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Aust Open - Media Releases

Published: 21 Jul 2011 - 11:51 by rippa rit

Updated: 15 Aug 2011 - 07:26

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Squash Australia media release. No video attached to this post.
"Brisbane squash player Samantha Davies says she has nothing to lose after finding out she will be taking on world number one Nicol David of Malaysia on the main showcourt in the first round of the Australian Open in Canberra next month.

Davies was elevated to the main draw of the Open after Frenchwoman Isabelle Stoehr withdrew injured on Monday night.

Her reward is a clash with the Malaysian superstar on the all-glass court in Canberra’s Royal Theatre.

“I’m a bit shell-shocked, I only found out about an hour ago,” the 22-year-old from Scarborough said on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be an incredible experience. I’ve never even see her play live before so it’s going to be a bit of a steep learning curve.”
Davies has only played on a glass court once before, one match at the World Junior Championships in Belgium in 2005.

“But never in front of the number of people that the Canberra theatre can hold and not against someone like Nicole,” she said.

“I’ve got nothing to lose and I can only learn from it. There’s no pressure on me at all, I want to go out there and relax and enjoy it, and get as much out of it as I can."

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From rippa rit - 15 Aug 2011 - 07:26

The Viridian Australian Open has brought together some excellent squash players.

The 2011 Mens Champion is Ramy Ashour (EGY) who shut out Nick Matthew (ENG) in five hard games.

The 2011 Womens Champion is Nicole David (MAL) taking the title by defeating Jenny Duncalf (ENG) in three games. 

You can see Replays and Highlights by excellent video coverage at this link.

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From rippa rit - 13 Aug 2011 - 20:42

 World squash number one Nick Matthew ended David Palmer’s Australian Open fairytale with a ruthless 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 win in the semi-finals in Canberra on Saturday.

The Englishman will now take on Egypt’s Ramy Ashour, a 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 winner over Gregory Gaultier, in a repeat of the 2010 decider, won in straight games by Matthew.

The 35-year-old Palmer has been carrying an ankle injury during the week but has been playing great squash, culminating in a win over world number three Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals.

However, despite the vocal support of a large home crowd, the 2008 champion came up short against a player at the peak of his game.

Palmer got away to a great start and jumped out to a 5-2 lead, only for Matthew to claw his way back to level terms, the two then going point for point until Mathew broke away at 9-9 to close out the first game.

The defending champion then stepped up a gear against an increasingly tired looking Palmer to take control of the rest of the match.

As the match wore on, Palmer found it harder and harder to read Matthew’s shots and was often left flat footed at the back of the court.

“He’s had a good week and he’s come pretty far in the tournament, but I wasn’t going to let him have his fairytale,” Matthew said later.

“The first game was quite crucial, he started off like a train but once I got the first game I had some breathing space and it was going to a tough ask for him to come back from it.

“I made a good start in the second and stayed on top, I’m very pleased with my performance today.”

Palmer conceded afterwards that he hadn’t been physically up to the task of beating the world’s best player on Saturday.

“The week caught up with me I think,” he said.

“My legs got heavier and you can’t give up that much time against him. He’s one of the fastest men on the court.

“I was on the back foot and that caused my shots to be not quite as accurate as well.

“Still, it was a good week for me. With my seeding no one expected me to get this far and considering the ankle injury I’m still pretty proud.”

In the last match of the day, Ashour downed fifth seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in a semi-final full of passion, humour, tension and remarkable shot making from both players.

The pair were renewing their Australian Open rivalry from last year, where they also met in the semi-finals.

On that occasion they played one of the best matches ever seen in Australia, and although Saturday’s match may have fallen short of that classic, it came fairly close.

Gaultier had chances to win every game, only to be undone by some sublime stroke play from the audacious Egyptian, who seems able to hit clean winners from any position on the court.

“Greg’s as fast as a spaceship, you can see how fast he is on the court, how physically fit he is,” Ashour said.

“He’s such a diligent guy, he works very hard and pushes himself on court to his limit. For me to stay on court for that long and keep up gives me a lot of confidence.

“Every time it’s a fight, between the points I was thinking ‘why does it have to be like this every time?’”

Ashour said he thought he noticed Gaultier beginning to tire towards the end of the match so he tried to increase the pace of the game, which allowed him to sneak home.

“It’s always like this at the top level, it’s always a very thin margin,” he said.

A downcast Gaultier was left rueing his lost chances.

“It’s tough to lose three games 11-9, 11-9, 11-9,” he said. “I had the opportunity to take one of these three games but he managed to hit winners at the right time.

“I’m disappointed but I’m happy with the way I played. I think it’s a good start to the season for me to get my confidence up.”  


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From rippa rit - 13 Aug 2011 - 14:20

Squash Australia Media Release:

"Australia’s David Palmer showed he’s still a major force in the world of squash when he stunned world number three Karim Darwish to reach the semi-finals of the Viridian Australian Open squash championships in Canberra on Friday

Palmer, at 35 and playing with an injured ankle, came out firing in the first game then held off a comeback from the third seeded Egyptian to win 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10.

It was Palmer’s eighth win over Darwish but his first since 2008 and ensures a semi-final against world number one Nick Matthew of England.

Matthew earlier withstood a fierce onslaught from Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema to win 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 and move a step closer to defending his title.

But he will first have to get past Palmer, who played brilliantly against Darwish to the delight of the parochial fans in Canberra’s Royal Theatre.

The Australian number one injured his ankle in his opening round match and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to continue in the tournament.

He was slightly tentative in his second round win over Tom Richards, but showed no signs of discomfort as he took advantage of an at times out-of-sorts Darwish to record the tournament’s biggest upset.

“I didn’t really expect it,” he admitted later.

“I can’t give much up to these guys at the best of times but I’ve struggled all week with my ankle and somehow I’m managing to get through.

“Maybe it’s good because I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself, just trying to get through the match without reinjuring it and trying to make it at least competitive.

“Maybe being a bit more relaxed is working.”

Palmer said he would take that attitude into the semi-final against Matthew.

“I’ve got nothing to lose, it’s a dream to be able to play a major semi-final here in Australia,” he said.

“There’s a bit of rivalry with Nick but then again he’s the one with the pressure on him.

“I quite like playing against him, so if I’m up for it, who knows?”

Matthew survived a brutal onslaught from Anjema, taking an early lead then holding off a ferocious comeback from the tall left-hander.

Anjema came into the quarter-finals in top form, having beaten seventh seed Thierry Lincou in the first round before demolishing American Julian Illingworth in the second.

However, he started slowly allowing Matthew the early advantage before finding his way back into the match.

Both men played some spectacular squash as the momentum swung between the two,

The Dutchman took an early lead in the fourth as he looked to get the match back on even terms, only for Matthew to claw his way back and eventually ease away with the game to close out the quarter-final.

“He came back strong, he obviously played well in the first round and had one of the best wins of his career and then backed up really well in the second round,” Matthew said.

“I felt before the match that little buzz that’s I’ve not had this week. I felt that I was up for a big match and I started really well.

“I scrapped really well – if things are not going well that’s one thing I can rely on, to scrap hard and fight for every point.”

Crowd favourite Gregory Gaultier of France overcame slow start to down fourth seeded Englishman James Willstrop 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5.

Willstrop came out firing and had Gaultier in all sorts of trouble, but he worked his way back into the game and finished far stronger than his opponent.

“At the beginning it was just torture for me – he made an unbelievable start and I couldn’t do anything,” Gaultier said.

“I just told myself to forget about it and fight hard. Today was not a day for accuracy from me, so I thought to myself ‘try and raise the pace and things may work out your way’.”

Gaultier will take on Ramy Ashour in a repeat of last year’s classic semi-final.

Ashour also overcame a slow start before storming back to beat England’s Peter Barker 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4."


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From rippa rit - 12 Aug 2011 - 07:47

Squash Aust quarter final media release:

"Egyptian tyro Ramy Ashour came back from losing the first game to local hero Stewart Boswell to power his way into the quarter-finals of the Viridian Australian Open squash championships in Canberra on Thursday.

Boswell had home supporters cheering when he claimed the opening game, but he couldn’t maintain the momentum as Ashour stormed home to win 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11- 7.

The Australian was brilliant at times but was undone by the shot-making wizardry of the world number two, who was able to hit winners from seemingly impossible positions.

However, he was pushed all the way by Boswell, currently ranked 21 in the world.

“He should be ranked better than he is the way he played,” Ashour said. “He played like a top 10 player.

“I think we played a very good quality match tonight.”

Ashour now takes on Englishman Peter Barker, who was also in great touch as he disposed of Malaysia’s Nafiizwan Adnan with a minimum of fuss 11-4, 11-2, 11-7.

Barker has faced players ranked in the 40s in his first two rounds but said he wasn’t too concerned that he hadn’t been really tested yet.

“I’ve been quite lucky I’ve had two players ranked where they are, but at the same time someone like Greg (Gaultier) has had two tough matches and he’s managed to win them both three-love,” he said.

‘I’m very happy with the way I’m hitting the ball, I’m very pleased with the way I’m moving in my first tournament back.”

Earlier, Gregory Gaultier set up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash with England’s fourth seeded James Willstrop after the Frenchman beat Adrian Walker 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, showing glimpses of the form that took him to world number one in 2009.

The Frenchman was in complete control throughout, never allowing Grant to settle into any sort of rhythm.

His clash with Willstrop, an 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 winner over Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne is sure to be the highlight of the quarter-finals.

Gaultier said he believed he had an advantage heading into the match against Willstrop because he had played two high quality players, whereas Willstrop’s opponents had been ranked much lower.

“He’s in great form but he didn’t have tough matches – he hasn’t played top players yet,” Gaultier said.

“It’s easy to be in good form when you don’t play top players, but he’s a great player and he’s really good to watch so I think it’s going to be a really good match.”

Willstrop was in superb touch as he demolished Clyne.

Clyne won through qualifying to make the main draw then outplayed Malaysian Asyraf Azan in the first round but he was no match for the towering Yorkshireman, who dominated all aspects of the match.

“He’s come through qualifying, he’s winning his matches, he’s played a few games and that can mean a lot at this early point of the season,” a delighted Willstrop said.

“He’s the type of player who will get balls back all day long so for me to get in a position where I win three games comfortably is a great thing for me.

“When you finish and it’s three-love in the bag, that’s a good feeling.”"

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From rippa rit - 11 Aug 2011 - 19:29

Former champion Natalie Grinham caused the biggest upset of the Viridian Australian Open squash championships in Canberra when she bundled fifth seed Kasey Brown out of the second round on Thursday.

Grinham stunned the world number six in four tense games 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9 to move into the quarter-finals where she will play second seeded Englishwoman Jenny Duncalf, an 11-5, 11-3, 11-1  winner over Switzerland’s Gaby Huber.

Brown, who was suffering with an undisclosed illness throughout the match, was undone by the speed and court coverage from her former Australian teammate.

While the much taller Brown dominated the front of the court, Grinham seemed to chase almost every shot down with incredible tenacity, coming back from 10-5 down to win the third game and gain a vital advantage.

As the match wore on, Brown became obviously distressed, doubling over between points in a bid to recover.

However, Grinham was relentless as she overcame the fifth seed to join older sister Rachael in the final eight.

Grinham, who now plays for the Netherlands, is a former world number two who is coming back to top form after taking time off the tour to have her first baby 16 months ago.

She struggled for fitness initially but is now able to mix it with the elite players.

“I feel much faster now than before,” she said. “Perhaps I should have had my baby earlier in my career.”

Grinham paid tribute to Brown for not giving up despite her illness.

“She gave everything she had, even though she obviously wasn’t feeling well,” Grinham said.

Duncalf looked in superb touch as she disposed of Huber in the last match of the women’s second round.

She was always in complete control and later admitted her big match experience gave her a tremendous help.

“I felt really good today, I’ve got lots of experience playing on the glass court whereas Gaby doesn’t,” she said.

“So that’s a big advantage for me.”

Defending champion Madeline Perry of Ireland recovered from a second game blip to see off Hong Kong’s Joey Chan 11-8, 6-11, 11-3, 11-2.

Perry won the Singapore Masters in the lead-up to the Open and said she had probably relaxed too much during the early stages of her match against Chan.

“Coming off a big win like I had in Singapore, it’s hard to focus sometimes,” Perry said.

“Instead of thinking about winning points, I was thinking about winning the match.

“At the start of the third I concentrated on what I had to do and it all clicked into place.”

She now takes on 2009 champion Joelle King of New Zealand in the quarter-finals following King’s 11-5, 13-11, 11-9 win over young Malaysian Delia Arnold.

“I am going to have to play like I did in the third and fourth for the whole match against Joelle if I want to beat her.

“She beat me in Malaysia so it would be nice to get one back.”

King got off to a great start before allowing Arnold back into the contest with a string of unforced errors.

She clinched the second game in a tiebreak before racing away to a 10-5 lead in the third, then holding off a late comeback from the Malaysian.

King said she had been hit with an attack of nerves playing on the all-glass court in the Royal Theatre.

“I love playing on the glass, it suits my game,” the world number 13 said.

“But I had a few nerves early on. It’s quite different playing in an arena like this so I’m just happy to come away with a three-love victory.”
She said her second game lapses were the result of nerves.

“I was ridiculously nervous, I just couldn’t seem to calm myself down,” King said.

“Obviously I knew it was going to be a tough match against Delia so there were a lot of added nerves there but somehow I managed to pull through.”

 Second round results – prefix denotes seeding:

 2-Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt 16-Gaby Huber (SUI) 11-5, 11-3, 11-1

10-Natalie Grinham (NED) bt 5-Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9

8-Joelle King (NZL) bt 12-Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-5, 13-11, 11-9

4-Madeline Perry (IRL) bt 11-Joey Chan (HKG) 11-8, 6-11, 11-3, 11-2

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From rippa rit - 10 Aug 2011 - 07:39

Squash Aust. Media Release:

"World number one Nicol David stamped her class on the Viridian Australian Open squash tournament in Canberra when she raced to an emphatic 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 first round win over Brisbane’s Samantha Davies on Tuesday.

David, playing her first ever Australian Open, was untroubled by Davies, who tried hard but was outclassed by the Malaysian superstar.

David now plays 17-year-old Englishwoman Emily Whitlock, who upset 15th seeded New Zealander Kylie Lindsay 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3.

Not to be outdone, world number two Jenny Duncalf of England followed David on court and was equally impressive in her 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 win over Melbourne qualifier Vanessa Pickerd.

The top women’s seeds all progressed with few problems.

Third seed Rachael Grinham beat Lucie Fialova of the Czech Republic 11-6, 11-5, 11-2, Ireland’s Madeline Perry (4) downed Malaysia’s Siti Munirah Jusoh 11-5, 11-2, 11-3 and Kasey Brown (5) was too good for New Zealand’s Amanda Cranston 11-2, 11-7, 11-3.

Other winners included 2008 champion Annie Au of Hong Kong, seventh seed Donna Urquhart and 2009 winner Joelle King from New Zealand.

Stewart Boswell made it two Australian men into the second round when he downed India’s Saurav Ghosal in straight games on Tuesday.

Boswell edged Ghosal in a tight first game before easing away with the next two to take the match 14-12, 11-2, 11-5.

The 33-year-old Boswell grew up in Canberra and delighted the home fans with the emphatic win to join David Palmer in the second round.

However, he will have to step up several gears before facing second seeded Egyptian Ramy Ashour, who downed Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen in the last match of the night.

“It’s pretty good, it’s nice to have some support,” Boswell said about playing in Canberra. “Normally it’s for the other guy when I’m overseas, I was glad to get through at least one round this year, that’s a start.”

Earlier Cameron Pilley bowed out at the hands of classy Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, while Englishman Peter Barker was too steady for Hobart’s Aaron Frankcomb, winning 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.

Gaultier was in blistering form as he downed world number 14 Pilley 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.

Fourth seeded Englishman James Willstrop put on a display of superb squash as he downed countryman Chris Ryder 13-11, 11-8, 11-0, declaring later he played almost the perfect match.

Willstrop now faces Scotsman Alan Clyne, who continued his recent climb as he reached the second round of a platinum level tournament for the first time with an 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 win over Malaysia’s Asyraf Azan.

England’s Adrian Grant came from two games down to overhaul German Simon Rosner 2-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.

Nafiizwan Adnan joined fellow Malaysian Ong Beng Hee in the second round when he beat Dick Lau from Hong Kong 11-7, 11-4, 11-3."

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From rippa rit - 09 Aug 2011 - 07:25

David Palmer wins in five to go through.   Results:


 3-Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-8, 11-13, 11-2, 11-6

David Palmer (AUS) bt Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8

Tom Richards (ENG) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-9, 11-8, 11-5

1-Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Steve Coppinger (RSA) 11-7, 11-8, 11-9

Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt 7-Thierry Lincou (FRA) 14-16, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5

Max Lee (HKG) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8

Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4

Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI)  11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9

 Women’s qualifying finals

 Amanda Cranston (NZL) bt Laura McCredie (AUS) 11-1, 11-5, 11-9

Vanessa Pickerd (AUS) bt Selena Shaikh (AUS) 11-1, 11-4, 11-4

Zoe Petrovansky (AUS) bt Grace McErvale (AUS) 11-8, 11-1, 11-2

Tamika Saxby (AUS) bt Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 11-5, 11-6, 12-10

Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Bethany Brazier (AUS) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6

Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Jennifer Brown (AUS) 11-3, 11-2, 11-2


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From rippa rit - 07 Aug 2011 - 10:22

Qualifying results Australian Open, Canberra

  • Alan Clyne (SCO) bye
  • Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt James Skiffington (NZL) 11-2, 11-1, 11-1
  • Dick Lau (HKG) bt Ben Takamizawa Harris (JPN) 11-8, 11-3, 11-1
  • Alex Phillips (ENG) bt Jamie McErvale (AUS) 13-11, 11-7, 1-11, 4-11, 11-4
  • Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Luke Sims (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-2
  • Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Roman Svec (CZE) 11-8, 11-8, 11-3
  • Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Tim Manning (AUS) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8
  • Max Lee (HKG) bt Bradley Hindle (MLT) 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2
  • Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Joseph Watts (NZL) 11-1, 11-6, 11-4
  • Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Kamran Khan (MAS) 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4
  • Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Josh Cardwell (AUS) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9
  • Chris Lloyd (NZL) bt Joshua Southwell-Nobbs (AUS) 11-7, 11-3, 11-6
  • Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9
  • Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt Justin Beard (AUS) 11-9, 10-12, 11-3. 11-7
  • Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Ondrej Ertl (CZE) 13-11, 11-7, 11-2
  • Martin Knight (NZL) bye

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From rippa rit - 29 Jul 2011 - 14:29   -   Updated: 29 Jul 2011 - 14:31

Following the withdrawal of Amr Shabana (EGY) from the Viridian Australian Open the revised first round draw is:

1-Nick Matthew (ENG) v Stephen Coppinger (RSA)
Ong Beng Hee (MAS) v Qualifier
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
7-Thierry Lincou (FRA) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
8-Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v David Palmer (AUS)
Tom Richards (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
Qualifier v Qualifier
3-Karim Darwish (EGY) v Qualifier
4-James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Ryder (ENG)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Adrian Grant (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
5-Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
6-Peter Barker (ENG) v Aaron Frankcomb (AUS)
Wael El Hindi (EGY) v Qualifier
Stewart Boswell (AUS) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
2-Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Qualifier

David Palmer (Au) was drawn to play Shabana and now since the redraw will play Azian Iskandar (Mal).

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From rippa rit - 22 Jul 2011 - 20:11   -   Updated: 23 Jul 2011 - 20:52

A stylish range of practical gear has been released to coincide with the Australian Open in Canberra.

Orders can be taken through Squash Australia.

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