‘We were tough as boots,’ says James Willstrop as he and Declan James topple Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Doug Kempsell
By ALAN THATCHER and Special Correspondents
England will be chasing a hat-trick of titles in the WSF World Doubles Championships after reaching all three finals in Glasgow.
Top seeds Declan James and James Willstrop meet Scotland’s Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart in the men’s final, Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters face India’s Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the women’s final, and Adrian Waller partners Waters in the mixed final against India’s Saurav Ghosal and Pallikal Karthik.
In the men’s draw at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Scotland’s Greg Lobban reached his third and Rory Stewart his fifth World Doubles final as the No.6 seeds launched a dramatic fightback to beat England’s No.2 seeds Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller 2-1.
Having conceded the first game 11-7, Lobban and Stewart were able to disrupt the English pair’s rhythm and took the second game by the same scoreline before pressing their advancing with an 11-5 win in the decisive third game.
Afterwards, Lobban said: There’s no better incentive than a world championship final and even though we didn’t start our best, we knew we weren’t going to go down without a fight. It’s a special occasion in Glasgow, a home Games. To be in the World Championship final is a huge achievement and I’m really proud of how Rory stepped up today.”
There was some measure of revenge for England, though. In a mammoth 93-minute-long match, top seeds James and Willstrop beat Scotland’s No.5 seeds Alan Clyne and Douglas Kempsell 2-1 in the other men’s semi-final.
There was also some personal redemption for Waller as he and Alison Waters combined to beat Lobban and Lisa Aitken in the mixed doubles, with the English duo overturning three match balls before snatching an 11-10 win in the third.
“That was just a fight, wasn’t it,” Willstrop said afterwards. “I’m thrilled that we dug in. That was a real gutsy performance and it’s great if you know you can do that going into a final and hopefully a Commonwealth Games. We were as tough as boots!”
In joining Waters and Waller in the mixed doubles final are India’s Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik, after they downed Wales’ Joel Makin and Tesni Evans in an entertaining bout, taking the first game 11-9 before finishing the match with an impressive 11-5 win.
Speaking after their match, Pallikal Karthik – who give birth to twins last October, said: “For us women, our bodies go through a lot, day in and day out, and I think it’s important to believe in ourselves. What’s really worked for me is I’ve had a lot of support from family and friends and that’s why I’m here today, because a lot of people believed in me.”
In the women’s final, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters putdown a comeback from a spirited Malaysian team of Rachel Arnold and Sivasangari Subramaniam to take a 2-1 win.
The English pair took a hard-fought first game 11-9, only for the Malaysians to strike back with an 11-6 win in the second. Perry and Waters recovered quickly, though, taking the third in relative comfort, with an 11-3 win sending them through to the final.
Afterwards Perry said: “I think every game this week has given us confidence in different ways. They really came back at us there but we regrouped and found some solid squash and worked together really well. We communicate well on court and I think that helps when we’re trying to work things out. I think that’s what doubles is a lot of the time, adapting and working things out!”
Perry and Walters’ opponents in the final will be India’s Joshna Chinappa and Pallikal Karthik, after the Indians’ opponents in the semi-final, New Zealand’s No.1 seeds Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy were forced to withdraw due to an injury suffered by King.
Reacting to the news, Chinappa said: “It’s so unfortunate that we had to reach the finals in this way. I wish Joelle a very speedy recovery and hope that it’s not too serious and that she’ll be back on court soon.”
In the first of the finals, Ghosal and Pallikal Karthik will play Waller and Waters at 12:30, with Pallikal Karthik and Waters both returning to action at 14:00 to contest the women’s title. In the day’s final match, James and Willstrop will play Lobban and Stewart at 14:45.
WSF World Doubles Squash Championships Day Three, Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow, Scotland.
11:00 Mixed (Group D)  Adrian Waller/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/7 11/2 18mins) Christo Potgieter/Cheyna Wood (RSA)
12:30 Women’s – Position 05-08 [5/6] Georgina Kennedy/Lucy Turmel (ENG) (11/5 11/8 23mins) [7/8] Tsz-Wing Tong/Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)
14:30 Men’s – Position 01-16 [7/9] Peter Creed/Emyr Evans (WAL) (11/8 4/11 5/11 40mins)  Zac Alexander/Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
15:15 Mixed – Position 01-08 [13/16] Rory Stewart/Georgia Adderley (SCO) (4/11 8/11 33mins) [5/6] Joel Makin/Tesni Evans (WAL)
16:00 Mixed – Position 09-16 [9/10] Vikram Malhotra/Joshna Chinappa (IND) (11/6 11/9 23mins) Evan Williams/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
18:45 Women’s Semi Final  Sarah-Jane Perry/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/9 6/11 11/3)  Rachel Arnold/Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS)
19:30 Men’s Semi Final  Declan James/James Willstrop (ENG) (11/7 9/11 11/9 93mins)  Alan Clyne/Douglas Kempsell (SCO)
20:15 Mixed Semi Final  Saurav Ghosal/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) (11/9 11/5 28mins) [5/6] Joel Makin/Tesni Evans (WAL)
11:00 Mixed (Group A) [7/8] Patrick Rooney/Georgina Kennedy (ENG) (11/9 11/7 28mins) [9/10] Vikram Malhotra/Joshna Chinappa (IND)
12:30 Women’s – Position 05-08 [7/8] Georgia Adderley/Lisa Aitken (SCO) (11/4 11/7 17mins) [9/10] Ainaa Ampandi/Yiwen Chan (MAS)
13:15 Men’s – Position 17-32 [10/12] David Baillargeon/Nick Sachvie (CAN) (9/11 7/11 34mins) [7/9] Vikram Malhotra/Ramit Tandon (IND)
14:30 Men’s – Position 01-16  Eain Yow Ng/Ivan Yuen (MAS) (11/5 11/9 45mins) [13/15] Addeen Idrakie/Sai Hung Ong (MAS)
15:15 Mixed – Position 01-08 [7/8] Patrick Rooney/Georgina Kennedy (6/11 7/11 25mins)  Saurav Ghosal/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
16:00 Mixed – Position 09-16 Christo Potgieter/Cheyna Wood (RSA) (11/4 11/4 15mins) Aaron Liang/Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)
18:45 Men’s Semi Final  Greg Lobban/Rory Stewart (SCO) (7/11 11/7 11/5 53mins)  Daryl Selby/Adrian Waller (ENG)
* 19:30 Women’s Semi Final  Joelle King/Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) walkover to  Joshna Chinappa/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
20:15 Mixed Semi Final  Adrian Waller/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/6 10/11 11/10 40mins) [7/8] Greg Lobban/Lisa Aitken (SCO)
11:00 Mixed (Group A)  Paul Coll/Joelle King (NZL) (11/7 11/5 16mins) Jean-Pierre Brits/Alexandra Fuller (RSA)
12:30 Women’s – Position 09-12 [11/12] Alexandra Fuller/Cheyna Wood (RSA) walkover [5/6] Rachael Grinham/Donna Lobban (AUS)
13:15 Men’s – Position 17-32 Aaron Liang/Chua Man Tong (SGP) (10/11 4/11 27mins )[16/18] Samuel Kang/Ka Hoe Pang (SGP)
14:30 Men’s – Position 01-16 [16/18] Jean-Pierre Brits/Christo Potgieter (RSA) (6/11 6/11 27mins) [10/12] Rhys Dowling/Rex Hedrick (AUS)
15:15 Mixed – Position 01-08 [5/6] Ryan Cuskelly/Rachael Grinham (AUS) (6/11 8/11 21mins)  Adrian Waller/Alison Waters (ENG)
16:00 Mixed – Position 09-16 [13/16] Nick Sachvie/Hollie Naughton (CAN) (10/11 10/11 20mins) [11/12] Ivan Yuen/Rachel Arnold (MAS)
16:45 Men’s – Position 17-32 [10/12] Lwamba Chileshe/Temwa Chileshe (NZL) (4/11 11/10 7/11 46mins) [7/9] Vikram Malhotra/Ramit Tandon (IND)
18:00 Mixed – Position 09-16 [9/10] Vikram Malhotra/Joshna Chinappa (IND) (11/10 11/5 20mins) Christo Potgieter/Cheyna Wood (RSA)
Mixed – Position 09-16 [11/12] Ivan Yuen/Rachel Arnold (MAS) (11/9 2/11 8/11 20mins) [9/10] Mohammad Syafiq Kamal/Aifa Azman (MAS)
20:15 Mixed – Position 01-08 [7/8] Patrick Rooney/Georgina Kennedy (ENG) (7/11 11/10 7/11 51mins) [13/16] Rory Stewart/Georgia Adderley (SCO)
11:00 Mixed – Group B  Saurav Ghosal/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) walkover [13/16] Peter Creed/Emily Whitlock (WAL)
12:30 Women’s – Position 09-12 [9/10] Alex Haydon/Jessica Turnbull (AUS) (4/11 4/11 19mins) [11/12] Abbie Palmer/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
14:30 Men’s – Position 01-16 [13/15] Tsz Kwan Lau/Henry Leung (HKG) (11/5 11/9 23mins) Bernat Jaume/Joel Jaume Izcara (ESP)
15:15 Mixed – Position 01-08  Paul Coll/Joelle King (NZL) (7/11 5/11 30mins) [7/8] Greg Lobban/Lisa Aitken (SCO)
16:00 Mixed – Position 09-16 Jean-Pierre Brits/Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3/11 7/11 13mins) [9/10] Mohammad Syafiq Kamal/Aifa Azman (MAS)
16:45 Men’s – Position 17-32 Aaron Liang/Chua Man Tong (SGP) (11/9 5/11 5/11 [13/15] 45mins) Elliot Morris/Owain Taylor (WAL)
20:15 Mixed – Position 01-08 [5/6] Ryan Cuskelly/Rachael Grinham (AUS) (4/11 11/9 9/11 41mins) walkover  Paul Coll/Joelle King (NZL)
* Joelle King has withdrawn from the WSF World Doubles Championships due to injury. As a result, New Zealand’s women’s doubles semi final v India and their mixed doubles 5/8 match v Australia will be recorded as walkovers.
Pictures courtesy of WSF and Scottish Squash