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11/10/2006
VILLAGE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
 

Palmer Powers To Village Open Prize

Tornament
Village Open Squash Championship,
New York, USA

Final:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (62m)

Semi-finals:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [6] Stewart Boswell (AUS) 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (55m)
[5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [2] Nick Matthew (ENG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (70m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt [8] Wael El Hindi (EGY) 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (75m)
[6] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [3] Lee Beachill (ENG) 11-8, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7 (80m)
[5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA) 10-11 (1-3), 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (60m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [7] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (50m)

1st round:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 11-9, 11-4
[8] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt [Q] Borja Golan (ESP) 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7
[3] Lee Beachill (ENG) bt Alex Gough (WAL) 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8
[6] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 11-10 (4-2), 11-1 ret.
[5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 11-4
[Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt [4] John White (SCO) 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-10 (5-3)
[7] Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 11-5
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Shahid Zaman (PAK) 11-4 ret.

Palmer Powers To Village Open Prize
It took the world champion from Australia more than an hour, but David Palmer powered to success in the inaugural Village Open Squash Championship when he beat unexpected opponent Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the final at the Printing House Fitness & Squash Club in New York, USA.

Iskandar, the fifth seed from Malaysia, pulled off his best win of the year to reach the final when he upset England's recently-crowned British Open champion Nick Matthew in the semi-finals of the new $85,000 5-star PSA Tour event.

Experts predicted that Palmer, the top seed celebrating his 41st appearance in a PSA Tour final, would have a straightforward ride to the title but an inspired performance from Iskandar saw the former world number one from New South Wales battle for 62 minutes before clinching his 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory.

"This might be a turning point for Azlan, tonight here," Palmer told www.squashtalk.com afterwards. "After he beat Nick last night and tonight ... well it was three games, but boy was it tough, he really shone through this week."

The triumph marked Palmer's fourth PSA Tour final appearance this year and his third win. But it also stretches Palmer's lead as the current player with the most PSA Tour titles. Now boasting 19 Tour trophies since his first in Ecuador in 1997, Palmer is two ahead of Frenchman Thierry Lincou and has three more than compatriot Stewart Boswell.

Iskandar Beats British Open Champion To Claim Top Scalp In Village Open
Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar toppled British Open champion Nick Matthew in the semi-finals of the Village Open Squash Championship to secure the biggest scalp of his career in New York, USA.

The fifth seed from Sarawak dropped the first game to Matthew, the second seed playing in his first PSA Tour event since becoming the first home-grown Englishman to win the prestigious British Open crown since 1939!

But 24-year-old Iskandar, ranked 16 in the world, took control of the match thereafter and maintained his focus to clinch a morale-boosting 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 victory over the world No8 after 70 minutes.

The stunning win in this new $85,000 5-star PSA Tour event at the Printing House Fitness & Squash Club in New York takes Iskandar into his 13th PSA final but the biggest by far!

The Malaysian's opponent in the Village Open climax will be favourite David Palmer, the World Open champion from Australia who overcame fellow countryman Stewart Boswell, the sixth seed, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 in 55 minutes in the other semi-final.

The win marks world No2 Palmer's 41st career PSA Tour final and the 30-year-old's fourth this year.

Boswell Beats Beachill In Village Open Upset
Though seeded higher than his Australian opponent, England's Lee Beachill was unable to prevent Stewart Boswell from gaining his fifth successive PSA Tour victory in six years in the quarter-finals of the Village Open Squash Championship at the Printing House Fitness & Squash Club in New York, USA.

It was a close-fought encounter which stretched for 80 minutes but Boswell, the sixth seed from Canberra, pulled away from third seed Beachill after a tie-break in the third game, then clinched the match in the fourth with a 11-8, 8-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7 victory.

Boswell, fresh from his title success in last month's St Louis Open in Missouri, will now meet compatriot David Palmer for a guaranteed Australian place in the final.

Palmer, the favourite from New South Wales, was also extended for more than an hour before defeating Egypt's eighth seed Wael El Hindi 10-11 (0-2), 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 in 75 minutes.

The other semi-final in this new $85,000 5-star PSA Tour event will be a Malaysian/English affair. Second seed Nick Matthew, the recently-crowned British Open champion from Sheffield, recovered from a game down to beat Finland's Olli Tuominen, the No7 seed, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6.

Malaysia's Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the fifth seed, ended Renan Lavigne's giant-killing run, beating the French qualifier 10-11 (1-3), 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 in 60 minutes.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) v [6] Stewart Boswell (AUS)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)

Lavigne Outlasts White In Village Open Thriller
In a dramatic first round clash in the Village Open Squash Championship in the USA, French qualifier Renan Lavigne outlasted hard-hitting Scotsman John White to produce the only upset of the day in the new PSA Tour event being staged at the Printing House Fitness & Squash Club in New York.

The Village Open is the fulfilment of the dream of three young men Sean Gibbon, Jerry Ouderkirk and Robert Osborne - who wanted to host a not-for-profit, world-class squash tournament in New York City. The $85,000 5-star event has attracted nine of the world's top 20 players and will raise significant proceeds and awareness for CitySquash, the premier inner-city youth squash programme in the Metropolitan area of New York.

John White, the Philadelphia-based fourth seed, was leading the US interest in the event. But despite leading after the first and third games, the former world number one was unable to shake off the Frenchman.

Lavigne, the 31-year-old world No33 from Marseille, forced the fifth-game decider into a tie-break and, after a tense and lengthy battle, prevailed to claim his shock 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-10 (5-3) victory.

The Frenchman now meets fifth-seeded Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar after the UK-based 24-year-old from Sarawak beat Julian Illingworth, the US National Champion, 11-10 (4-2), 11-9, 11-4.

Appearing in his first event since winning the Dunlop British Open title last month - thereby becoming the first home-grown Englishman to win the prestigious event since 1939 - Nick Matthew had an easy ride into the last eight.

After winning the opening game 11-4 against Shahid Zaman, the 26-year-old No2 seed from Sheffield was awarded the match when the Pakistani qualifier withdrew as a result of an injury.

Matthew will now take on Finland's Olli Tuominen after the seventh seed from Helsinki beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema 11-10 (2-0), 11-5, 11-5.

Australia's top seed David Palmer was fully extended in his first round match by Shahier Razik but the former world No1 from New South Wales ultimately prevailed 11-10 (2-0), 7-11, 11-9, 11-4 against the unseeded Canadian to claim his place in the quarter-finals - where he will face Egypt's eighth seed Wael El Hindi.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] David Palmer (AUS) v [8] Wael El Hindi (EGY)
[3] Lee Beachill (ENG) v [6] Stewart Boswell (AUS)
[Q] Renan Lavigne (FRA) v [5] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [7] Olli Tuominen (FIN)