Commonwealth Games 2022


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2022 Venue: University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre
 

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Can the Kiwis win gold? LONG LIVE THE KING WILLSTROP IS - ‘NOT DONE YET'

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Commonwealth Games 2022,
SINGLES, University of Birmingham Squash Centre, Birmingham, England
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Commonwealth Games 2022
Men's Singles Draw
28 Jul - 03 Aug
Birmingham,
England
Round Two
30 JUL

Round two
31 JUL

Quarters
01 AUG
Semis
02 AUG
Final
03 AUG
[1] Paul Coll (NZL)
11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (16m)
Niall Engerer (MLT)
Paul Coll
8-11, 11-0, 11-5, 12-10 (51m)
Emyr Evans
 

Paul Coll
12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (47m)
Adrian Waller


Paul Coll

11-9, 11-4, 11-1 (43m)
Saurav Ghosal
 




 



Paul Coll
3-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (102m)
 Joel Makin




Bronze Medal Match
Saurav Ghosal

11-6, 11-1, 11-4 (42m)
James Willstrop

Emyr Evans (WAL)
11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 (46m)
[9/16] Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS)
Christopher Binnie (JAM)
w/o
[9/16] Ramit Tandon (IND)
Christopher Binnie
11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (35m)
Adrian Waller
[5/8] Adrian Waller (ENG)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (25m)
Jake Kelly (CAY)
[5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO)
11-9, 11-4, 12-10 (37m)
Ravindu Laksiri (SRI)
Greg Lobban
11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7 (64m)
Ivan Yuen
Greg Lobban
11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3 (59m)
 Saurav Ghosal
 
[9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS)
11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (42m)
Rhys Dowling (AUS)
[9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)
11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4 (48m)
Peter Creed (WAL)
David Baillargeon
11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (38m)
Saurav Ghosal
[3/4] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
Shamil Wakeel (SRI)
[3/4] Patrick Rooney (ENG)
11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (28m)
Julian Jervis (CAY)
Patrick Rooney
12-10, 7-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-5 (74m)
Rory Stewart
 

Rory Stewart
11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (72m)
James Willstrop


James Willstrop

11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (50m)
 Joel Makin
 
[9/16] Rory Stewart (SCO)
8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (45m)
Temwa Chileshe (NZL)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK)
11-5, 9-3 ret. (16m)
[9/16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
Nasir Iqbal
11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (33m)
James Willstrop
[5/8] James Willstrop (ENG)
11-1, 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
Christian Navas (GIB)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (17m)
Jason-Ray Khalil (GUY)
Eain Yow Ng
11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (38m)
Nick Sachvie


Eain Yow Ng

 11-4, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 (98m)
Joel Makin
Nick Sachvie (CAN)
11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (70m)
[9/16] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL)
[9/16] Alan Clyne (SCO)
11-3, 9-2 ret. (22m)
Abhay Singh (IND)
Alan Clyne
11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (42m)
Joel Makin
Michael Kawooya (UGA)
11-1, 11-2, 11-2 (24m)
[2]
Joel Makin (WAL)
Round ONE
29 JUL

[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bye
Niall Engerer (MLT) bt Kijan Sultana (MLT) 11-7, 15-13, 9-11, 12-10 (51m)
Emyr Evans (WAL) bt Luca Reich (IVB) 11-1, 11-3, 11-0 (20m)
[9/16] Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) bt Madako Suari (PNG) 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (17m)
[9/16] Ramit Tandon (IND) bye
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt Evans Ayih (GHA) 11-1, 11-1, 11-3 (16m)
Jake Kelly (CAY) bt Marika Matanatabu (FIJ) 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (54m)
[5/8] Adrian Waller (ENG) bye
[5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO) bye
Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) bt Shomari Wiltshire (GUY) 11-2, 11-1, 7-11, 11-3 (33m)
Rhys Dowling (AUS) bt Jason Doyle (VIN) 11-1, 11-2, 11-5 (18m)
[9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Khamal Cumberbatch (BAR) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (26m)
[9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN) bt Chayse McQuan (TTO) 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (24m)
Peter Creed (WAL) bt Othneil Bailey (VIN) 11-1, 11-4, 11-5 (16m)
Shamil Wakeel (SRI) bt Shawn Simpson (BAR) 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1 (40m)
[3/4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bye
[3/4] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bye
Julian Jervis (CAY) bt Clement Anafo (GHA) 11-1, 11-1, 11-2 (16m)
Temwa Chileshe (NZL) bt Jules Snagg (VIN) 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 (17m)
[9/16] Rory Stewart (SCO) bt Muqtadir Nimji (KEN) 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (22m)
[9/16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) bye
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Julian Morrison (JAM) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Christian Navas (GIB) bt Jace Jervis (CAY) 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (38m)
[5/8] James Willstrop (ENG) bye
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bye
Jason-Ray Khalil (GUY) bt Paul Kadoma (UGA) 12-14, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 (54m)
Nick Sachvie (CAN) bt Kundanji Kalengo (ZAM) 11-2, 10-12, 11-2, 11-1 (37m)
[9/16] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) bt Feonor Siaguru (PNG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (17m)
[9/16] Alan Clyne (SCO) bye
Abhay Singh (IND) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (25m)
Michael Kawooya (UGA) bt Marcus Allen Adela (SEY) 11-8, 11-1, 11-3 (12m)
[2] Joel Makin (WAL) bye
 

Commonwealth Games 2022
Women's Singles Draw
28 Jul - 03 Aug
Birmingham,
England
Round Two
30 JUL

Round two
31 JUL

Quarters
01 AUG
Semis
02 AUG
Final
03 AUG
[1] Joelle King (NZL)
11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (15m)
Leungo Katse (BOT)
Joelle King
11-3, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
Georgia Adderley
Joelle King
9-11, 18-16, 11-9, 14-12 (85m)
Lucy Turmel
 

Joelle King
7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-1 (37m)
Hollie Naughton








Hollie Naughton
11-7, 11-5,
12-14, 11-5
Georgina Kennedy




 Bronze Medal Match
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12 (76m) 
Joelle King (NZL)
[9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO)
11-1, 11-3, 11-1 (20m)
Emma Keane (BER)
[9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
Colette Sultana (MLT)
Jessica Turnbull
11-1, 13-11, 9-11, 11-4 (40m)
Lucy Turmel
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG)
11-5, 11-1, 11-1 (15m)
Amity Alarcos (PNG)
[5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
11-2, 11-1, 11-2 (16m)
Lijana Sultana (MLT)
Hollie Naughton
11-6, 11-7, 16-14 (31m)
Aifa Azman
Hollie Naughton
11-9, 11-5, 15-13 (33m)
 Joshna Chinappa
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS)
11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (25m)
Sunayna Kuruvilla (IND)
[9/16] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (23m)
Mary Fung-A-Fat (GUY)
Kaitlyn Watts
11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6 (36m)
Joshna Chinappa
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (34m)
Meagan Best (BAR)
[3/4] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)
11-1, 11-1, 11-1 (16m)
Yeheni Kuruppu (SRI)
Georgina Kennedy
11-3, 11-1, 11-3 (22m)
Nicole Bunyan

Georgina Kennedy

11-4, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)
Rachel Arnold
 

Georgina Kennedy
11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 14-12 (55m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry

 

[9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
11-1, 11-8, 11-4 (20m)
Chanithma Sinaly (SRI)
[9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS)
11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (14m)
Amna Fayyaz (PAK)
Rachel Arnold
19-17, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)
Tesni Evans
[5/8] Tesni Evans (WAL)
11-5, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
Amanda Haywood (BAR)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (WAL)
11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6 (43m)
Anahat Singh (IND)
Emily Whitlock
13-11, 11-7, 11-3 (29m)
Donna Lobban


Emily Whitlock

11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (29m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS)
6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS)
[9/16] Chan Yiwen (MAS)
11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (18m)
Faiza Zafar (PAK)
Chan Yiwen
11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (28m)
Sarah-Jane Perry
Jade Pitcairn (CAY)
11-1, 11-3, 11-5 (16m)
[2]
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
Round ONE
29 JUL


[1] Joelle King (NZL) bye
Leungo Katse (BOT) bt Zulema Chisenga (ZAM) 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 (18m)
Emma Keane (BER) bye
[9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO) bye
[9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bye
Colette Sultana (MLT) bye
Amity Alarcos (PNG) bye
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bye
[5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bye
Lijana Sultana (MLT) bt Charlotte Knaggs (TTO) 9-11, 11-3, 11-3, 7-11, 12-10 (40m)
Sunayna Kuruvilla (IND) bye
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS) bye
[9/16] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) bye
Mary Fung-A-Fat (GUY) bye
Meagan Best (BAR) bt Khaaliqa Nimji (KEN) 11-1, 11-0, 11-0 (12m)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bye
[3/4] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bye
Yeheni Kuruppu (SRI) bt Ashley Khalil (GUY) 11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-4 (33m)
Chanithma Sinaly (SRI) bye
[9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN) bye
[9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS) bye
Amna Fayyaz (PAK) bye
Amanda Haywood (BAR) bt Neo Phatsima (BOT) 11-3, 11-3, 11-9 (15m)
[5/8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bye
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bye
Anahat Singh (IND) bt Jada Ross (VIN) 11-6, 11-2, 11-0 (15m)
Rachael Grinham (AUS) bye
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) bye
[9/16] Chan Yiwen (MAS) bye
Faiza Zafar (PAK) bye
Jade Pitcairn (CAY) bt Jada Smith-Padmore (BAR) 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (19m)
[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bye
 

REPORTS

click logo for BBC Squash
 
Courtesy of BBC: 1m 44s
 
Courtesy of BBC: 2m 25s
England's Kennedy and New Zealand's Coll take Commonwealth Games titles



England’s Georgina Kennedy and New Zealand’s Paul Coll are the 2022 Commonwealth Games singles champions after they beat Canada’s Hollie Naughton and Wales’ Joel Makin in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,000 inside the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre.

Appearing in her debut Commonwealth Games, 3/4 seed Kennedy put in yet another remarkable performance to cap a year in which she has risen from a relative-unknown World No.185 to World No.8 and a national star, drawing comparisons with clubmate Emma Raducanu.

Kennedy, as she had in victories over Yeheni Kuruppu, Nicole Bunyan, Rachel Arnold and compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry in Birmingham, today blew 5/8 seed Naughton away with her devastating speed and court coverage.

There was an intriguing clash of styles in game one, with Naughton’s power and Kennedy’s pace well matched as the scores reached 6-6.

Kennedy, though, soon kicked on and took the first game 11-7 before doubling her advantage with a dominant 11-5 win in the second.

Naughton responded well in the third and blasted her way to a 10-4 lead, before Kennedy incredibly saved all six game balls to force a tie break.

Kennedy had one hand on the gold medal when she had match ball at 11-10, before a determined Naughton pulled the game back with a 14-12 win.

Somehow, Kennedy moved even faster in the fourth game and went on the attack as she raced away to a 6-1 lead. This time, Naughton was unable to recover, and Kennedy took the title with a 11-5 victory.

“I’m a bit lost for words really,” Kennedy said afterwards. “Yesterday when I won the semi-final I was filled with emotion and at the moment I’m just in shock a little bit!

“I wish I could put into words what this means to me, but I honestly can’t. It’s a dream and this dream has become a reality now. I’ve been thinking about how it would feel for so long and I’ve been building up for this for two years now, and now it’s happened, I’m just a bit speechless!”



More history was made in the men’s final, as Coll became the first Kiwi to win a singles gold medal after twice coming from behind in an epic encounter with Makin.

Coll went into the match with an 11-2 head-to-head record over Makin, including a victory from two games down in the semi-finals of the 2018 Games.

It was the University of Birmingham graduate Makin, though, who began quicker and the World No.7 made the ideal start to the match when his attacking strategy caught Coll off guard as he won the first game 11-3.

Makin continued to show excellent ball control in a tight second game, but was unable to prevent an improving Coll – who was ranked World No.1 between March and May of this year – from edging the contest 11-9.

Makin, who enjoyed the vast majority of the crowd’s support, responded fantastically in the third game. The 27-year-old attacked the front of the court with relish to reclaim the lead with an 11-8 win, as the incredible athleticism of both men drew gasps and applause from the fans.

Neither player elected to change the ball for the fourth game, which became a shootout as both men played thrilling squash. Coll, though, was able to keep his nose ahead throughout and took the match into a fifth game with an 11-8 win.

Although Makin continued to throw everything at Coll in the final game, the 2018 runner up looked ice cold in his bid to erase the pain of four years ago. The Kiwi began to dominate the court and had five gold medal balls at 10-5. Makin went all out and saved two, but Coll eventually brought a thrilling match to an end with an 11-7 win.

After sharing a long embrace with his New Zealand teammates , Coll said: “I was battling with wanting it too much earlier.

“It’s such an amazing team environment. I was hurting at the end and everyone who came out gave me a lot of energy to push through.

“I’m over the moon and I can’t wait to go back to the village with the gold draped around my neck.”



There was another historic accomplishment in the bronze medal matches as India’s Saurav Ghosal became the first Indian to win a singles medal when he downed 2018 champion James Willstrop.

Ghosal played a brilliant game and constantly nullified Willstrop’s threat with combinations of drops and then accurate lobs over the 1.9 metre tall Englishman.

This plan worked well and the Indian took the first game 11-6, before seeing out the match with 11-1 and 11-4 wins.

“Today is the hardest match I’ve ever played. Mentally, it was so hard. I’ve learnt so much from him,” Ghosal said.

In the women’s final, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry avenged her defeat in the 2018 Gold Coast final with a brilliant comeback to beat New Zealand’s 2018 champion Joelle King.



Birmingham-born Perry was in a desperate situation at two games down and trailing 8-4 in the third. The 32-year-old, though, showed remarkable mental strength to come back and take the game 12-10, before levelling the match with an 11-6 win in the fourth.

In an absorbing fifth game, Perry saved two bronze medal balls and then had one of her own saved, before eventually taking the match with a 14-12 victory to the roars of the crowd.

“I’ve had some comebacks in my time but that’s right up there. Thanks to everyone for believing and everyone who puts that confidence in me,” Perry said.
 
Canada’s Hollie Naughton shocks top seed to make historic final



Hollie Naughton became the first Canadian woman to reach a Commonwealth Games final after the 5/8 seed stunned New Zealand’s top seed and defending champion Joelle King at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre.

Naughton, 27, had never taken a game, let alone beaten King, in four previous meetings and even after her surprise win over 3/4 seed Joshna Chinappa in the quarter-final, there were doubts as to whether she out consistently threaten the Kiwi.

Naughton soon answered those questions. The Barnsley-born star looked quietly threatening in an 11-7 defeat in the first game and came out flying in the second, where she moved higher up the court and looked to volley whenever possible. This proved effective, with Naughton taking the second game 11-3 as King looked rattled.

The third game was an even one and at 8-8 could have gone either way. Naughton, however, who looked increasingly assured as the match went on, was able to pull away to take a 2-1 lead into the fourth game.

The efforts of the third game, and perhaps the brutal 85-minuter against Turmel yesterday, seemed to drain King and there was a growing sense of inevitability in the fourth game as Naughton rapidly rattled off points.

The onslaught from Naughton continued against an increasingly dejected King, and the World No.20 was able to record a historic victory with a comfortable 11-1 win.

“I don’t really know what happened there!” a stunned Naughton said afterwards.

“This is my first Commonwealth Games and I’m super happy with how I’ve dealt with the emotions and the atmosphere.

“I hope I’m doing [my family and supporters] proud. I want to try and inspire that next generation to follow in my footsteps. Hopefully that’s possible.”


Georgina Kennedy

Naughton’s opponent tomorrow will be England’s  after the 3/4 seed beat No.2 seed and 2018 silver medallist Sarah-Jane Perry in an all-English semi-final.

Kennedy, who has climbed 162 places to World No.8 in the past year, has shown few nerves in her debut Commonwealth Games and played her classic harrying squash from the beginning as she took the first game 11-6.

Perry responded by slowing the ball down in the second and took the first five points on the way to an 11-8 win.

Kennedy, though, had ended that second game strongly and took that momentum into the third game, which she took 11-5 to restore her advantage.

In a thrilling final game, Kennedy earned three match balls when she went 10-7 up. The resilient Perry, though, played courageously and continued to attack, brilliantly saving all three to force a tie break.

Perry came close to forcing Kennedy into a fifth game when she took a 12-11 lead, only for Kennedy to recover before finally making the breakthrough to seal a memorable match with a 14-12 victory.

“It’s the best feeling I’ve had, ever,” an emotional Kennedy said afterwards.

“Sport is all about role models, SJ’s sportsmanship and her graciousness are amazing and everyone is inspired by her on court and off it.

“I just did not want it to go to a fifth [game] because her mental strength is her biggest asset. I think that if it had gone to a fifth I really would have struggled.”


Joel Makin (Left)

In the men’s draw, England’s defending champion and 5/8 seed James Willstrop fell to an impressive performance from No.2 seed Joel Makin, who became the first Welshman to reach the final courtesy of a 3-0 win.

Willstrop, 38, battled past Scotland’s Rory Stewart in a tough quarter-final match yesterday and seemed to be feeling the effects, with his movement not at its best.

Makin, meanwhile, is renowned for his movement and covered every inch of the court as he took a deserved lead with an 11-5 win. A second 11-5 followed for the 27-year-old, leading to an exciting shootout in the third game.

Willstrop threw the kitchen sink at Makin in the third game and eked out narrow leads at 4-3 and 5-4. The Englishman, however, made too many errors and Makin capitalised to force his way into the final with an 11-9 victory.

Afterwards, Makin said: “I knew he was hurting physically, but he actually came on stronger in the third game than he did in the first.

“The support has been unbelievable. Everyone has booked so much time off and my family has travelled from all over.


Paul Coll

“The Games bring in people who wouldn’t normally watch the sport. When it gets coverage on the BBC, that is where we reach a wider audience and people realise what it’s about. It’s exciting. It’s fast-paced. It’s so intense.”


Makin will meet top seed and 2018 runner up Paul Coll in the men’s final, after the Kiwi brushed aside 3/4 Saurav Ghosal in three games.

Ghosal gave a good account of himself in the first game, as the 35-year-old fell to a narrow 11-9 defeat after going 10-6 down.

After this, though, Coll was at his brilliant best and the World No.2 reached his second successive final with comfortable 11-4 and 11-1 wins.

“There’s no feeling to describe it. I’ve really found my groove the past two matches. I’ve trained for four years to bring a medal back to New Zealand and obviously I really want it to be gold,” Coll said.

Yesterday also saw the plate event, played between players knocked out earlier in the tournament, reach the final stage. Sunayna Sara Kuruvilla and Mary Fung-A-Fat will contest the women’s final, while Kundanji Kalengo and Muqtadir Sadruddin Numji will meet in the men’s final.

The bronze medal matches of squash at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games begin tomorrow (03/08) at 16:00 (GMT+1). The gold medal matches will begin at 18:00 with the women’s final, followed by the men’s final at 19:00. Click here for a list of broadcasters by country
 
Inspiring comebacks aplenty as semi-finalists confirmed


Lucy Turmel (L) Joelle King (R)

After a day of epic performances, featuring comebacks, upsets and history being made, the Commonwealth Games semi-finalists have been confirmed.

Play began with one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far, as defending champion and top seed Joelle King was put through the ringer by English 5/8 seed Lucy Turmel as the Kiwi edged a nail-biting 85-minute encounter 3-1.

Despite her inexperience and a 4-0 losing record against King, it was the 22-year-old Turmel who looked the more confident player in the opening game. While King played too many loose shots, Turmel was tenacious, and the Englishwoman took a surprise first game lead with an 11-9 win.

King looked like she'd found an instant response as she went 10-2 up in the second, only to be shocked by an extraordinary burst from Turmel, who saved every game ball. What followed was a nail-biting contest, with both players having game balls, before King finally ended things when she converted her 11th game ball to take the epic 29-minute second game 18-16.

In a stop-start third game, King was able to get her nose in front with a tight 11-9 win and then looked well set to take the match when she had two match balls at 10-8.

Once again, Turmel battled doggedly and was able to save both match balls and force yet another tie break, before King finally made the decisive breakthrough to win the match with a 14-12 victory.

Afterwards, King said: “Lucy played an unbelievable match today, all credit has to go to her. She came here on a big occasion, came from upstairs [traditional] court and gave everything. I was thinking it was going to be a long walk back to camp if I lose and just had to find a way to win and I’m happy to be in the semis.”

King’s opponent tomorrow will be 5/8 seed Hollie Naughton, after the 27-year-old upset India’s 3/4 seed Joshna Chinappa to become the first ever Canadian woman to reach the Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

Naughton, who was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, was roared on by the crowd as she took a fast-paced opening game, fighting back from 6-2 down to win 11-9.

The Canadian seemed to draw confidence from this as Chinappa wilted. From 6-5 up in game two, Naughton then accelerated away and took a commanding 2-0 lead with an 11-5 win.

The decisive final game was a much more even affair, with neither player able to pull clear. Chinappa had opportunities to find a foothold in the match with game balls at 10-9, 11-10, 12-11, and 13-12, but was frustrated each time by Naughton, who finally put the match to bed to make history with a 15-13 win.

Afterwards, Naughton said: “It's unbelievable, a dream come true really. I knew I had to keep the nerves at bay. Playing in front of an atmosphere like this is something you don't do too often! Thanks everyone for coming out.”

In the men’s draw, defending singles champion James Willstrop rolled back the years to overcome Scotland’s Rory Stewart in a thrilling contest and set up a British battle in the semi-finals against Wales’ No.2 seed Joel Makin.


James Willstrop

Having watched World No.65 Stewart send teammate Patrick Rooney out yesterday, Willstrop was composed as he took the first game 11-5.

Stewart, however, came back hard and went 2-1 up after 11-9 and 11-7 wins, before Willstrop took the match into a fifth game with an 11-6 win.

At 7-3 down in the fifth game, Willstrop looked in trouble. The 38-year-old, however, then found another level, with the former World No.1 finding space behind the Scot to reach his fourth successive Commonwealth Games semi-final with an 11-8 victory.

After the match, Willstrop paid tribute to Turmel, saying her performance against King had inspired him to dig in for the victory.

Willstrop will be joined in the semi-finals by two of his compatriots, albeit in the women’s draw, after No.2 seed Sarah-Jane Perry recorded a 12th successive victory over Welsh 5/8 seed Emily Whitlock and 3/4 seed Georgina Kennedy brutally dispatched Malaysia’s 9/16 Rachel Arnold.


Georgina Kennedy

Kennedy’s 3-0 victory was the quickest match of the day by some margin. In fact, so short was it that it could have been five times alongside the King-Turmel clash with Kennedy, who smothered the Malaysian with relentless harrying, needing just 17 minutes to reach the semi-final in her first Commonwealth Games.

Even Kennedy herself seemed somewhat surprised by the quality of her performance, with the 26-year-old saying afterwards: “I don’t know what came over me. I’ve been training a couple of years for this event and that’s the best squash I’ve played this season. All day I’ve had a lot of energy and it all came together.

The other home player involved, Adrian Waller, lost out 3-0 to New Zealand's top seed Paul Coll, with Coll speeding away after a tight 12-10 win in the first game.

Elsewhere, India’s 3/4 seed Saurav Ghosal beat Scottish 5/8 seed Greg Lobban 3-1 in a match defined by rapid rallies, while Joel Makin ended the day’s play with a 3-1 win over Malaysian 5/8 seed Eain Yow Ng in a match interrupted for 15 minutes by an injury to the Malaysian’s eye.

Yesterday also saw the plate event, played between players knocked out earlier in the tournament, reach the semi-final stage. Click here for a list of broadcasters by country

The semi-finals of squash at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games begin tomorrow (02/08) at 16:00 (GMT+1). Click here for a list of broadcasters by country.

 
Incredible comeback as Stewart downs Rooney in last 16 shock





Scotland’s World No.66 and 9/16 seed Rory Stewart delivered the shock of the tournament so far as he produced a stunning comeback to knock out England’s 3/4 seed Patrick Rooney 3-2 and set up a quarter-final against defending champion James Willstrop.

World No.24 Rooney went into the match with a 3-0 head-to-head record over Stewart, with their most recent match a straight-games victory for the Englishman in the PSL Cup in May.

Today, though, Stewart was imperious. The Scotsman deservedly took the first game 12-10, with the World No.66 overpowering an out-of-sorts Rooney, who struggled for width.

Rooney improved in the second game, levelling with an 11-7 win, before edging in front with a fiercely contested 12-10 of his own.

With his tail up, Rooney made a confident start to the fourth game and must have thought he had one foot in the quarter-final when he raced into a 7-0 lead.

Incredibly, though, Stewart not only reeled Rooney in but, after saving four match balls, forced the match into a fifth game with a nerve-shredding 13-11 win.

Both players looked evenly matched at the beginning of the fifth game, which was as much about mental ability as physical and technical.

Stewart, however, then put together another spectacular scoring blitz race from 4-3 down to an 11-4 winner after a brief wait for a video review to confirm his win.

“I’m delighted,” Stewart said afterwards. “To be honest I’d have said to myself I was probably getting beaten and to do anything more than that, I’d be happy to accept as a bonus.

“I definitely felt the tension. I think [my Scotland teammates] probably all thought I was losing [when 7-0 down].

“My ranking is lower than Patrick, but on a glass court I can pull off wins like this. There are a lot of Scots here and I’m glad they got to see this!”

Despite Rooney’s woes, the England team may reflect on the day as being a positive one overall after the other five members of their contingent recorded wins to reach the quarter-finals.


Georgina Kennedy

3/4 seed Georgina Kennedy’s demolition of Canada’s Nicole Bunyan was perhaps the pick of the bunch, while Willstrop capped his 200th England appearance with a comfortable win over Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal.

Reacting after her 11-3, 11-1, 11-3 win, Kennedy said: “It’s crazy, I've said a few times that it’s been a dream since I was a girl to compete with Team England and just to be here is a life goal achieved.

“But now, after the successful year I’ve had, my perspective has changed. I don’t want to just show up. I want to reach the podium.

“I’m so lucky to play on this glass in front of an amazing crowd."


World No.2 Paul Coll

Earlier in the day, top seed and World No.2 Paul Coll avoided suffering a similar fate to Rooney when he fought back from a game down against spirited Welshman Emyr Evans.

Evans deservedly took the first game 11-8, but was met with a brutal response from the Kiwi, who restored parity with an 11-0 win in game two and then took the lead with an 11-5 victory in game three.

Evans, though, was not beaten yet. The Welshman battled well, impressing numerous times with a powerful backhand and had a chance to take Coll into a fifth game when he took a 10-9 lead in game four.

Coll, however, was able to rescue the situation, drawing level and then taking the match with a 12-10 win to set up a quarter-final match against England’s Adrian Waller, who brushed aside Jamaica’s Christopher Binnie 3-0.

“I think he did really well. He put in a great performance and should be proud of himself today, he really made me work for it,” Coll said.

Elsewhere, India, Malaysia and Wales sent two players each into the quarter-finals.


Joshna Chinappa

For India, men’s 3/4 seed Saurav Ghosal and women’s 3/4 seed Joshna Chinappa put in assured performances to put away Canada’s 9/16 seed David Baillargeon and New Zealand’s 9/6 seed Kaitlyn Watts, while Malaysia’s 9/16 seed Rachel Arnold upset Wales’ 5/8 seed Tesni Evans to join compatriot and 5/8 seed Eain Yow Ng in the quarters after he beat Canada’s Nick Sachvie.

There was consolation for both Wales and Canada, though, after Welsh No.2 seed Joel Makin and 5/8 seed Emily Whitlock progressed through to the quarter-finals, while Canada’s 5/8 seed Hollie Naughton beat Malaysia’s 9/16 seed Aifa Azman for a second-successive 3-0 win.

Completing the draw is women’s top seed and defending champion Joelle King, who will play England’s 5/8 seed Lucy Turmel after beating Scotland’s 9/16 seed Georgia Adderley, and Scotland’s 5/8 seed Greg Lobban, who beat Malaysia’s 9/16 seed Ivan Yuen in a see-saw encounter.

The quarter-finals of squash at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games begin tomorrow (01/08) at 12:00 (GMT+1). Click here for a list of broadcasters by country.
 
Hosts Enjoy Perfect Day


James Willstrop (R)

Birmingham 2022 hosts England enjoyed a dream start in their bid to capture Commonwealth Games medals on home court after every member of the England Squash team picked up victories in straight games in round two at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre.

Former World No.1 James Willstrop was one of the stories of the 2018 Games when won a singles gold at the fourth attempt and the 38-year-old made the ideal start to his title defence today.

After receiving a first round bye alongside his England teammates yesterday, Willstrop was at his crowd-pleasing best against Gibraltar’s Christian Navas, putting on a typically smooth display to put away the 44-year-old.

Willstrop pinned Navas at back a number of times throughout the match, with the crowd showing particular appreciation for the trademark ‘windmill’ as Willstrop went 2-0 up with 11-1 and 11-2 wins.

To his delight and rapturous applause, Navas took a 1-0 lead in game three. While he was unable to hold on for an unlikely win, he left the court with plenty of credit after a hard-fought 11-6 defeat that sent Willstrop through to the last 16.

Willstrop – who will play Nasir Iqbal tomorrow after the Pakistani’s compatriot 9/16 seed Tayyab Aslam was forced to withdraw through injury during their match – will be joined by all of his teammates tomorrow after No.2 seed Sarah-Jane Perry beat Jade Pitcairn, 3/4 seed Georgina Kennedy eased past Yemeni Kuruppu, and 5/8 seed Lucy Turmel beat Amity Alarcos in the women’s draw, while 3/4 seed Patrick Rooney and 5/8 seed Adrian Waller beat Julian Jervis and Jake Kelly, respectively.


Paul Coll (L)

Paul Coll, Willstrop’s opponent in the 2018 final, was also involved for the first time today as the top seed and World No.2 breezed past Niall Engerer of Malta.

Although Engerer, who has Maltese family but was born in England, was unable to get the better of Coll, he won plenty of fans with an entertaining attacking display that caught the Kiwi out a number of times, particularly in the third game.

Speaking after his 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 win, Coll said: “It was good fun. I’ve never played him before and it’s nice to play someone new. It was a great and clean match and he’s got great skills.

“It’s amazing seeing the New Zealand supporters. It’s my favourite time of year playing for New Zealand.”

Engerer said: “I’m English born and bred so I had a lot of friends and family up today which was really special and I felt the love on there!”

Joelle King, Coll’s compatriot and top seed counterpart in the women’s draw, also went into her match, which was the first of the day on the show court, against Botswana’s Leungo Katse as the overwhelming favourite.

Any fans hoping for an opening match miracle were quickly brought back down by King, who put away the 17-year-old 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 in brutally efficient fashion.


Rachael Grinham (R)

Today also saw Rachael Grinham became the first Australian woman to compete in six Commonwealth Games as she went down to compatriot and 9/16 seed Donna Lobban.

The 45-year-old, who has won eight Commonwealth Games medals since she appeared at squash’s Commonwealth Games debut in Kuala Lumpur 1998, went into today’s match with a 5-5 head-to-head record versus Lobban, though Lobban had won the last three encounters.

It initially appeared that Grinham was going to write a fairytale and reverse this trend as she took a hard-fought first game 11-6 to the delight of the crowd.

Lobban, however, never looked flustered and levelled with an 11-4 win in the second game before taking the match with two 11-7s.

Afterwards, Lobban said: “It’s definitely bittersweet. We were gutted we had to play each other because we wanted to beat someone else! I have so much respect for Rachael as a teammate and a friend.

“She’s been World No.1 and World Champ and I was lucky enough to grow up looking up to her and with her inspiring me.”

Elsewhere, Indian 14-year-old Anahat Singh’s Commonwealth Games campaign came to an end at the hands of Wales’ 5/8 seed Emily Whitlock, Canada’s Nick Sachvie fought from 2-1 down to beat New Zealand’s 9/16 seed Lwamba Chileshe and Wales’ Emyr Evans downed Malaysian 9/16 seed Mohammad Syafiq Kamal 3-1.

Round three of squash at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games begins tomorrow (31/07) at 12:00 (GMT+1).
 

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