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PSA: Schnell enjoys Nash bash

A flying volley from Andrew Schnell. Pictures by KIM ATKINSON

Schnell Shoots Down Koukal In Nash Cup Upset

21 September 2012

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Nash Cup, London, Ontario, Canada

[1] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Anthony Graham (ENG) 11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5 (74m)
Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt [3] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-13, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1, 12-10 (70m)
[4] Olivier Pett (ENG) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 12-10, 11-8, 11-4 (26m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 13-11, 11-1, 11-7 (39m)

Canadian Andrew Schnell celebrated his second home soil upset over higher-ranked Jan Koukal this year when he beat the Czech number one in a five-game thriller in the quarter-finals of the Nash Cup, the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London, Ontario.

The 20-year-old from Calgary recorded his first win over Koukal, the world No47 from Prague, at the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in his home city in January.

Andrew Schnell

“This was a roller coaster of a game and Andrew was to some extent in control of his own destiny tonight and nearly committed suicide,” explained Nash Cup tournament director Dave Morrish. “He dictated so much of the play and forced Jan into a waiting and absorbing game.

“Jan’s retrieving was often breath-taking. Andrew most definitely took the game to Jan tonight and attacked at every opportunity, both short and deep. His error rate was pretty high for a match of this level but at the end of the day, squash was the winner as Andrew hit a few more winners than he did errors!”

The match went the full distance, with Schnell ultimately triumphing 11-13, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1, 12-10 in 70 minutes.

“Jan and I played a while back, that game also went to five, so I knew that when things got tough in today’s match I could pull through and take it,” said Schnell, the world No82. “Really excited to get through considering Jan is a very good player and you never know how matches like that will go. Looking forward to tomorrow’s match, excited for the semis!”

The young Canadian will now meet top seed Julian Illingworth, the world No31 from New York. But the record eight times US champion was also taken the full distance before overcoming unseeded Englishman Anthony Graham 11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5 in 74 minutes.

“I feel really lucky to have made it through today,” admitted 28-year-old Illingworth. “I checked out for a bit but luckily for me I was able to pull myself together and come back. Seriously, Anthony is great and I feel lucky to get the win. He is young and has a lot of talent which, if he nurtures it well could be anywhere in the top 40.”

His defeated opponent summed up his reaction in one word: “Gutted! I thought I played well, but I lost my concentration in patches and just couldn’t come back. If I had adapted to the change of pace that occurred during the third game that would have put me in a better position to take the match.

“A lot of positives to take out of this match – I just need to learn to play better at the business end of the game,” added the 22-year-old from Gloucestershire.

The other semi-final will be an Anglo-South African clash between fourth seed Olivier Pett and Cape Town-born Clinton Leeuw.

Englishman Pett beat Canadian Thomas Brinkman 13-11, 11-1, 11-7, while unseeded Leeuw – who secured his place in the last eight after ousting title-holder champion Shawn Delierre in the opening round – continued his giant-killing run by defeating higher-ranked Frenchman Yann Perrin 12-10, 11-8, 11-4.

Perrin dives against Pett

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Julian Illingworth (USA) v Andrew Schnell (CAN)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v [4] Olivier Pett (ENG)

For all the latest Tour news:

Big Mop Delierre Dumped By Leeuw

20 September 2012

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Nash Cup, London, Ontario, Canada

1st round:
[1] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
Anthony Graham (ENG) bt David Letourneau (CAN) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (55m)
Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt [Q] Tyler Hamilton (CAN) 11-5, 11-2, 15-13 (30m)
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [Q] Adrian Dudzicki (CAN) 12-10, 11-6, 11-4 (30m)
[4] Olivier Pett (ENG) bt [Q] Fred Reid (CAN) 15-13, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Andrew McDougall (CAN) 11-3, 12-10, 5-11, 11-3 (46m)
Thomas Brinkman (CAN) bt [Q] Matthew Serediak (CAN) 16-14, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7 (46m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt [2] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (97m)

Clinton Leeuw lasted out the longest match of his career when he ousted defending champion Shawn Delierre in the opening round of the Nash Cup, the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London in the Canadian province of Ontario.

The unseeded 30-year-old from South Africa fought back from a game down, then survived a lengthy tie-break in the fifth game decider before finally clinching victory over the third-seeded Canadian in his fourth match-ball 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 after 97 minutes.

World No45 Delierre is famous for his marathon encounters – this was his 17th Tour match lasting more than 95 minutes since the PAR-to-11 scoring system was introduced in 2004!

“I feel like a big mop, with only the handle working,” explained the 30-year-old from Toronto afterwards. “I had to use the head of the handle because the legs weren’t working. I was happy with the B game that I brought. Credit to Clinton for not letting me play my A game tonight.”

Leeuw, ranked almost 50 places lower, added: “I have known Shawn for six or seven years, and he has climbed high in the rankings. I have a lot of respect for him and have been psyching up for him all week. I’m very, very, happy with tonight – bit battered and bruised but hopefully will feel OK in the morning!”

Thomas Brinkman kept home hopes alive after beating fellow Canadian Matthew Serediak, a qualifier, 16-14, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7. The 23-year-old from British Columbia will now face Leeuw for a place in the semi-finals.

Further Canadian interest in the quarter-finals will be provided by Andrew Schnell, the 20-year-old world No82 from Calgary who defeated Canadian qualifier Tyler Hamilton 11-5, 11-2, 15-13.

Schnell will face the Czech number one Jan Koukal after the third seed removed Adrian Dudzicki, a qualifier from Ottawa, 12-10, 11-6, 11-4.

Schnell scored his first ever Tour victory over world No47 Koukal in the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in his home city in January.

“I was a bit shaky in the first game, but settled down after that and found the shots I wanted,” said Koukal after the opening match in his 19th PSA Tour event this year.

“My next match is against Andrew (Schnell) – and I’ll be looking for revenge!”

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Julian Illingworth (USA) v Anthony Graham (ENG)
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) v Andrew Schnell (CAN)
[4] Olivier Pett (ENG) v Yann Perrin (FRA)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v Thomas Brinkman (CAN)


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