Ondrej Uherka (CZE) bt Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 16-14, 3-11, 11-9,
Jens Schoor (GER) bt Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (28m)
Douglas Kempsell (SCO) bt Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-3
Evan Williams (NZL) bt Ben Grindrod (NZL) 11-1, 11-8, 11-2 (25m)
Semi final day at the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN.
Current women's champion Millie Tomlinson was up first, playing Dutch champion
Milou van der Heijden. Millie started very well, hitting a super length from the
start. She raced to a 8-2 lead. Milou got another 3 points but Millie won it
11/5. The 2nd was much closer with the 2 players trading point for point. They
both were very tight and making few mistakes. Millie took a tight 2nd 11/8. The
third was exactly the same but van der Heijden let a gap grow a little and
Tomlinson finished it off well 11/8 to win 3-0 in 36min.
The other women's semi final between Julianne Courtice and Nele Gilis was an
incredible match. The balance swayed between both players and was a true display
of how squash should be played. Gilis won the first 11/6 and looked in full
control. Courtice came right back into it in the 2nd and 3rd winning both. All
four corners of the court were being used and the players strength was truly
tested. Courtice led the 4th 5-0 and it looked ominous for Gilis. Nele dug deep
and Julianne made a few mistakes; Gilis takes the 4th 13/11. So onto the
deciding game. It went to 5 all. Gilis shot making now started to stretch
Courtice and Gilis won the 5th 11/5. A super semi final for the huge crowd.
In the men's semi finals, Adrian Waller player Yoissef Soliman, the winner in
the West of Ireland PSA Open last week. They had not played each other before.
Waller game plan was to make it tough for him, as he had a tough week playing a
lot of squash. Waller was very controlled and nearly looked in slow motion at
times, such was his movement and length. Waller won the first 11/7. In the
second he was even more dominate and reeled off 9 points without reply, to win
the second 11/1. In the third Soliman came back at him a bit in the middle.
Waller just settled himself and took it on again to win relatively easily 11/8
and 3-0 in 40min.
The last match of the night was another cracker. Last year's beaten finalist
Declan James of England played Egyptian, Mazen Gamal. Both players were very
tight in the first game and there was nothing in it. James made a couple of
lovely winners and forced some mistakes from Gamal to win it 11/7. Gamal settled
into the 2nd game and started to find a better length. He led 5/2 before James
then got 5 points in a row. James was forcing Gamal now and won the 2nd 11/7.
The 3rd followed the same pattern except at the end of this game Gamal was
getting the shots, with James now making some mistakes. So 2-1 to James with the
crowd willing another 5 seter. Gamal started to look a little tired and James
went into a 7/4 lead before Gamal reacted but not for long, as James turned it
up once again to win 11/5 and 3-1 in 64min.
So a night of superb semi finals and we now look forward to 2 super finals
tomorrow with the Women's at 3pm and the Men's at 4pm. All live on
IRISH SQUASH TV -
Quarter finals day at the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN saw
some super matches. First match of the day was between current champion, Millie
Tomlinson of England and Chloe Mesic of France. Millie was in great form and was
ruthless in her approach. She didn't give Mesic a chance. The score was 3-0 and
the champion looks to be determined to hold onto her title. In the 2nd of the
Women's quarters, Dutch No.1 Milou van der Heijden played Mexican and former top
20 player, Samantha Teran. This was a really sporting contest, played honestly
between the 2 players and most enjoyable for the large crowd. Milou won a close
1st & 2nd game and Samantha the 3rd. The rallies were nip and tuck with nothing
to choose between the 2 players. The 4th game was exactly the same with each
point going to one player and then the other. In the end, Milou got it 11/9, but
it could very easily have gone the other way. A super match!
The next women's quarter was somewhat different with Hana Ramadan & Julianne
Courtice really going at each other and the referee. A lot of decisions were
argued over. There was some very competitive squash and Courtice won the 1st
game 11/8. In the next game Ramadan had 3 game balls but lost it 14/12, a game
which lasted 17 min alone. The 3rd was similar but Ramadan ran out of steam and
it finished 11/8, so 3-0 to Courtice. The last quarter final was a classic match
between No.2 seed Nele Gilis and Amanda Landers Murphy. Must be some Irish blood
there somewhere! This match lasted 78 min and had the crowd enthralled. The
first 3 games were very close with some super striking of the ball and movement
by both players. Gilis went 2-1 up. The 4th game was really super with Landers
Murphy requiring 3 game balls before she won it. She looked a bit tired when she
came out in the 5th and Gilis went 7/1 up very quickly. Amanda then rallied and
brought it back 4/7, but Nele went again and won it 11/4 to win the match. A
really great match.
In the men's quarters the No. 1 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi played Youssef Soliman.
Tamimi went 2-0 up but Soliman wasn't finished and he worked really hard to win
the 3rd 14-12. Tamimi lost interest in the 4th immediately and lost it in 3 min,
11/2. Tamimi won the 1st two points but then Soliman took over again and won it
11/6. The second men's quarter was tough with Ben Coleman & Adrain Waller going
at it from the start. Waller beat Irishman, Arthur Gaskin last night. The 1st
game went to Waller 11/5. In the 2nd & 3rd there was very little between them,
but Waller came out the victor, winning them 11/8, 11/9. Coleman wasn't happy
with some of the referee decisions and lost a bit of focus, certainly at the end
when he lost the last 7 points without reply. The match between Egyptians Shehab
Essam & Mazen Gamal started at a great pace with both players hitting the ball
very hard and to a length, with very few shorts shots. It looked as if it was
going to be a slugging match. Essam won the 1st game 11/9 in 18 min. Gamal then
started to mix it up a bit and it paid dividends, as he won the 2nd and 3rd,
11/4, 11/1. in the fourth Gamal raced into a 6-0 lead. Then at 8/1, Essam lay
down on the court and didn't move. Thankfully 2 doctors in the crowd attended to
him immediately and medics arrived to look after him. He came round and was
medically checked and walked off the court, thankfully OK.
Englishman Declan James & Todd Harrity from the USA had a tough 1st game with
both players playing to a high tempo. Harrity battled to win it 12/10. James
settled into his game in the 2nd, playing some lovely drop shots to win it 11/8,
the 3rd was more of the same, so 2-1 to James. In the 4th Harrity lost
concentration and James raced into 7/2 lead. Harrity tried but couldn't stop
James winning it 11/4 and the match.
So a super day of quarter finals and we are looking forward to some super semis
tomorrow. Starting at 17.00 with the last due on court at 20.00, all streamed
live on IRISH SQUASH TV -
Irish players Hannah Craig and Arthur Gaskin, both went out of the
GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN today. Gaskin played Adrian Waller the WR No.38 and
went 2-0 down. Arthur rallied and won the 3rd and had 2 game balls to win the
4th. However Waller dug in and got the win 3-1. The Junior, Hannah Craig from
Belfast played Hana Ramadan from Egypt and lost in 3 games to the much more
In all there were 16 matches in the Women's and Men's first round. The number 1
seed in the women's draw, Millie Tomlinson, the reigning champion had a
straightforward win over the young Belgian player Tinne Gilis 3/0.
The No. 2 women's seed Tinne's sister Nele made sure the family were in the
2nd round, with a good win over Latvian qualifier Ineta Mackevica, 3-1. It was a
good competitive match and Mackevica ranked 50 places behind Gilis played very
well. Last year's finalist Rachael Chadwick gave the crowd full value for money
with her passion and running commentary during the match. It went to 5 games and
was very close with Julianne Courtice winning the 5th, 12/10. Former top 20
player Mexico's, Samantha Teran had a good win over Czech qualifier Eva
In the men's round 1, Number 1 and 2 seeds, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamini and Declan
James both had 3/0 wins. Neither had too much bother but it took James 53min to
put India's Mahesh Mangaonkar down 3/0. There were some super rallies in this
match. The higher ranked Charles Sharpes from England had a tough match with a
lot of debate with the referee.
Playing Shehab Essam from Egypt, Sharpes won the first 11/ 9, but had a
tough 3 games to follow and lost 3/1. The No. 7 seed Youssef Soliman from Egypt
had a super match with Dane, Kristian Frost. Soliman won the first and it went
back and forth to 2 all. Frost worked very hard to stay in it, versus the higher
ranked Soliman and in the 5th it showed, where he lost it 11/3. This match
lasted 80 minutes and the crowd got great entertainment.
In the first of the three women's matches on
today, we had number 1 seed in the qualifiers Tinne Gilis playing the
South African Makgosi Peloakgosi. In a competitive match, Tinne came
through in 3 games. She played some very tidy squash and now plays
number 1 seed and defending champion Millie Tomlonson tomorrow. The next
women's match was between Czech Eva Fertekova and Swiss player Nadia
Pfister. Both players started nervously and made several mistakes. Nadia
started marginally quicker and won the 1st game 11/6. Eva settled into
the match and won the next 2 games well to 4 and 6. Nadia playing better
squash at this stage, leveled it to 2 all. The last game was marred by
mistakes from Nadia which cost her the match; losing the 5th 11/9.
With Farah Momen withdrawing, it meant Tessa Ter Sluis had a bye into
the main draw. The last match was between the Scot, Elspeth Young and
Latvian Ineta Mackevica. Ineta used her height advantage to good effect
over Elspeth winning the first game 11/6. The Scot started the 2nd & 3rd
games well and was up in both but Ineta finished the stronger in both to
win out 3-0.
In the Men's event the first match was between number 1 seed Carlos
Cornes Ribadas from Spain and Ondrej Uherka from Czech. The first game
was a cracking one with it going over and back until it got to 14 all.
Both players were playing very well and the rallies were super to watch.
Uherka won it 16/14. The 2nd was all Ribadas and he won it 11/3. The
referee had to work hard with many of his decisions being questioned by
both players. Again the last 2 games were grueling with many long
rallies but Uherka came through to win both 11/9 & 11/8. The 2nd match
up between Jens Schoor from Germany and Mohd Syafig Kamal from Malaysia
was a much more straightforward affair with Schoor winning well 3-0.
Kamal never really got into it.
The match betwen Scot Douglas Kempsell and Belgian Jan Van Der
Herrewegen, who beat Irishman Brian Byrne yesterday, was a super match.
There were really long rallies and some really good short play at the
front. Even though it ended up 3-0 to the Scot, the match was close and
lasted 50 minutes. Kempsell retrieved beautifully on occasions and then
played some lovely drops immediately after. The last match between the
two New Zealanders Evan Williams and Ben Grindrod was a rather short
affair, with Williams winning comprehensively in 25 minutes. Grindrod
was never in the match really, despite rallying somewhat in the 2nd. But
it finished with a 3-0 win for Williams.
The 1st day of the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN 2017 started today at
Fitzwilliam LTC in Dublin. Unfortunately, none of the Irish players won
their matches despite good performances. Unfortunately acouple of the
women entrants withdrew late leaving us with only 3 women's matches.
Irish players, Sophie O'Rourke and Ciara Moloney both competed well but
lost out to very good opponents, Eva Fertekova and Elspeth Young. In the
men's event Sean Conroy got injured in his match v Jens Schoor of
Germany and had to retire in the first game. Brian Byrne played with his
usual energy and skill however his opponent Jan Van Den Herrewegen,
world ranked 89 played really well and won the first two games 11/6 &
11/3. The third game was much closer with the game going back and forth.
With Van Der Herrewegan tiring, Brian had a chance, but just couldn't
get over the line. So it finished 3-0.
Douglas Kempsell of Scotland had a super win over George Parker, having
been 2 games down. In a 74 minute match, Kempsell dug in well and won
the last 3 games to win 3-2 in a hard fought match. In the all New
Zealand match Ben Grindrod beat the higher ranked Lance Beddoes 3-0 in
Another lower ranked player Ondrej
Uherka of the Czech Republic beat Tom Ford of England 3-1. Tom leveled
it 1 all but Ondrej finished the 3rd game strongly and in the 4th won 8
points in a row, to win the 4th 11-3. The other 2 Irish players in
qualifying, Conor O'Hare and junior Scott Gillanders both had tough
matches. Scott lost to Malaysian, Mohd Syafig Kamal 3-1. A great
experience for Scott, which will stand to him for the future. In the
last match Evan Williams had too much for Conor O'Hare and won 3-0.