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14/08/2011
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2011
 

Ramy Ashour Claims Australian Open Crown

Australian Open 2011
Men's Draw
06-14 Aug, Canberra, $150k
Round One
08/09 Aug 14-00 to 21.15
Round One
10/11 Aug
Quarters
12 Aug
Semis
13 Aug
Final
14 Aug
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (48m)
Steve Coppinger (Rsa)
Nick Matthew
11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (50m)
Ong Beng Hee
Nick Matthew
11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 (68m)
Lauren Jan Anjema
Nick Matthew
11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (54m)
David Palmer
Nick Matthew
12-14, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4
Ramy Ashour
[Q] Martin Knight (Nzl)
5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (60m)
Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (70m)
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
Julian Illingworth
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (32m)
Lauren Jan Anjema
Lauren Jan Anjema (Ned)
14-16, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5 (80m)
[7] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
[8] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8 (106m)
David Palmer (Aus)
David Palmer
4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (65m)
Tom Richards
David Palmer
11-3, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 (60m)
Karim Darwish
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
11-9, 11-8, 11-5 (49m)
Tom Richards (Eng)
[Q] Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (59m)
[Q] Max Lee (Hkg)
Max Lee
11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 (42m)
Karim Darwish
[Q] Zac Alexander (Aus)
11-8, 11-13, 11-2, 11-6 (49m)
[3] Karim Darwish (Egy)
[4] James Willstrop (Eng)
13-11, 11-8, 11-0 (37m)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
James Willstrop
11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (29m)
Alan Clyne
James Willstrop
7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (69m)
Gregory Gaultier
Gregory Gaultier
7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (64m)
Ramy Ashour
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
11-5, 11-9, 11-4 (40m)
[Q] Asyraf Azan (Mas)
Simon Rosner (Ger)
2-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (76m)
Adrian Grant (Eng)
Adrian Grant
11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (58m)
Gregory Gaultier
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (64m)
[6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
[7] Peter Barker (Eng)
11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (57m)
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
Peter Barker
11-4, 11-2, 11-7 (41m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan
Peter Barker
5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (42m)
Ramy Ashour
[Q] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (34m)
Dick Lau (Hkg)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
14-12, 11-2, 11-5 (48m)
Stewart Boswell (Aus)
Stewart Boswell
9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (50m)
Ramy Ashour
[Q] Ivan Yuen (MAS)
11-3, 11-7, 11-3 (22m)
[2] Ramy Ashour (Egy)

Qualifying Finals
Alan Clyne
(Sco) bt Rex Hedrick (Aus)                   11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5
Dick Lau (Hkg) bt Alex Phillips (Eng)                                 11-3, 11-9, 11-4
Asyraf Azan (Mas) bt Aqeel Rehman (Aut)               11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7
Max Lee (Hkg) bt Kashif Shuja (Nzl)              8-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-5, 11-4
Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Campbell Grayson (Nzl)           12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8
Zac Alexander (Aus) bt Chris Lloyd (Nzl)                         11-5, 11-4, 11-6
Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bt Wade Johnstone (Aus)           11-6, 11-7, 11-4
Martin Knight (Nzl) bt Raphael Kandra (Ger)                   13-11, 11-8, 11-6
 

Australian Open 2011
Women's Draw
Draw Official Site
06-14 Aug, Canberra, $60k
Round One
 
Round One
 
Quarters
12 Aug
Semis
13 Aug
Final
14 Aug
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11-3, 11-6, 11-2
Samantha Davies (Aus)
Nicol David
11-9, 11-7, 11-5
Emily Whitlock
Nicol David
11/0 11/2 4/0 rtd
Annie Au
Nicol David
11-7, 13-11, 11-7
Rachael Grinham
Nicol David
11-7, 13-11, 11-7
Jenny Duncalf
[15] Kylie Lindsay (Nzl)
11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3
Emily Whitlock (Eng)
[6] Annie Au (Hkg)
11-3, 11-1, 11-5
[Q] Lisa Aitken (Sco)
Annie Au
 14-12, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9
Line Hansen
[14] Line Hansen (Den)
 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9
Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
 11-6, 11-5, 11-2
Lucie Fialova (Cze)
Rachael Grinham
11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 11-Low Wee Wern
Rachael Grinham
11/7 11/4 11/7
Donna Urquhart
[9] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
11-4, 11-6, 11-5
[Q] Zoe Petrovansky (Aus)
[7] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
11-7, 11-1, 11-3
[Q] Tamika Saxby (Aus)
Donna Urquhart
11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-Dipika Pallikal
[13] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11-4, 11-8, 11-2
[Q] Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl)
Olga Ertlova (Cze)
5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6
[12] Delia Arnold (Mas)
Delia Arnold
5-11,11-13,9-11
Joelle King
Joelle King
13/11 2/11 12/10 11/9
Madeline Perry
Madeline Perry
8-11, 9-11, 11-2, 4-11
Jenny Duncalf
Maggy Marshall (Aus)
11-6, 11-3, 11-2
[8] Joelle King (Nzl)
Christine Nunn (Aus)
11-3, 11-2, 11-3
[11] Joey Chan (Hkg)
Joey Chan
8-11,11-6,3-11,2-11
Madeline Perry
Siti Munirah Jusoh (Mas)
11-5, 11-2, 11-3
[4] Madeline Perry (Irl)
Melody Francis (Aus)
 11-2, 11-4, 11-5
[10] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
Natalie Grinham
11-9,7-11,12-10,11-9
Kasey Brown
Natalie Grinham
11/4 12/10 8/11 11/8
Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Amanda Cranston (Nzl)
 11-2, 11-7, 11-3
[5] Kasey Brown (Aus)
Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1
[16] Gaby Huber (Sui)
Gaby Huber
5-11,3-11,1-11
Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Vanessa Pickerd (Aus)
11-5, 11-3, 11-3
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Qualifying
Amanda Cranston
(Nzl) bt Laura McCredie (Aus)                11/3, 11/2, 11/2
Vanessa Pickerd (Aus) bt Selena Shaikh (Aus)                   11/1, 11/4, 11/4
Zoe Petrovansky (Aus) bt Grace McErvale (Aus)                 11/8, 11/1, 11/2
Tamika Saxby (Aus) bt Jessica Turnbull (Aus)                     11/5, 11/6, 12/10
Lisa Aitken (Sco) bt Bethany Brazier (Aus)                          11/5, 11/6, 11/6
Amanda Landers-Murphy (Nzl) bt Jennifer Brown (Aus)       11/3, 11/2, 11/2

Ramy Ashour Claims Australian Open Crown

Egypt's Ramy Ashour showed just why he is considered the most exciting squash player in the world when he came from behind to overcome defending champion Nick Matthew in today's enthralling final of the Viridian Australian Open, the third PSA World Series event of the year in Canberra.

Runner-up in 2010, Ashour was forced to dig deep into his considerable bag of tricks to see off the world No1 from England 12-14, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4 in a high quality match.

Both men played some spectacular squash throughout the final but the 23-year-old from Cairo finished the stronger and was a deserving winner of his first Australian title.

Matthew had gone into the match as the slight favourite following his impressive semi-final win over local hero David Palmer on Saturday.

And he looked every inch the favourite as he opened up a 10-6 lead in the first game, only to hold off a comeback from the Egyptian.

Ashour levelled the match in the next game before Matthew got his nose back in front, again having to hold off an Ashour comeback.

But Ashour fought back again to win a tight fourth game before exploding in the fifth, controlling the front of the court and hitting a string of winners to quickly race to 10-3.

Matthew managed to save one match point but the end, when it came, was inevitable and Ashour raised his arms in triumph as he became the first Egyptian to win the Australian crown.

"It's such a great thing to win the Australian Open, I've been thinking about this since last year when I lost to Nick," said the world number two.

"It's one of the biggest names on tour, to win the Australian Open, so I'm glad to join those great players on the trophy."

Ashour said he went in with a set game plan and he stuck with it right to the end.

"My goal was to fight for every point, to push myself to the limit and give 100 percent, win or lose," he said. "I think in the fifth I just went for my shots and I pushed myself again and again.

"The match was tough for both of us both physically and mentally, but I think he had a little bit more pressure on him because he's number one."

Matthew said one poor game had cost him the match, but paid tribute to Ashour's fighting spirit.

"Even in the games I won I took the lead and he fought back and took it to a tiebreak both times," said the 31-year-old from Sheffield.

"Everyone gives him credit for his shot-making but some people forget he's got that side to his game as well, that makes him such a champion.

"I was disappointed with the fifth - I'd like to have it over again. It just ran away from me and sometimes he can get on a run of points in the blink of an eye and before I knew it he was five, six, seven, eight and I couldn't stop the rot."

Ashour was buoyed by the good-natured cheering from a group of Egyptians in the stands.

"I didn't expect these people to be here. It's good to have Egyptian people here supporting me. It doesn't happen much and it feels good to hear Egyptian words," he said.

"But the crowd has been so good, it's such a knowledgeable crowd and they know about every shot, and that we have to produce the best squash every time - you don't get any better."

The success takes Ashour's PSA Tour title tally to 21 - one more than rival Matthew.

Ashour also moves ahead of Matthew to top the latest Dunlop PSA World Series Standings. Englishman James Willstrop holds onto third position, while Australian hero David Palmer is rewarded for his surprise semi-final berth in Canberra with a rise to fourth place.

Frenchman Gregory Gaultier and Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema both move into the top eight following their Australian Open successes - Gaultier making the semis as fifth seed and unseeded Anjema reaching the last eight.

Updated Dunlop PSA World Series Standings:

 

(Prev)

1

(1)

Ramy Ashour (EGY)

265

2

(1)

Nick Matthew (ENG)

230

3

(3)

James Willstrop (ENG)

105

4

(5)

David Palmer (AUS)

90

5

(3)

Amr Shabana (EGY)

80

6

(5)

Peter Barker (ENG)

75

7

(11)

Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

65

8

(11)

Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)

50

9=

(7)

Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)

45

9=

(8)

Tom Richards (ENG)

45

11

(11)

Stewart Boswell (AUS)

40

12=

(11)

Nicolas Mueller (SUI)

35

12=

(20)

Julian Illingworth (USA)

35

14=

(23)

Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)

30

14=

(8)

Alister Walker (BOT)

30

14=

(8)

Shahier Razik (CAN)

30

Official event website: www.australiansquashopen.com

Matthew & Ashour Set Up Dream Canberra Climax

World squash number one Nick Matthew ended local hero David Palmer's fairytale run in the Viridian Australian Open to set up a dream final on Sunday with world No2 Ramy Ashour in the third PSA World Series event of the year in Canberra.

Englishman Matthew recorded a ruthless 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 semi-final win over unseeded Australian Palmer - and will now face Egyptian Ashour, a 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 winner over France's fifth seed Gregory Gaultier, in a repeat of the 2010 decider, won in straight games by Matthew.

The 35-year-old Palmer has been carrying an ankle injury during the week but has been playing great squash, culminating in a win over world number three Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals.

However, despite the vocal support of a large home crowd, the 2008 champion came up short against a player at the peak of his game.

Palmer got away to a great start and jumped out to a 5-2 lead, only for Matthew to claw his way back to level terms, the two then going point for point until Mathew broke away at 9-9 to close out the first game.

The defending champion then stepped up a gear against an increasingly tired looking Palmer to take control of the rest of the match.

As the match wore on, Palmer found it harder and harder to read Matthew's shots and was often left flat footed at the back of the court.

"He's had a good week and he's come pretty far in the tournament, but I wasn't going to let him have his fairytale," said Matthew, now in his 42nd Tour final.

"The first game was quite crucial, he started off like a train but once I got the first game I had some breathing space and it was going to a tough ask for him to come back from it.

"I made a good start in the second and stayed on top, I'm very pleased with my performance today," added the 31-year-old from Sheffield.

Palmer conceded afterwards that he hadn't been physically up to the task of beating the world's best player on Saturday. "The week caught up with me I think," he said.

"My legs got heavier and you can't give up that much time against him. He's one of the fastest men on the court," explained the former world number one and two-time world champion.

"I was on the back foot and that caused my shots to be not quite as accurate as well. Still, it was a good week for me. With my seeding, no one expected me to get this far and considering the ankle injury I'm still pretty proud."

In the last match of the day, Ashour downed world No6 Gaultier 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in a semi-final full of passion, humour, tension and remarkable shot making from both players.

The pair were renewing their Australian Open rivalry from last year, where they also met in the semi-finals.

On that occasion they played one of the best matches ever seen in Australia, and although Saturday's match may have fallen short of that classic, it came fairly close.

Gaultier had chances to win every game, only to be undone by some sublime stroke play from the audacious Egyptian, who seems able to hit clean winners from any position on the court.

"Greg's as fast as a spaceship, you can see how fast he is on the court, how physically fit he is," Ashour said, on the eve of his 34th PSA Tour final.

"He's such a diligent guy, he works very hard and pushes himself on court to his limit. For me to stay on court for that long and keep up gives me a lot of confidence.

"Every time it's a fight, between the points I was thinking 'why does it have to be like this every time?'"

Ashour said he thought he noticed Gaultier beginning to tire towards the end of the match so he tried to increase the pace of the game, which allowed him to sneak home.

"It's always like this at the top level, it's always a very thin margin," he said.

A downcast Gaultier was left rueing his lost chances.

"It's tough to lose three games 11-9, 11-9, 11-9," he said. "I had the opportunity to take one of these three games but he managed to hit winners at the right time.

"I'm disappointed but I'm happy with the way I played. I think it's a good start to the season for me to get my confidence up."

Palmer Powers Into Australian Open Semis

Australia's David Palmer showed he's still a major force in the world of squash when he stunned world number three Karim Darwish to reach the semi-finals of the Viridian Australian Open, the third PSA World Series event of the year in Canberra.

Palmer, at 35 and playing with an injured ankle, came out firing in the first game then held off a comeback from the third-seeded Egyptian to win 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10.

It was Palmer's eighth win over Darwish - but the Australian number one's first since 2008, and ensures a semi-final against world number one Nick Matthew of England.

Matthew earlier withstood a fierce onslaught from Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema to win 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 and move a step closer to defending his title.

But he will first have to get past Palmer, who played brilliantly against the 29-year-old former world number one from Cairo to the delight of the partisan fans in Canberra's Royal Theatre.

Palmer, ranked 10 in the world, injured his ankle in his opening round match and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to continue in the tournament.

He was slightly tentative in his second round win over England's Tom Richards, but showed no signs of discomfort as he took advantage of an at times out-of-sorts Darwish to record the tournament's biggest upset.

"I didn't really expect it," admitted the former world number one and two-time world champion later. "I can't give much up to these guys at the best of times but I've struggled all week with my ankle and somehow I'm managing to get through.

"Maybe it's good because I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself, just trying to get through the match without reinjuring it and trying to make it at least competitive. Maybe being a bit more relaxed is working," added one of the Tour's oldest competitors.

Palmer said he would take that attitude into the semi-final against Matthew.

"I've got nothing to lose, it's a dream to be able to play a major semi-final here in Australia," he said. "There's a bit of rivalry with Nick but then again he's the one with the pressure on him. I quite like playing against him, so if I'm up for it, who knows?"

Matthew survived a brutal onslaught from Anjema, taking an early lead then holding off a ferocious comeback from the tall left-hander.

The six-time Dutch champion came into the quarter-finals in top form, having upset seventh seed Thierry Lincou in the first round before demolishing American Julian Illingworth in the second.

However, he started slowly allowing Matthew the early advantage before finding his way back into the match.

Both men played some spectacular squash as the momentum swung between the two.

The Dutchman took an early lead in the fourth as he looked to get the match back on even terms, only for Matthew to claw his way back and eventually ease away with the game to close out the quarter-final.

"He came back strong, he obviously played well in the first round and had one of the best wins of his career and then backed up really well in the second round," Matthew said.

"I felt before the match that little buzz that I've not had this week. I felt that I was up for a big match and I started really well. I scrapped really well - if things are not going well that's one thing I can rely on, to scrap hard and fight for every point."

Crowd favourite Gregory Gaultier of France overcame a slow start to down fourth-seeded Englishman James Willstrop 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5.

Willstrop came out firing and had Gaultier in all sorts of trouble, but the lower-ranked Frenchman worked his way back into the game and finished far stronger than his opponent.

"At the beginning it was just torture for me - he made an unbelievable start and I couldn't do anything," Gaultier said.

"I just told myself to forget about it and fight hard. Today was not a day for accuracy from me, so I thought to myself 'try and raise the pace and things may work out your way'."

Gaultier will take on Ramy Ashour in a repeat of last year's classic semi-final.

Ashour, the world number two from Egypt, also overcame a slow start before storming back to beat England's Peter Barker 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4.

 

Women's Report
World’s Top Four Through To Semi Finals

 

The World’s top four players made it through to the semi finals of the Australian Open today, albeit in contrasting styles.

 

World number one Nicol David had the swiftest passage through to the semi final, when Hong Kong’s number one Annie Au had to retire early in the third game. The world number eleven looked uncomfortable from the outset and she struggled to move at all. Au later explained that a leg injury she picked up in her previous match against Line Hansen had caused the problem.

 

David’s semi final opponent will be Rachael Grinham. The home favourite kept the Aussie hierarchy in check when she held off the challenge from Donna Urquhart. Urquhart looked nervous throughout the match and couldn’t make a dent in the experienced armour of Grinham.

Grinham said she was feeling in pretty good shape and looking forward to the challenge of playing David.

 

The pair have had some thrilling encounters in the past and hopefully tomorrow will be no different. The home fans might not want to hear the facts though. David owns a 26-6 head to head record and has not lost to Grinham since British Open in 2007. The last four matches have all been in straight games.

 

The other semi final will see defending champion Madeline Perry take on world number two Jenny Duncalf. Both players came through tough quarter finals.

 

Perry gained revenge over Joelle King, recovering from 8-3 down in the fourth to close out a closely fought contest in four games. King had stunned Perry in straight games a few weeks ago in the first round of the CIMB Malaysian Open, but this time Perry was in better form, her title win in Singapore possibly giving her the extra boost of confidence she needed.

Duncalf had to be at her best to shake off the challenge of Natalie Grinham. She won the first game with ease, but then saw Grinham fight back and chase every ball, forcing her into errors. At 8-8 in the fourth Duncalf managed to pull away and close out the match.

 

Duncalf and Perry are locked at 4-4 in their head to head and the match tomorrow could easily swing either way. Perry did however win their last match, at the same stage of this event last year.
 

Ramy Routs Local Hero Boswell In Canberra

Egyptian squash star Ramy Ashour came back from losing the first game to local hero Stewart Boswell to power his way into the quarter-finals of the Viridian Australian Open, the third PSA World Series squash event of the year in Canberra.

Boswell, who hails from the Australian capital, had home supporters cheering when he claimed the opening game - but the four-time champion couldn't maintain the momentum as second seed Ashour stormed home to win 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11- 7.

The 33-year-old Australian, who first won his country's premier title nine years ago, was brilliant at times - but was undone by the shot-making wizardry of the world number two from Cairo, who was able to hit winners from seemingly impossible positions.

However, he was pushed all the way by Boswell, currently ranked 21 in the world.

"He should be ranked better than he is the way he played," said 23-year-old Ashour. "He played like a top 10 player. I think we played a very good quality match tonight."

Ashour now takes on Englishman Peter Barker, who was also in great touch as he disposed of Malaysia's Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan with a minimum of fuss 11-4, 11-2, 11-7.

Barker has faced players ranked in the 40s in his first two rounds but said he wasn't too concerned that he hadn't been really tested yet.

"I've been quite lucky I've had two players ranked where they are, but at the same time someone like Greg (Gaultier) has had two tough matches and he's managed to win them both three-love," said the 27-year-old Londoner.

'I'm very happy with the way I'm hitting the ball, I'm very pleased with the way I'm moving in my first tournament back."

Earlier, Gregory Gaultier set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with England's fourth seeded James Willstrop after the Frenchman beat Adrian Grant 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, showing glimpses of the form that took him to world number one in 2009.

The Frenchman was in complete control throughout, never allowing Grant to settle into any sort of rhythm.

His clash with Willstrop, an 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 winner over Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne, is sure to be the highlight of the quarter-finals.

Gaultier said he believed he had an advantage heading into the match against Willstrop because he had played two high quality players, whereas Willstrop's opponents had been ranked much lower.

"He's in great form but he didn't have tough matches - he hasn't played top players yet," Gaultier said.

"It's easy to be in good form when you don't play top players, but he's a great player and he's really good to watch so I think it's going to be a really good match."

Willstrop was in superb touch as he demolished Clyne.

Clyne won through qualifying to make the main draw then outplayed Malaysian Muhd Asyraf Azan in the first round - but he was no match for the towering Yorkshireman, who dominated all aspects of the match.

"He's come through qualifying, he's winning his matches, he's played a few games and that can mean a lot at this early point of the season," a delighted Willstrop said.

"He's the type of player who will get balls back all day long, so for me to get in a position where I win three games comfortably is a great thing for me.

"When you finish and it's three-love in the bag, that's a good feeling."

Palmer Presses On In Canberra

Australian number one David Palmer overcame a badly injured ankle to edge past Tom Richards of England in today's second round of the Viridian Australian Open to reach the quarter-finals of the third PSA World Series squash event of the year in Canberra.

The unseeded former champion hurt his ankle when he fell awkwardly during his first round win over Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar on Monday and needed extensive treatment at the Australian Institute of Sport just to take the court.

The 35-year-old struggled badly during the first game and looked headed for an early exit in possibly his last ever Australian Open.

However, as the match wore on he slowly started to gain more movement and began to dominate an increasingly frustrated Richards.

Palmer, who had never before lost to the 25-year-old Englishman in seven previous meetings, took a close second game - then made decisive breaks in the third and fourth to take the match 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 in 65 minutes.

He now has a day off for more treatment before facing third seed Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals following the Egyptian's 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 win over Hong Kong's Max Lee.

"I was happy just to get on court," Palmer said. "I've been out at the AIS getting treatment and they've done some great work.

"In the early stages it felt like I was dragging my leg around and I think winning that second game was very important - if Tom had gone two-love up I think he would have run away with it.

"I think it probably affected Tom's game a little bit because it can be hard to play against someone you know has an injury."

England's Nick Matthew remained on track to defend his title with an impressive win over Malaysia's Ong Beng Hee.

The world number one from Sheffield absorbed everything the Malaysian threw at him to close out the match 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 and move into a quarter-final against Laurens Jan Anjema of the Netherlands.

Anjema reached the final eight when he beat American Julian Illingworth 11-4, 11-3, 11-3.

Matthew and Ong have been opponents since their junior days and the Malaysian used all his experience to undo his opponent, hitting an array of shots to all parts of the court.

However, Matthew was up to the challenge despite struggling to close out the match in a tight third game.

"I seem to get to seven, eight and nine points okay before hitting a bit of a roadblock," said the 31-year-old Englishman. "But that's a credit to Beng Hee, he stayed around to fight to the end. He changed his tactics every point so it was hard to feel comfortable.

"I was happy to get off three-love really. I'm getting through, I'm not really playing with full fluency yet, but it's early days in the tournament so hopefully I'll find it.

"Everything's sort of in place, it's just a matter of piecing the bits together - I'll get that in the next few days."

Matthew will need to be at his best against Anjema, who followed up his first round upset of fifth seed Thierry Lincou with a dominant display against Illingworth.

"I played really well tonight - it's tough to follow up a win over someone like Thierry," said the six-time Dutch champion. "You walk around with your head in the clouds but you have to tell yourself it's a new day and there's work to be done."

Boswell Joins Palmer In Canberra Last 16

Stewart Boswell made it two Australian men into the second round of the Viridian Australian Open when he downed India's Saurav Ghosal in straight games in today's second day of first round action in the third PSA World Series squash event of the year in Canberra.

Boswell edged Ghosal in a tight first game before easing away with the next two to take the match 14-12, 11-2, 11-5 in 48 minutes.

The 33-year-old Boswell grew up in Canberra and delighted the home fans with the emphatic win to join Australian number one David Palmer in the second round.

However, the four-time champion will have to step up several gears before facing second-seeded Egyptian Ramy Ashour, who downed Malaysian qualifier Ivan Yuen in the last match of the night.

"It's pretty good, it's nice to have some support," said Boswell - winner of his country's premier title in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009 - about playing in Canberra. "Normally it's for the other guy when I'm overseas, I was glad to get through at least one round this year, that's a start."

Earlier Australian number two Cameron Pilley bowed out at the hands of classy Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, while Englishman Peter Barker was too steady for Hobart's Aaron Frankcomb, winning 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.

Gaultier was in blistering form as he downed world number 14 Pilley 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.

"It was maybe the worst draw I could get for the first round," said Gaultier, the world No6 from Aix-en-Provence. "But I was in really good shape and moving well, finding my length, I was really patient and I managed to play a little bit faster than him."

Frankcomb had the sixth-seeded Barker in trouble at various times throughout their match, but couldn't maintain the pressure when it counted.

"Aaron has beaten players ranked above him, but he hasn't always been consistent in the past and I'm sure he'll tell you that's what he's working on," said London left-hander Barker. "So on this court in front of his home crowd I knew I had to be ready."

England's fourth seed James Willstrop put on a display of superb squash as he downed fellow countryman Chris Ryder 13-11, 11-8, 11-0, declaring later he played almost the perfect match.

"I played some great squash, it was really good on my part, and he really didn't do a lot wrong," said the 27-year-old Yorkshireman. "It was just one of those bizarre games but I got on top early, I enforced myself physically and I got a bit of momentum there at five-love, and his head dropped a bit, because when you're two-love, five-love down, it makes it very difficult.

"But 11-0 in the third game wasn't a just score, but for me to put in a game like that is just great."

Willstrop has flown under the radar this year with most of the attention on fellow countryman Nick Matthew and Egypt's Ramy Ashour.

"I believe that I can beat either of them - of course all the attention's going to be on them because they are number one and two in the world, but I don't go round thinking there's any kind of hierarchy. I feel I'm on level terms with them. I just have to do it more consistently."

Willstrop now faces Scotsman Alan Clyne, who continued his recent climb as he reached the second round of a platinum level tournament for the first time with an 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 win over Malaysia's Muhd Asyraf Azan.

Clyne won the first game easily, then came back from 8-2 down in the second, before running away with the third against a disconsolate Azan.

"I managed to get onto the pace pretty quickly in the first game because on the glass court you need to be positive and get the ball in short and I thought I did that really well," said the Edinburgh-based Scot.

"I thought it was quite crucial when I came back, when you're 8-2 down you can relax because you think the game's going to be finished - but once I got a few points I thought if I could get that one it could just be the turning point, and it proved to be."

England's Adrian Grant came from two games down to overhaul German Simon Rosner 2-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.

Rosner played superbly in the first two and half games and had chances to bring up match points, but Grant, the world No18, ranked 12 places higher, clung in and eventually turned the tables on his younger opponent.

"I was very tentative in my movement and my swing to begin with," Grant said. "It is the first tournament I've played since an injury so it's been over three months since I've played. I was a bit nervous and felt tight inside the body, but fair play to Rosner, he's a big guy who really crunches the ball and he just didn't let me settle in.

"In the third I went in with nothing to lose and just tried to free up mentally and physically."

Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan joined fellow Malaysian Ong Beng Hee in the second round when he beat Dick Lau from Hong Kong 11-7, 11-4, 11-3.

Courageous Palmer Through In Canberra

Home hero David Palmer defied a tenacious opponent and an ankle injury in the fifth game to claw his way into the second round of the Viridian Australian Open after upsetting Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar 14-12, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8 in today's first round of the third PSA World Series squash event of the year in Canberra.

Palmer, the 2009 champion, won the first two games only for the eighth-seeded Malaysian to fight back and level proceedings. The top-ranked Australian got away to an early lead in the decider before falling awkwardly at 7-5 and twisting his ankle.

He took a brief injury break and when he came back the 35-year-old went for his shots, quickly bringing up match ball and then closing out an epic first round encounter after 106 minutes with a forehand drive deep into the back corner.

Palmer now has a day off before he plays Englishman Tom Richards in the last 16 round, and said he would use the time to get his ankle assessed and have some medical treatment.

Richards earlier downed Australia's Ryan Cuskelly 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 to book his place in the second round.

World number one Nick Matthew made an impressive start to his title defence when he beat South Africa's Stephen Coppinger in straight games 11-7, 11-8, 11-9.

The Englishman only looked in trouble briefly in the third game when he was behind 5-9, but stepped up the pace to storm home and wrap up a hard fought match.

"I knew it would be a tough match from the moment I saw the draw," Matthew said. "I'm delighted to get off in three because it could have got tough out there if I'd have lost that first game."

The Yorkshireman, who turned 31 last month, now takes on Ong Beng Hee after the Malaysian overcame a slow start to beat New Zealand qualifier Martin Knight 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4.

In the day's other major upset, Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema played some superb squash to down seventh-seeded Frenchman Thierry Lincou.

Anjema came back from losing the first game in a tiebreak to record his 14-16, 11-9, 14-12, 11-5 win over the former world number one.

The Dutchman played some breathtaking squash throughout the match, but he was matched most of the way by the 35-year-old Lincou, who only began to fade towards the end as fatigue and lack of match play began to catch up with him.

It was Anjema's first win over the Frenchman and he was delighted to finally break the hoodoo.

"I had to wait for 10 years until this guy was 35 years old and could hardly walk anymore, and I could just about beat him," said the world No15 from The Hague.

Anjema next takes on American number one Julian Illingworth, an 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 winner over Switzerland's Nicolas Mueller.

Hong Kong's Max Lee was the first player through to the second round when he came from a game down to beat New South Welshman and fellow qualifier Matthew Karwalski 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8.

In the last match of the night, third-seeded Egyptian Karim Darwish saw off a brave challenge from Australia's Zac Alexander, winning 11-8, 11-13, 11-2, 11-6.

Alexander Storms Into Australian Open Main Draw

Australian Zac Alexander stormed into the main draw of the CSR Viridian Australian Open in Canberra today after an impressive win over New Zealander Chris Lloyd in the qualifying finals of the third PSA World Series squash event of the year.

The 22-year-old Queenslander completed his second straight games win in a row with an 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 win over Auckland-based Lloyd.

It is the second year in a row that Alexander has qualified for the Open: In 2010 he bowed out after giving classy Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy an almighty fright.

This year he plays another Egyptian, world number three Karim Darwish, in what is sure to be a test of Alexander's progression over the past 12 months.

"To qualify is always good - but to get through both matches three-love is obviously really good," he said. "It's important to be as fresh as you can be for the first round."

Alexander, who won the Queensland Open in late July, said he was feeling better prepared than this time last year.

"I feel like I've done a good six weeks of work, I'm feeling pretty fit and obviously I took some confidence away from two weeks ago at the Queensland Open, so I'm feeling as good as I can be," he said.

He is joined in the main draw by fellow Aussie Matthew Karwalski, a 25-year-old from New South Wales who beat fellow countryman Wade Johnstone 11-6, 11-7, 11-4.

Karwalski will play fellow qualifier Max Lee from Hong Kong in the first round after Lee beat former Australian Open finalist Kashif Shuja, from New Zealand, 8-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-5, 11-4.

Malaysia's Ivan Yuen caused the biggest shock when he upset higher-ranked New Zealander Campbell Grayson in four tight games.

Yuen, the only player outside the world top 100 to qualify, always had his nose in front against an increasingly agitated Grayson, winning 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 to reach the Australian Open main draw on his first attempt.

"It's a very good win for me," said Yuen, ranked 121 in the world to Grayson's 59. "It means very good rankings points for me, which I need.

"This is my first time playing the Australian Open, so I am happy I've made the main draw," added the 20-year-old, who will now play second-seed Egyptian Ramy Ashour.

"I am playing well this tournament. The last few tournaments I wasn't playing well but yesterday and today I was much better."

Yuen's win made it two Malaysian qualifying wins, following Muhd Asyraf Azan's tough 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7 win over Austria's Aqeel Rehman.

Top qualifying seed Alan Clyne had to survive a first game onslaught from rapidly-improving Australian Rex Hedrick before winning 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.

Both players are renowned for their fitness and never say die attitude and this was in evidence in an enthralling encounter.

However, the Scotsman was able to lift his game when it counted to see off Hedrick and book his place in the first round.

"I lost to Campbell Grayson last year 3/2 so I was determined to get into the main draw this time," said the 25-year-old from Edinburgh.

"On paper it looked a bit easier because my ranking's gone up and I was seeded to get in this time but it was still a really tough match. Rex played really well, he came out really strong and it was high paced - I was glad to get through it.

"He didn't let anything go, he was picking up everything, and it was really bouncy. Canberra's supposed to be cold but on court it didn't feel cold.

"The second I was a fair bit clear but then he came back. The first it was nip and tuck, I thought it was going to be an important one and if I got that one I thought I would be clear.

"After just missing that one the match was going to go either way and I was up against it but I just managed to keep the pace up and got it in the end."

Dick Lau ended the challenge of Englishman Alex Phillips with a comfortable 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 win. Lau said the win came as a welcome relief after some poor recent form.

"I travelled to Egypt a few weeks ago and played really badly so my confidence wasn't really high," said the 25-year-old from Hong Kong. "I think yesterday's match and today's match have given me a little more confidence going into the first round tomorrow.

"Max Lee has trained with him and played him in England and he told me he was a quick player and had quick hands, so I made sure I went for longer rallies, make sure he moved front and back.

"I like the weather here, not too hot so I don't sweat that much, and the court is pretty dead - I like that."

Martin Knight ensured it was not all doom and gloom for the Kiwis as he beat in form German Raphael Kandra 13-11, 11-8, 11-6.

Palmer Boosted By Shabana Withdrawal

Australian squash number one David Palmer will be breathing slightly easier following the overnight withdrawal from the Viridian Australian Open of world number five Amr Shabana.

Palmer had been drawn to play Shabana in the first round of the PSA World Series event - the third of the year - in Canberra next month in a battle of two former world number ones.

However, following the Egyptian's withdrawal, the draw was remade and Palmer will now face Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the new eighth seed from Malaysia.

Iskandar is ranked 10th in the world while Palmer is 11th, but the 35-year-old Australian would no doubt rather be facing Iskandar in the tournament opener than four-time world champion Shabana.

The Egyptian's withdrawal also means good news for New South Wales's Ryan Cuskelly, who, as the highest ranked player in qualifying, now comes into the main draw.

Cuskelly, the world No42, will take on Englishman Tom Richards, ranked 24 in the world, in the first round.

The Australian Open will be played on the all-glass court at Canberra's Royal Theatre from August 8-14.

David Aims For First Australian Open Title

 

World number one Nicol David has won just about every major tournament going in squash in the last six year; 53 WISPA titles, three British Opens, five World Opens and Commonwealth Games Gold. However, an Australian Open title is something she doesn’t have to her name.

 

The Malaysian superstar will be making her debut at the event, which starts on 6th August in Australia’s capital, Canberra.

 

Thanks to the sponsors, the tournament has once again been upgraded in prize money and now boasts a prize fund of $60,000. It will be the third World Series event of the year and will feature 10 of the world’s top 20 players, as well as some of the young stars of the future. It will also be the first World Series event of the year to run along the PSA World Series.

 

David, aiming for her third World Series title in a row, will start her campaign against young Australian Samantha Davies, who will relish the experience of playing the world number one at home on the main show court. David’s projected second round opponent will be the winner of an intriguing encounter between New Zealand’s 16th seed Kylie Lindsay and England Junior no.1 Emily Whitlock, who recently reached the semi final of the World Junior Champs in Boston. 2008 Champion Annie Au will likely await David in the quarter final.

 

World number two Jenny Duncalf will return to Australia where she reached the semi finals last year. David’s closest rival on the tour will begin against a qualifier. She is set to do battle with Kasey Brown in the quarter finals, a rematch of the quarter final from last week’s Malaysian Open where Brown pushed Duncalf to five games. Brown will have to negotiate a tricky second round before this against former Aussie Natalie Grinham. The former world number two beat Brown in their last meeting in the Cayman Islands and is also the last person to beat David in Australia, in the 2006 Commonwealth Games semi final. Natalie opens against Aussie’s young star Melody Francis.

 

Natalie older sister Rachael Grinham is the third seed and is set in the top half of the draw .The Aussie world number three will open against Czech number one Lucie Fialova. She has tough quarter that also features compatriot Donna Urquhart, Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern and Indian star Dipika Pallikal.

 

The last quarter of the draw features two former champions. Defending champion Madeline Perry will be looking to find the same magic that saw her storm to the title last year. The world number four will face Malaysia’s Siti Munirah Jusoh in her opening match. Her expected quarter final opponent is New Zealand number one Joelle King. King won the title back in 2009 and will fancy her chances of reaching the semi finals after upsetting Perry last week in Malaysia. She opens against Swiss number one Gaby Huber.

 

With some of the top players not participating and important World Series points up for grabs, the competition in Canberra is sure to be fierce.