To the Glass Court for the Quarter Finals!

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International SPORT Group British Open, Manchester England

10 – 14 September 2009

BY Arthur Curran

Day 5: Women’s Quarter Finals

The Championship Poster


Here we are today at the National Squash Centre in Manchester for the quarter finals, with some great matches to look forward to.

Rachael serves

Rachael Grinham (AUS) (2) vs. Laura Lengthorn (ENG) (6)
First match up promised to be a cracker and of course we were not disappointed. Laura was well up for this match, taking an early lead 4-1, Rachael then pegged her back slightly to 3-4 but Laura then played some lovely shots to lead at 8-3. Although Rachel pulled a couple of points back Laura managed to serve out to take the first game 11-5. In the second Laura took a fairly comfortable lead 5-0, but then Rachael found her length and rhythm, and playing in her usual retrieve from anywhere style she moved well into an 8-6 lead.  Laura then slowed Rachael’s points run down to take game ball at 10-9, but Rachael won the next point to level at 10-10. The tie breaker was well contested but Rachael finally took the game 14-12 and leveled the match at 1 game each. The third game was again  closely fought in the early stages with Laura taking a slight lead 6-4, but Rachael then went on a scoring spree allowing Laura only one more point on her way to take the game 11-7. Again in the fourth Laura took a slight lead 3-2, Rachael again took five consecutive points to lead -/3 and she then stayed those four points clear to win the game 11-7 and the match 3 games to 1.


Jenny in action

Jenny Duncalf (ENG) (4) vs. Vanessa Atkinson (NED) (8)
Second quarter final was between the current British National Champion Jenny Duncalf, who was actually born in Holland, and several times Dutch National Champion Vanessa Atkinson, who was actually born in England. Jenny started off in a real hurry, racing out to a 7-0 lead, Vanessa then scored her only point of the game and Jenny served out to take the game 11-1. The second game was very much closer with both players virtually trading point for point all the way to 10-10, but then Vanessa took the tie break to win 12-10. In the third Jenny again found her momentum to take a 6-0 lead, Vanessa then, with the aid of two tins from Jenny, pulled back three points, Jenny then took the next three to lead 9-3, then Vanessa pulled back another three before Jenny served out to win 11-6. Vanessa took the first two points of the fourth game, but from then only took another two points whilst Jenny raced to an 11-4 game win and a 3 games to 1 match win.

Alison and Donna shake hands at he end of the match

Alison and Donna shake hands at he end of the match

Alison Waters (ENG) (3) vs. Donna Urquhart (AUS) (Q)
This third quarter final matched up No. 3 seed Alison Waters, world ranked No 6, with Australian girl Donna Urquhart, world ranked No 31, who had come through the qualifying rounds, and defeated No. 7 seed Isabelle Stoehr yesterday.

Donna started off full of confidence and with some great play she took an early lead of 4-1 then, with Alison only managing to take two points in between, she moved to a 10-3 lead, game ball, and with Alison saving 3 game balls to go to 6-10, Donna then took the next point to win the first game 11-6.

In the second Donna scored the first point, but then Alison took control to lead 5-1 then 8-2, and took the game 11-5. Alison then really stepped up the pace in the third, racing to a 7-0 lead, Donna pulled two points back but then only scored one more whilst Alison took the game 11-3. Donna dug in at the start of the fourth, keeping pace with Alison up to 5-5, then Alison eased ahead to 9-5, and despite Donna taking the next two points Alison took the next two to win the game 11-7 and the match 3 games to 1.

A good win for Alison, but take nothing away from Donna’s display throughout this tournament, her first ever here in England. She has won many new fans here in England with her grace and beauty both on and off court, including this writer, and now she is based here at Harrogate in England we will hopefully see more of her.


Nicol gets some advice between games from coach Liz Irving.

Nicol David (MAS) (1)  vs. Madeline Perry (IRL) (5)
Our favourite Squash Star started well taking an early 3-0 lead, Madeline then pulled back to lead 4-3, Nicol took three points for a 6-4 lead and although Madeline took a further two points Nicol won the game well at 11-6.

In the second Madeline took an early lead 3-0, Nicol pulled back to 4-3, then it was point for point up to 7-6 in favour of Nicol. Madeline then took three straight points for a 9-7 lead, Nicol then pulling them back to lead 10-9, game ball. Madeline was not finished yet though, taking the next two points to have game point herself at 11-10. Nicol then took another two for game point at 12-11, and although Madeline saved the first game ball Nicol served out to win the game 14-12. What a match this was turning out to be.

In the third Nicol took out an early lead of 7-4, but Madeline slowed her down to level the score at 9-9. However Nicol got the first game ball at 10-9 with a tin from Madeline. But then Nicol reciprocated with an unusual tin herself to level at 10-10. Madeline then with another tin from herself gave Nicol another game point at 11-10 but saved that one with a great volley to level 11-11. This match was now really showing the fighting Irish spirit of Madeline as with a lovely drop shot she led 12-11, game ball, but then finished the next rally by putting the ball into the tin – 12-12. But still this match was not over. Another tin from Nicol gave Madeline game ball again, a great volley from deep in the back court from Nicol saved that one, but another lovely volley from Madeline gave her game ball again. She then served out to take the game 15-13.

Madeline then really started to come into the game now, looking much more comfortable around the court, taking an early lead of 5-2, then with one into the tin gave Nicol another point, then saving the next one with a lovely long range drop shot and moving comfortably into a 9-3 lead. Nicol did take the next two points but then showing signs of distress she finished the next two rallies by putting the ball into the tin to allow Madeline to take the game 11-5.

After a great fightback from Madeline it was now two games each. Nicol seemed very nervy at the start of the fifth and deciding game allowing Madeline to take an early 6-2 lead. Nicol pulled back three for 5-6, Madeline pulled back two for 8-5, Nicol took the next two for 7-8, Madeline took another two for a lead of 10-7, match ball, and although Nicol took another two points for 9-10, Madeline took the next point to win the game 11-9 and the match 3 games to 2. Although a shame for us squashstars fans with Nicol losing, it really was a great fightback from Madeline to get the best win of her career, after losing fourteen matches to Nicol, she finally managed to beat her—and did she show her delight!

Nicol posts on her twitter, “Just lost to Madeline Perry 3-2 earlier. She played well and I’ll take on what happened for the next time.”

So, unfortunately, no more squashstar players left in the tournament, but of course we will continue to bring you the results and reports right through to the final.

Women’s Quarter Final Results:
Rachel Grinham (AUS) (2) bt. Laura Massaro (ENG) (6) 5/11, 14/12, 11/7, 11/7 (53m)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) (4) bt. Vanessa Atkinson (NED) (8) 11/1, 10/12, 11/6, 11/4 (39m)
Alison Waters (ENG) (3) bt. Donna Urquhart (AUS) (Q) 6/11, 11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (31m)
Madeline Perry (IRL) (5) bt. Nicol David (MAS) (1) 6/11, 12/14, 15/13, 11/5, 11/9(76m)

Update on the men’s quarter finals:
Peter Barker (ENG) (6) bt. Gregory Gaultier (FRA) (2) 11/7, 7/11,11/3, 7/11, 11/8 (76m)
Nick Matthew (ENG) (4) bt. Daryl Selby (ENG) 11/7, 11/5, 11/8 (48m)
Amr Shabana (EGY) (2) bt. David Palmer (AUS) (5) 11/8, 14/12, 4/11, 19/17 (86m)
James Wilstrop (ENG) (10) bt. Mohd Azlan Iskander (MAS) (12) 11/5, 11/6, 12/10 (47m)

Today’s (Sunday) semi finals are as follows:
Rachael Grinham (AUS) (2) vs. Jenny Duncalf (ENG) (4)
Alison Waters (ENG) (3) vs. Madeline Perry (IRL) (5)

Nick Matthew (ENG) (4) vs. Peter Barker (ENG) (6)
Amr Shabana (EGY) (3) vs. James Wilstrop (ENG) (10)

Check out more photos here on our Facebook Fan Page

DSC_0027Arthur Curran lives in Manchester, England and is an avid squash fan, traveling to places like Belfast, Madrid, Monte Carlo, New York, Connecticut, Dublin and Kuala Lumpur to watch major tournaments, as well as extensively in the UK, and have on several occasions reported tournaments for Although too old and too ill to be able to play the game he is fascinated by the athleticism and skill involved in the game and with the friendliness shown by all the players.

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