyptian player who is amazingly already ranked 7 in the world! This match was an incredibly close and was a perfect display of wonderful athleticism and shot selection from both players.

Nour plays squash with an incredible maturity, especially for a teenager!!! Nour is getting a great name for herself when it comes to the big points in matches as she stays focused and steady way beyond her years! This was the case in this match too as Camille had battled to get a match ball at 11/10 in the fifth game and Nour held on strong and Camille made a couple of errors and the match went to Nour 14/12 in the fifth!

A very happy Nour said ď That was a very long one! 14/12 in the fifth! Camille is so good and itís my 3rd time to play her and that was first time I have beaten her. It was a really tough one, I was feeling like I just wanted to finish it and get off the court! I have Jenny tomorrow and we have played twice before. Last time I beat her 3-2 but that doesnít mean that Iím going to win this time too. Iím looking forward to it and hope I can do well.Ē

Second match on the championship court was Egyptian # 1 and world # 2 Raneem El Weleily playing Jaclyn Hawkes from New Zealand and world #19. Raneem is the current Carol Weymuller Champion and really started her break through up to the very top of the rankings here last year.

This match had a real contrast in playing styles with Jaclyn being steady and accurate and Raneem skilful and random and full of flare! Raneem moved the ball around the court so well that it was hard for Jaclyn to find her rhythm and play her game. There were times in the first 2 games where Jaclyn slotted in a few great short shots but because she wasnít controlling the middle of the court Raneem was containing her and then chopping the ball in short with her great touch.

Raneem won the first 2 games 11/9, 11/9. Jaclyn put up a great fight especially after such a hard match yesterday to qualify but she looked like she had started to get tired by the third and Raneem took the last game with relative ease 11/3.

Raneem said afterwards ďIím happy to win today. It was the first time I had played Jaclyn, which rarely happens. I felt that I had time but that I didnít make such good use of it! Iím happy to be through to the quarters.Ē

The 6.15pm match was New Zealander and world #12 Joelle King playing Australian and world #14 Rachael Grinham. Rachel has been as high as # 1 in the world and has won many WSA titles so has a ton of experience in her belt, but today she didnít look like she firing on all cylinders or moving the way that Rachael is know so well for.

Joelle managed to get a good start in each game and her confidence seemed to grow stronger as the match progressed. Joelle charged her way to the quarter finals winning 11/6, 11/5, 11/7.

Joelle said after the match ďI didnít feel Rach was moving as well as she normally does. It is still Rachel though and she wasnít world #1 for nothing! I still had to focus and put it together the whole way through. I was happy to get off 3/0. Iím looking forward to playing Raneem tomorrow. We are the same age and came through juniors together. Iíve never beaten her so far, but tomorrow is a new day!Ē

The third match on the championship court was World #3 Laura Massaro from England playing Low Wee Wern from Malaysia who is ranked #10 in the world. Low has improved so much since last year when she played here and has been getting some fantastic results at tournament this year.

This match was another five setter and was very close especially right at the end. It really was a battle of playing the right game plan to pull through. At the beginning of the match both players were incredibly patient and working the ball around the court at a very even steady pace. This seemed to be suiting Low more than Laura and as she wasnít being rushed or being put under any major pressure.

The games were long but Low won the first 2 games 11/7, 11/4. Laura clearly needed to change her plan to get herself back into the match and thatís exactly what she did! Laura started putting more pace on the ball and moving and playing with more intention. Her shots were more decisive and Low started to just react to Lauraís great new game plan.

Laura came through the 3rd and 4th games 11/2, 11/3. In the fifth game Low started to put a little more pace on the ball too and was moving Laura around the court again and got a 6-3 lead. Laura clawed back and the score stayed pretty even through till 7-7 and then Laura played the perfect end to a five setter match.

Laura made no errors at the end, chose her short shots perfectly and with great variation and hold and Low didnít have anything to come back with. Laura went through to win the fifth 11/8.

Laura said ďAfter losing first round last year I couldnít put my billets through that again! Last year I did lose to the eventual winner but it was still the first round. After being 2/0 down I just tried to inject a little bit more pace which doesnít necessarily come naturally. I tried to keep my mental intensity up too in order to keep the pace up. Iím happy to be through. I lost to Annie last time we played 3/2 so Iím just going to learn from that match and try to better tomorrow.Ē

Hong Kongís Annie Au and world # 6 was up to play Donna Urquhart world #17 from Australia, both are left handed players. Donna came through the toughest qualifying match last night and had another hard one this evening.

Donna, who gets the award for the nicest outfits on the court, started out great, moving well and showing no signs of fatigue from last night and won the first 11/3. Annie came back out in the second and managed to control the match and use her wonderful short shots and won the second 11/4. The third game was very even all the way through and Donna put out a huge effort to win it 11/9.

The 4th and 5th game were very won relatively convincingly by Annie and Donna finally started to look tired. Annie won the last 2 games 11/3, 11/3.

Annie said after her win ďIn the first game Donna got a 76-2 lead and was playing well with her shots. The second I won quite easily and the 3rd was close. I felt Donna was tired in the 4th and I started to attack more. In the 5th game I was more confident and my shots went in well. It was a good start for the tournament and Iím ready for tomorrow.Ē

The last match on the championship court was American based Australian Kasey Brown and world # 8 played against the World #1 and five time world champion Nicol David from Malaysia. Nicol hasnít played our tournament for the last couple of years so it was so great to see her back gracing our courts and showing us what it takes to be world # 1 in a sport.

The first game was very closely contested with the score going back and forth until Nicol managed to scrap it 11/9. Kasey is an amazing athlete but Nicol seemed to find her groove after the 1st and even though Kasey tired her best to control and rallies and move Nicol around and get her out of position she just couldnít manage to string enough points together. Nicol came through the last 2 games 11/5, 11/6 looking very together and focused.

Nicol said after ďItís great coming back to the Weymuller after so long. Itís good to play well on these courts and beating Kasey 3/0 is never easy. Iím happy to be through. I knew this tournament was a tough draw all the way through so Iím just using this 1st round as a good boost for tomorrow.Ē

The other 7.45pm match was Irelandís Madeline Perry who is ranked world # 5 against Englandís Alison Waters who is currently world # 9. This match was played at a very high pace and lots of low hard lengths and each player trying to get into and rid of the ball as quickly as possible.

The first 3 games where pretty even all the way through with Alison coming out with the 2/1 lead. Alisonís length was just a little bit more superior in the end with Madeline giving Alison some shorter lengths to finish the rallies from. Alison won the fourth in dominating fashion 11/2.

Alison said ď It was a tough match with Madders. It was fast and furious at the start! The 3rd and 4th I found more range and the court opened up more. Iím looking forward to playing Nicol. I played her in Australia and had a good game and lost in 4 and hopefully I can play well tomorrow.Ē


So here ends another really exciting night of squash at The Heights Casino and we all look forward to the quarter finals starting at 5.30pm tomorrow night. See you again soon!

 

26-Sep, Qualifying Finals
Linda Elriani Reports


Tonight was the last evening of the qualification at the 2012 Carol Weymuller Open. Itís always an exciting round as it really is all or nothingÖmain draw or out! The matches were very exciting and a fantastic display of how athletic and amazingly skilled the top women squash players are.

Our stands were packed again with keen and inspired members and our juniors where also busy collecting autographs from the WSA players.



The first match on our championship court tonight was between World # 15 and Indiaís favourite player Dipika Pallikal and USAís World # 28 Latasha Khan. The last time they both played it was down to the wire so we were all looking forward to seeing this match up again.

Dipika got a good lead in the first game and whenever Latasha hung back a little Dipika put in some great disguised boasts and short shots. At 9-5 down Latasha made a big comeback by getting in front on the T and Dipika lost her previous patience and her length was shorter allowing Latasha to use her array of winning shots. She managed to get to 9-9 before Dipika scraped through to win the first 12/10.

In the second, Dipika got a good start with great length, forcing Latasha to make some errors with her constant pressure. Once Dipika got to the magic number 9 again she stopped playing her game and Latasha managed to step up the court and start controlling the rallies again. Unfortunately for Latasha she started her comeback too late and Dipika won the second 11/6.

In the third it was Latashaís turn to move Dipika around and control the middle more. Dipika made a few errors on the boasts and even though she made an extra push at the end of the 3rd game Latasha came through winning 11/8.

Dipika started the 4th game perfectly, making no errors, being more patient and moving the ball around the court really well. Latasha hung back a little and didnít get to a couple of Dipikaís held trickle boasts at the front. Latasha battled to the end but Dipika was too much in control and won the fourth 11/5.

 
Dipika said after the match ďIím relieved to get through. Latasha has so much more experienced and when I was up I would start going short and she would take full advantage and start coming back! Iím not that long out of the juniors so I still revert back to my junior squash from time to time! I won last time 12/10 in the fifth, so in the 3rd game it was in my head that she could come back. In the 4th I hit more straight and less cross-courts and it really made a difference. As for the main draw, I have played them all so I donít mind who I play, Iím just glad to qualify!Ē

Second on was New Zealander and world #19 Jaclyn Hawkes against Egyptian Nour El Tayeb who is ranked #21 in the WSA world rankings. This match was so much fun as they both had such different styles and it was so interesting to see who could get their game plan over the other. Jaclyn is very steady and patient and since last year when she played here, has developed a wicked short game too! Nour moves fluidly around the court and takes every opportunity to go short. The match started off pretty evenly and as they drew closer to the end of the game Nour made a couple of unforced errors and then a great hold at the front from Jackie helped her win the first 11/9.

In the second Jackie had a steady start taking a small lead of 2-0 but Nour hung on and hit a couple of lovely backhand drops. Jaclyn kept the pressure on Nour and was moving around and retrieving well and very soon Jaclyn had taken the second game 11/4.

Nour came out in the 3rd firing on all cylinders and was very soon 4-0 up. Nour made a few drop errors from deep on the backhand to let Jaclyn back into the game. But soon Nour was 8-3 up and Jaclyn didnít manage to find the length she had in the previous game and so couldnít control the T so well. Nour won the third 11/7.

Jaclyn got off to the perfect start in the fourth game with a 6-0 lead, her length was great, she was taking the ball in short really nicely and basically containing Nour and limited her ability to do her wonderful short shots. Jaclyn was 9-1 up and Nour suddenly became incredibly patient and fought her way back to 6-10. There was one particular rally which was very long and Nour did a huge dive to save the match ball but the rally ended in a let! The rallies changed and both players started to push the ball around the court and wait for the other player to the make the error. There were a number of lets and eventually Jaclyn hit a forehand drive that was so tight to the wall that Nour couldnít retrieve it, taking Jaclyn through to the main draw and winning the last game 11-6.

Jaclyn said after her win ďIím really happy with that match. In the games that I won I really dominated and I moved much better today. I was forcing her to make errors on the backhand deep so I kept her there more intentionally. It was a nail biter at the end and I think that I was just fitter

Third match on court was Canadian and world # 36 Sam Cornett and world #17 Donna Urquhart from Australia. This was the only match of the evening that went to five and it was definitely the most attritional and exciting too. All the rallies seemed to be fought incredibly hard for by both players and it was an example of great retrieving and lunging, with both players being so tall. In the first game Sam managed to stay in front of Donna, forcing her out of position and taking her in short. Sam came through 11/7.

Donna got a good start in the second with a 4-1 lead and was really containing Sam and forcing her back in the court. Sam made a few unforced errors too and lost the patience she had had in the first. Donna won the second 11/7.

Sam was the one to get the good lead in the third and managed to get 5-2 up with the help of a few errors from Donna. Suddenly Donna surged forward and Sam was forced back and before we knew it Donna was back at 7-7. Donna was looking to win the third with a 10/8 lead, but Sam pushed up the court and volleyed well and has some fantastic hold and backhand drops to eventually win the third 13-11.

The fourth Donna managed to get a 5-3 lead and kept Sam pinned back on the court. Sam lost her patience and went for early winners that didnít come off taking Donna to a 8/4 lead. Sam is a fighter and did not give up and managed to squeeze 3 more points before the match was level again at 2 all!

The fifth was fantastic end to this great match and both players battled to control the T and get in front of the each other. Donna managed to gain a lead of 9-5, and then 10-8, but it wasnít quite over until Donna hit a winning volley kill off the serve to win the nail biting five setter.

Donna was very happy ďI think it was pretty good squash and we both tried to attack and move each other around. At 2-1 down I was wondering how I was going to win this, but I just dug in! In the 4th and 5th I made less errors. I felt like I was playing myself as Sam is tall too and the way she has a long reach and picks a lot up! Because it was so hot and bouncy, the rallies were long and hard and I felt I did get a little impatient at times. Iím stoked that I have qualified and a little bit relieved too!Ē

Our last match of the evening, but certainly not least was USAís budding young star Amanda Sobhy and already world #20 and English player Alison Waters who is climbing back up the ranking again after being out with injury for a whole year. In the last September ranking Alison climbed back into the top 10 again where she had been before that for a long time. The first game got off to a fast and furious pace with both players trying to dominate the T. Amanda is deadly around the T so you could see Alison trying to keep the ball away from her. Alison clinched the first 11/9.

The second was even closer with Amanda hitting deep, hard penetrating length and moving Alison around the court to get a 8-5 lead. Alison dug in and found her length again and got in front and made Amanda play a few errors from her pressure. Alison sneaked the second 12/10.

The third game Alison came out firing and was soon up 5-2, but Amanda started to make a huge comeback hitting attacking deep drives and controlling the T again and chopping any loose balls off on the volley and holding the ball very well at the front. Before Alison knew it she was behind 10-7 and Amanda finished off to take the third with a perfect forehand volley drop.

The 4th game started off evenly up to 6/6 but Alisonís experience and shot selection soon overpowered Amanda who hit 2 lobs out in her bid to gain some time in the rallies that Alison was controlling. In the end the longer the rallies the better it was for Alison. Alison came through to win the final game 11/6.

Alison commented after the match ďAmanda is a good player and is really good around the middle and at going short. You have to get a good width. At 5-2 up in the third I lost my concentration and it was hard to get it back. In the 4th I was thinking more about exactly where I was putting the ball and I forced a few errors. Iím very pleased to win in 4Ē.

Congratulations to all the players who qualified. All the matches were such great quality squash and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them. The first round matches start tomorrow night at 5.30pm and we are all very much looking forward to watching some more of the amazing squash.


 

Streaming Channel

25-Sep, Qualifying Round One:
Cracking qualifiers to
kick off Carol Weymuller

Linda Elriani reports


The 2012 Carol Weymuller Squash Tournament is now underway with the first 8 qualification matches on our Heights Casino squash courts. We are streaming the whole event live onto the internet so itís exciting for everyone to be able to see matches even if they are in different countries or canít make to the matches.

The 5.30pm match was between Alison Waters from England, who has just surged back up to # 9 in the WSA world rankings and Brigit Coufal world #60 from Austria. Alisonís experience and solid placement of the ball put Brigit under more and more pressure as the match went on. Alison won 3-0 (11/6, 11/4, 11/0) Alison commented ďItís nice to get started with a 3-0 win. Iím enjoying myself in Brooklyn and looking forward to my match tomorrow.Ē

The second 5.30pm match was Dipika Pallikal, the #1 seeded player in the qualification and the world #15 from India and Maria Toor Pakay world #52 from Pakistan.

Dipika managed to win in 3 and after the match she said ďI played Maria all my junior career and we always had intense matches. Maria is coming off a tournament win so is confident too. I really tried twisting her and putting in cross courts and keeping her off her feet. She made a few errors at crucial points too, which helped a lot. In the first match of the tournament it is nice to be off in 3!Ē

It was packed audience at 6.15pm on the championship court when Jaclyn Hawkes world #19 from New Zealand played Nicolette Fernandes #1 from Guyana. This was one of the three long and truly exciting matches of the evening. The rallies were long and hard and every point was closely contested. Nicolette fought for a 2-1 lead with a few entertaining dives here and there! Jaclyn managed to pull through the fourth game 11-7 managing to contain Nicolette in the back and stop her chances for the great short shots and the 5th game went right down to the wire.

The fifth was full of fantastic retrieving, intense decisions for the ref and each player battling to control the T. Jaclyn finally came out on top winning 12/10 in the 5th.

The red faced and smiling Jaclyn said after the match ďIím really lucky and happy to get through that! Nicolette really played well. She kept the ball really tight and hit some really good short shots. For tomorrow, they are all tough matches but Nour plays slightly differently and plays a lot of short shots, so Iíll have to be moving forward a lot. Iím looking forward to it.Ē

The second 6.15pm match was between Nour El Tayeb the world #21 from Egypt and Kristen Lange world #67 from USA. Kristen put up a fantastic fight and pushed Nour hard in each game, but Nourís fluid movement and wonderful shot selection took itís toll in the end. Nour won 11/9, 11/8, 11/6.

After the match Nour said ďIím just happy to be here, I missed the Casino! It is good to win and hopefully Iíll play well again tomorrow.Ē Nour now plays Jaclyn in the qualification finals tomorrow at 5.45pm.

The other 6.15pm match on the west court was an exciting five setter with Sarah Kippax from England and world #22 against Samantha Cornett world #36 from Canada. The games went back and forth and each player seemed to really find their rhythm and control in each game that they won.

It was going to be interesting to see who could control the fifth after the pattern of the previous games and it was Sam managed to get in front and play her game winning the final game 11/5.

Sam was beaming saying ďSo we played a month ago and she basically chopped me up 3-0! So I am so very very happy to have won that match!!! It was a bit of a see saw with the scores going back and forth and all the games that I won I stepped up on the T. I felt I went for a lot of short shots in the games that Sarah won because of her pressure. I havenít played either Donna or Coline in ages so I'm looking forward to playing whoever wins.Ē

Donna Urquhart from Australia and world #17 played Coline Aumard the world #41 from France. Donna managed to control the match and her play her game, even though Coline put up a good fight. Donna won 11/5, 11/4, 11/8.

Donna said after she finished her match ďIím always happy to get through. Itís the first time Iíve played Coline and you donít always know what to expect! Iíve seen her play and see her results so I knew she was tough. She let me off the hook with some errors. Iíve never played Sam before either so I look forward to playing someone different again!Ē

Amanda Sobhy the world #20 from USA and member of the Harvard squash team played Misaki Kobayashi the world #33 from Japan. Amanda mostly dominated the games and powered her opponent into the back and controlled the T. Misaki tried her hardest to remove Amanda from the T but couldnít do it for enough of the time.

Amanda said after her match ďIt was tough, I havenít really had a pro match in a while. I get to play with the guys on the menís team at Harvard but thereís no pressure then. This is a professional match and it matters! Even if Iím playing a girl that is not as tough as the Harvard Guys if is somehow harder! Iíve never played Alison Waters and I hope to do well. I was unfortunate to draw her (what with her ranking being lower due to injury). Iíve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!Ē

Lastly but certainly not least was USAís tour veteran and world # 28 Latasha Khan against young and upcoming Trinity freshman from Egypt, Kanzy El Dafrawy. This match was a fantastic finale to a wonderful evening of squash. Latasha is looking more in shape than ever and she turns 40 in January! Her great accuracy and immense experience pulled her through to overcome the 18 year old Kanzy, who gave every last effort to try and win the match, with several dives around the court. The final game was closely contested right through till the last few points and Latasha finished the victor with a final score of 11/8.

Latasha said ďIím happy I played well. Kanzy moves well and dives and gets a lot back. Basically my length was key!!! I lost to Dipika 12/10 in the fifth last time we played so Iím looking forward to a better result this time!Ē

It was a truly fantastic evening of squash to start off the 2012 Weymuller. Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to the final round of the qualifying tomorrow night which starts at 5.00pm.


 
FROGS' TALK

Hello Framboise !
Petit mot aprŤs mon match de ce soir contre Donna.

Perdu 3/0 un peu trop rapidement ŗ mon goŻt ! Je me suis tout simplement ťtouffťe toute seule en voulant trop faire.

Il me faut plus d'expťrience contre ces filles la pour que j'apprenne ŗ canaliser mon effort. Mais il y a eu des bonnes choses et des bons ťchanges.

De plus je risque de la jouer ŗ NÓmes si on tombe contre l ťquipe d'Australie alors j'ai quelques semaines pour bosser sur les diffťrents points importants pour faire ťvoluer mon niveau de jeu !!

Maintenant ŗ Cam de jouer !

Bises ŗ tout le monde !

                                    

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