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Three Up For Illingworth At Nash Cup

Nash Cup 2012
17-22 Sep, London, Ontario, $10k
Round One
19 Sep
20 Sep
21 Sep
22 Se
[1] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
Scott Arnold (Aus) 
Julian Illingworth
11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5 (74m)
Anthony Graham
Julian Illingworth
7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (56m)
Andrew Schnell
Julian Illingworth
6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 (59m)
Olivier Pett
Anthony Graham (Eng)
7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (55m)
David Letourneau (Can)
Andrew Schnell (Can)
11-5, 11-2, 15-13 (30m)
[Q] Tyler Hamilton (Can) 
Andrew Schnell
11-13, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1, 12-10 (70m)
Jan Koukal
[3] Jan Koukal (Cze)
12-10, 11-6, 11-4 (30m)
[Q] Adrian Dudzicki (Can
[Q] Fred Reid (Can)
 15-13, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (36m)
[4] Olivier Pett (Eng)
Olivier Pett
12-10, 11-8, 11-4 (26m)
Yann Perrin
Olivier Pett
11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11 (56m)
Clinton Leeuw
Yann Perrin (Fra) 
 11-3, 12-10, 5-11, 11-3 (46m)
Andrew McDougall (Can)
Thomas Brinkman (Can)
 16-14, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7 (46m)
[Q] Matt Serediak (Can)
Thomas Brinkman
13-11, 11-1, 11-7 (39m)
Clinton Leeuw
Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 (97m)
[2] Shawn Delierre (Can)

Three Up For Illingworth At Nash Cup

US squash star Julian Illingworth picked up his third PSA World Tour title in a row when he beat England's Olivier Pett in the final of the Nash Cup, the PSA Challenger 10 event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London in the Canadian province of Ontario.

The record eight-time US national champion had dropped games in both the previous rounds - and did so in the final as Pett, the fourth seed who made the final against expectations after beating South African Clinton Leeuw in the semis, opened a one-game lead.

Pett raced to a 6-2 lead in the second, but favourite Illingworth battled back to draw level before maintaining the upper hand in the next two games to close out the match 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 in 59 minutes.

The victory marks Illingworth's 12th successive match win after claiming the titles at the Northern Ontario Championship in April and the BH Open in Brazil earlier this month. In winning his eighth title on the PSA Tour, Illingworth also becomes the first US Nash Cup champion.

"The Nash Cup is the largest (size) trophy that Illingworth has won to date on the tour, and we wish him the best of luck this season," said tournament director Dave Morrish. "We look forward to having him back to defend his title next year!

"Jay Nash ended the presentation ceremony by announcing that not only will we be having a WSA event next year, but also that we will be upping our "purse" to $15k next year!

"What a great end to an unbelievable week," concluded Morrish.


Pett Powers Into Nash Cup Climax

England's fourth seed Olivier Pett secured an unexpected place in the final of the Nash Cup in Canada after defeating South African Clinton Leeuw in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London, Ontario.

It was the end of the run for unseeded Leeuw who made his breakthrough in the opening round when he dismissed defending champion Shawn Delierre.

"The real match started in the second game," reported Yann Perrin, the Frenchman who lost to Pett in the previous round. "There were long rallies and Clinton tried to take the ball earlier and got on to the volley more - and it was working.

"He was to put more pressure with his backhand drop, and he won the second. After the third and the fourth, it was really close; but a few errors from Clinton gave the opportunity to Olly to finish the point.

"The last point exemplified what the match was all about - a great rally and some fantastic retrieving, ending with a cross-court flat dead nick from Olly reaching back under pressure high on the forehand."

Pett, the 23-year-old world No58 from Sussex, was delighted with his 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11 win: "It was a hard fought match! Clinton was playing with a lot of confidence and I was nervous because I knew I was next on his to-do-list! Luckily, I was able to squeeze some mistakes out of him and take the match.

"To be honest, the longer the match went on the more nervous I became so I was very happy to get the win. Clinton was running me around the court for a good portion of the match, thankfully I enjoy burning calories. I love London Squash, everyone is really nice and the gym is great!"

Pett will now face top seed Julian Illingworth, the eight-time US champion who was pushed all the way before overcoming local hope Andrew Schnell 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9.

Rising Canadian star Schnell reached the semis after upsetting third seed Jan Koukal in the previous round.

"Couldn't pull another upset tonight, but overall a great event," tweeted the 20-year-old from Calgary after his Nash Cup exit.

World No31 Illingworth is celebrating the 18th PSA Tour final of his career - and his third in a row. By contrast, it will be only the third of Pett's career - but the Englishman boasts 100% success in his previous two!


Schnell Shoots Down Koukal In Nash Cup Upset

Canadian Andrew Schnell celebrated his second home soil upset over higher-ranked Jan Koukal this year when he beat the Czech number one in a five-game thriller in the quarter-finals of the Nash Cup, the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London, Ontario.

The 20-year-old from Calgary recorded his first win over Koukal, the world No47 from Prague, at the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in his home city in January.

"This was a roller coaster of a game and Andrew was to some extent in control of his own destiny tonight and nearly committed suicide," explained Nash Cup tournament director Dave Morrish. "He dictated so much of the play and forced Jan into a waiting and absorbing game.

"Jan's retrieving was often breath-taking. Andrew most definitely took the game to Jan tonight and attacked at every opportunity, both short and deep. His error rate was pretty high for a match of this level but at the end of the day, squash was the winner as Andrew hit a few more winners than he did errors!"

The match went the full distance, with Schnell ultimately triumphing 11-13, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1, 12-10 in 70 minutes.

"Jan and I played a while back, that game also went to five, so I knew that when things got tough in today's match I could pull through and take it," said Schnell, the world No82. "Really excited to get through considering Jan is a very good player and you never know how matches like that will go. Looking forward to tomorrow's match, excited for the semis!"

The young Canadian will now meet top seed Julian Illingworth, the world No31 from New York. But the record eight times US champion was also taken the full distance before overcoming unseeded Englishman Anthony Graham 11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5 in 74 minutes.

"I feel really lucky to have made it through today," admitted 28-year-old Illingworth. "I checked out for a bit but luckily for me I was able to pull myself together and come back. Seriously, Anthony is great and I feel lucky to get the win. He is young and has a lot of talent which, if he nurtures it well could be anywhere in the top 40."

His defeated opponent summed up his reaction in one word: "Gutted! I thought I played well, but I lost my concentration in patches and just couldn't come back. If I had adapted to the change of pace that occurred during the third game that would have put me in a better position to take the match.

"A lot of positives to take out of this match - I just need to learn to play better at the business end of the game," added the 22-year-old from Gloucestershire.

The other semi-final will be an Anglo-South African clash between fourth seed Olivier Pett and Cape Town-born Clinton Leeuw.

Englishman Pett beat Canadian Thomas Brinkman 13-11, 11-1, 11-7, while unseeded Leeuw - who secured his place in the last eight after ousting title-holder champion Shawn Delierre in the opening round - continued his giant-killing run by defeating higher-ranked Frenchman Yann Perrin 12-10, 11-8, 11-4.


Big Mop Delierre Dumped By Leeuw

Clinton Leeuw lasted out the longest match of his career when he ousted defending champion Shawn Delierre in the opening round of the Nash Cup, the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event in its fifth year at the London Squash Racquets Club in London in the Canadian province of Ontario.

The unseeded 30-year-old from South Africa fought back from a game down, then survived a lengthy tie-break in the fifth game decider before finally clinching victory over the third-seeded Canadian in his fourth match-ball 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 after 97 minutes.

World No45 Delierre is famous for his marathon encounters - this was his 17th Tour match lasting more than 95 minutes since the PAR-to-11 scoring system was introduced in 2004!

"I feel like a big mop, with only the handle working," explained the 30-year-old from Toronto afterwards. "I had to use the head of the handle because the legs weren't working. I was happy with the B game that I brought. Credit to Clinton for not letting me play my A game tonight."

Leeuw, ranked almost 50 places lower, added: "I have known Shawn for six or seven years, and he has climbed high in the rankings. I have a lot of respect for him and have been psyching up for him all week. I'm very, very, happy with tonight - bit battered and bruised but hopefully will feel OK in the morning!"

Thomas Brinkman kept home hopes alive after beating fellow Canadian Matthew Serediak, a qualifier, 16-14, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7. The 23-year-old from British Columbia will now face Leeuw for a place in the semi-finals.

Further Canadian interest in the quarter-finals will be provided by Andrew Schnell, the 20-year-old world No82 from Calgary who defeated Canadian qualifier Tyler Hamilton 11-5, 11-2, 15-13.

Schnell will face the Czech number one Jan Koukal after the third seed removed Adrian Dudzicki, a qualifier from Ottawa, 12-10, 11-6, 11-4.

Schnell scored his first ever Tour victory over world No47 Koukal in the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in his home city in January.

"I was a bit shaky in the first game, but settled down after that and found the shots I wanted," said Koukal after the opening match in his 19th PSA Tour event this year.

"My next match is against Andrew (Schnell) - and I'll be looking for revenge!"