Sunday, April 21, 2024

Gina Kennedy and Rui Soares take Ipswich titles in stylish, straight-game finals

By LEE HORTON – Squash Mad Correspondent

Georgina Kennedy played her part perfectly in the anticipated outcome of the Arion Homes Off The Wall Squash PSA Open finals at Ipswich, but her co-star in the script, Daryl Selby, was upstaged by another dashing performer in the shape of Rui Soares from Portugal.

World number 22, Selby was a clear favourite with both bookies and the local partisan crowd to walk away with the spoils in his 200th PSA event.

But it was the dashing young Soares who shone bright to take the applause and the winner’s crown in the inaugural event staged by OTWS at the Ipswich Sports Club.

His 3-0 win was both deserved and classy, matched by an equally gracious winner’s acceptance speech.

Selby’s return to the tour after a 16-month hiatus due to lockdown will have left some wondering whether the enforced break might have accelerated the player’s eventual decision to bring down the curtain his 19-year pro career.

Well, we got our answer. Three decent wins en-route to the final showed there is still plenty of mileage left in those legs. And his self-challenge to compete for a place in Team England’s Commonwealth Games squash doubles team is totally valid.

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For Kennedy, there are few question marks over her immediate future. She is clearly a young lady on a mission to capture titles and rise in the PSA world rankings.

She currently occupies 105th position but that will soon be consigned to the history channel once recent successes are factored in. Four PSA titles in a blazing summer will quickly see her elevated in the rankings.

Her final match against Scotland’s Georgia Adderley came down to a stiff, one-game challenge followed by a controlled display of disciplined squash.

Adderley came out strong in the first game, matching the former Harvard College alumnus punch for punch right up to 9-all. After that, it was downhill all the way for the number five seed.

Once Kennedy grabbed the initiative with that 11-9 first-game success, it was match over.

A quick-fire 11-1 second was backed up by an equally rapid 11-3 third and it was all over, bar another charming acceptance speech enthusiastically received by the Ipswich squash faithful. A star is born.

Arion Homes Off The Wall Squash PSA Open finals at Ipswich.

Men’s Final:
[2] Rui Soares (POR) 3-0 [1] Daryl Selby (Eng) 11-4, 11-2, 14-12 (36m)
Women’s Final:
Georgina Kennedy 3-0 [5] Georgia Adderley 11-9, 11-1, 11-3 (43m) 

Pictures courtesy of OTW


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