Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Qatar: Big guns power through

James Willstrop volleys against Peter Barker. Pictures by STEVE CUBBINS of Squashsite


















Qatar Squash Classic 2011: 14-21 October, Doha, Qatar

DAILY NEWS – Edition #6 – Wednesday 19th Oct


Women’s Quarter-Finals

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [9] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)          11/6, 11/4, 11/8 (27m)

[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng)            14/12, 11/4, 11/7 (30m)

[4] Madeline Perry (Irl) bt [12] Low Wee Wern (Mas)            11/8, 11/5, 11/9 (42m)

[13] Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Nour El Sherbini (Egy)          11/8, 5/11, 11/8, 13/11 (46m)

Men’s Quarter-Finals

[3] Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Nicolas Mueller (Sui)           2/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (35m)

[6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Tarek Momen (Egy)             11/5, 11/8, 11/7 (65m)

[4] James Willstrop (Eng) bt [7] Peter Barker (Eng)            6/11, 11/7, 11/4, 13/11 (56m)

Stewart Boswell (Aus) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus)            11/8, 11/5, 4/11, 11/4 (68m)

Normal order restored in Doha Quarter-Finals

After a seemingly endless succession of upsets in round two, normal order was restored in  quarter-final action in the XIth Qatar Classic at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha as all but one of the eight matches went according to expectations.

Top seed and defending champion Nicol David was always in control against young Egyptian Raneem El Weleily, who didn’t help her own cause with numerous unforced errors in each of the three games. Only in the third did the Egyptian threaten to extend the match, but David soon closed that opening to win 11/6, 11/4, 11/8 in 27 minutes.

Third seed Rachael Grinham took just a little longer to end the run of England’s Emma Beddoes who had scored two upset wins to reach this stage, but for the Australian it was a case of taking the first game in the face of a stiff challenge from Beddoes. Thereafter Grinham’s shotmaking held sway.

The first men’s match promised another upset when unseeded Swiss Nicolas Mueller raced into an 11/2 and 4/1 lead against Karim Darwish, the third seeded defending champion. Darwish settled, and dominated from that point on to win 2/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/4 in 35 minutes.

James Willstrop and Peter Barker had met at this stage in the US Open just over a week ago, and just as then it was Willstrop, the fourth seed, who won 3/1 after Barker had taken the first game.

The match looked as though it was heading for a decider as Barker led throughout the fourth, but his frustration grew as Willstrop pegged back the lead, saved two game balls, and took the match in extra points, 6/11, 11/7, 11/4, 13/11.

The evening session started with a hard fought straight games win for Madeline Perry over Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern. Each of the games were close to the midpoint but the Northern Ireland fourth seed’s experienced showed as she forged ahead in all three to win 11/8, 11/5, 11/9 in 26 minutes.

Nour El Tayeb and Nour El Sherbini met in a replay of their recent World Junior and WISPA Alexandria finals. In a match featuring dramatic retrieving and tremendous shotmaking from both Egyptian teenagers, it was the elder of the two El Tayeb who emerged the 3/1 winner this time, thus emulating her achievement last year in making the semi-finals.

There was to be no further upset for Tarek Momen, who after his explosive dismissal of top seed Nick Matthew last night, found Gregory Gaultier a step too far.

Not that the sixth-seeded Frenchman had it at all easy – despite winning in straight games 11/5, 11/8, 11/7 the match took over an hour (some of it wasted with some, shall we say confusion, over the video referral decisions) and the young Egyptian had his chances in each of the last two games.

An upset of sorts finally arrived in the last match of the day as Stewart Boswell got the better of fellow Australian Cameron Pilley in four games, 11/8, 11/5, 4/11, 11/4. Both are unseeded, but if there were to be sixteen seeds then Pilley, ranked #16, would have got the nod. On the night however it was Boswell, who beat another compatriot in David Palmer in the previous round, who won through.

Semi-finals begin at 17.30 on Thursday.

GOING DOWN UNDER: Pilley dives in vain against fellow Aussie Boswell. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS



Raneem hits the deck as she tries in vain to halt Nicol David. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS




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