Day THREE

Cayman Islands Open  11-17 April 2010 Grand Cayman

 
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"The Cayman Open is run by CINSA (Cayman Islands National Squash Association)

 

Up ] SEMIS ] QUARTERS ] Day FOUR ] [ Day THREE ] Day TWO ] Day ONE ]


Panoramic view from Camana Bay Apartment ... full size version, and more, in the Gallery

Tue 5th, Day THREE 

Women's Round One:

[7] Camille Serme (Fra)
bt Low Wee Wern (Mas)   
        11/8, 11/6, 8/11, 11/2 (46m)
[5] Madeline Perry (Irl)
bt [Q] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
       6/11, 18/16, 3/11, 11/9, 11/8 (56m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus) bt [4] Alison Waters (Eng)
       11/5, 11/9, 9/11, 10/12, 11/7 (52m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
bt Joelle King (Nzl)
       11/7, 2/11, 11/3, 9/11, 11/3 (54m)

Men's Quarter-Finals:

Richard Chin (Guy) bt Gavin Cumberbatch (Bar)
        11/4, 11/3, 11/4 (21m)
Alister Walker (Eng) bt Colin Ramasra (T&T)
         11/3, 11/8, 11/3 (30m)

 

Camille Serme (Fra) bt Low Wee Wern (Mas)
        11/8, 11/6, 8/11, 11/2 (46m)

Solid Serme through to quarters

Camille Serme opened first round proceedings at the South Sound Squash Club with a hard-fought four-game victory over Low Wee Wern to make the Cayman quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

The opening two games saw both players adopting a cautious approach, trying to keep their opponent at the back and offering limited volleying opportunities, as both are particularly good at that aspect of the game.

What openings there were tended to come to the Frenchwoman, and she won several points with dropshots into the backhand corner from the middle of the court. Low kept in touch though, and it wasn't until 8-all in the first and 6/5 in the second that Serme was able to make her marginal advantage tell, taking three points in a row to close out each game.

Unforced errors had been conspicuously absent in those two games, but both made several at the start of the third, and Low soon had a 6/3 advantage. Serme tightened up to pull level at 7-all, but two more errors put her under pressure again and the Malaysian finished it off with two dying lengths.

The first three games took 15, 13 and 12 minutes, but Camille was dominant from the start of the fourth, and Wee Wern's challenge faded quickly as Camille finished the game off 11/2 in just 6 minutes.

Overall a solid performance from the French champion, who is looking forward to a return to the Camana Bay glass court.

"I was a little nervous at the start, I didn't want to attack too much it was more wait and see, but it was still a hard fight.

"It started to become tough physically, and I made a few errors in the third. I played better in the fourth, no mistakes and she was getting a bit tired.

"I'm looking forward to playing on the glass court again, I haven't seen the new layout but it's sure to be spectacular again ..."


Early in the first game Camille powered a drive straight into the SquashPics camera box ...

Madeline Perry (Irl) bt [Q] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
           6/11, 18/16, 3/11, 11/9, 11/8 (56m)

"Way too good for 17"

It's your first match after reaching your highest ever ranking of world number three, you're playing a 17 year-old qualifier for a place in the quarter-finals, shouldn't be a problem.

Now that's definitely not what Madeline Perry thought, as much as she could be excused for doing so. She knew that Amanda Sobhy was the world junior champion, and she knew that Jaclyn Hawkes had to play "the best I've ever played" to sneak a 3/1 win over the young American last week.

Even so, the experienced Irishwoman almost certainly didn't expect the pounding she got from her young pretender fort much of the match. From the outset Sobhy was attacking, powering in fierce drives and deceptive boasts that produced more opportunities to attack. Not many players have the ability to overpower Madeline, but it was almost as if Natalie Grainger had reappeared, and in just 6 minutes the Irishwoman was one down.

She was 4/0 down in the second too, but now Sobhy started tinning, again and again. The worrying thing from Perry's point of view was that in the first 20 points Sobhy made no less than 8 unforced errors, but it was still 10-all.

Somehow Perry managed to hang in there through extra points, with Sobhy still attacking but tinning less. It took her six game balls before she could come off court, relieved to be at one-all after a 17-minute game.

It was only a temporary respite though, Sobhy was on the attack in the third, and in six minutes she was back in front, 11/3.

The final two games followed the same pattern, Sobhy winning points with her power and attack - so many times she would put in a tight boast and then thump the weak return down the line for a winner - while Perry for the most part hung on as best she could, hoping for an opportunity, but more likely an error.

And she did it. From 9-all in the fourth and from 8-7 in the fifth she found a way to win, although even she probably doesn't know quite how she did it.

The players slumped down on the side walls and MC Myron came on court sat down beside Amanda for one of the best impromptu interviews I've seen, a fitting end to one of best matches I've seen ...

How do you feel?  TIRED!

I made a few mistakes at the wrong time, but Madeline's of of the most experienced players on the tour, she's been under these sort of pressure situations so many times, she played well at the crucial times.

How old are you and what's next?

I'm 17, I'm off to a tournament in Texas next week, then I'm going to study at Harvard University.

"She's WAY too good for seventeen !!

"I'm one of the oldest on tour and she's one of the youngest - I scraped through today but it won't be long before she's beating me.

"She hits the ball so hard, and her low hard kills are excellent. That was just a case of grinding it out, it's all I could do against her.

"I just kept telling myself that if I won I'd get a day off to recover!"






Donna Urquhart (Aus) bt Alison Waters (Eng)
       11/5, 11/9, 9/11, 10/12, 11/7 (52m)

You can't keep a good Donna down ...

"I feel like I've earned a rest day," said a delighted Donna Urquhart after pulling off "one of if not the" best wins of her career to beat Alison Waters in a third consecutive 50-minute plus match for the Aussie left-hander.

Urquhart came out firing from the word go, keeping the pace fast, not letting Waters settle, firing in winners and making the Englishwoman look at times slow to get to the ball. The first was over in just 6 minutes, and  in a couple of minutes more she had a 5/1 lead in the second.

Waters started to get more into the game, using the lob a lot to slow the pace down and worked her way back to 8-all. She went 9/8 with a rally that saw her volley, volley then volley some more until finally Urquhart couldn't get it, but the Australian returned the favour in the next, chasing, chasing and chasing some more until she finally got a loose volley to put away. Buoyed by that, she took the next two points and led two-nil.

Waters had the upper hand in the third, stretching from 2-all to 7/2, and although Urquhart battled back to as close as 7/8, Waters finished it off 11/9 on a stroke that left the Aussie holding her head ruefully.

Conventional wisdom would have said that was it, the higher-ranked player would take advantage of a tired challenger's disappointment. Not a bit of it.

Urquhart came out for the fourth as determined, running as hard as ever. 7/4, 9/7 and 9/8 she led. Waters went for a volley kill off the forehand wall, tinned it to give Urquhart two match balls. On the next rally the exact same shot presented itself to Waters and, bravely, she went for it and this time got it. The bravery paid off as she took the next three points to force a decider.

There was no let up from Donna in the fifth either. She would run, chase, hit hard, work hard and get a point or two in front. Alison would prevent the gap from opening with crisp, clean winners, time after time. 4/2, 6/3, 8/5, 9/6 Donna led.

Alison pinged in a long drop to pull one back, but the final rally epitomised the match - Donna chased down everything Alison could throw at her, finally got a loose boast she could attack, and drove it gleefully into the corner for a win she really, really worked hard for. She deserves that rest day, she really does.

"She was hitting lots of winners from all over the shop, and I couldn't put her under as much pressure as she was putting me under tonight, she was the better player on the day," said Alison generously.

"Trust me, I'd win in three if I could!

"All my winners were going in in the first, but I knew I couldn't keep that going for a whole match so I had to start playing a bit safer.

"I seemed to get a good lead in each game, but she kept coming back at me, I couldn't get away. I was trying to keep it tight but if my length wasn't good enough she was all over me, it made me make sure I got the length.

"I was disappointed to get to two-all, I thought I'd messed it up, but I never lost hope and the thought of losing when I'd played well and been ahead spurred me on.

"I can't believe it, really, I've had some disappointing results in the last two or three weeks, even though I was playing well in training. I feel like I've turned it around this week, it's good to put it together in matches.

"I know Ali's been out for a while, but she's still world number five, and this is one if, if not my best, wins, so I'll take it!"

Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Joelle King (Nzl)
             11/7, 2/11, 11/3, 9/11, 11/3 (54m)

Duncalf denies Down Under Double

Well, you couldn't ask for more from tonight's women's matches really - two five setters of 50 minutes plus, with the fortunes of the players swinging one way then the next.

Second seed Jenny Duncalf found herself up a determined Antipodean opponent in Joelle King, just as compatriot Alison Waters had against Donna Urquhart.

Duncalf had the smoother movement, the sweeter shots and the greater accuracy, but King possessed power to spare, enough to finish winning positions or to get herself out of trouble more easily than the Englishwoman could, but with that came an increased error count which would, in the end, prove telling.

You can take it as read that the rallies were generally long - you need to work an opening on the hot, bouncy courts here - and in each of the games it seemed to be a question of whether Duncalf could keep her opponent on a tight enough leash, or could King use that power to get on top and dominate.

Those two scenarios happened in roughly equal measure, and generally it was whoever got on top first would win the game, not like the ups and downs of the earlier match.

So that's how it went - Jenny on top in games one, three and five, Joelle dominant in games two and four (well, not so much in the fourth, but she led for the most part).

So Jenny goes through to Camana Bay, Joelle - "I played well in patches, but she capitalised on my errors and held the momentum once she got it" - knows she's within a whisker of the top girls ...

"I'm pleased to be through, it's always good to get really into a tournament - I've been here a couple of days and it's so nice it's easy to forget you're actually in a tournament!

"It was a good match, Joelle played well and I had to work hard to pull through.

"I felt I was playing well, I never lost confidence and knew I could find a way through, I had a 3/2 against Donna in the first round last year, this felt quite a similar match.

"I'm looking forward to playing at Camana Bay, although I always enjoy playing here, the atmosphere is great, it feels very ... homely ... [cue rapturous applause from the South Sound crowd]"

 


Joelle tins a sitter ...


South Sound Beach (200yds from the Club) at Dusk

Men's Quarter-Finals:

Richard Chin (Guy) bt Gavin Cumberbatch (Bar)
          11/4, 11/3, 11/4 (21m)
Alister Walker (Eng) bt Colin Ramasra (T&T)
         11/3, 11/8, 11/3 (30m)

'Steady Eddie' beats 'Galloping Gavin'

The first men's quarter-final pitched the 2007 and 2010 Caribbean Champions together - but it was '07 champ Gavin Cumberbatch who was the younger of the two by 14 years, Richard Chin having captured the title last year at the ripe old age of 41.

Richard's 'steady as she goes' style was in sharp contrast to the dreadlocked Bajan, who can't resist going for it at every opportunity. He gets some spectacular winners, but tonight he a lot more spectacular misses.

Richard played it safe and steady, moving his opponent and the ball from corner to corner, Gavin did the rest and in 21 minutes it was all over.

"Can you interview him first, I'm out of breath!" Gavin asked MC Myron, but managed to splutter something about having to go for it because he knew he couldn't outlast Steady Eddie ... or something like that.

"You have to be steady at my age," quipped the victor, "I can't shoot and run like him, it's just a necessity for survival!".

Second seed Alister Walker won an entertaining matchagainst defending champion Colin Ramasra (sorry guys, didn't see much!)
 


And it's Goodnight from South Sound ...

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