English rivals top seeds in Commonwealth Games
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
England’s Nick Matthew is expected to repeat his double gold success in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland next month according to the seedings for the five Squash events at Glasgow 2014 announced today (July 1) by the World Squash Federation.
The reigning and three-time World Champion from Sheffield struck gold in the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles in Delhi in 2010 – and is predicted to repeat his success with Londoner Adrian Grant in the doubles and become the first man to retain his title in the singles.
Matthew, ranked two in the world, is currently working through an intensive rehabilitation programme following minor surgery on his right knee last week to repair a small tear in the meniscus.
The singles seedings predict a repeat of the all-English men’s final between Matthew and fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop, the world No6 from Harrogate – whilst the men’s doubles seedings forecast the fifth successive England/Australia climax since the sport’s Commonwealth Games debut in Malaysia in 1998.
The third seed in the men’s singles is also an Englishman, Londoner Peter Barker – whilst Saurav Ghosal is in a strong position to become India’s first ever Commonwealth Games squash medallist as the No4 seed.
Distinguished Australian David Palmer, a four-time British Open and twice World Open champion, has come out of retirement to make a rare fifth successive appearance in the Games in Glasgow. The US-based 37-year-old, winner of six medals, will be aiming for his first gold in partnerships with world No19 Cameron Pilley in the Men’s Doubles and fellow former world No1 Rachael Grinham in the Mixed Doubles.
Malaysia’s Nicol David will also be celebrating a fifth Games appearance in Glasgow, where she is seeded to retain her Women’s Singles gold medal. The 30-year-old from Penang, who has topped the world rankings since August 2006, is expected to face English rival Laura Massaro, the world No2 from Preston, in the final.
Australasia interest in the women’s singles is led by Joelle King, the No3 seed from New Zealand, while India’s Dipika Pallikal will make her debut in the event as sixth seed.
Massaro, silver medallist with Jenny Duncalf in the 2010 Women’s Doubles, will again partner the former world No2 from Yorkshire in Glasgow – where they are seeded to strike gold in a final against Australians Kasey Brown & Rachael Grinham. Brown was a medallist in all three events in Delhi, whilst 37-year-old Grinham achieved the same on home soil in 2006, including gold in the Women’s Doubles.
Australians Kasey Brown & Cameron Pilley are seeded to hold onto their Mixed Doubles gold medal in a repeat of the 2010 final against New Zealanders Joelle King & Martin Knight.
The Singles events take place at the Scotstoun Sports Campus from 24-28 July, followed by Women’s, Men’s and Mixed Doubles from 29 July to 3 August.
2014 Commonwealth Games Squash – Top 8 Seeds:
1 Nick Matthew (ENG)
2 James Willstrop (ENG)
3 Peter Barker (ENG)
4 Saurav Ghosal (IND)
5 Cameron Pilley (AUS)
6 Alister Walker (BOT)
7 Chris Simpson (GGY)
8 Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
1 Nicol David (MAS)
2 Laura Massaro (ENG)
3 Joelle King (NZL)
4 Alison Waters (ENG)
5 Low Wee Wern (MAS)
6 Dipika Pallikal (IND)
7 Madeline Perry (NIR)
8 Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
1 Nick Matthew & Adrian Grant (ENG)
2 David Palmer & Cameron Pilley (AUS)
3 Daryl Selby & James Willstrop (ENG)
4 Alan Clyne & Harry Leitch (SCO)
5 Campbell Grayson & Martin Knight (NZL)
6 Ryan Cuskelly & Zac Alexander (AUS)
7 Harinder Pal Sandhu & Saurav Ghosal (IND)
8 Stuart Crawford & Greg Lobban (SCO)
1 Laura Massaro & Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
2 Kasey Brown & Rachael Grinham (AUS)
3 Emma Beddoes & Alison Waters (ENG)
4 Nicol David & Low Wee Wern (MAS)
5 Joshana Chinappa & Dipika Pallikal (IND)
6 Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)
7 Lisa Camilleri & Donna Urquhart (AUS)
8 Tesni Evans & Deon Saffery (WAL)
1 Kasey Brown & Cameron Pilley (AUS)
2 Joelle King & Martin Knight (NZL)
3 Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS)
4 Alison Waters & Peter Barker (ENG)
5 Dipika Pallikal & Saurav Ghosal (IND)
6 Sarah Kippax & Daryl Selby (ENG)
7 Amanda Landers-Murphy & Paul Coll (NZL)
8 Delia Arnold & Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Complete draws will be published on July 17.
Picture from Squash Mad archive by PATRICK LAUSON