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Irish Open 2015

  Irish Open 2015
20-25 Apr, Dublin, $15k
Round One
22 Apr
23 Apr
24 Apr
25 Apr
[1] Mazen Hesham (Egy)
11/4, 11/6, 11/3 (27m)
[wc] Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
Mazen Hesham
11/8, 11/4, 11/7
Rex Hedrick
Mazen Hesham
9/11, 11/6, 11/6, 11/7
Ali Farag
Ali Farag
11/8, 5/11, 11/2, 9:11, 11
Lucas Serme
[6] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11/9, 7/11, 11/7, 11/7 (63m)
[Q] Mohamed Elgawarhy (Egy)
[7] Greg Lobban (Sco)
5/11, 11/5, 13/11, 11/9 (62m)
Ali Farag (Egy)
Ali Farag
13/11, 11/9, 11/5
Karim Ali Fathi
[3] Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
11/6, 3/11, 11/2, 11/8.(38m)
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
[Q] Paul Coll (Nzl)
11/8, 11/1, 13/11 (36m)
[4] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
Paul Coll
11/3, 11/3, 11/2
Shehab Essam
Paul Coll
11/6, 11/8, 5/11, 11/4
Lucas Serme
[Q] Shehab Essam (Egy)
11/7, 6/11, 12/10, 11/3.(54m)
[8] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
[Q] George Parker (Eg)
11/9, 8/11, 9/11, 11/3, 11/9 (72m)
[5] Lucas Serme (Fra)
Lucas Serme
13/11, 11/8, 11/6
Alan Clyne
Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
11/5 , 11/4, 9/11, 11/9 (59m)
[2] Alan Clyne (Sco)

Qualifying - Round 2 - Seedings apply to Qualifying event only

[1] Paul Coll (NZL) beat (7) Sanjay Singh Chai (Mas) 11-3, 11-8.11-7  - 30min
[4] Shehab Essam (EGY) beat [8] Chris Fuller (ENG) 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 - 87 min
[6] Mohamed Elgawarhy (EGY) beat [3] Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) 11-9, 14-16, 11-5, 11-5 66min 
George Parker (ENG) beat  Mark Fuller (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 9=11, 11-2 - 43 min

  Irish Open 2015
Women's Draw
20-25 Apr, Dublin, $15k
Round One
22 Apr
23 Apr
24 Apr
25 Apr
[1] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/7, 11/4, 11/4 (18m)
[Q] Leonie Holt (Eng)
Madeline Perry
11/6, 11/6, 7/11, 11/3
Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
Madeline Perry
7/11, 11/5, 11/6, 11/8
Delia Arnold
Madeline Perry
11/8, 11/5, 11/9
Donna Urquhart
[7] Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
11/8, 8/11, 11/5, 11/6 (37m)
[Q] Cyrielle Peltier (Fra)
[6] Aisling Blake (Irl)
11/7, 11/13, 11/3, 11/7 (34m)
[Q] Tamika Saxby (Aus)
Aisling Blake
13/15, 4/11, 3/11
Delia Arnold
[4] Delia Arnold (Mas)
7/11, 11/7, 11/6, 13/11 (49m)
Laura Pomportes (Fra)
Birgit Coufal (Aut)
 11/5, 11/1, 11/2 (25m)
[3] Emily Whitlock (Eng)
Emily Whitlock
11/5, 7/11, 14/12, 13/11
Donna Urquhart
Donna Urquhart
6/11, 8/11, 8/11
Coline Aumard
Lucie Fialova (Cze)
11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (29m)
[5] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Millie Tomlinson (Eng)
13/11, 11/7, 11/4 (53m)
[8] Coline Aumard (Fra)
Coline Aumard
9/11, 11/4, 2/11, 10/12
Nicolette Fernandes
[Q] Nele Gilis (Bel)
12/10, 11/4, 11/8 (45m)
[2] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)

Qualifying - Round 2 - Seedings apply to Qualifying event only

(6) Leonie Holt (ENG) beat (4)Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 11 - 9, 11-4, 11-6 - 20min
(2) Tamika Saxby (AUS) beat (8) Anna Klimundova (CZE) 11-8, 11-1, 11-7 - 25min
(3) Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) beat Chloe Mesic (FRA) 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5 - 55min
(!) Nele Gilis (BEL) beat Alison Thomson (ENG) 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 - 19min

click on images for larger view

click on images for larger view

Centre, Rory Gillen, Gillen Markets and the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland

Sixth time, and last time, for Perry

Madeline Perry played the ultimate match of her professional Squash career today in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in front of an absolutely packed center court. Facing Nicolette Fernandes, the world number 20 from Guyana, there was certainly an air of uncertaintanty whether Madeline would be able to overcome Fernandes, who had looked impressive all week.

Nicolette established a lead in game one but Madeline found her range midgame and started wowing the crowd with some excellent shots to the front court. She claimed the first game 11:8 and established a quick 6:0 lead in game two. She never looked back after that and secured the game 11:5. Madeline continued her good play and Nicolette fought back trying to go in short quicker. It worked in parts, but Madeline's relentless hitting brought her to 10:8 matchball. Fernandes, who gave it her all and dived full-length twice, pulled one point back but Madeline eventually closed out the game 11:9.

In her winning speech, Ireland's most successful female Squash player was not only awarded a special lifetime award, but also thanked her support from over the years extensively.

"This is one of my favourite events and I want to also thank Nicolette, who is a very fun and fair player, for making it a good final, particularly since it is my very last", said Perry.

Perry will still be representing Ireland in the European Team Championships in Denmark next week. With Perry Ireland has not faced outside the top 5 in the last ten years, and with today's form from the final, Perry will remain a tough player to beat.

The men's final aw a very worth finish to the fabulous week of Squash. Playing in front of the Egyptian ambassador and several countrymen and women, the young Egyptian player overcame Lucas Serme of France in a 81 minute five-set thriller. Farag looked impressive in game one, not only distributing the ball brilliantly, but wowing the crowd with his court coverage. Serme found a way to withhold the pressure in game two, but it was all Farag in game three, which he took convincingly. Game four saw Farag request an injury break at 5:6 down.

There was uncertainty whether Farag, who seemed to have taken a slight knock to his calf, could continue, but the crowd was happy to see him continue after an 18 minute break. Serme won game four despite Farag being two points away from matchball, but it was Farag who stormed ahead in game five. Serme fought back from 3:8 down, but in front of a vociferous Egyptian crowd, it was Farag who held his nerve and made his country proud.

Ali Farag, all smiles after his biggest career win, not only thanked the sponsors and organizers, but also paid tribute to Madeline Perry's great career in his victory speech. "It is so great playing in front of our Egyptian ambassador to Ireland and all the Egyptians who came out to support me today. This title also means a lot, because my fiancť won the title here four years ago!"

The match concluded a great week of Squash, which will stay in memory not only for making the Egyptians very happy, but also for Madeline Perry finishing her career in her typical winning fashion!


Madeline Perry Makes It To Her Very Last Final

Irish Squash fan's hearts couldn't be broken on a night that saw the top two female Irish Squash players face off in the semi-finals of the GillenMarkets Irish Open 2015. Madeline Perry overcame her countrywoman Aisling Blake in four hard-fought games.

She will face Nicolette Fernandes in tomorrow's final at 3pm in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club at 3pm. Her last final of her illustrious professional Squash career, which she is ending here in Dublin. Perry has faced Nicolette in this very tournament in 2013, when she won the Irish Open for the last time.

In the me's final Lucas Serme of France will face Egyptian hotshot Ali Farag, who upset the number one seed Mazen Hesham by three games to one, in what was probably one of the best matches ever witnessed here in FLTC.
Perry & Blake Set Up All Irish Semi Finals

After the Irish contingent of Squash players being decimated to two in the yesterday's first round matches, the crowds at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Center were delighted to see the remaining Irish players - Madeline Perry and Aisling Blake - make it through to the semi-finals.

Perry, playing her last professional Squash tournament, had a tricky challenge playing young American Olivia Blatchford - the same player who had beaten her unexpectedly in last year's edition. This tie around Perry imposed herself and was up to the challenge, winning by three games to one. "I would have preferred a 3:0 but I'll take a 3:1 as well. I had a slight drop in concentration in game three - my length dropped which allowed her to play her shots - but then I started in the fourth game really well and closed it out."

Aisling Blake, the Irish number two, had a tough match on her hands against the number 29 of the women's world ranking Delia Arnold. Blake put on one of her best performances yet in an Irish Open, and enthralled the crowd with her exceptional backhand drops. Result: and unexcpected yet thoroughly deserved three love victory,

Now the tow Irish ladies face each other in the semis, which guarantees Irish interest in Saturday's final. Both players supported each other during the respective matches, and Perry.

In the men's, qualifier Paul Coll is facing Lucas Serme of France, while the two young Egyptians - Ali Farag and number one seed, Mazen Hesham - are due to enthrall crowds with their exciting styles of play.

Action resumes at 5pm in Fitzwilliam, and is streamed live on

Madeline Perry Through To Quarter Finals In Irish Open

The Gillenmarkets Squash Irish Open 2015 got off to a cracking start today, and the large crowds at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club were delighted to see two out of three Irish players make it through to the quarter finals.

Number one seed in the women's event Madeline Perry - on her ultimate professional Squash tournament - beat qualifier Leonie Holt (ENG) comfortably in three sets. While Perry will be happy with her performance against the young English player, she faces Olivia Blatchford (USA) tomorrow, the same player who beat her in last year's quarter final. Perry, with twenty years of professional Squash experience, will be well prepared for tomorrow's match, but acknowledges that the young American player - fresh off a tournament win in Paderborn, Germany - is a very dangerous opponent. Aisling Blake of Ireland also secured her place in the quarterfinals after beating Tamika Saxby from Australia by three games to one. "I was weary of her because I lost in Rotterdam in September to her. So I am delighted to get a win today, and I felt like I knew what I had to do", said Blake.

No fortune in the men's event, where Carlowman Arthur Gaskin - the Irish number one - lost to the number one seed Mazen Hesham (world ranking 30) of Egypt in three exciting games. The young Egyptian looked like a future super star and gave Arthur Gaskin, who tried his best, very little to work with.

Tomorrow's action continues at 12 in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Center, with live streaming available on sportslive.ie.

The second day of the GillenMarkets Irish Open saw the final round of qualifying, which  provides 4 players for the main draw of the women's and men's competition, starting on Wednesday.

First up was New Zealand's Peter Coll playing Sanjay Singh Chal from Malaysia. Peter won this easily 3-0 - (11-3, 11-8, 11-7) in 30 min and now plays 4th seed M. Mangaonkar from India. Shehab Essam beat Chris Fuller from England in a super match winning 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9). Shehab now plays 8th seed Charles Sharpe from England.

In the other half of the draw, Mohamed Elgawarhy won vs. Ribadas from Spain 3-1 - (11-9, 14-16, 11-5, 11-5) and now plays Australian 6th seed Rex Hedrick. In the last match, European Under 19 champion George Parker from England won a super match vs Mark Fuller 3-1 - (11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2). George now plays France's Lucas Serme in the main draw.

Ireland's Arthur Gaskin play number 1 seed Egypt's Mazen Hesham in the first round on Wednesday; a tough match for Gaskin who is world number 85 versus the world number 27.

In the women's event, Belgian, Nele Gilis won her match vs. Alison Thomson 11-3, 11-2, 11-8 in 19 min and now plays 2nd seed Nicolette Fernandes. The battle of the 2 French players - Cyrielle Peltier and Chloe Mesic was a great match going to 5 games with Peltier wining 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5 in 55min. She now plays USA's Olivia Blatchford. Tamika Saxby won vs Czech Klimundova and now plays Ireland's Aisling Blake who is 6th seed. Finally Leonie Holt beat Serafini from Brazil, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 in 20 min and now plays Number 1 seed Ireland's Madeline Perry, playing in her last professional event. 

Irelandís Most Successful Squash Player Seeks 6th Irish Open Title Before Retiring

Irelandís most highly ranked squash player of all time, Madeline Perry, is seeking her final title at this yearís GillenMarkets Irish Open Squash tournament where she is the number 1 seed in the womenís draw. Madeline has announced her retirement from the world tour after this event. Ranked 18 in the world at 38 years of age, Madeline will have to see off the challenge of the number 2 seed, Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana (world ranked 20), and a field of players ranked just behind her such as the rising star, Emily Whitlock (ranked 25) of England and Olivia Blatchford of the USA (ranked 37) who beat Madeline in last yearís event. Irelandís Aisling Blake (world ranked 40) is seeded 6.

Madeline reached number 3 in the world rankings in 2011, with 11 tour titles and more than 120 caps. She won her 15th Irish National title in February last. Madeline was the leading player on the Irish team when they came second in Europe in 2012, and helped Ireland win a bronze medal in 2013. In the World team championships, she helped Ireland win a 5th place in Cairo in 2008 and since then has helped to ensure that the Irish team finished somewhere in the top 8 teams in the world for the last number of years.

The GillenMarkets Irish Open, will take place in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club, Appian Way, Dublin 6 from 22nd Ė 25th April.

The menís event sees rising Egyptian star, Mazen Hesham, the number 1 seed, challenge for his first Irish Open title. The 21 year old World University Champion will have to overcome last yearís finalist, the Scottish number 1, Alan Clyne, alongside a field that sees world ranked players in the top 30. The Irish number 1, Arthur Gaskin (world 85), will be in action in a bid to match his excellent efforts in reaching the semi-final last year.
A number of other leading Irish men and women will also be taking place in the qualifying draws.

Irish Star Perry To Make Tour Farewell In Dublin

Madeline Perry, the most successful Irish squash player of all-time, will make her farewell WSA World Tour appearance at the GillenMarkets Irish Open later this month in Dublin.

A full-time professional since 1999, 38-year-old Perry has enjoyed a distinguished career in the sport, winning 11 WSA Tour titles from 27 final appearances and celebrating a career-high world No.3 ranking in 2011. The Australian Open champion in 2010 in Canberra - where she upset both the second and third seeds en-route to the WSA World Series title - the Banbridge-born star has won the prestigious Irish Open trophy five times, twice finishing as runner-up.

With more than 120 caps for Ireland, Perry has competed for her country in eight successive biennial World Team Championships and in February won a record 15th Irish National title.

"I have decided to retire from the World Tour and have decided that the Irish Open (from 21-25 April) will be my last World Tour event," said Perry, the event's top seed for the ninth time. "It is been an incredibly difficult decision to make but I had to be honest with myself and unfortunately I have noticed that I do not have the same extreme focus that I once had, or indeed, desire to compete.

"Having had such a successful career, I felt that I was no longer doing myself justice and felt the time was right to move on and find a new career.

"I am so proud to have come from a small country like Northern Ireland and to have competed at such a high level on the world stage," Perry (pictured above in action in the 2014 Tournament of Champions) continued. "Highlights for me have been reaching world number three; reaching the final of the British Open after beating world No.1 Nicol David in the quarter finals; reaching the semi-finals of the World Open; and winning the Australian Open.

"I still play and train to a very high level so I have every intention of continuing to compete for Ireland, at national level and leagues as I still love training and playing the game. I also hope to coach more and give back to the sport that has given me so much.

"A new challenge awaits and after retiring in June, I will travel to Malaysian Borneo to volunteer for the charity Raleigh International, a youth and sustainable development charity. I will work there for three months as a Project Manager for a diverse group of younger volunteers on various sustainable development projects within communities living in poverty.

"I look forward to travelling to Borneo but this time instead of playing squash in a foreign country, I will contribute to the country and hopefully enhance people's lives!

"I have so many people to thank for their support during my career but I will save those for after the Irish Open so for the next two weeks all my focus will be on that event and I will hope to finish my World Tour career on a high at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin where I have had so much success over the years including my 15 Irish National titles."

WSA CEO Tommy Berden paid tribute to Perry: "It is fitting that Madeline plays her farewell professional event at the Fitzwilliam Club, a place where she has had many great results. She has been a great role model for all of her peers and we would like to congratulate her on an outstanding career. We wish her all the best in the future and hope that she will continue to give back to the sport of squash in another capacity."

Despite retiring from the WSA Tour this month, Perry will have a busy month in May: In addition to fundraising for Raleigh International for her trip to Borneo, she will also play the European Team Championships (in Denmark, from 29 April to 2 May), the English Premier League semi-finals for Coolhurst London, the Italian League Finals, and the BSPA Finals at Roehampton.