More Seeds Tumble In Birmingham World

More Seeds Tumble In Birmingham World

Birmingham – England, July 26, 2012: RESULTS: Subway World Masters Squash Championships, Birmingham, England.

More Seeds Tumble In Birmingham World Masters

Seeds continued to fall as the 2012 Subway World Masters Squash Championships progressed through to its fifth day at both the University of Birmingham and Edgbaston Priory in Birmingham, England.

More than 750 players from 47 countries began the quest for success in the World Squash Federation championships which boast 18 different events – ranging from Men’s and Women’s Over-35 championships to, for the first time this year, a Men’s Over-80 event.

It was in the inaugural Over-80 event that a notable upset took place when 80-year-olds Michael McKean and Nino Sydney battled for a place in the semi-finals – in a match which went the full distance. And after three games which went to tie-breaks, it was unseeded Englishman McKean who ultimately emerged triumphant after 36 minutes, beating his second-seeded Australian opponent 12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 3-11, 11-6!

McKean, who now plays Scot Alex Hamilton, leads English interest in the event after Surrey’s James Switzer went down 11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9 to 81-year-old Canadian Diarmuid Swan.

Avenging her defeat in the recent British Open O55 final, England’s unseeded Jacky Gardner recovered from two games down to upset second-seeded Scot Pauline Douglas 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 in 50 minutes to become the only unseeded player in the semi-finals of the Women’s O55 event.

The 55-year-old from Redcar will now face Australian Anne Richards for a place in the final.

The top two seeds also failed to make the last four of the Women’s O65 event. Unseeded Ann Manley ensured unexpected home interest in the semi-finals after a crushing Australia’s top seed Marilyn Kennedy, the 2010 World O60 Masters runner-up, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 in just 22 minutes.

Manley, the 2006 World O60 Masters champion from Bristol, will now face 3/4 seed Jean Grainger for a place in the final. South African Grainger, the 2008 champion and mother of former world No1 Natalie Grainger, despatched France’s Danielle Maffre 12-10, 11-1, 11-2 in 13 minutes.

New Zealand’s Kaye Jackson upset Sheena Worwood, the No2 seed from South Africa, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-5 and will face England’s 3/4 seed Bett Dryhurst in the other semi.

Local hopes were lifted when Birmingham-based Rustom Bativala claimed an unexpected place in the Men’s O55 semi-finals. The Warwickshire 56-year-old avenged his defeat in the British Open in May to upset Switzerland’s 3/4 seed Rene Stofer 11-13, 12-10, 1-11, 11-8, 12-10 in 51 minutes.

“It was more a mental than a physical battle,” said Bativala later. “I had to keep focus and concentrate on his backhand as much as I could, his forehand is very strong. It wasn’t looking good when I lost the third 11-1, but I managed to get back into it.

“Apparently he got a let he shouldn’t have when I was 10-8 in the fifth, so I’m glad I managed to take it 12-10 or I would have been really depressed! It’s a good result for me, being seeded lower. I don’t usually travel to these events but I live in Birmingham so it was obvious to enter this one!”

The No2 seed also fell in the Men’s Over-45 event where unheralded Frenchman Jean-Jacques Pineau upset New Zealand’s Gary Duberly, the title-holder, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7.

Pineau now meets surprise opponent Yawar Abbas, a 5/8 seed from England. The 46-year-old from Manchester, a former British National O40 champion, upset fellow countryman Murray Scott, a 3/4 seed, 11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6.

The first final of the championships was decided when title-holder Barbara Sanderson beat England’s Joan Witton 11-6, 11-5, 13-11 in the Women’s O70 semi-finals.

The Essex-based 72-year-old top seed from Ireland will now face Glenda Erasmus, the 71-year-old No2 seed from South Africa who beat Canada’s Monica Gunn 11-8, 11-7, 14-12 in then other semi. —- WSF

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