Monday, May 20, 2024

World Open: Galifi wins through to face Matthew

Top seed Nick Matthew. Picture by PATRICIA LYONS

29 October 2011

RESULTS: PSA World Open, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Brothers in Arms and Birthday Treat in Rotterdam

It was another long day at Victoria Squash in Rotterdam, the Dutch City of Sports, as men’s qualifying concluded and women’s qualifying began for the World Open Squash 2011, the biggest and most valuable squash event ever held in the Netherlands.

There was first-time success in reaching the main draw for over half the men’s field, including two who joined their brothers and one who got an unexpected birthday treat.

Quiet start for the women

Not too much to report in the women’s side, with sixteen straight-game wins, all but two of them taking half an hour or less, but there was still little for the home fans to celebrate as 11 of their 12 players went the same way as their 16 male counterparts yesterday.

The sole home winner over the first two days of competition was Milou Van Der Heijden who overcame compatriot Daniel Rossmeissl. Several of the Dutch had chances to take games though, particularly Milja Dorenbos, Cigany Sillevis, Melissa Meulenbelt and Daphne Jalgersma who all stalled within sight of the finishing line in at least one game.

All today’s winners meet one of the qualifying seeds in tomorrow’s second round with those winners going on to the qualifying finals on Monday.

Sixteen qualify for Men’s Main Draw

The sixteen men’s qualifying finals were all heavily disputed, with world junior champion Marwan El Shorbagy the only one who managed to win in less time than the longest women’s match as he beat Germany’s Jens Schoor in straight games to join his brother Mohamed in the main draw, where he meets Pakistan’s Farhan Mehboob.

“Today, I played well, in particular on the volleying, was comfortable on the T,” said Marwan. “But Jens is a very good player, so dangerous at the front …. I had to play my best today to beat him. I think my mum must be crying at home, as this is my first time qualifying for the Worlds…”

Simon Rosner won’t be the only German in the main draw though, as Raphael Kandra, on his 21st birthday, beat Julien Balbo in 75 minutes with the Frenchman struggling with a turned ankle in the latter stages of an oft-times brutal encounter. Kandra’s reward is an encounter with hard-hitting Aussie Cameron Pilley.

“Yes, my first ever world Open!!!!” said a delighted Raphael. “And as it is my birthday today, it’s a good reason for cancelling the party that I had planned at home (I live not too far away from here). You can say that actually, I made my own birthday gift!!!!”

Another Frenchman who struggled with injury towards he end of his match was Yann Perrin who lost out to Mexico’s Cesar Salazar – also joining his (twin) brother in the main draw – leaving Greg Marche the only French winner on day as he beat Australian Matthew Karwalski to leave the Aussies six-strong in the main draw following Zac Alexander‘s win over Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet.

“For about 3, 4 months I feel good, I feel strong, and that my squash is getting better,” said Cesar. “I want to thank the Mexican Government who understand that we need to travel to Europe to play more tournaments, and helps the top four with funding. And yes, it’s my first time getting into the Worlds!!!!!”

The longest match of the day, at 76 minutes, saw another first time qualifier in South Africa’s Clinton Leeuw who came from 2/1 down to deny England’s Robbie Temple. ”

Two Englishmen did make it through to the last 64, as Joe Lee overcame fierce resistance from compatriot Eddie Charlton and Adrian Waller denied South Africa a second qualifier as he beat Shaun Le Roux. Waller meets Daryl Selby while Lee faces Canada’s Shahier Razik.

As seems to be compulsory on these occasions, two of the longest matches were left until last. Two youngsters battled it out on court 9, Malaysia’s 21-year-old Ivan Yuen taking a 2-1 and match-ball lead over 20-year-old Finn Henrik Mustonen, who stormed back to take the match in 76 minutes. Mustonen faces third seed Karim Darwish, as he did in last week’s Qatar Classic.

The final match on court one promised to be even longer as Steve Finitsis held a substantial lead in the fourth against Omar Abdel Meguid, but the Egyptian clawed it back to take the fourth 12/10 in a match that featured 58 decisions in its 73 minutes. Meguid meets compatriot Omar Mosaad.

Stephane Galifi and Campbell Grayson got the ‘plum’ draws, with the veteran French/Italian set to taske on defending champion Nick Matthew, while Kiwi Grayson meets 2008 champion Ramy Ashour, the second seed.

For Galifi, it’s his third time in the World Open main draw, but he’s still very pleased: “What’s at stake is enormous when we try and qualify for such a tournament. You can never play relax in the qualifiers, so much pressure, people may think it’s easy, but it’s not. And from the psychological point of view, it’s one of the hardest things to do. He played so well, and I’m so proud to win this one…”

The men’s first round takes place over two days, starting on Sunday and concluding on Monday.

Men’s Qualifying Finals:

Stephane Galifi (Ita) bt Dick Lau (Hkg)               12/10, 4/11, 11/2, 8/11, 11/2 (69m)
Eric Galvez (Mex) bt Kristian Frost (Den)               11/3, 11/9, 11/9 (56m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Jens Schoor (Ger)                 11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (31m)
Greg Marche (Fra) bt Matthew Karwalski (Aus)                11/9, 11/6, 8/11, 11/2 (56m)
Zac Alexander (Aus) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)               8/11, 11/8, 11/3, 11/8 (62m)
Shawn Delierre (Can) bt Siddharth Suchde (Ind)                11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (68m)
Campbell Grayson (Nzl) bt Wade Johnstone (Aus)               11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (40m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex) bt Yann Perrin (Fra)                 12/14, 11/5, 11/3, 11/6 (63m)
Max Lee (Hkg) bt Joel Hinds (Eng)                12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 11/8 (58m)
Clinton Leeuw (Rsa) bt Robbie Temple (Eng)                 11/7, 9/11, 4/11, 11/5, 11/5 (76m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Amr Swelim (Ita)                  11/8, 11/5, 2/11, 14/12 (62m)
Joe Lee (Eng) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng)                 12/10, 4/11, 11/7, 11/6 (62m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) bt Shaun le Roux (Rsa)                 14/12, 11/5, 11/6 (52m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)                   6/11, 15/13, 11/9, 11/4 (75m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas)                  11/9, 4/11, 6/11, 14/12, 11/6 (76m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy) bt Steve Finitsis (Aus)                  5/11, 11/5, 11/7, 12/10 (73m)

The Draw: Galifi v Matthew, Leeuw v Rosner, Kandra v Pilley, Delierre v Lincou, Meguid v Mosaad, Mustonen v Darwish, Max Lee v Willstrop, Joe Lee v Razik, Marwan v Mehboob, Waller v Selby, Alexander v Hisham Ashour, Galvez v Shabana, Cesar v Grant, Bianchetti v Ghosal, Marche v Anjema and Grayson v Ramy Ashour. LL1 Eddie Charlton, LL2 Joel Hinds.

Women’s Qualifying Round One:

Stephanie Edmison (Can) bt Chloe Mesic (Fra)              14/12, 11/4, 11/6 (26m)
Lisa Aitken (Sco) bt Belen Etchechoury (Arg)              11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (17m)
Imelda Salazar (Mex) bt Milja Dorenbos (Ned)                11/3, 12/10, 11/5 (30m)
Zephanie Curgenven (Eng) bt Karina Heredia (Mex)                11/3, 11/3, 11/4 (17m)


Maud Duplomb (Fra) bt Nikki Van Der Heijden (Ned)                11/4, 11/6, 11/5 (21m)
Lauren Selby (Eng) bt Ilona Lagerweij (Ned)                11/9, 11/1, 11/4 (21m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) bt Nayelly Hernandez (Mex)                 11/2, 11/1, 11/6 (18m)
Leonie Holt (Eng) bt Cigany Sillevis (Ned)                  12/10, 11/4, 11/4 (20m)
Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Tessa Der Sluis (Ned)            11/4, 11/6, 11/6 (18m)
Salma Hany (Egy) bt Melissa Meulenbelt (Ned)            11/8, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Lisette Eschweiler (Ned)            11/4, 11/4, 11/2 (17m)
Thaisa Serafini (Bra) bt Daphne Jalgersma (Ned)            11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (36m)
Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned) bt Daniel Rossmeissl (Ned)             11/6, 11/2, 11/2 (18m)
Birgit Coufal (Aut) bt Laura Lagerweij (Ned)            11/3, 11/2, 11/3 (12m)
Sally Skaarenborg (Den) bt Brogan Lane (Eng)            11/6, 11/6, 11/7 (23m)
Coline Aumard (Fra) bt Dagmar Vermuelen (Ned)            11/4, 11/7, 11/2 (24m)


1st qualifying round:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) bt Rasool Hashim Abdullah (IRQ) w/o
Dick Lau (HKG) bt Lucas Buit (NED) 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (48m)
Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Gabor Marges (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-1 (23m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (39m)
Max Lee (HKG) bt Tomas de Paauw (NED) 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
Joel Hinds (ENG) bt Tom Lucas (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (17m)
Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8 (55m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-4, 11-1, 11-1 (30m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Rick Penders (NED) 11-6, 13-15, 11-2, 11-5 (39m)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Marc ter Sluis (NED) w/o
Jens Schoor (GER) bt Stephen Cooke (NED) 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7 (57m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Rene Mijs (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (29m)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) bt Kim Are Killingberg (NOR) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (23m)
Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA) bt Kashif Shuja (NZL) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Sander van Tour (NED) 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (19m)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Michael Ernst (NED) 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (25m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3 (51m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-6, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4 (45m)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Neeraj Aggarwal (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Andre Haschker (GER) 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (75m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (27m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Guido Ploem (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Roshan Bharos (NED) 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 (22m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Mazen Gamal (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 (27m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (58m)
Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Leo Au (HKG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Frank Hartkoren (NED) 11-6, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (26m)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Sebastian Weenink (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-13, 11-4 (63m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Bart Ravelli (NED) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 (36m)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Mark Krajcsak (HUN) 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (51m)

Australian Steven Finitsis rounded off a packed day of qualifying action in the 2011 PSA World Open in Rotterdamwhen he despatched the second highest-ranked player in the draw to reach the qualifying finals of the premier PSA World Tour event at Victoria Squash in the Dutch City of Sport.

The Dutch-based Aussie, ranked more then 50 places lower than top-ranked Hungarian Mark Krajcsak, delighted the appreciative audience on Victoria’s centre court with his 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 51 minutes.

“It’s a good win for me and good for my confidence,” Finitsis told the event website www.worldopensquash2011.comafterwards. “I’ve been training hard, but not playing many tournaments recently.

“Maybe now it’s time to bite the bullet and go for some big ones,” added the 28-year-old Queenslander.

Though almost all the 32 matches went according to expectations, England’s Eddie Charlton removed higher-ranked US No2 Christopher Gordon 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 in another notable upset.

“I thought I had a chance today, even if ranking-wise, I was not meant to win this match,” admitted Charlton, who won his first Tour title in the Czech Republic earlier this month. “Happy with a 3/0 win, especially as I didn’t play as well as I have been, so, keeping fresh for tomorrow.”

Italy’s Amr Ramsy Swelim – who only got the nod that he was in the draw 24 hours earlier – beat Netherlands-based New Zealander Kashif Shuja 12-10, 11-5, 11-5, although the Kiwi was not at full fitness.

Raphael Kandra delighted the German camp with a fine 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 win over Hong Kong’s Leo Au, winner of two Tour titles over the past four months.

“I played well,” said the delighted Kandra. “I was dominating the rallies, especially in the second game, and I could see he was not comfortable, he didn’t move as well as he normally does. I’ve been a pro for only a year, it takes time to get things in place, but I can feel that my game is getting better, week by week.”

There was little joy for the home fans who were out in force supporting the local players. But all sixteen – ranging in age from 44 to 16 – failed to progress to Saturday’s qualifying finals.

National coach Lucas Buit was one of the first casualties, although he made Hong Kong’s Dick Lau work hard for his three-game win; Stephen Cooke – originally English – took Germany’s Jens Schoor the distance; and Sebastian Weeninkalmost finished the night off nicely, but after coming from two game down against Malaysian Ivan Yuen his challenge tailed off in the fifth.

“It was a nice match, both first games were very close,” admitted Buit, who can now concentrate on his coaching duties. “Still, from 2/0 down, it was just too hard. I think I deserved one game – but I can’t complain, at 44.”

Qualifying finals line-up:
Stephane Galifi (ITA) v Dick Lau (HKG)
Eric Galvez (MEX) v Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN)
Max Lee (HKG) v Joel Hinds (ENG)
Zac Alexander (AUS) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v Shaun le Roux (RSA)
Jens Schoor (GER) v Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY)
Davide Bianchetti (ITA) v Amr Ramsy Swelim (ITA)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) v Shawn Delierre (CAN)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Wade Johnstone (AUS)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) v Robbie Temple (ENG)
Joe Lee (ENG) v Eddie Charlton (ENG)
Yann Perrin (FRA) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Julien Balbo (FRA) v Raphael Kandra (GER)
Ivan Yuen (MAS) v Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) v Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)

More information can be found on the official tournament site

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