After losing in last year’s semi-finals following 32 successive title successes, England fought their way back into the women’s final of the European Team Championships after a 3/0 victory over Ireland in Espoo, Finland. The 3rd seeds will met top seeds Netherlands in the final – but the title-holders dropped the opening match against France when French No1 Camille Serme beat former world champion Vanessa Atkinson in straight games. Dutch champion Natalie Grinham restored order with a 3/0 win over Isabelle Stoehr before 3rd string Orla Noom (pic front) played one of the games of her life by fighting back from 0-2 down to beat France’s Coline Aumard (pic back) to take Netherlands into their 9th successive final. England reached the men’s final for the 19th year in a row with a comprehensive 4/0 win over Netherlands. The defending champions will meet France for the fourth successive year after the 2nd seeds defeated first-time semi-finalists Italy 4/0.
After competing in all but 1 of the events since 1978, Italy (pic: Davide Biancetti and Marcus Berrett) celebrated their 1st appearance in the men’s semi-finals of the European Team Championships after beating Czech Republic 4/0 in the final Division 1 qualifying round in Espoo, Finland. Earlier, the Italians went down 0/4 to defending champions England – but will now face 2nd seeds France for a place in the final. Following comfortable 4/0 victories over both Italy and Wales, favourites England will take on 3rd seeds Netherlands in the other semi. England made a notable breakthrough in the Women’s Division 1 event where the 3rd seeds beat No2 seeds France 3/0 to finish as Pool B winners. Winners of the title every year until 2010, England will now face 4th seeds Ireland for a place in the final. Women’s last year’s titleholder Netherlands will meet France in the other semi.
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Olivier Pett (pic) and Lauren Briggs pulled off a surprise English double in the West of Ireland Open in Galway. In the semis unseeded Pett took out top-seeded Dane Kristian Frost Olesen, fighting back from 1/2 down to win 11-9, 8-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-3. Celebrating the 2nd Tour final of his career, the 22-year-old faced Wael Farag, the 3rd seed from Egypt who upset Germany’s No2 seed Jens Schoor, also in 5 games, in the other semi. Pett came back from one game down to power back to a 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 15-13 victory, and his 2nd PSA title. The final of the women’s event also featured an unexpected line-up: Lauren Briggs, the 6th seed overcame both the 3rd and 8th seeds to reach the final where she dismissing Celia Allamargot, the fifth seed from France 11-5, 11-3, 11-6. It was only her 4th Tour appearance since December, but 31-year-old Briggs was celebrating her 3rd title in the period.
England (pic, white-blue) retained the European Junior (U19) Team Squash Championship title in style by beating second seeds Belgium (pic, blue) 3/0 in the final of the European Squash Federation event in Kriens, Switzerland. The victory, their 25th in the 28-year history of the championships, rounded off a highly-successful campaign in Kriens where team members Nathan Lake and Emily Whitlock had earlier won the individual European titles. Belgium celebrating their 1st ever appearance in the final. In the play-off for 3rd place, 5th seeds Czech Republic stunned 5 times runners-up France, the 3rd seeds, 2/1 to secure their best finish in their 14th appearance in the championships.
Australia’s Donna Urquhart (pic) dashed home hopes of success in the Indian Challenger when she beat Joshna Chinappa in the final in Chennai. It was after beating 3rd-seeded compatriot Lisa Camilleri in the semi-finals that event favourite Urquhart reached her 2nd successive WISPA Tour final, and the 12th of her career. Chinappa, the 4th seed from Chennai, made her breakthrough in the other semi where she beat higher-ranked national rival Dipika Pallikal, the No2 seed, in five games to also reach the 12th Tour final of her career. Chinappa took the opening game, but the Indian star, ranked 20 places lower, was unable to push on as Urquhart increased her variety of strokes to wrap up the match with confidence, winning 8-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in 39 minutes.
Some rallies of two world champions – Thierry Lincou (2004) vs David Palmer (2002 and 2006) at the Super Series Finals 2008.
ATCO Super Series Finals 2008 Palmer vs. Lincou part 1
Part of the 3/4 playoff squash match between David Palmer and Thierry Lincou in the ATCO Super Series Finals 2008 at Broadgate Arena, London. Recorded on a N…
Egyptian teenager Marwan El Shorbagy (pic ri) upset the seedings in the Aramex Open in Jordan to win his first PSA World Tour title in Amman. The 17-year-old 3rd seed reached the final after surviving a 5-game battle against Ahmad Alzabidi, Jordan’s highest-ranked player. His opponent, fellow Egyptian Mazen Gamal, also made the final after being taken the full distance in the previous round where he held off England’s Robert Downer. In the final El Shorbagy overcame Gamal, the 24-year-old No2 seed 11-7, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4 after 42 minutes. It was El Shorbagy’s 3rd appearance in a final – and only his 6th in a Tour event – but his 1st championship title. The UK-based youngster is following his older brother Mohamed El Shorbagy (pic le), the 20-year-old twice former world junior champion who is now ranked 9 in the world.