Thursday, July 25, 2024

England’s James Willstrop and Declan James look a formidable pairing on day one of World Doubles

Kiwis’ top seeds Paul Coll and Joelle King survive shock tactics from Hong Kong
By ALAN THATCHER and Special Correspondents

England’s James Willstrop and Declan James made giant strides in the men’s event as New Zealand’s mixed team of Paul Coll and Joelle King avoided a shock defeat on day one of the WSF World Doubles Championships in Glasgow.

The top-seeded mixed doubles duo of men’s world No.1 Coll and women’s world No.5 King came from behind to beat a spirited Hong Kong-China pairing of Chi Him Wong and Ka Yi Lee 2-1 in 36mins.

Wong and Lee took the Kiwis by surprise when they put female player Lee on Coll’s backhand side of the court, and the Hong Kong-China team were good value for a one-game lead as they shocked the favourites with an 11-9 win.

Coll and King began to find their rhythm in the second game and the pair became increasingly accurate as they drew level with an 11-9 win before completing the comeback with an 11-7 win in the third.

Afterwards, Coll said: “It was different, because we don’t usually practice with a female opponent on the left against Joelle on the right. It was a different dynamic for us and we missed our angles in the first game so we’re happy to get a first win.

“It’s always a different dynamic. We’re happy and I thought we played really well at the end of the second and in the third. Joelle put a lot of pressure on them and I didn’t do too much! She carried the team!”

Paul Coll in action against Hong Kong’s Ka Yi Lee on the backhand side in Glasgow

The rest of the day’s matches went mostly according to the rankings, with men’s top seeds Willstrop and James of England beginning the day with a 2-0 win over a spirited Hong Kong-China team of Tsz Kwan Lau and Henry Leung.

Women’s top seeds New Zealand’s King and Amanda Landers-Murphy picked up wins against South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller and Cheyna Wood, and Australia’s Alex Haydon and Jessica Turnbull.

The England pairing of Willstrop and James must be the biggest doubles team in the competition, with both players 6ft 4in tall. Speaking after the match, James said: “Im feeling positive and really good. It was the perfect start, really. The first ten minutes of the first game was steady, we were figuring each other out. We worked through the gears and finished really strongly.”

Willstrop joked: “Dec’s a nightmare of a partner, I’m constantly carrying him! But no, he’s great, I love playing with him. We’ve had good times together playing doubles over the last four or five years and we get on really well and enjoy playing with each other.”

Scotland’s Lisa Aitken enjoyed a busy opening day in the World Doubles

Hosts Scotland enjoyed a positive day. After losing to England’s Georgina Kennedy and Lucy Turmel alongside Georgia Adderley in the first women’s doubles match, Lisa Aitken teamed up with Greg Lobban to gain a dominant 11-2, 11-3 mixed doubles win over Wales’ Peter Creed and Emily Whitlock and a strong 11-4, 11-5 win over South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller and Cheyna Wood.

Reacting after Scotland’s win over Creed and Whitlock, Aitken said: “I feel pretty chilled out after that. Obviously I had my women’s match in the morning and that didn’t go to plan, but with Greg [Lobban] we’ve practised a lot and we’re really good friends off the court.

“We have a connection that fills each other with confidence. We’re very sure of what we’re trying to do. I think when you’ve got that sort of trust in your partner, all you need to do is relax and play.

“I like coming back after playing in the morning, because doubles is so short and sharp. You can really get yourself hyped up.”

Also representing the hosts, men’s duo Alan Clyne and Douglas Kempsell beat South Africa’s Jean-Pierre Brits and Christo Potgieter 2-0, while Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart picked up 2-0 wins over Singapore’s Aaron Liang and Chua Man Tong, and Spain’s Bernat Jaume and Joel Jaume Izcara.

Despite their defeat, Bernat Jaume, whose Spain team was making its first ever appearance at the Championships, said he was pleased with their performance.

He said: “It was pretty cool. It’s the first time we’ve played and I think we did pretty well. Greg is a former world champion, he’s been playing for a while and is comfortable with these facilities. I think we did pretty well, we didn’t embarrass ourselves! I think we did well and I’m happy with it.”

WSF World Doubles Squash Championships Day One at Scotstoun Leisure, Glasgow, Scotland.

Court 1

11:00 Men’s (Group A) [1] Declan James/James Willstrop (ENG) (11/8 11/7 34 mins) [13/15] Tsz Kwan Lau/Henry Leung (HKG)

11:45 Women’s (Group A) [5/6] Georgina Kennedy/Lucy Turmel (ENG) (11/7 11/9 30mins) [7/8] Georgia Adderley/Lisa Aitken (SCO)

12:30 Men’s (Group E) [5] Alan Clyne/Douglas Kempsell (SCO) (11/10 11/7 37mins) v [16/18] Jean-Pierre Brits/Christo Potgieter (RSA)

13:15 Men’s (Group F) [6] Greg Lobban/Rory Stewart (SCO) (11/3 11/2 14 mins) Aaron Liang/Chua Man Tong (SGP)

14:30 Mixed (Group A) [1] Paul Coll/Joelle King (NZL) (9/11 11/9 11/7 36mins) [13/16] Chi Him Wong/Ka Yi Lee (HKG)

15:15 Mixed (Group A) [7/8] Patrick Rooney/Georgina Kennedy (ENG) (11/9 5/11 11/7 36mins) Jean Pierre Brits/Alexandra Fuller (RSA)

16:00 Mixed (Group B) [7/8] Greg Lobban/Lisa Aitken (SCO) (11/2 11/3 13mins) 13/16 Peter Creed/Emily Whitlock (WAL)

18:00 Women’s (Group A) [1] Joelle King/Amanda Landers Murphy (NZL) (11/6 11/3 15mins) [9/10] Alex Haydon/Jessica Turnbull (AUS)

18:45 Men’s (Group C) [3] Zac Alexander/Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) (11/7 11/5 21mins) [13/15] Addeen Idrakie/Sai Hung Ong (MAS)

19:30 Women’s (Group A) [7/8] Georgia Adderley/Lisa Aitken (SCO) (11/4 11/5 18mins) [11/12] Alexandra Fuller/Cheyna Wood (RSA)

20:15 Men’s (Group F) [6] Greg Lobban/Rory Stewart (SCO) (11/8 11/3 26mins) [16/18] Bernat Jaume/Joel Jaume Izcara (ESP)

Court 2

11:00 Women’s (Group A) [1] Joelle King/Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) (11/4 11/9 17mins) [11/12] Alexandra Fuller Cheyna Wood (RSA)

11:45 Men’s (Group C) [3] Zac Alexander/Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) (11/5 11/5 11mins) Niall Engerer/Kijan Sultana (MLT)

12:30 Women’s (Group A) [4] Rachel Arnold/Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) (11/7 11/4 18m) [9/10] Alex Haydon/Jessica Turnbull (AUS)

13:15 Men’s (Group D) [7/9] Peter Creed/Emyr Evans (WAL) (11/4 11/5 25mins) [16/18] Samuel Kang/Ka Hoe Pang (SGP)

14:30 Mixed (Group B) [2] Saurav Ghosal/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) (11/7 10/11 11/6 33 mins) Evan Williams/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)

15:15 Mixed (Group C) [3] Zac Alexander/Donna Lobban (AUS) (11/7 11/9 16mins) [11/12] Ivan Yuen/Rachel Arnold (MAS)

16:00 Mixed (Group C) [5/6] Ryan Cuskelly/Rachael Grinham (AUS) (11/6 11/4 16mins) Aaron Liang/Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)

18:00 Men’s (Group A) [10/12] Lwamba Chileshe/Temwa Chileshe (NZL) (9/11 8/11 27mins) [13/15] Tsz Kwan Lau/Henry Leung (HKG)

18:45 Women’s (Group A) [4] Rachel Arnold/Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) (11/10 11/10 26mins) [5/6] Georgina Kennedy/Lucy Turmel (ENG)

19:30 Men’s (Group E) [7/9] Vikram Malhotra/Ramit Tandon (IND) (11/7 9/11 8/11 50mins) [16/18] Jean-Pierre Brits/Christo Potgieter (RSA)

20:15 Men’s (Group C) [10/12] David Baillargeon/Nick Sachvie (CAN) (11/10 11/6 33mins) Nial Engerer/Kijan Sultana (MLT)

Court 3

11:00 Men’s (Group B) [2] Daryl Selby/Adrian Waller (ENG) (11/7 11/5 28mins) [13/15] Elliot Morris/Owain Taylor (WAL)

11:45 Women’s (Group B) [3] Joshna Chinappa/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) (11/6 11/8 16mins) [9/10] Ainaa Ampandi/Yiwen Chan (MAS)

13:15 Men’s (Group C) [10/12] David Baillargeon/Nick Sachvie (CAN) (11/9 5/11 6/11 33mins) [13/15] Addeen Idrakie/Sai Hung Ong (MAS)

14:30 Mixed (Group D) [4] Adrian Waller/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/9 11/3 22 mins) [11/12] Max Lee/Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG)

15:15 Mixed (Group D) [5/6] Joel Makin/Tesni Evans (WAL) (11/9 11/8 21mis) Christo Potgieter/Cheyna Wood (RSA)

18:00 Women’s (Group B) [2] Sarah-Jane Perry/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/7 11/10 19mins) [9/10] Ainaa Ampandi/Yiwen Chan (MAS)

18:45 Men’s (Group D) [4] Eain Yow Ng/Ivan Yuen (MAS) (11/7 11/7 20mins) [16/18] Samuel Kang/Ka Hoe Pang (SGP)

19:30 Women’s (Group B) [7/8] Tsz-Wing Tong/Ho Tze-Lok (HKG) (11/4 11/2 20mins) [11/12] Abbie Palmer/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)

20:15 Men’s (Group D) [7/9] Peter Creed/Emyr Evans (WAL) (11/3 11/2 11mins) Samuel Bonello/Duncan Stahl (MLT)

Court 4

11:00 Women’s (Group B) [2] Sarah-Jane Perry/Alison Waters (ENG) (11/8 5/11 11/7 32mins) [11/12] Abbie Palmer/Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)

11:45 Men’s (Group D) [4] Eain Yow Ng/Ivan Yuen (MAS) (11/1 11/4 14mins) Samuel Bonello/Duncan Stahl (MLT)

12:30 Women’s (Group B) [5/6] Rachael Grinham/Donna Lobban (AUS) (11/4 11/9 21mins) v [7/8] Tsz-Wing Tong/Ho Tze-Lok (HKG)

18:00 Men’s (Group B) [10/12] Rhys Dowling/Rex Hedrick (AUS) (11/9 11/4 31mins) [13/15] Elliot Morris/Owain Taylor (WAL)

18:45 Women’s (Group B) [3] Joshna Chinappa/Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) (7/11 9/11 24mins) [5/6] Rachael Grinham/Donna Lobban (AUS)

Pictures courtesy of WSF and Scottish Squash 


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