England’s Adrian Waller (pic ri) pulled off his 2nd successive upset in the Cerdil Open in Brazil to win a 105-minutes marathon final in Dourados. The 4th seed made his breakthrough in the semi-finals when he despatched local hero Rafael F Alarcon, the No2 seed from Brazil ranked more than ten places higher in the world, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6. In the final – his 4th on the PSA Tour – world No65 Waller faced Jan Koukal, the defending champion from the Czech Republic who was celebrating his 25th final appearance. After Koukal, ranked 50 in the world, took the opening 2 games Waller kept his focus to win the 3rd game before surviving a titanic tie-break fourth game 16-14. With the finishing post now in sight, Waller stormed on to win 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 16-14, 11-8 in 105 minutes to collect the second PSA Tour title of his career.
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Former champions Greg Gaultier (pic ri) and Natalie Grinham survived 4-game finals in the European Individual Championships in Warsaw to reclaim the titles they had won in previous years. It was a historic climax for Frenchman Gaultier who was celebrating his 8th successive appearance in the men’s final and his 4th meeting in a row with his compatriot Thierry Lincou (pic le). Lincou ended Gaultier’s run of 5 successive title triumphs in 2009 by winning the trophy for the 1st time – then repeated his win last year. But this was to be Gaultier’s year – and the world No6, recovered from a game down to beat Lincou 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 to win his 6th crown. The women’s final also produced a triumphant outcome for the 2009 champion Natalie Grinham who was unable to compete in last year’s event due to the birth of her son. But 1 year after her son made his first appearance, the Australian-born 33-year-old from the Netherlands proved that she is back as the top player by beating French favourite Camille Serme 7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 in 46 minutes.
The men’s final of the European Individual Championships will be an all-French affair between Greg Gaultier and Thierry Lincou (pic) for the 4th year in a row. Lincou, the defending champion looking for his 3rd successive title, ended the brave run of rising Swiss star Nicolas Mueller – beating the 5/8 seed 11-6, 11-5, 1-11, 11-7. Lincou, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, now faces national rival Greg Gaultier, the top seed who won the title 5 times from 2004 to 2008. The world No6 from marked his eighth successive appearance in the final by beating Dutch men’s champion Laurens Jan Anjema 13-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Dutch champion Natalie Grinham (pic) burst into the women’s final of the European Individual Championships in the Poland capital Warsaw – and now stands in the way of the 2nd French double in the event in 4 years. Winner of the title in 2009, Natalie Grinham upset England’s 2nd seed Emma Beddoes 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in 31 minutes to claim a place in the final. The former world No2, who missed last year’s event following the birth of her 1st child, will now face French favourite Camille Serme, who defeated Italian Manuela Manetta 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.
Rising Swiss star Nicolas Müller (pic) pulled off an impressive upset at the European Individual Championships in Poland when he beat experienced Spaniard Borja Golán to reach the men’s semi-finals in Warsaw. The 21-year-old battled for 44 minutes to overcome 3/4 seed Golan, the former world No10, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-1. In his 1st appearance in the event’s semi-finals, world No36 Mueller will face defending champion Thierry Lincou, ranked 8 in the world. The 2nd-seeded Frenchman had to work hard overcoming this compatriot Greg Marche 13-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-8 in 71 minutes. In the other semi-final will be 5-time champion Gregory Gaultier, who will take on Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema. Top seed Gaultier defeated Mark Krajcsak 11-4, 11-6, 11-5. But Anjema almost failed to make the semis, when the world No15 had to fight back from 2 games down against Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet – then saved a match ball at 9-10 in the 5th game before finally clinching his 3-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10 quarter-final victory after 89 minutes.
Frenchman Greg Gaultier made a positive start in his bid to reach the men’s final of the European Individual Championships for the 8th successive year when he beat local Marcin Karwowski in 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 in Warsaw, Poland. Defending champion Thierry Lincou is the No2 seed and expected to meet Gaultier in the final for the 4th year in a row. Twice champion Lincou, the former world No1, beat Slovakian qualifier Peter Kviecinsky 11-6, 11-4, 11-9. Croatian Manuel Fistonic (pic), England’s Nathan Lake and Czech Roman Svec all produced upsets over seeded opponents to secure unexpected places in the last 16. There were no upsets in the women’s event where Camille Serme is favourite to win the title for the 1st time. The world No9 defeated Spanish qualifier Xisela Aranda Nunez 11-4, 11-5, 11-2. Serme is expected to meet England’s Emma Beddoes in the final. 2nd seed Beddoes needed just 18 minutes to squash Dutch qualifier Ilona Lagerweij 11-3, 11-1, 11-5.
January 2011, month of the Tournament of Champions and the World Series Finals – lots of opportunities for terrific squash – watch out this …
Best Squash shots of January 2011 (High quality)
This video contains a selection of the best squash shots of January 2011, starring the best of the world …