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Rosner Takes West Of Ireland Title

Garavan's West of Ireland 2009
10-12 Apr, Galway, Ireland, $6k
Results & Reports Courtesy Of Edwin Brennan
Round One
10 Apr
11 Apr
11 Apr
12 Apr
[1] Simon Rosner (Ger)
11-9 11-8 7-11 11-1
[Q] Stuart Crawford
Simon Rosner
11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-1 (42m)
Rene Mijs
Simon Rosner
11-7, 11-8, 11-5
Clinton Leeuw
Simon Rosner
11-5 11-7 11-7 (37m)
Gilly Lane
[8] Chris Truswell (Eng)
11-6 10-12 11-5 11-8 (53m)
[Q] Rene Mijs (Ned)
[4] Joe Lee (Eng)
7-11 11-3 11-3 11-8 (47m)
[Q] Neil Hitchens (Eng)
Joe Lee
8-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-9 (52m)
Clinton Leeuw
[6] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
11-5 11-6 5-11 11-9 (42m)
Joan Lezaud (Fra)
[Q] Andrew Birks (Eng)
4-11 5-11 11-2 11-5 11-0 (65m)
[7] Romain Tenant (Fra)
Romain Tenant
11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11 (62m)
Arthur Gaskin
Arthur Gaskin
11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4 (65m)
Gilly Lane
Lewis Walters (Eng)
11-7 11-4 11-6 (37m)
[3] Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
Aqeel Rehman (Aut)
14-12 11-9 8-11 11-7 (67m)
[5] David Vidal (Esp)
David Vidal
11-6, 12-10, 11-13, 11-8 (60m)
Gilly Lane
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11-9 12-10 rtd (43m)
[2] Gilly Lane (Usa)

Results & Reports Courtesy Of Edwin Brennan


Finals day in the Garavan’s West of Ireland Open. The club was alive with atmosphere from early the morning in anticipation of the day’s matches, which did not disappoint. The main final of the afternoon was preceded by the men’s ‘A’ final in which Galway’s own John Rooney played the very experienced Derek Ryan, Rooney was the clear favourite going into the match. In a hotly contested final, lasting well over an hour it was Rooney who emerged victorious.

The number 1 seed Simon Rosner took on American Gilly Lane in the day’s main event, the young American was hungry to follow up on his success in the semi final. It was Rosner who controlled the pace from the start making Lane work extremely hard for each point. Rosner took Lane on a tour of the four corners of the court forcing him into making several errors. This initial pressure gave Rosner the 1st game on an 11-5 scoreline. He maintained this pressure in the second game never allowing Lane to find a rhythm or impose himself on the match. Rosner raced to a comfortable lead in the 3rd game building up a 9-2 lead, but Lane galvanised and played like a man possessed and came back to make the score 9-7 but Rosner dug deep and saw out the match to claim his first PSA world tour title.


Rosner-“I’m delighted to claim my 1st PSA title. I’ve been in the final 3 times before and have been searching for my 1st win for a long time so I will always have great memories of Galway. It was an awesome tournament with great organisation and I would like to return in the future.

The final was a great match and I was really pleased with the way I played, he made a couple of unforced errors that allowed me to move ahead. Even when I was 9-2 up in the 3rd he never stopped fighting for every point, he came back to 9-7 in that game as he never gave up.

A lot of thanks go to my coaches and my parents for their support over the years.”


Lane-“I was happy with the way I played this tournament and its great to get my game back on track, I wish I made less errors in the final but I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Great credit to Simon for the way he played today and I felt it was a good match.  I’m going to Dublin next week for the Irish open so I love Ireland!

Thanks to the tournament director and to the rest of his team for another great event the club was very welcoming and hospitable toward all the players which was greatly appreciated by all the players. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and hopefully going one step further.”


Over all the event was a resounding success, the weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all players and supporters who help contribute to the exciting and lively atmosphere around the club. Galway Lawn Tennis Club was delighted to have such a high class event in the club with many people expressing their intention to return next year. Huge credit must go to the events generous and long standing sponsors ‘Garavan’s Bar’ who’s continued support of the tournament makes this enjoyable weekend possible year after year.

We are already looking forward to next year’s event which we plan to make even better and build on the success of the last 3 years.

Now on to the sponsor’s bar for the real main event…


Semi Finals

Rosner-“First match of the tournament that I have won in 3, it was important to keep my concentration, he was increasing the pace in each game and played some brilliant shots, especially from the front. The match was played at such a high pace that he also made a lot of mistakes. I have done a lot of work with my coaches-Wael and Wagdy el Batram which has helped me deal with the fast pace. I was happy to get through 3-0. I have played Gilly a number of times and feel confident for the final tomorrow and will hopefully get my hands on the trophy, this is my fourth final and I hope to claim my first victory.”


Lane-“Really happy to get to the final, I haven’t had many good results in the last month but I was able to get a good start and go 2-0 up, Arthur came back strong in the 3rd and manage to take it, I had to dig deep, concentrate and fight for every rally, and I was delighted to win 3-1 not letting it go to a 5th. I am working alot on my game with Tommy Berden, Lucas Buitt and Floris Millaert and it’s really paying off”


The semi finals of the Garavan’s west of Ireland open got under way this evening, first on court was the German number 1 seed and a South African Clinton Leeuw. Rosner got on to the better start opening up a nice lead in the first game, he made very few errors but had to work hard to see of his opponent. He continued pressuring Clinton by controlling the ‘T’ and volleying as much a possible, this high pace didn’t suit Leeuw, who made several errors leaving his opponent to the claim the second game. As the match went into the third game Leeuw looked tired from his earlier match and didn’t have the legs to keep up with his fresher German opponent. Rosner won the match 3-0, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 in 45 minutes.


The final match of the day was the second semi final between Gilly Lane and Irishman Arthur Gaskin. Again Gaskin drew a large crowd to the centre court in Galway and they were treated to a very competitively fought match. In the opening exchanges it became clear that both players were quiet evenly matched, both in terms of skill and in hunger to win. Gilly seemed to settle the quicker of the two and quickly settled into a rhyme that enabled him to construct some brilliant rallies which allowed him to quickly establish a 2-0 lead. Gaskin regained his composure in the third game by moving further up the court and taking the ball earlier which left Lane constantly on the back foot. Gaskin took an early lead which he didn’t loose at all in the 3rd game which he won 11-9. He carried on with this strategy in the early parts of the 4th game going 4-3 up, Lane realised he had to change his approach and took the initiative of a Gaskin mishit and went on the offensive with all guns blazing for the next 9 points which he won consecutively to claim his place in the final against the number 1 seed Simon Rosner.


Tomorrows final between the top 2 seeds promises to be an evenly matched contest, with both players already expressing their desire to claim the coveted ‘Paddy Whack Walsh’ trophy.

Quarter’s complete in Galway

The first match of the morning session was between Clinton Leeuw and Joe Lee. This was the closest match on paper as both players were fighting for their spot in the semi final. Lee got the better start of the two, racing to a 1-0 lead. Leeuw fought Back in the second finding his form taking the game 11-3. He showed his consistency in the match by taking the next game by the same margin. Lee tried his best to fight back in the fourth, but Leeuw dug deep and claimed his spot in the semi final for the second year running.


Leeuw – “Joe is a different calibre player then last nights opponent, I was more focused this morning, he played well at the start and I was nervous, after losing the first game I changed tactics which put Joe under pressure and he made mistakes, I just needed to keep focused. Joe is a good player but I got through with a few lucky bounces and calls.”


Rosner – “Outside of the third game I played alright when I let my opponent get a rhythm, which was the same as yesterday, I won the last game 11-1 which was a good confidence booster. I have played Clinton a few times, in league and PSA, and have won each time, but they are always tight, so I expect a hard match with him this evening.”


Gaskin – “A tough match, I started well but he got going in the middle of the second and I couldn’t read his forehand shots, I had an energy drop in the middle of the third and he played some good shots when I was loose.  I tried to tighten up in the fourth, but it was anyone’s game. I’m happy to get through and I’m looking forward to the semi finals tonight.”


Next up on the centre court was the number 1 seed Simon Rosner, his opponent was Rene Mijs, the Dutch qualifier. Rene has been impressive in his games so far, but seemed to meet his match in his higher ranked opponent. The first game started off close as did the second with the players trading points through out.  Rosner lost focus in the middle of the third game and Mijs took the opportunity and capitalised on this, taking the game 11-5. Rosner re-grouped quickly for the fourth game and shut his opponent out easily taking the game 11-1.


A large crowd had gathered to watch the next match of the session, the eagerly anticipated match between Romam Tennant and Irish man Arthur Gaskin. In the first two games Gaskin looked the hungrier of the two, pouncing on each loose ball in his path. He served up a 2-0 lead in 30mins. Gaskin seemed to tire as the match progressed into the third set, with the French man, just returning from a lay off due to injury, playing with more resolve and winning on a score line of 11-8. Gaskin, the Irish number 4 was being expertly coached between games by his national team mates John Rooney and Derek Ryan. This seemed to steady Gaskin who played a more controlled game in the 4th, the advice paid off as the pressure increased on Gaskin who found himself defending a game point, but dug deep to take the closest of games on a scoreline of 13-11.


The last quarter final was next up and contested by the American number 2 seed Gilly Lane and Spaniard David Vidal. A tough physical match was etched out a hot centre court, with both players needing to play very precise squash to finish the rallies.


Lane-“Long, hard game, courts are really bouncy and I got lucky in the 2nd game and went 2-0 up, I got tired in the third and David went ahead, I came back well and won it in the fourth. I am happy to get further in the tournament this year and am looking forward to the semi final against Arthur this evening.”


The main draw of the Garavan’s West of Ireland Open got under this evening with 8 first round matches on 2 courts. The club got noticeably busier this evening as a graded event with 70 players joined in alongside the main event. The club is also hosting a badminton tournament with over 80 players so as you can well imagine there is a great atmosphere around the place much to the sponsors delight.

The opening match of the session was between Clinton Leeuw and Joan Lezaud Clinton only arrived this afternoon so had very little time to prepare. But he got the better start of 2 players as Lezaud made several errors allowing Clinton to build up an early 1-0 lead. He continued playing well into the second also taking this one 11-6. Leeuw lost focus in the third and allowed Lezaud back into the match where he took the game 11-5. Leeuw regained control in the 4th and managed to see off his opponent in 3/1 in 42min.

Leeuw – “Just arrived so not the best preparation and was a bit tired! I was happy to get through in 4 games. He didn’t start well and made to many errors in the beginning. I tried to box him out of the game from then on”

Roman Tennant and Andrew Birks took to the court next. Tennant wasn’t very sharp to start off with, Birks sensed this and immediately slowed down the pace to put Tennant off. Tennant seemed to find his feet as the match progressed and gradually steadied his game. This was the longest match of the tournament so far which didn’t work in Birk’s favour after 2 tough matches already.

Tennant – “This was my first match in 6 months after an injury lay off. I was tense for the first 2 games until I relaxed and found a rhythm. I will play better tomorrow!”

Joe Lee took on Neil Hitchens in the next match. Hitchens had a tough match this morning and needed to recover quickly if he was going to put it up to Lee. This is exactly what he did by making the best start slowing the pace down to allow himself time on the ball. Lee picked up the pace as the match progressed and a tired Hitchens couldn’t keep up and Lee ran out the 3/1 winner in 47min.

Lee – “I made a very slow start, he slowed the pace which didn’t suit me, he played very constructively and played better Squash than me but he didn’t have the legs! AS the match went on I felt more confident and was happy with the win.”

Irish favourite Arthur Gaskin made a welcome return to Galway and set his sights on claiming a first West of Ireland open title. His opponent in the match was English man Lewis Walters. Lewis has played the West of Ireland each year since it became a PSA event. Gaskin seemed to struggle early on with the warm courts but settled down and controlled the pace. He didn’t let Walters find a rhythm and Walters struggled to keep up with Gaskins consistency and ran out a 3/0 convincing winner.

Gaskin – “I am delighted to be back in Galway. I have only missed 2 West of Ireland’s since I was 14. It’s great to have it as a PSA event again and get to play on home soil. As for the match, the court was very warm so I tried my best not to make any mistakes; I’m looking forward to the rest of the event.”

Chris Truswell the events number 8 seed took on the qualifier Rene Mijs. Mijs was looking to continue his fine form after coming through two rounds of qualifying. Rene continued this form continuing to cause upsets as he beat his higher ranked opponent 3-1.

Mijs –“Happy to win again, it was a tough match I was 1-0 up and the 2nd game was very tough which Chris won. The third game was easier as he was physically more tired than I was. He struggled to keep up with the pace and I felt confident in the 4th, I was delighted it didn’t go to 5!”

This was a close match which seemed to go on for a long time. Both players were trying hard to get used to the warm conditions and the long rallies. It was Vidal who seemed to control the match from the start. But it was no easy win for the Spanish number 5 seed.

Vidal – “A tough first round match. Both of us struggled to get used to the court. We were trying to keep the ball low and hard, I tried to slow the pace on the backhand as it was his weak point. I kept getting the basics right and he made a number of errors at key points in the match.”

Next up was the tournament number 1 seed Simon Rosner who took to the court against Scottish qualifier Stuart Crawford. Crawford looked tired from his earlier matches and the fresher Rosner controlled the pace. It was a tight 1st and 2nd game which Rosner won; Crawford fought back in the 3rd and managed to win it. But Rosner uped the tempo and moved ahead winning comfortably 3/1 in the end.

Rosner – “It was a tough first round match which is good as it allowed me to get prepared. It was a very close first and second. In the third it was 5-5 and I lost concentration and he took it. I came out fighting in the forth and I kept the pressure on and managed to win quite comfortably. Happy to get through and looking forward to my match tomorrow.”

Gilly Lane the number 2 seed took on Eddie Charlton. This was a close match from the off and neither player gave the other any cheap points. Eddie was tiring as the match progressed and after an injury break in the 2nd game he came back and lost the game to go 2-0 down. Charlton never returned to the court after the second and shook his opponents and conceded the match due to an injury.

Lane – “Happy to get through. Eddie was playing well and unfortunately he couldn’t finish the match. Looking forward to my match tomorrow. I’m happy to be back to Galway this year. I got to the quarters last year and I’d like to get further this year.”

The qualifying finals of the Garavan’s West of Ireland Open got under way this morning, with 8 players vying for 4 spots in the main draw.


The first game of the session was between French man Johan Bouquet and Stuart Crawford. Bouquet opened up a 7-2 lead in the first game however after a number of errors, Crawford managed to capitalise on Johan’s mistakes and level the game. He continued his good form and took the first game 11-8. He kept his good form going in the second set where the players traded points through the game but Bouquet was becoming increasingly frustrated and Crawford edged ahead again. In the third set Johan seemed t give up a small bit and Crawford built up a commanding lead and he never looked back emerging a 3/0 winner in 34min.


Crawford – “I didn’t play my best squash but my concentration was good and I managed to stick to my game plan which is rare for me these days. The 2nd game was crucial, he got to game ball first but I managed to stay focused and won the big points.  Don’t mind who I get in the main draw but I would like to avoid Simon.”


Next on the centre court was Andrew Birks and Rory Pennell. Pennell never looked to settle in this match and looked physically drained from his game last night. Birks kept the rallies going trying to grind his opponent working him hard and forced him to make lots of errors. In the third game Birks raced to a 10-3 lead as Pennell seemed to have nothing in reserve. Birks won the game 11/5 and was a 3/0 winner overall.


Birks – “Rory was tired from his match last night; I kept the ball deep and played accurate squash. I won the 1st convincingly but he fought back in the 2nd and I kept the pressure on and didn’t look back. I would like to avoid the top seed in the main draw but not pushed either way”

Jakob Drinberger and Rene Mijs took to the court next.  Mijs was on top from the start and he never allowed Drinberger to get any rhythm. Mijs continued his sharp and accurate squash from last night and forced the errors from Drinberger.


Mijs – “A comfortable 3-0 win, which I don’t get often. I played at a good level throughout which is pleasing. I have to play another match this evening. I hope not to get the top seed, but I hope to play well whoever I get. Happy to be in the main draw!” 


The final match of the session was between Neil Hitchens and Bart Ravelli. This was the longest match of the afternoon. Neil started well in the first game where he controlled the pace. In the second Neil built up an 8-2 lead but made a number of unforced errors allowing Bart back into the game, he took the second and from then on it was a battle between the two. Hitchens managed to regain his composure and ran out the 3/1 winner.


Hitchens – “I started off playing well, but in the second I was 8-2 up and I don’t know how I lost that game. It was going to be tight from then on. I was disappointed not to win 3-0 but I will have to recover quickly for my match this evening.”


Edwin Brennan