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Illingworth Triumphs In Northern Ontario Championship

Northern Ontario Open 2012
16-21 Apr, Sudbury, Canada, $15k
Round One
18 Apr
19 Apr
20 Apr
21 Apr
[1] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11-5, 11-7, 11-9 (36m)
[Q] Aqeel Rehman (Aut)
Julian Illingworth
5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (50m)
Clinton Leeuw
Julian Illingworth
8-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (123m)
Chris Simpson
Julian Illingworth
11-7, 11-9,
11-6 (63m)
 Shawn Delierre
Dane Sharp (Can)
11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-2 (48m)
[Q] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11-6, 11-9, 12-10 (40m)
Peter Creed (Wal)
Peter Creed
6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10 (72m)
Chris Simpson
[3] Chris Simpson (Eng)
5-2 rtd (13m)
Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
Lewis Walters (Eng)
13-11, 11-5, 11-9 (46m)
[4] Shawn Delierre (Can)
Shawn Delierre
12-10, 11-9, 11-6 (45m)
Ben Coleman
 Shawn Delierre
11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 (88m)
Charles Sharpes
[Q] Ben Coleman (Eng)
11-5, 11-5, 12-10 (37m)
Dylan Bennett (Ned)
[Q] Scott Arnold (Aus)
7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 (72m)
Charles Sharpes (Eng)
Charles Sharpes
11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (42m)
Shahier Razik
Mike McCue (Can)
11-5, 11-3, 11-6 (36m)
[2] Shahier Razik (Can)

Illingworth Triumphs In Northern Ontario Championship

Less than 24 hours after surviving the longest match of his professional career, US number one Julian Illingworth dashed home hopes of success in the Northern Ontario Championship in Canada when he beat Shawn Delierre in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its third year at the Sudbury YMCA in Sudbury, Ontario.

"Julian had a mammoth 123-minute battle with Chris Simpson in the semis and there were questions as to how well he would recover before the final," explained tournament spokesman Michael McCue. "Delierre was also stretched to five games but did not have his fitness sternly tested.

"The theme of the week - long rallies interspersed with explosions of offense - won out again today. Canadian Delierre is known for his lengthy matches, but Illingworth has a more attacking reputation. The American was hitting the ball cleaner than his previous match, especially to the front, which forced Shawn into outstretched lobs."

After surviving a crucial second game, coming back from 8-9 down, top seed Illingworth went on to close out the match 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 in 63 minutes.

"Illingworth sensed the importance of the moment and strung together three excellent rallies," added McCue. "He remarked afterward that this was the key point of the match."

It was the ninth Tour clash between the pair - all of which had been on North American soil - with Illingworth easing ahead 5/4 in their head-to-head tally.

The win also marks Illingworth's sixth PSA World Tour title - and comes just a month after the 28-year-old from New York won a record eighth US national crown.

Sharpes Shifts Shahier In Sudbury Shake Up

Unseeded Englishman Charles Sharpes produced the best win of his career in the Northern Ontario Championship in Canada when he upset second seed Shahier Razik, the title-holder, to reach the last four of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its third year at the Sudbury YMCA in Sudbury, Ontario.

Canadian number one Razik is a seasoned professional. The 29-year-old from Toronto won his sixth Canadian national title last year, and the 22nd PSA World Tour title of his career - and currently sits at 29 in the world rankings.

But Sharpes is making rapid strides at the beginning of his career. The 20-year-old from Surrey leapt over 100 places in the world rankings since the beginning of last year to a career-high No80 last month.

"Sharpes was on the attack for the whole match, staying in front of Razik and consistently hitting severe low kills," said tournament spokesman Michael McCue. "Razik does revel in this defensive role, but Sharpes never faltered mentally or physically.

"Charles held leads at 9-4 in both the second and third, and this gap proved too much for Razik to peg back. This was certainly the best win (ranking-wise, at least) of Charles' young career."

Sharpes was quick to comment on his 11-4, 11-8, 11-7 victory on Twitter: "Big result for me tonight - got a 3-0 win against Shahier Razik. Thought I played really well and can't wait for the semis tomorrow."

The only unseeded player in the semi-finals, Sharpes will now face another Canadian Shawn Delierre, the runner-up in 2010. Fourth seed Delierre, from Montreal, beat English qualifier Ben Coleman 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.

The other semi-finals will also be an Anglo/North American affair - between Julian Illingworth, the top seed from New York, and third-seeded Englishman Chris Simpson.

Both recovered from first-game set-backs - Illingworth overcoming South African qualifier Clinton Leeuw 5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 and Simpson taking 72 minutes to quash Welsh champion Peter Creed 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10.

Qualifiers Excel In Ontario

Qualifiers Ben Coleman and Clinton Leeuw claimed unexpected places in the quarter-finals of the Northern Ontario Championship in Canada after upsetting higher-ranked opponents in the opening round of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its third year at the Sudbury YMCA in Sudbury, Ontario.

It was only shortly after the day's play got underway that the club had to be evacuated due to a gas leak in the kitchen. "Play was halted and everyone was herded outside while the fire department did an inspection," explained tournament spokesman Michael McCue. "The delay was only temporary though, and after 15 minutes players were back on court."

Englishman Coleman, the lowest-ranked player in the draw, despatched Dutchman Dylan Bennett, the world No93, 11-5, 11-5, 12-10 in 37 minutes.

The 21-year-old world No 136 from Chelmsford will now be the second English opponent for Canadian hope Shawn Delierre. Fourth seed Delierre, from Montreal, recovered from 5-9 down in the first game to defeat Lewis Walters 13-11, 11-5, 11-9.

South African Leeuw dashed local hopes of three players through to the last eight by beating Toronto-based Dane Sharp 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-2 - and moves forward to face top seed Julian Illingworth, the record eight-time US national champion.

"Made it a tough game today in Sudbury for myself," said the Cape Town-born 30-year-old later on Twitter. "Glad to get through US num1 2mro - gota be stronger, faster."

In the shortest match of the day, England's third seed Chris Simpson progressed to the next round after fellow countryman Jaymie Haycocks retired with an ankle injury after just 13 minutes and seven points.

An Englishman also survived the longest: Unseeded Charles Sharpes battled for 72 minutes to overcome experienced Australian qualifier Scott Arnold 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9.

"Won a tight 3-2 against Scott Arnold tonight," tweeted the 20-year-old from Surrey later. "Really happy to get through and looking forward to the quarter finals tomorrow."

Sharpes will take on second seed Shahier Razik after the defending champion from Toronto beat wild card Michael McCue 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.