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06/11/2006
MOTOR CITY OPEN
 

White Motors To Detroit Title

Tournamrnt
Motor City Squash Open,
Detroit , USA

Final:
[1] John White (SCO) bt [8] Liam Kenny (IRL) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (30m)

Semi-finals:
[1] John White (SCO) bt [3] Alex Gough (WAL) 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7
[8] Liam Kenny (IRL) bt [2] Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-10 (2-0), 3-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-10 (2-0)

Quarter-finals:
[1] John White (SCO) bt [5] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-5, 11-9, 11-5
[3] Alex Gough (WAL) bt [Q] Bernardo Samper (COL) 5-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-2
[8] Liam Kenny (IRL) bt [4] Shahier Razik (CAN) 6-6 ret.
[2] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4

1st round:
[1] John White (SCO) bt Michael Joint (GER) 11-7, 11-5, 11-4
[5] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt [Q] Dylan Bennett (NED) 11-5, 11-1, 11-5
[3] Alex Gough (WAL) bt [Q] Badr Abdel Aziz (SWE) 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5
[Q] Bernardo Samper ( COL ) bt [7] Mark Chaloner (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 11-10 (2-0)
[8] Liam Kenny (IRL) bt Mark Heather (ENG) 11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-7
[4] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt [Q] Scott Handley (ENG) 11-10 (2-0), 11-3, 11-6
[6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) bt Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-10 (2-0)
[2] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Ben Garner (ENG) 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4

White Motors To Detroit Title
Scotsman John White showed why, at 33, he is still one of the world’s premier squash players when he beat Irishman Liam Kenny in the final of the Cadillac Motor City Open to lift the $30,000 PSA Tour title before a capacity crowd at the Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit, USA.

Runner-up last year, White dominated the match to win 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 and received a $5,200 award and a Rolex watch after blowing through the eighth-seeded Irishman in just half an hour.

The title was White’s third of the year, and the 11th of his illustrious career. In last year’s MCO, he was swept in the finals by Canadian Jonathon Power. But since then, the game’s biggest hitter has settled his family in Philadelphia, settled down his game, and reduced his errors. The result was a different, more-consistent White.

"It’s good to win, especially coming here," said the world No11. "It’s not good to come in the second spot, which I’ve done many times before. It’s always good to win a tournament for the first time. The squash crowd is so enthusiastic here, which makes it even better to play in front of."

Suffering from an injured knee left over from his semi-final marathon against top seed Adrian Grant, Kenny often seemed to be playing on one leg against the relentless White.

From the first point, White controlled the match. The big Scot took a 5-0 lead in the first stanza and finished it with nine winners. He was equally dominant in game two as it became apparent that Kenny was plagued by a sore knee suffered in his gruelling 2-hour defeat of Grant the night before. White took a commanding 9-2 lead - finishing it with a drop shot just above the tin.

Urged on by a crowd eager to see more squash, Kenny - the 40th-ranked player in the world - won the first point of the third game. Showing the gritty determination that had earned him a surprise final berth, he took a 6-5 lead - before White shifted into another gear and won six straight points for the match.

"Most of my shots were coming off very nicely," White said. "He wasn’t moving very well. He played unbelievably yesterday to win in two hours, and I knew he was going to be a little bit tired."

"John’s proven that he’s a real shot-maker," said Kenny. Then, acknowledging the toll the Grant match had taken, he added: "If you’re not really 100 percent, like I wasn’t today, then he’s gonna make you pay. Full credit to him. He didn’t really give me much of a chance to get into the game today."

Kenny, who has never beaten White, was still rightly pleased with a tourney that saw him defeat world No13 Grant as well as fourth seed Shahier Razik.

“I had a great week,” Kenny said. “I really can’t complain. I feel like my squash is getting to another level. My consistency’s always been there, but just really breaking through like I did yesterday is gonna do me (good) for the rest of the season. And I’m hoping for big things.”

Kenny Drives Out Grant In Motor City Upset
Ireland's Liam Kenny caused a major upset in the semi-finals of the Motor City Squash Open when he outlasted second seed Adrian Grant in five games to reach the final of the $30,000 PSA Tour event in Detroit, USA.

Whilst Grant survived a marathon five-game quarter-final battle to get to the semi-finals, the 29-year-old Irish champion achieved his berth after only half a game, when his higher-seeded Canadian opponent Shahier Razik retired injured with the score standing at 6-all.

Kenny, beaten by Grant only two months ago in the CNS International in Pakistan, achieved his career-first victory over the world No13 from London by an 11-10 (2-0), 3-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-10 (2-0) margin.

"I felt he was a little slow off the ball," Kenny said. "He had a hard match yesterday. That’s what happens in this game."

The Dublin-based Irishman, ranked 40 in the world, was down 10-8 in the final game, but rallied to win the next four points and the match.

"I’m just glad to get through on this day," said the No8 seed. "It was a great win for me. I‘ve been beyond expectations this week. I’ve been knocking on the door for a good season or two against these top players. I guess the work I’ve put in, it was bound to happen."

Kenny will face John White in the final after the top-seeded Scot defeated Welshman Alex Gough, the third seed, 7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.

The first game of the match was notable for an extraordinary 175-shot rally – "surely the longest in MCO history," said a spokesman for the event.

"We were just happy to rally," White said after the match. "The ball was bouncing – it was just going on and on and on. That’s just the way the whole game went. I had to pick the pace up. Goughy’s one of these guys that when he’s moving around the court, he’s unbelievable. He gets a lot of balls back, and he’s got the shots to go with it."

Play was suspended for five minutes in the second game after the Welshman was struck in the eye by White's racquet.

"All of a sudden I take my racquet back to swing and boom, I got him," White said of the incident. "I’ve hit someone with a ball before accidentally, but never with the racquet."

Gough returned to the court 9-10 down. His eye continued to ooze blood for the remainder of the match, but the gritty 35-year old veteran continued to play. White, however, slowly asserted his will on the match – controlling the T, taking fewer steps to the ball, and wearing his opponent down.

"It’s a bit unfortunate to get smacked in the eye," Gough said afterwards. "It was just one of those things. It was a rally where we were both scurrying around and he just caught me on the back swing in the middle of the court."

White Tames Anjema In Detroit
After losing to the Dutchman in their last meeting in the US, and being taken the full distance in the World Open two months ago, top seed John White eliminated Laurens Jan Anjema in straight games in the quarter-finals of the Motor City Squash Open in Detroit, USA.

Anjema, the fifth seed from The Hague, never really threatened on this occasion as the hard-hitting Scot had everything working - putting on a fireworks show of explosive drives mixed with deft boasts from all angles. Anjema’s only lead came at 8-4 in the second game, but White ran off seven of the next eight points to take the game – and the match 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.

"The crucial game was the second," White said. "Any point of any given match, if you can fight and get 2-0 up or even 2-1, it’s a big thing to have."

White will now play fellow Briton Alex Gough for a place in the final. Third seed Gough, the British O35 Open champion from Wales, beat Bernardo Samper – ending the Colombian qualifier's run in a 5-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 scoreline.

The other semi-final will see Englishman Adrian Grant face Ireland's Liam Kenny. Second seed Grant was taken the full distance by Hisham Mohd Ashour before beating the sixth seed from Egypt 9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4 – while Kenny faced only 12 points before opponent Shahier Razik, the fourth seed from Canada, conceded the match with the score standing at 6-6 after sustaining an injury to his right quad muscle.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] John White (SCO) v [3] Alex Gough (WAL)
[2] Adrian Grant (ENG) v [8] Liam Kenny (IRL)

Samper Subdues Chaloner In Detroit
Colombian qualifier Bernardo Samper pulled off the only upset on the opening day of the Motor City Squash Open when he beat England 's seventh seed Mark Chaloner in the first round of the $30,000 PSA Tour event in Detroit, USA.

Samper, from Bogota , beat the former world No7 from Lincolnshire , 11-5, 11-5, 11-10 (2-0) to set up another clash with a Briton.

The 24-year-old will face Welshman Alex Gough, the No3 seed who came back from a game down to defeat Swedish qualifier Badr Abdel Aziz 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5.

Scotland's John White made a successful bid to reach the final for the second time in a row by beating Germany 's Michael Joint 11-7, 11-5, 11-4.

The US-based top seed will now face fifth seed Laurens Jan Anjema, the winner of an all-Dutch first round match against qualifier Dylan Bennett.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] John White (SCO) v [5] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
[3] Alex Gough (WAL) v [Q] Bernardo Samper (COL)
[4] Shahier Razik (CAN) v [8] Liam Kenny (IRL)
[2] Adrian Grant (ENG) v [6] Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY)