Markets Irish Open
17-22 Apr, Dublin, Ireland, $15kx2
Gilis and James win five-game finals
Both matches at the Irish Open in Fitzwilliam
LTC went the distance…..and what drama we had in both finals.
The women’s final started with an edgy first set with
Englishwoman, Millie Tomlinson, finding good length. Nele Gilis
from Belgium, looked nervous taking time to settle. Millie –
last year’s winner – was in the ascendency and had come through
her previous matches without dropping a set.
Millie won the
first set 11-2. The second set saw a different player in Nele.
She started to find good length and Millie was the one who
looked a little out of sorts. Nele found herself with a 7-1 lead
before Millie got back into the game.
The pace of the game increased as Millie began to volley more
and put her opponent under increasing pressure. At 8-9 a long
rally ended with Millie hitting the tin. This gave Nele the
confidence to go on and win the set. The third set took just 10
minutes with both women hitting outright winners and an equal
amount of unforced errors. Millie won 11-7. The fourth set was
the game of the match with both players playing to their
The lengths on the backhand were tight and exacting and the
retrieving was superb. Millie led 8-6 and appeared to be on
track for a second successive Irish title when Nele won the
rally of the tournament. She followed this with two more
excellently constructed points giving her a 9-8 lead. Nele came
back to level at 9-9 and won the fourth 11-9. The final set saw
Nele demonstrate her incredible court speed chasing down
everything from the start of the set. At 1-2 she began to volley
more winning six points in a row.
Millie had lost her length that had given her two sets and was
struggling in the rallies. With the score at 7-4 Nele produced
three winners giving her match ball. She didn’t require a
second…………and the Irish Open title of 2017 was secured.
The men’s game was contested between the number two seed, Declan
James, and the number three seed, Adrian Waller. Both men are
from England and both are over 6ft in height.
Adrian is a left-hander which resulted in a lot of cross-court
shots from both players. After the first ten minutes the crowd
knew that the referee was going to earn his money this
afternoon. The opening set was very tense and peppered with a
series of lets, strokes and no-lets. A nervous Waller went 6-2
down and appeared out of sorts. He recovered and got back to 7-8
before James finished out the set with some outstanding drops.
The second set saw the referee called on continuously to make
decisions. However, Adrian – who was calling for most of the
decisions – began to find form and controlled the game winning
the set 11-6. Maintaining the same form in the third Adrian won
11-3. The same pattern emerged at the beginning of the fourth
set with Adrian increasing the pace with a string of volleys and
drops on Declan’s backhand. At 5-2 down Declan looked as though
he was going to be runner-up for a second year in a row.
However, he began to find a better length and increased the
duration of the rallies. Adrian appeared to tire a little and
lost the edge to his winning game. With Adrian needing to change
the game pattern, Declan won 9 points without reply and secured
the fourth 111-5. The crowd at this stage were eager for the
fifth set. Who would be the victor in this contest of giants.
At 2-2 Adrian appeared to lose his focus after a discussion with
the referee and went 8-2 down, Declan was playing some fantastic
squash and the retrieving at the front of the court was
brilliant given the height of both men. With Adrian losing focus
and having several chats with the referee Declan began to urge
the crowd to support him after winning an amazing rally. With a
series of errors from Adrian – 5 tins in seven rallies – Declan
was 10-3 up with seven match balls.
Adrian decided to go for broke and played some outrageous
winners saving 5 match balls. With the score at 10-8 Adrian went
for an overhead crosscourt nick. It clipped the top of the tin
and Declan was the Gillen Markets Irish Open Champion.
17-22 Apr, Dublin, Ireland, $15k
 Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (26m)
[Q] Ondrej Uherka (Cze)
 Abdulla Al Tamimi
11/13, 6/11, 4/12, 11/2, 11/6 (64m)
 Youssef Soliman
 Youssef Soliman
11/7, 11/1, 11/8 (40m)
 Adrian Waller
 Adrian Waller
11/9, 6/11, 3/11, 11/5, 11/8 (68m)
 Declan James
 Youssef Soliman (Egy)
11/5, 9/11, 11/3, 10/12, 11/3 (80m)
Kristian Frost (Den)
 Ben Coleman (Eng)
12/10, 12/10, 7/11, 11/4 (41m)
Evan Williams (Nzl)
 Ben Coleman
11/5, 11/9, 11/8 (34m)
 Adrian Waller
 Adrian Waller (Eng)
11/5, 11/3, 7/11, 13/11 (47m)
[wc] Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
Shehab Essam (Egy)
9/11, 11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (41m)
 Charles Sharpes (Eng)
9/11, 11/4, 11/1, 8/1 rtd (49m)
 Mazen Gamal
 Mazen Gamal
11/7, 11/7, 6/11, 11/5 (64m)
 Declan James
Dougie Kempsell (Sco)
11/6, 11/6, 11/5 (33m)
 Mazen Gamal (Egy)
[Q] Jens Schoor (Ger)
11/7, 11/2, 6/11, 11/9 (41m)
 Todd Harrity (Usa)
 Todd Harrity
10/12, 11/8, 11/8, 11/4 (54m)
 Declan James
Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
11/8, 11/7, 13/11 (53m)
 Declan James (Eng)
Ondrej Uherka (Cze) 3-1 Carlos Cornes (Esp)
16/14, 3/11, 11/8, 11/8 (71m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) 3-0 Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas)
11/5, 11/7, 11/6 (28m)
Dougie Kempsell (Sco) 3-0
Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) 11/8, 11/8, 11/3 (50m)
Evan Williams (Nzl) 3-0 Ben Grindrod (Nzl)
11/1, 11/8, 11/2 (25m)
Carlos Cornes (Esp) bye
Ondrej Uherka (Cze) 3-1 Tom Ford (Eng)
11/8, 6/11, 11/8, 11/3 (47m)
Mohd Syafiq Kamal (Mas) 3-1 Scott Gillanders (Irl)
11/8, 11/3, 5/11, 11/3 (40m)
Jens Schoor (Ger) 3-0 Sean Conroy (Irl)
7/1 rtd (9m)
Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) 3-0 Brian Byrne (Irl)
11/6, 11/3, 11/9 (45m)
Dougie Kempsell (Sco) 3-2 George Parker (Eng) 8/11,
5/11, 11/6, 11/4, 11/9 (74m)
Ben Grindrod (Nzl) 3-0 Lance Beddoes (Nzl)
11/5, 11/3, 13/11 (28m)
Evan Williams (Nzl) 3-0 Conor O'Hare (Irl)
11/6, 11/2, 11/4 (20m)
17-22 Apr, Dublin, Ireland, $15k
 Millie Tomlinson (Eng)
11/5, 11/9, 11/5 (33m)
[Q] Tinne Gilis (Bel)
 Millie Tomlinson
11/2, 11/0, 11/8 (17m)
 Chloe Mesic
 Millie Tomlinson
11/5, 11/8, 11/8
 Milou van der Heijden
 Millie Tomlinson
2/11, 11/8, 7/11, 11/9, 11/4 (61m)
 Nele Gilis
 Chloe Mesic (Fra)
13/11, 11/7, 11/6 (22m)
Reyna Pacheco (Usa)
 Samantha Teran (Mex)
11/3, 11/4, 11/6 (24m)
[Q] Eva Fertekova (Cze)
 Samantha Teran
11/7, 11/8, 7/11, 11/9 (39m)
 Milou van der Heijden
 Milou van der Heijden (Ned)
9/11, 11/6, 11/4, 11/7 (29m)
Tessa ter Sluis (Ned)
[wc] Hannah Craig (Irl)
11/4, 11/7, 11/2 (19m)
 Hana Ramadan (Egy)
 Hana Ramadan
11/8, 14/12, 11/8 (41m)
11/6, 7/11, 11/13, 13/11, 11/5 (82m)
 Nele Gilis
Julianne Courtice (Eng)
9/11, 11/1, 11/3, 9/11, 12/10 (48m)
 Rachael Chadwick (Eng)
Alison Thomson (Sco)
12/10, 16/14, 11/5 (47m)
 Amanda anders-Murphy (Nzl)
] Amanda anders-Murphy
8/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/13, 11/4 (78m)
 Nele Gilis
Ineta Mackevica (Lat)
5/11, 11/8, 11/7, 11/4 (4m)
 Nele Gilis (Bel)
Tinne Gilis (Bel) 3-0 Makgosi Peloakgosi (Rsa)
11/7, 11/5, 11/7 (21m)
Eva Fertekova (Cze) 3-2
Nadia Pfister (Sui) 6/11, 11/4, 11/6, 4/11, 11/9
Tessa ter Sluis (Ned) w/o Farah Momen (Egy)
Ineta Mackevica (Lat) 3-0
Elspeth Young (Sco)
11/6, 11/7, 11/7 (21m)
Makgosi Peloakgosi (Rsa) 3-1 Nia Davies (Wal)
12/10, 11/8, 6/11, 11/6 (26m)
Eva Fertekova (Cze) 3-0 Sophie O'Rourke (Irl)
11/5, 11/7, 13/11 (27m)
Elspeth Young (Sco) 3-0 Ciara Moloney (Il)
13/11, 11/4, 11/9 (25m)
Semi final day at the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN.
Current women's champion Millie Tomlinson was up first, playing
Dutch champion Milou van der Heijden. Millie started very well,
hitting a super length from the start. She raced to a 8-2 lead.
Milou got another 3 points but Millie won it 11/5. The 2nd was
much closer with the 2 players trading point for point. They
both were very tight and making few mistakes. Millie took a
tight 2nd 11/8. The third was exactly the same but van der
Heijden let a gap grow a little and Tomlinson finished it off
well 11/8 to win 3-0 in 36min.
The other women's semi final between Julianne Courtice and Nele
Gilis was an incredible match. The balance swayed between both
players and was a true display of how squash should be played.
Gilis won the first 11/6 and looked in full control. Courtice
came right back into it in the 2nd and 3rd winning both. All
four corners of the court were being used and the players
strength was truly tested. Courtice led the 4th 5-0 and it
looked ominous for Gilis. Nele dug deep and Julianne made a few
mistakes; Gilis takes the 4th 13/11.
So onto the deciding game. It went to 5 all. Gilis shot making
now started to stretch Courtice and Gilis won the 5th 11/5. A
super semi final for the huge crowd.
In the men's semi finals, Adrian Waller player Yoissef Soliman,
the winner in the West of Ireland PSA Open last week. They had
not played each other before. Waller game plan was to make it
tough for him, as he had a tough week playing a lot of squash.
Waller was very controlled and nearly looked in slow motion at
times, such was his movement and length. Waller won the first
11/7. In the second he was even more dominate and reeled off 9
points without reply, to win the second 11/1. In the third
Soliman came back at him a bit in the middle. Waller just
settled himself and took it on again to win relatively easily
11/8 and 3-0 in 40min.
The last match of the night was another cracker. Last year's
beaten finalist Declan James of England played Egyptian, Mazen
Gamal. Both players were very tight in the first game and there
was nothing in it. James made a couple of lovely winners and
forced some mistakes from Gamal to win it 11/7. Gamal settled
into the 2nd game and started to find a better length. He led
5/2 before James then got 5 points in a row.
James was forcing Gamal now and won the 2nd 11/7. The 3rd
followed the same pattern except at the end of this game Gamal
was getting the shots, with James now making some mistakes. So
2-1 to James with the crowd willing another 5 seter.
Gamal started to look a little tired and James went into a 7/4
lead before Gamal reacted but not for long, as James turned it
up once again to win 11/5 and 3-1 in 64min.
So a night of superb semi finals and we now look forward to 2
super finals tomorrow.
Quarter finals day at the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN saw some
super matches. First match of the day was between current
champion, Millie Tomlinson of England and Chloe Mesic of France.
Millie was in great form and was ruthless in her approach. She
didn't give Mesic a chance. The score was 3-0 and the champion
looks to be determined to hold onto her title.
In the 2nd of the Women's quarters, Dutch No.1 Milou van der
Heijden played Mexican and former top 20 player, Samantha Teran.
This was a really sporting contest, played honestly between the
2 players and most enjoyable for the large crowd. Milou won a
close 1st & 2nd game and Samantha the 3rd. The rallies were nip
and tuck with nothing to choose between the 2 players.
The 4th game was exactly the same with each point going to one
player and then the other. In the end, Milou got it 11/9, but it
could very easily have gone the other way. A super match!
The next women's quarter was somewhat different with Hana
Ramadan & Julianne Courtice really going at each other and the
referee. A lot of decisions were argued over. There was some
very competitive squash and Courtice won the 1st game 11/8. In
the next game Ramadan had 3 game balls but lost it 14/12, a game
which lasted 17 min alone. The 3rd was similar but Ramadan ran
out of steam and it finished 11/8, so 3-0 to Courtice.
The last quarter final was a classic match between No.2 seed
Nele Gilis and Amanda Landers Murphy. Must be some Irish blood
there somewhere! This match lasted 78 min and had the crowd
enthralled. The first 3 games were very close with some super
striking of the ball and movement by both players. Gilis went
2-1 up. The 4th game was really super with Landers Murphy
requiring 3 game balls before she won it. She looked a bit tired
when she came out in the 5th and Gilis went 7/1 up very quickly.
Amanda then rallied and brought it back 4/7, but Nele went again
and won it 11/4 to win the match. A really great match.
In the men's quarters the No. 1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi played
Youssef Soliman. Tamimi went 2-0 up but Soliman wasn't finished
and he worked really hard to win the 3rd 14-12. Tamimi lost
interest in the 4th immediately and lost it in 3 min, 11/2.
Tamimi won the 1st two points but then Soliman took over again
and won it 11/6.
The second men's quarter was tough with Ben Coleman & Adrain
Waller going at it from the start. Waller beat Irishman, Arthur
Gaskin last night. The 1st game went to Waller 11/5. In the 2nd
& 3rd there was very little between them, but Waller came out
the victor, winning them 11/8, 11/9. Coleman wasn't happy with
some of the referee decisions and lost a bit of focus, certainly
at the end when he lost the last 7 points without reply.
The match between Egyptians Shehab Essam & Mazen Gamal started
at a great pace with both players hitting the ball very hard and
to a length, with very few shorts shots. It looked as if it was
going to be a slugging match. Essam won the 1st game 11/9 in 18
min. Gamal then started to mix it up a bit and it paid
dividends, as he won the 2nd and 3rd, 11/4, 11/1. in the fourth
Gamal raced into a 6-0 lead. Then at 8/1, Essam lay down on the
court and didn't move.
Thankfully 2 doctors in the crowd attended to him immediately
and medics arrived to look after him. He came round and was
medically checked and walked off the court, thankfully OK.
Englishman Declan James & Todd Harrity from the USA had a tough
1st game with both players playing to a high tempo. Harrity
battled to win it 12/10. James settled into his game in the 2nd,
playing some lovely drop shots to win it 11/8, the 3rd was more
of the same, so 2-1 to James. In the 4th Harrity lost
concentration and James raced into 7/2 lead. Harrity tried but
couldn't stop James winning it 11/4 and the match.
|19-Apr, Round One:
Irish players Hannah Craig and Arthur Gaskin, both went out of
the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN today.
Gaskin played Adrian Waller the WR No.38 and went 2-0 down.
Arthur rallied and won the 3rd and had 2 game balls to win the
4th. However Waller dug in and got the win 3-1. The Junior,
Hannah Craig from Belfast played Hana Ramadan from Egypy and
lost in 3 games to the much more experienced player.
In all there were 16 matches in the Women's and Men's first
round. The number 1 seed in the women's draw, Millie Tomlinson,
the reigning champion had a straightforward win over the young
Belgian player Tinne Gilis 3/0.
The No. 2 women's seed Tinne's sister Nele made sure the family
were in the 2nd round, with a good win over Latvian qualifier
Ineta Mackevica, 3-1. It was a good competitive match and
Mackevica ranked 50 places behind Gilis played very well. Last
year's finalist Rachael Chadwick gave the crowd full value for
money with her passion and running commentary during the match.
It went to 5 games and was very close with Julianne Courtice
winning the 5th, 12/10.
Former top 20 player Mexico's, Samantha Teran had a good win
over Czech qualifier Eva Fertecova 3-0.
In the men's round 1, Number 1 and 2 seeds, Abdulla Mohd Al
Tamini and Declan James both had 3/0 wins. Neither had too much
bother but it took James 53min to put India's Mahesh Mangaonkar
There were some super rallies in this match. The higher ranked
Charles Sharpes from England had a tough match with a lot of
debate with the referee. Playing Shehab Essam from Egypt,
Sharpes won the first 11/ 9, but had a tough 3 games to follow
and lost 3/1.
The No. 7 seed Youssef Soliman from Egypt had a super match with
Dane, Kristian Frost. Soliman won the first and it went back and
forth to 2 all. Frost worked very hard to stay in it, versus the
higher ranked Soliman and in the 5th it showed, where he lost it
11/3. This match lasted 80 minutes and the crowd got great
Round 2 starts tomorrow at 12 noon again.
In the first of the three women's matches on today, we had
number 1 seed in the qualifiers Tinne Gilis playing the
South African Makgosi Peloakgosi. In a competitive match,
Tinne came through in 3 games. She played some very tidy squash
and now plays number 1 seed and defending champion Millie
The next women's match was between Czech Eva Fertekova
and Swiss player Nadia Pfister. Both players started
nervously and made several mistakes. Nadia started marginally
quicker and won the 1st game 11/6. Eva settled into the match
and won the next 2 games well to 4 and 6. Nadia playing better
squash at this stage, leveled it to 2 all. The last game was
marred by mistakes from Nadia which cost her the match; losing
the 5th 11/9.
With Farah Momen withdrawing, it meant Tessa Ter Sluis
had a bye into the main draw.
The last match was between the Scot, Elspeth Young and
Latvian Ineta Mackevica. Ineta used her height advantage
to good effect over Elspeth winning the first game 11/6. The
Scot started the 2nd & 3rd games well and was up in both but
Ineta finished the stronger in both to win out 3-0.
In the Men's event the first match was between number 1 seed
Carlos Cornes from Spain and Ondrej Uherka from
Czech. The first game was a cracking one with it going over and
back until it got to 14 all. Both players were playing very well
and the rallies were super to watch. Uherka won it 16/14.
The 2nd was all Cornes and he won it 11/3. The referee had to
work hard with many of his decisions being questioned by both
players. Again the last 2 games were grueling with many long
rallies but Uherka came through to win both 11/9 & 11/8.
The 2nd match up between Jens Schoor from Germany and
Mohd Syafig Kamal from Malaysia was a much more
straightforward affair with Schoor winning well 3-0. Kamal never
really got into it.
The match betwen Scot Douglas Kempsell and Belgian Jan
Van Der Herrewegen, who beat Irishman Brian Byrne yesterday,
was a super match. There were really long rallies and some
really good short play at the front. Even though it ended up 3-0
to the Scot, the match was close and lasted 50 minutes. Kempsell
retrieved beautifully on occasions and then played some lovely
drops immediately after.
The last match between the two New Zealanders Evan Williams
and Ben Grindrod was a rather short affair, with
Williams winning comprehensively in 25 minutes. Grindrod was
never in the match really, despite rallying somewhat in the 2nd.
But it finished with a 3-0 win for Williams.
So onto the main Draw tomorrow, which starts at 12 noon on Court
1 and 2.
IRISH SQUASH TV will be streaming matches from Court 1 all day
The first day of the GillenMarkets Irish Open 2017 started today
at Fitzwilliam LTC in Dublin.
Unfortunately, none of the Irish players won their matches
despite good performances. Unfortunately a couple of the women
entrants withdrew late leaving us with only three women's
Irish players, Sophie O'Rourke and Ciara Moloney both competed
well but lost out to very good opponents, Eva Fertekova and
Elspeth Young. In the men's event Sean Conroy got injured in his
match v Jens Schoor of Germany and had to retire in the first
Brian Byrne played with his usual energy and skill however his
opponent Jan Van Den Herrewegen, world ranked 89 played really
well and won the first two games 11/6 & 11/3. The third game was
much closer with the game going back and forth. With Van Der
Herrewegan tiring, Brian had a chance, but just couldn't get
over the line. So it finished 3-0.
Douglas Kempsell of Scotland had a super win over George Parker,
having been 2 games down. In a 74 minute match, Kempsell dug in
well and won the last 3 games to win 3-2 in a hard fought match.
In the all New Zealand match Ben Grindrod beat the higher ranked
Lance Beddoes 3-0 in convincing fashion.
Another lower ranked player Ondrej Uherka of the Czech Republic
beat Tom Ford of England 3-1. Tom leveled it one-all but Ondrej
finished the 3rd game strongly and in the 4th won 8 points in a
row, to win the fourth 11-3.
The other two Irish players in qualifying, Conor O'Hare and
junior Scott Gillanders both had tough matches. Scott lost to
Malaysian, Mohd Syafig Kamal 3-1. A great experience for Scott,
which will stand to him for the future.
In the last match Evan Williams had too much for Conor O'Hare
and won 3-0.
Qualifying finals start tomorrow at 12 noon.