Busy day as Pilley and Cuskelly power through
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
The tournament’s top seeds flexed their muscle on day two of the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships at Carrara Squash Centre on the Gold Coast in Australia, with the top-seeded pairs in both the men’s and women’s draws remaining undefeated.
Men’s top seeds, Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly and Cameron Pilley, won both matches to sit undefeated (3-0) at the top of Pool A.
The duo from New South Wales, defeated the Canadian pair of Madison Eggert and Thomas King 11-5, 11-5 in the morning session before backing up with an 11-5, 11-5 win against Robert Garcia and David Pelino of the Philippines.
“The guy on the left (Garcia) was actually pretty skilful, he was a really good player,” said Cuskelly after the match.
The defending world champions will face Queensland brothers Tom and Nick Calvert next, with the debutants looking to lock up a semi-final spot alongside their higher ranked compatriots.
The fourth-seeded Calverts also defeated Canada 11-6, 11-8 but face a do-or-die match against South Africa’s Jean-Pierre Brits and Christo Potgieter on day three, with the winners of that match expected to finish second in Pool A.
The South African pair continued a strong tournament, surviving a tough match against Garcia and Pelino (11-5, 8-11, 11-9) to move to a 2-1 record for the tournament (after a loss against Cuskelly/Pilley).
In Men’s Pool B, Australians Zac Alexander and Rex Hedrick look set to top the pool after defeating the spirited Sri Lankan pairing of Ravindu Laksiri and Shamil Wakeel 11-5, 11-6.
The highlight of the women’s draw was an all-Australian clash between tournament top seeds Donna Lobban and Christine Nunn and debutants Taylor Flavell and Selena Shaikh. The more fancied Australians took the match 11-3, 11-6.
“I’m really pleased with how we played today actually,” Lobban said. “We maybe struggled a little bit yesterday to get going after playing all weekend at the Aussie Open Doubles and I thought we were maybe a bit flat and not switched on yesterday so we made sure today that we were really up for it.”
Despite the scoreline, Flavell says there was plenty to like for the Victorian pair on debut.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking to start with for sure and it took us a while to get into the match but we got there in the end and started to hit where we wanted to.”
Colombia looks set to challenge the Australians in the race for medals, with sisters Laura and Maria Tovar impressive on day two. The third-seeded Colombian pairing defeated Jemyca Aribado and Aysah Dalida of the Philippines 11-4, 11-7 to move to third in the women’s standings.
In the mixed doubles competition, 17-year-old Australian Ethan Eyles made his senior international debut, pairing with Christine Nunn to defeat Aribado and Garcia (Philippines) 11-4, 11-10.
Colombian pair Catalina Pelaez and Matias Knudsen continue to look impressive as a mixed doubles duo, remaining undefeated after an 11-9, 11-4 win over Australian’s Zac Alexander and Alex Haydon.
The event’s first upset took place in the Mixed battle between Aysah Dalida and Reymark Begornia of the Philippines and Malta’s Colette and Kijan Sultana, the No.7 seeds from the Philippines getting the better of the sixth-seeded Maltese pair 11-8, 11-10.
WSF World Doubles Squash Championships, Gold Coast, Australia.
SECOND POOL ROUND
Men’s Pool A:
 Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt  Madison Eggert & Thomas King (CAN) 11-1, 11-5 (14m)
 Jean-Pierre Brits & Christo Potgieter (RSA) bt  Robert Garcia & David Pelino (PHI) 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 (32m)
 Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt  Robert Garcia & David Pelino (PHI) 11-5, 11-5 (18m)
 Nicholas Calvert & Thomas Calvert (AUS) bt  Madison Eggert & Thomas King (CAN) 11-6, 11-8 (22m)
 Zac Alexander & Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt  Bradley Hindle & Kijan Sultana (MLT) 11-2, 11-2 (15m)
 Darren Chan & Bryan Lim Tze Kang (MAS) bt  Ravindu Laksiri & Shamil Wakeel (SRI) 11-7, 4-11, 11-9 (33m)
 Andrés Herrera & Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt  Bradley Hindle & Kijan Sultana (MLT) 11-4, 11-6 (14m)
 Zac Alexander & Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt  Ravindu Laksiri & Shamil Wakeel (SRI) 11-5, 11-6 (15m)
 Donna Lobban & Christine Nunn (AUS) bt  Taylor Flavell & Selena Shaikh (AUS) 11-3, 11-6 (19m)
 Laura Tovar & Maria Tovar (COL) bt  Jemyca Aribado & Aysah Dalida (PHI) 11-4, 11-7 (18m)
Mixed Pool A:
 Christine Nunn & Ethan Eyles (AUS) bt  Jemyca Aribado & Robert Garcia (PHI) 11-4, 11-10 (23m)
 Catalina Pelaez & Matias Knudsen (COL) bt  Alex Haydon & Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-9, 11-4 (16m)
 Aysah Dalida & Reymark Begornia (PHI) bt  Colette Sultana & Kijan Sultana (MLT) 11-8, 11-10 (18m)
Pictures courtesy of CRAIG STEWART, Brisbane Sports Photography