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British Open: Willstrop wins marathon fightback against Pilley

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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RESPECT: James Willstrop consoles Cam Pilley after a marathon quarter-final. Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS
RESPECT: James Willstrop consoles Cam Pilley after a marathon quarter-final. Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS

Allam British Open 2013 – Fri 24th May, Day SEVEN:

Quarter-Finals at Hull & East Riding Squash Club

[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0 [6] Joelle King (Nzl) 13/11, 11/8, 11/1 (35m)
[4] Grégory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0 Tarek Momen (Egy) 11/8, 11/7, 15/13 (81m 59 playing)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng) 3-0 [12] Kasey Brown (Aus) 11/4, 11/3, 11/4 (25m)
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-0 [5] Karim Darwish (Egy) 11/6, 11/2, 12/10 (40m)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 3-0 [8] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 9/11, 11/6, 11/4, 11/5 (42m)
[1] Ramy Ashour (Egy) 3-0 [8] Borja Golan (Esp) 11/7 , 11/4, 11/7 (33m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1 [14] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 11/7, 11/6, 9/11, 11/8 (50m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-2 Cameron Pilley (Aus) 9/11, 9/11, 14/12, 11/6, 11/2 (107m)

Top seeds through to semi-finals 

From STEVE CUBBINS

With high winds and cold temperatures in Hull, the decision was taken to move the quarter-finals to the Hull and East Riding Club, while work was undertaken on the showcourt in the KC Stadium in anticipation of better weather (the forecast is good) and sellout crowds for the weekend’s semis and finals.

First up on the club’s glass court was defending champion Nicol David. The Malaysian was given a stern test by New Zealand’s Joelle King for two games, but the four-time champion took the match by the scruff of the neck to complete a straight-games win.

Nicol David in top form against Joelle King
Nicol David in top form against Joelle King

Gregory Gaultier overcame Tarek Momen in a match that was interrupted a few times due to a slightly slippy floor, but the Frenchman managed to stay ahead of an equally-determined opponent in each of the three games.

Alison Waters turned in a superb performance to dispatch Australia’s Kasey Brown in straight games, and further English success followed as defending champion Nick Matthew was almost as efficient in his straight-game defeat of Karim Darwish.

The evening session saw two Egyptian followed by two English wins.

First Raneem El Weleily came from a game down to beat England’s Jenny Duncalf, then top seed Ramy Ashour kept his year-long unbeaten run going with a three-nil win over Borja Golan – who took him to five last year.

Ramy Ashour maintains his winning form against Borja Golan
Ramy Ashour maintains his winning form against Borja Golan

Laura Massaro reached the semi- finals for the second year in a row with a nailbiting four-game win over her Egyptian nemesis Omneya Abdel Kawy, and the day concluded with an astonishing comeback win for three-time finalist James Willstrop, who found himself two games down and into extra points in the third against Cameron Pilley.

ALL OVER: Pilley sinks to his knees
ALL OVER: Pilley sinks to his knees

 

Willstrop survived that and went on to take the next two with increasing authority, and described the 107-minute marathon as “so intense it’s brain ache.”

Full reports, quotes and photos available on the official tournament site: www.BritishOpenSquash.net 
 
and on the British Open BLOG: http://britishopensquash.blogspot.co.uk/

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