26 Feb 2018

National Sports Festival to hold in Abuja by November

The 19th National Sports Festival has been officially withdrawn from Cross River state.
Image result for sport logosThe decision was taken at the National Council on Sports meeting which ended on Thursday at the General Hassan Katsina House, Kaduna.
A voting process was thrown open on the floor of the meeting by the Chairman of the meeting and Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung, with state Commissioners of sports, Directors of sports, Chairmen of state sports councils, sports policy facilitators and other representatives in the sports sector.
Having postponed the 19th National Sports Festival for 6 years, the Council resolved that the continued delay of the hosting of the Festival was detrimental to the growth of Sports in Nigeria and therefore withdrew the hosting rights from Cross River State while the Federal government will hold the 2018 edition in Abuja in November.
The Council also approved the reduction of the age of athletes eligible to participate in the National Youth Games and adopted 15 years as upper limit of age for participants while overaged athletes, their erring coaches and states will be disqualified and fined the sum of N250,000 per disqualified athlete.
The council also adopted a presentation to National Council on Establishment on Lateral Conversion of Coaches to enable them to progress in their cadres
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports was also directed to embellish the draft Implementation Guidelines for the National Sports Policy and circulate to members for inputs while the revised National Sports Policy for 2018 was also approved by the National Council on Sports and will be reviewed every 4 years.
NSF WITHDRAWN FROM CROSS RIVER STATE AS NATIONAL SPORTS COUNCIL MEETING ENDS IN KADUNA
The 19th National Sports Festival has been officially withdrawn from Cross River state.
The decision was taken at the National Council on Sports meeting which ended on Thursday at the General Hassan Katsina House, Kaduna.
A voting process was thrown open on the floor of the meeting by the Chairman of the meeting and Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung, with state Commissioners of sports, Directors of sports, Chairmen of state sports councils, sports policy facilitators and other representatives in the sports sector.
Having postponed the 19th National Sports Festival for 6 years, the Council resolved that the continued delay of the hosting of the Festival was detrimental to the growth of Sports in Nigeria and therefore withdrew the hosting rights from Cross River State while the Federal government will hold the 2018 edition in Abuja in November.
The Council also approved the reduction of the age of athletes eligible to participate in the National Youth Games and adopted 15 years as upper limit of age for participants while overaged athletes, their erring coaches and states will be disqualified and fined the sum of N250,000 per disqualified athlete.
The council also adopted a presentation to National Council on Establishment on Lateral Conversion of Coaches to enable them to progress in their cadres
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports was also directed to embellish the draft Implementation Guidelines for the National Sports Policy and circulate to members for inputs while the revised National Sports Policy for 2018 was also approved by the National Council on Sports and will be reviewed every 4 years.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE
SA MEDIA

2018 Lagos International Squash Classics

Incase you are still in doubt;

 
 
Exciting action of world class squash is back in Nigeria as some of the best players in the world converge in the aquatic city of Lagos for the Lagos International Squash Classics!!
More than 13 countries from Europe, Asia and Africa are expected to share from the $20,000 prize money for this year’s tournament as well as garner points for the Professional Squash Association (PSA) ranking!!!
The date is March 19 to 24 at the Molade-Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria!!!
Come and watch scintillating and action-packed matches in a friendly atmosphere at the PSA-sanctioned Lagos International Squash Classics!!!
 
 



23 Feb 2018

Mixed Fortunes for Gilis Sisters as Qualifying Draws to a Close at Windy City Open

 
The final day of qualifying at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company saw upsets in the women’s draw as Belgian World No.59 Tinne Gilis reached her first World Series main draw, while older sister, Nele, and Canada’s World No.35 Hollie Naughton missed out.
World No.28 Nele Gilis fell to a straight-games defeat in just 28 minutes against Canada’s World No.42 Danielle Letourneau on the final day of qualifying for the World Series event, while her younger sister, Tinne, successfully made it past World No.40 Milou van der Heijden by a 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 scoreline to reach her first ever World Series main draw.
The 20-year-old Belgian will now face World Champion Egypt’s Raneem El Welily in round one, with the latter aiming for her fourth successive Windy City Open title at this year’s tournament.
Elsewhere on the women’s draw, Canadian favourite Naughton could not find a way past Egyptian 17-year-old Nada Abbas who prevailed in straight games by an 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 margin to book her place in the main draw where she will now take on Welshwoman Tesni Evans in round one.
They will be joined by England’s Jenny Duncalf, Egyptians Yathreb Adel and Nadine Shahin, France’s Coline Aumard and Canada’s Samantha Cornett after they all secured their place in the main draw.
Meanwhile, it was plain sailing for the top seeds in the men’s qualifying draw as the top eight seeded players ensured a safe passage through to round one of the Windy City Open.
Top seed Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller successfully manoeuvred past Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng in straight-games to book a main draw slot, where he will line up against U.S. Open winner and number two seed Ali Farag in round one.
Scotland’s Alan Clyne, meanwhile, will join Mueller in the main draw after he came through a tough 72-minute encounter against England’s Nathan Lake. The Scotsman held his nerve to come from a game down to seal an 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 victory and will now face Australia’s Cameron Pilley in round one.
They will be joined in the main draw by French duo Gregoire Marche and Lucas Serme, Egypt’s Karim Ali Fathi, Qatar’s Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi and Hong Kong pair Max Lee and Tsz Fung Yip.
Main draw matches held on the glass show court inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe Only), while the semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream broadcasters, such as BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro.
Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.
For all the latest news on the Windy City Open, go to www.windycityopen.com or follow the tournament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Results – Qualification Finals: Women’s 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [15] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-1: 16-14, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
[10] Nada Abbas (EGY) bt [8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 12-10 (30m)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (19m
[9] Nadine Shahin (EGY) bt [6] Mayar Hany (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt [12] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
[5] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
[14] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt [3] Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (28m)
[2] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [11] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (25m)
Draw – Women’s First Round
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) v [14] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [Q] Nada Abbas (EGY)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) v [7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
Nadine Shahin (EGY) v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) v [3] Camille Serme (FRA)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Salma Hany (EGY) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Results – Qualification Finals: Men’s 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [16] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0: 11-5, 14-12, 11-5 (33m)
[8] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt [10] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (48m
[7] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt [12] Tom Richards (ENG) 3-2: 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 5-11, 11-5 (58m)
[4] Max Lee (HKG) bt [14] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4 (45m)
[6] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt [11] Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-1: 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 (55m)
[5] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) bt [15] Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (54m)
[3] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [13] Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (44m)
[2] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 3-1: 11-13, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11 (72m)
Draw – Men’s First Round
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [5] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
James Willstrop (ENG) v [WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
Leo Au (HKG) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Max Lee (HKG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Declan James (ENG) v [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Farag Claims 2018 Swedish Open Crown

 
Egypt's Ali Farag, the World No.3, won his first PSA World Tour title since October 2017 courtesy of a 3-1 victory over in-form Simon Rösner in the final of the 2018 UCS Swedish Open in Linköping, Sweden.
Farag last tasted title success when he triumphed at the U.S. Open to win the first World Series title of his career, but capped off a sublime week that saw him return to his best form in Sweden with a comfortable victory over Rösner – preventing the German from adding the Swedish Open to the Tournament of Champions crown he collected last month.
Rösner, 30, started strongly, looking to pick up on where he left off following an impressive semi-final defeat of Tarek Momen. But ultimately he came up short as 25-year-old Farag began to turn the screw, exerting consistent pressure that eventually sapped the energy from Rösner and paved the way for a victory that came after 51 minutes of action.
Ali Farag with the trophy
“I'm over the moon to have won the title here at this great event,” said Farag.
“I've heard great things about this event for years and it exceeded all my expectations. It has been a great event.
“Today, after losing the second game I got some great words from Tarek (Momen) so I have to thank him, and my wife and family back home, for their support because without a full team behind me I wouldn't have been able to do it.”
After the match Rösner said: 'He was too good today. I just tried to hang in there but I didn't have enough in the tank to make it harder. He was controlling and playing smart.”
Result – Final: 2018 UCS Swedish Open
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [4] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 11-7, 6-11, 11-3, 11-5 (51m)

Windy City Open: Day 2 - As It Happens

 
Day two of the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance begins today inside the iconic University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall and you can follow all of the day's exciting action as it unfolds here.
Following yesterday's play – which saw all of the top seeds sail through to round two – today, sees men's top seed Mohamed ElShorbagy and three-time Windy City Open champion Raneem El Welily both in action.
Here is the order of play:
Glass Court – live on SQUASHTV (Rest of the world) & Eurosport Player (Europe only)
12:00 [4] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
13:00 [3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
14:00 [12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
15:00 [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
17:00 Salma Hany (EGY) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
18:00 [8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q]
19:00 [Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
20:00 Declan James (ENG) v [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)
Court One
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Massaro Defeats Urquhart in Three
England’s World No.4 Laura Massaro secured her berth in the second round of the Windy City Open after she came through a tough encounter against Australia’s World No.15 Donna Urquhart.
This was the first meeting between the pair in three years on the PSA World Tour, with Massaro winning all three of their previous encounters. However, Urquhart made things tough for the Englishwoman in the first as Massaro started the match tentatively and struggled to find her corners accurately against the strong Australian.
However, as the first game wore on the 2014 Windy City Open winner managed to become more purposeful with her shots to take the first by an 11-7 scoreline.
Australia’s Urquhart came back fighting in the second, however, to continuously challenge Massaro and managed to set herself up with three game ball opportunities.
However, the World No.15 failed to convert any of them as Massaro – who is famed on the Tour for her mental strength – fought back to convert her first game ball opportunity at the first time of asking.
From that moment on, Massaro went through the gears to put Urquhart to the sword in the third and secure a round two berth by an 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 scoreline.
“It was tough,” said Massaro following her win.
“Donna played really well and it’s always hard to play a left hander, especially when you haven’t played each other in a few years. I feel like it was just a bit of a mental pick-up on my plan.
“Her forehand is ridiculously strong so I just got punished so many times when I put it there.
“It was just about putting a good performance out there today, mentally more than anything. I had a couple of tough losses and haven’t quite been in the form I would have liked. If anything I have taken some things from those results and tried to learn from them and adjust like you always do and just wanted to come out today and find the so-called grit that I am known for and I guess what made me win those two games when my back was against the wall and I had no right to, and I’m really proud of that.
“After losses, you always talk about the player that you are and what you have won but you just want to keep going forwards. The Tour is so competitive that you can’t really look back and you have to keep looking forward and I guess that is what I have learnt over the last few months.”
Elsewhere, New Zealand’s Joelle King comfortably came through her first-round encounter with England’s Jenny Duncalf as she dispatched the Englishwoman by an 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 scoreline.
King and Massaro will now face each other in round two.
“To now have Joelle in the next round is a really tough draw,” said Massaro.
“She recently beat Raneem in Cleveland and she beat me in China in the first tournament of the season and we haven’t played each other since, so in a funny sort of way I feel like there is no pressure.
“She is playing really well and I just want to go out and perform well and have a good go like I did today and what will be will be and then we move onto the next one.”
Results
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-4 (35m)
[9] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 (26m)

Men's Squash Readies for Conroy Cup at CSA Team Championships


Men's Squash Readies for Conroy Cup at CSA Team Championships
CSA Team Championships Information
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The No. 30 ranked Haverford College men's squash team (9-5) will look to chase down the Conroy Cup (D Division) title at the 2018 College Squash Men's Team Championships this weekend. The championships begin on Friday, February 23 and continue through Sunday, February 25. In total, the team championships feature 62 schools competing in eight divisions across four sites in Greater Hartford.
The Fords begin action on Friday at 2 p.m. against No. 27 Hamilton College. The match is slated to be played in Middletown, Conn. on the campus of Wesleyan. Pending the results of that match, Haverford will face off with either No. 26 Bowdoin or No. 31 Wesleyan on Saturday morning at Wesleyan. A third match to be determined will be contested on Sunday at Trinity or Wesleyan.
Other teams in the Conroy Cup division include No. 25 Hobart, No. 28 Tufts, No. 29 Connecticut College and No. 32 Stanford. Haverford has already registered wins against Connecticut College, Stanford and Wesleyan earlier this season. Haverford faced off with Hamilton at the Pioneer Valley Invitational last month, with the Continentals coming away with a 7-2 victory over the Fords on January 20. The Fords also faced off with Hamilton at the Pioneer Valley during the 2015-16 campaign but had not met since the 2005-06 season prior to that matchup.
Haverford senior co-captain Peter Dudley matched the program's all-time career wins record with his 44th career victory in the match. The mark equals the 44 wins recorded by Tim Saint '02. He can become the program's new all-time wins leader with one individual win this weekend. Dudley (11-3) and first year player Fitz Dougherty (12-2) have been standouts for the Fords competing at the third and fourth flights. Together, the pair has combined to lift Haverford to a 10-4 record at number three and a 13-1 record at number four. Alex Liu and Thomas Kaye have also combined for a 10-4 record at the ninth position.
Last season, the Fords finished with a program-record 15 victories and the No. 33 overall ranking after capturing the Chaffee Cup (E Division).  The victory was the fourth overall CSA division title for Haverford, as the Fords also took home the Serues Cup (F Division) title in 2011-12 and have captured the Conroy Cup (D Division) twice, in 1999-00 and 2001-02.
The Fords will be competing for the Conroy Cup for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Haverford's highest ever year end finish was a 25th place finish during the 2001-02 campaign as well as the 1999-00 season. The Fords finished in the top 30 last during the 2006-07 campaign.
Live results for all matches and a video stream of select courts throughout the weekend will be available via the CSA website.

Women’s Squash Takes Down Amherst, Finishes 15th at Nationals


Beatrijs Kuijpers ’19 won two of her three matches in the first spot in the ladder at CSA Team Nationals, defeating her opponents from University of Virginia and Amherst.
Middlebury Athletic Communications
Beatrijs Kuijpers ’19 won two of her three matches in the first spot in the ladder at CSA Team Nationals, defeating her opponents from University of Virginia and Amherst.
Following a third-place finish at Nescacs earlier this month, where the Panthers pulled off a 5–4 win over Amherst, the 15th-ranked women’s squash team headed to the CSA Team Championships in Boston last weekend to compete in the B draw for the Kurtz Cup. They finished their season ranked 15th, after losing their first two matches of the weekend then defeating Amherst in a rematch on Sunday, Feb. 18.
Middlebury entered the weekend as a huge underdog — the Panthers were the 15th-ranked team in a draw that features the ninth through 16th-ranked teams. While they were the second lowest ranked team in the draw, their morale was high.
They began by facing No. 10 Dartmouth, the same team the Panthers lost to 8–1 earlier this season on their home courts.
Virginia Schaus ’21, who performed consistently well throughout her first season with the Panthers, claimed Middlebury’s only point against Dartmouth in a four-set triumph (11–3, 9–11, 11–7, 11–7) against Julia Potter at No. 6.
While the Panthers only tallied one point against the Big Green, several matches stood out as near misses for Middlebury. One of those was Alexa Comai ’19’s matchup in the No. 3 slot.
Comai battled into the fifth set against Dartmouth’s Sandra Reiss despite dropping the first game of the match 11–5. Comai quickly recovered though, and manufactured some momentum as she fought back to win the next two games 11–3 and 11–4, which made the next two games potential close-out sets. Unfortunately, after a hard fought fourth set, Comai ’19 fell 11–9, she could not get her energy back up for the fifth game and lost 11–3.
In the middle of the ladder, Anne Glassie ’20 and Natalie Madden ’21 missed the chance to pull off victories in their matches that went all the way to a fifth set. At No. 4, Glassie ’20 dropped the first two games against opponent Brynn Bank, 11–3, 11–7. But the tide changed when she fought tooth and nail for the third set, securing it with a score 13–11, before falling in the fourth set 11–7.
Madden ’21, another outstanding Panther rookie lost at No. 5 against Janel Gaube in a closely contested four set match 11–3, 11–7, 8–11, 11–4.
After falling to Dartmouth, Middlebury went on to play No. 14 Virginia in the consolation semifinal, where the Panthers fell to Virginia for the second time this season. Although, by only falling 7–2 this time around, the Panthers improved on their 8–1 showing earlier in the season.
In last weekend’s meeting with Virginia, the Panthers managed to get off to a good start when Natasha Lowitt ’20 tied the overall match 1–1 by winning a four set nailbiter in the No. 9 slot  (11–7, 4–11, 13–11, 14–12). Unfortunately the winning streak didn’t last as Virginia won the next six matches, leading with a score of 7–1.
Mira Chugh ’20 put up a good fight in a tough five set match at No. 8 against Isabelle Ezratty. Chugh led the match with a two-game lead, 14–12, 11–5 but was then overtaken the next three sets 11–4, 11–8, 11–9.
At the top of the ladder, Beatrijs Kuijpers ’19’s match was the last on the day for the Panthers. Kuijpers ended the match on her terms as she defeated Carey Danforth in a well played four set match (11–9, 7–11, 11–4, 11–6). Their 7–2 loss to Virginia sent the Panthers onto the 15th-versus-16th-place game against Amherst. The matchup with the Mammoths offered a chance for the Panthers to finish in the top 15 in the year-end rankings for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
The team’s head coach, Mark Lewis, talked about how proud the team should be given the level of competition it faced in the first two rounds at nationals.
“We played really strong teams in the first two rounds (Dartmouth and UVA), played pretty well and learned that the team that applies pressure, sustains that pressure and relieves pressure tends to win.” But  even after the two losses, the Panthers looked forward to apply pressure against Amherst to claim the 15th rank.
Rounding out the three day tournament with a 6–3 victory over Amherst in the 15/16 match, the Panthers finished their season with a 12–10 record.
Lowitt got things started on the right foot for the Panthers in the No. 9 slot, as she won a four-game match over Ashira Mawji. Undeterred from losing the first set 11–8, Lowitt powered through full force, claiming the next three sets, 11–5, 11–7, 11–7.
The Mammoths went on to two consecutive victories at No. 3 and No. 6 to gain a momentary 2–1 advantage. Comai put up a fight with a five set match in the No. 3 slot, narrowly falling by a score of 9–11, 11–6, 11–8, 5–11, 11–8. The loss at No. 6 by Schaus was also closely contested (6–11, 11–3, 11–8, 13–11).
Chugh’s result in the No. 8 slot broke the Mammoths winning streak. She racked up a four-game triumph over Pierson Klein. After losing the first set relatively quickly 11–3, Chugh made a huge comeback and won the next very close three sets, 11–9, 11–8, 11–8.
After that, the tide changed for the Panthers as they went on to win the next three consecutive matches. The wins came from Madden at No. 5, Emily Beinkampen ’21 in the No. 7 slot, and Lucy Bostwick ’18 at the No. 2.
Madden slipped past Madison Chen with a close four setter with a score of 11–9, 8–11, 11–8, 11–9. Beinkampen locked down her match in only three games (11–7, 11–7, 12–10), rounding out her first season on a positive note. Bostwick clinched a deciding five set match against Haley McAtee with a close score of 9–11, 11–5, 11–3, 8–11, 11–1.
The Mammoths gave a final push, breaking the Panthers’ winning streak with a three-game win at No. 4 (11–5, 11–6, 11–8), making the score 5–3. Kuijpers closed out the match, and tournament, with a three-game triumph against Kimberly Krayacich (11–6, 12–10, 11–9) in the top spot on the ladder.
Comai reflected on the tournament and the season in general.
“This season obviously had its high and low points,” Comai said. “I felt that overall the team really came together both on and off the courts.”
Coach Lewis agreed with Comai’s sentiments.
“In the match against Amherst we put in a really strong performance,” Lewis said. “Overall the season was good. Every team member had some wins and in their losses hopefully walked away with some valuable takeaways.”
Some great contributing factors to a solid season for the Panthers boiled down to great leadership and a strong support system, even from the underclassmen.
“We had a lot of great freshman who had an enormously positive contribution to the team and I am excited to see how they can help us to be even better next year,” said Comai.
“This year we had amazing leadership under our captain, Lucy Bostwick, as well as the rest of the senior class. We feel super grateful for everything that they have done for us and will miss them dearly.”
The women’s squash team is officially finished with their season, except for a select few competing in the Individual CSA championship in Washington D.C., March 2–4. After a grueling and competitive season, most of the Panthers are ready for a break, but also looking forward to continue training hard, getting prepared for the next season.
“I think after a little break we want to try to do a lot of match play and captains practices this spring to keep our skill level and fitness high,” Comai said on behalf of her Panther teammates who are already looking forward to the team’s potential going forward. “We also want to try to incorporate a lot of mental fitness training this spring and fall in order to allow each of us to be in our best competitive headspace come season.”

No. 12 Men's Squash Set for Hoehn Cup Opener Friday vs. No. 13 Brown

0223 vs Brown


HOEHN CUP DRAW (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA – The No. 12 Drexel men's squash team begins its run at the Hoehn Cup against No. 13 Brown Friday morning in the quarterfinals at the College Squash Association Men's Team Nationals in Hartford, Conn. The winner will advance to the semifinals on Saturday against the winner of No. 9 Yale and No. 16 Navy.

The Dragons enter the match with a 7-10 record overall on the year.

Last Time Out
The No. 12 Drexel men's squash team closed out the regular season with a victory Sunday afternoon on Senior Day as the Dragons downed No. 21 Middlebury at the Kline & Specter Squash Center, 7-2. Before the match, Drexel honored its four men's seniors – Cillian Dunne, Nat Fry, Atticus Kelly and Noel Solomon.

The Dragons hung tough as the Panthers gave them everything, but Drexel came up with victories at key positions. Drexel was able to weather a retirement at No. 2 and a four-game loss at No. 3 in the win. Bransten Ming cruised to victory at No. 1 over Will Cembalest, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5. After two losses, Dylan Kachur came up with a four-game win over Henry Pearson, 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, before Fry took his Senior Day match over Wiatt Hinton, 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7. At No. 6, Solomon came back from losing the first two games to beat John Epley, 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6. Joshua Hughes cruised past Alexander Merrill, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5, before Dunne held off a pesky Thomas Wolpow, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-6. Royston Raymond closed out the lineup with a five-game victory over Ryan Swope, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5.

Scouting Brown
Brown enters play at the Hoehn Cup with a 7-7 regular-season record and the No. 13 national ranking. The Bears closed out the final weekend of the regular season with a sweep of No. 20 Williams before falling to No. 5 Dartmouth and No. 3 Harvard. Senior Thomas Blecher and freshman Maximo Moyer hold down the top two ladder positions for Brown. Stuart leGassick has guided the Brown men's program since 1989.

Series History with Brown
The Dragons and the Bears did not meet during the 2017-18 regular season. They, however, have met on three previous occasions. The Dragons hold a 2-1 advantage in the series. The last time the two teams met, the then-No. 9 Dragons swept the then-No. 16 Bears, 9-0, on Feb. 26, 2016 in New Haven, Conn. in the first round of the Hoehn Cup.

Hoehn Cup Outlook
No. 9 Yale and No. 16 Navy are on the same side of the bracket as Drexel and Brown. The winners of each match will meet in the semifinals on Saturday. The other side of the draw features No. 10 George Washington against No. 15 Cornell and No. 11 Western Ontario against No. 14 Virginia. The final will take place Sunday at 11 a.m.

Looking Ahead
The winner of the Drexel-Brown quarterfinal will take on the winner of the Yale-Navy quarterfinal in semifinals on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Laila Samy Repeats, Named NESCAC Women's Squash Player of the Year

For the second consecutive season, senior Laila Samy of the Wesleyan women's squash team has been named the NESCAC Player of the Year as voted on by the conference coaches and announced Thursday by the league office. She also earned her fourth All-NESCAC First Team honor.
< NESCAC All-Conference Teams >
"I am thrilled for Laila to receive All-NESCAC First Team honors for the past four years and to have received NESCAC Player of the Year for the second time," said head coach Shona Kerr. "This is such an honor for Laila and a fitting recognition of both her talent and daily hard work."
Samy, a recent winner of the prestigious Richey Award presented by the College Squash Association (CSA), is enjoying yet another stellar campaign donning the Wesleyan uniform. She finished the dual-match season with an incredible 24-0 record and has her eyes set on the CSA Individual Championships which begin Friday, March 2 and are hosted by George Washington University.
In addition to her two NESCAC Player of the Year honors, the senior from Cairo, Egypt was also named the 2015 Rookie of the Year and is currently a three-time First Team All-American.
Samy remains the first player ever from another school other than Trinity College to be recognized as the Player of the Year in women's squash. Last week, she concluded her regular season dual-match schedule with an incredible 83-1 career record.

2018 Lagos International Squash Classics

Incase you are still in doubt;
 
 
Exciting action of world class squash is back in Nigeria as some of the best players in the world converge in the aquatic city of Lagos for the Lagos International Squash Classics!!

More than 13 countries from Europe, Asia and Africa are expected to share from the $20,000 prize money for this year’s tournament as well as garner points for the Professional Squash Association (PSA) ranking!!!

The date is March 19 to 24 at the Molade-Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria!!!

Come and watch scintillating and action-packed matches in a friendly atmosphere at the PSA-sanctioned Lagos International Squash Classics!!!

 
 



Top Seeds Storm Through on Day One of the Windy City Open




It was plain sailing for the top seeds on day one of the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company as women’s top seed Nour El Sherbini and men’s number two seed Ali Farag breezed through to round two.

Egypt’s World No.3 Farag came through an entertaining clash with Switzerland’s World No.24 Nicolas Mueller to secure his round two berth at this year’s event - which offers a record high prize fund of $250,00 in both the men's and women's draws. 

Farag and Mueller constantly exchanged points in a high-octane battle much to the delight of the crowd inside the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall, with the Egyptian eventually claiming a 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 victory.

“I think the first game was crucial,” said Farag following his win.

“It gave me a confidence boost going into the second and I was able to run away with the points and it gave me an advantageous 2-0 lead.

“He came back very strong in the third but thankfully I had Nour [El Tayeb] and Marwan [ElShorbagy] in my corner and I could see he was getting a little tired. In the end I was more lucky that I didn’t have to play two qualifying matches before today.”

ElShorbagy ensured he will feature in the next round in Chicago after he defeated Hong Kong’s Leo Au inside the hour mark. The Egyptian pair will be joined by the likes of England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner in round two.

Meanwhile in the women’s event, World No.1 El Sherbini made light work of India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik, dispatching the World No.20 in just 20 minutes as she looks to capture her first ever Windy City title after finishing runner-up on the last two occasions to compatriot Raneem El Welily.

“I’ve reached the final a couple of times but never won it,” said El Sherbini who will now face United States No.1 Olivia Blatchford in round two.

“Maybe it’s because I always face the same opponent in Raneem [El Welily] but hopefully this time we can reach the final again.

“I love coming to Chicago and playing at this venue. It was a very tricky first round and against Dipika it is always tough so I’m just looking forward to this event and I hope this time it is going to be a good tournament for me.”

France’s Camille Serme and Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb are among the names to join El Sherbini in the next round after they defeated Canadian qualifier Danielle Letourneau and Egypt’s Yathreb Adel – who was forced to retire from her match due to injury – respectively in round one.

Results – Men’s First Round: 2018 Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
James Willstrop (ENG) bt [WC] Chris Hanson (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-3, 11-5 (29m)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Leo Au (HKG) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (39m)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-0: 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (40m)
[5] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (35m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (77m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-1: 18-16, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5 (51m)

Draw – Men’s First Round (To be played February 23)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Q] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
[Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Q] Max Lee (HKG)
Declan James (ENG) v [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Results – Women’s First Round: 2018 Windy City Open Presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[3] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-0: 11-1, 11-2, 11-3 (23m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (26m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 2-0 retired (10m)
[11] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (25m)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt [Q] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-1: 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-1 (20m)
[14] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 3-0: 13-11, 11-2, 11-8 (32m)

Draw – Women’s First Round (To be played February 23)
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Salma Hany (EGY) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

22 Feb 2018

The 2018 KPMG Squash League kicked off yesterday with 16 teams doing battle for the prestigious title


 
Chris Hind, (right) president of the Jamaica Squash Association, is all smiles after receiving a sponsorship cheque from Tarun Handa (centre), managing partner for KPMG in Jamaica, for the staging of the 19th KPMG Squash League. Sharing in the moment is JSA executive Douglas Beckford, who will serve as co-director of the tournament.

Exciting action was anticipated as the tournament's unique handicap format levels the playing field across age, gender, skill level, and experience, giving every team a realistic chance to win the championship.
While there is no clear favourite, the defending champions, Milex Eaglets, are considered top contenders with All Jamaica Under-19 champion Tahjia Lumley leading the charge. Lumley will be supported by his fellow junior players Aman Dhiman and Dylan Vaz as well as experienced competitor Shane Slater.
Among those looking to unseat the Eaglets are their stablemates, former champions, Milex Eagles, who suffered a shock defeat in the quarter-finals last year after being highly favoured to win the tournament. The all-girl team, which includes 13-time national champion Karen Anderson, former Caribbean junior champions Larissa and Akelia Wiltshire and the stylish Alex Jordan, will be seeking redemption at this year's tournament.
Also in serious contention are 2017 semi-finalists the Screaming Eagles, who bring depth and experience to the table. The team, which includes seasoned campaigners Stuart Murray, Shane Murray, Rajeev Venugopal and Jeremy White, have the skill and experience to make it to the winner's circle.
Tarun Handa, managing partner for KPMG in Jamaica, said: “This marks 19 years since the KPMG has been the sponsor of Jamaica's premier squash tournament and it has gotten better every year in terms of the quality of play, the level of sportsmanship, as well as the level of crowd support; and we are pleased to align our brand with a sporting event of such a high standard.”
Tournament Director Nathlee Boreland said, “We expect the 2018 KPMG League to deliver the usual exciting matches and strong competition that will make it challenging for the players and enjoyable for the spectators.”
The six-week long championship will start with an initial four weeks of round robin competition and finish with a three-stage knockout round as well as a plate competition. All matches will be played at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The squash kid from the port town


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Samairah Raj Bhandare had her eye on lawn tennis without realising that her latent talent was in squash. On the encouragement of her coach, Rehman Sayyed, this Vasco resident decided to take squash more seriously and there has been no looking back since then. Now ten, Samairah started playing squash in September 2017 and within five months, she is on number 17 in the Girls Under 11 ranking of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI).Daughter of Raj and Sneha Bhandare, Samairah plays squash in the Under 11 Category and has been playing the National Championships since September 2017. She ranked 5th at the Khelshala Squash Championship, Chandigarh in December 2017, 7th at the Juhu Gymkhana Open Tournament, Mumbai in January 2018 and 6th at the Hamdard Delton Squash Championship, Delhi in February 2018. “I love to play in as many tournaments as I can and my dream tournament is the one where I win the finals,” says this young sportsperson.She is currently being trained by Coach Rehman Sayyed and plays at the Naval Officers Institute in Vasco, participating in varjious SRFI tournaments. Her first match was at the Bombay Gymkhana Open in September 2017. Samairah is inspired by India’s leading squash player, Akanksha Salunkhe, who is also from Vasco.
“She actually started with lawn tennis when she was 6 years old. We used to drive down from Vasco to Gasper Dias Club in Panjim, four times a week. We could manage that for only one and half years and then it became too taxing with increasing traffic. So for more than a year, she wasn’t playing any sport though she yearned for tennis. Then we thought why not another racquet sport. Our close friend, Mahesh Prabhu, is the Treasurer of Goa Squash Association; he suggested we introduce her to squash. Initially, she was hesitant to change her game. But as she started training at Naval Officers Institute, she started enjoying the game,” explains mum Sneha about how Samairah got into the sport.A class 5 student of Naval Children School, Vasco, Samairah is supported by her principal and teachers. “Her teachers help her cover up the academics whenever she is out for tournaments. She follows a fixed curriculum and balances her academics well. In fact, the school takes great pride in her sport and is always willing to encourage her to do better. She is also training in Hindustani classical vocals and will be appearing for exams shortly. She is training under Pradeep Naik. Squash is a physically demanding game so her interest in music actually helps her relax,” adds Sneha.
Samairah watches sports channels and wonders as to why squash is not as widely watched and telecast as much as tennis.To play squash, one needs good hand-eye coordination, agility and spatial awareness. All these skills are further enhanced as the child starts playing regularly. Physical fitness is of utmost importance in this sport. Samairah practises for two hours, four times a week and on Saturday and Sunday, she practices for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.“It is a much more challenging game as I cannot see my opponent, their expressions and their next move. You have to be completely ready for what comes next,” says Samairah.Though she was already used to playing lawn tennis, it took some training to make the switch to squash. “The way you hold the racquet, the swing and footwork are all totally different in both sports. Coach Rehman had to work on her swing and grip quite a lot since muscle memory would make her hold the racquet in a tennis grip. She is a very competitive child, and she takes her game seriously. Yes, she does lose and initially it would upset her a lot. The game has taught her to be resilient and mentally strong. Just recently, she won against an opponent who had defeated her in December. That was a great high for her,” says Sneha.Sneha is constantly travelling with Samairah for the tournaments across India. “She has played in Mumbai, Secunderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh and Delhi and her next tournaments will be in Jaipur, Kolkata, Guwahati and Dehradun.To conclude, Samairah says, “My aim is to get better at my game and to get a better position in all forthcoming tournaments.” [H]

Men’s Squash Prepares for CSA Team Championships


Senior captain Ryan Swope and the rest of the Panthers open play on Friday against Williams at 6:30 p.m.
Senior captain Ryan Swope and the rest of the Panthers open play on Friday against Williams at 6:30
The Middlebury men's squash team has earned the No. 5 seed in the Summers Cup (C Division) for the upcoming National Team Championships to be played at Trinity in the Kellner Squash Center. The 21st-ranked Panthers will compete in the Summers Cup for the eighth time in the program's 11-year history, taking part in the Hoehn Cup the other three years. Middlebury has won the Summers Cup six times over the last nine years, including four of the last five seasons. The Panthers take on 20th-ranked Williams in a quarterfinal match on Friday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. and will continue to play on both Saturday and Sunday to determine its overall finish.
Middlebury enters the weekend with a 7-11 record after a third-place showing at the NESCAC Tournament earlier this month. After dropping two of its first three matches this season, the Panthers reeled off four-consecutive victories in early January. Middlebury competed against top-25 ranked teams in the last 11 matches this winter, picking up wins over No. 23 Amherst and No. 19 Williams by 8-1 scores during the NESCAC Tournament.
The Panthers will be led into the tournament by senior captain Ryan Swope. This winter, Swope has tallied a 4-5 mark at the bottom of the lineup. He has also gone 6-1 during seven matches at the No. 10 spot.

In preparation for the forthcoming Lagos International Classic


 
 In preparation for the forthcoming Lagos International Classic




Consistency the Key for In-Form Marwan ElShorbagy Ahead of Windy City Open


 
World Championship runner-up Marwan ElShorbagy will return to the scene of one of his biggest ever victories on the PSA World Tour later this week when the Egyptian competes at the 2018 Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, PSA World Series tournament between February 22-28.

ElShorbagy reached his first ever World Series final at the 2017 instalment of the Windy City Open, with one win in particular standing out - his quarter-final triumph over older brother and then-World No.1 Mohamed, which proved to be one of the defining moments of the 2016/17 season.

Never before had Marwan taken more than a game against his sibling in seven previous meetings but, under the chandeliers of the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall, the 24-year-old defied expectations to take a huge win in four games - leading to tearful scenes as the emotional weight of the result took its toll on both brothers.

"Of course it gave me a lot of confidence," said Marwan.

"Playing my brother is always more difficult for me and to get that first win against him was really hard for me. I was very happy with the way I dealt with it emotionally until the end of the tournament and with how I backed it up the day after against Ali [Farag]."

Marwan’s win over Farag in the next round took him through to a maiden World Series final, where he eventually came unstuck against World No.1 Gregory Gaultier.

But that final proved to be something of a breakthrough for the Bristol-based Egyptian, who has won two PSA World Tour titles, reached the final of the PSA World Championships and reached a career-high World No.4 ranking, all in the past 12 months.

Marwan puts his rapid improvement down to an increase in consistency, saying: "I think I have been playing very well recently. I feel being inside the top four is making me more of a consistent player, which is something I have been working on lately on how to back up tournaments. 

"I’m just enjoying my time on court and hope to keep that form going. 

"I’m not putting any pressure on myself to win a first major [title], it will come at the right time for me. Right now, I’m just focused on being a better squash player every day."

Marwan will play Hong Kong’s Leo Au in round one and is seeded to meet Farag in the semi-finals once again as he battles for a share of the $500,000 prize fund, which is split equally across both the men’s and women’s draws and is a record amount for a PSA World Series tournament.

"I love going back to Chicago every year, it’s one of my favourite events of the year," he said.

"I remember in 2011 I reached my first ever semi-finals at a World Series tournament and last year I reached my first ever final. It was a great tournament for me, and I’m so looking forward to coming back this year."

The 2018 Windy City Open will be held at the University Club of Chicago and all glass court matches will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).

A women’s draw also features and is headed up by World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, who is seeded to meet fellow Egyptian Raneem El Welily in the final, which would be a repeat of December’s PSA Women’s World Championship final.

The semi-finals and finals will also be shown on mainstream channels across the world, with the likes of BT Sport, beIN Sports, Fox Sports Australia and Astro just some of the channels showing coverage.

Tickets start from $25 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.

For all the latest news on the Windy City Open, go to www.windycityopen.com or follow the tournament on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Main Draw – 2018 Men’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family & EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Qualifier]
Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Qualifier]
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [5] Nick Matthew (ENG)
[7] Simon Rösner (GER) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Qualifier]
James Willstrop (ENG) v [WC] Chris Hanson (USA)
Leo Au (HKG) v [4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
Diego Elias (PER) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [6] Tarek Momen (EGY)
[8] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Paul Coll (NZL) v Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Qualifier]
Declan James (ENG) v [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

 
Main Draw – 2018 Women’s Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND)
[Qualifier] v [14] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[13] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[8] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [WC] Sabrina Sobhy (USA)
[Qualifier] v [11] Annie Au (HKG)
[15] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Qualifier] v [3] Camille Serme (FRA)
[4] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[Qualifier] v [9] Joelle King (NZL)
[12] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Victoria Lust (ENG)
Salma Hany (EGY) v [5] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
[6] Nicol David (MAS) v Fiona Moverley (ENG)
Joey Chan (HKG) v [10] Alison Waters (ENG)
[16] Emily Whitlock (ENG) v [Qualifier]
[Qualifier] v [2] Raneem El Welily (EGY)

Blockbuster Line-up Awaits At 2018 Grasshopper Cup




A stellar line-up featuring four World Champions and five World No.1s will light up the stage when the 2018 Grasshopper Cup gets underway at Halle 622 in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday March 14th as the highly acclaimed PSA M100 tournament returns to the PSA World Tour for the seventh consecutive year.

Current World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy - who beat younger brother and 2016 Grasshopper Cup champion Marwan ElShorbagy to claim the sport's biggest prize in December - and current World No.1 and 2015 World Champion Gregory Gaultier, a two-time Grasshopper champion, will top a draw that also includes three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour, 2016 World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad and England's James Willstrop - who held the World No.1 ranking for 11 months in 2012.

Gaultier will begin his campaign against local favourite Nicolas Mueller, with the World No.24 earning the Wildcard entrance into the tournament. Mueller will look to replicate the kind of performances that have seen him take both Ashour and ElShorbagy to the wire in five-game thrillers over the past two years.

Also competing will be recent Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner of Germany and top ten ranked players Tarek Momen and Mohamed Abouelghar of Egypt - with Momen set to face Borja Golan, Spain's highest ranked player ever, in the first round.

India's highest ever ranked player Saurav Ghosal - who will face Willstrop - and England's Daryl Selby - who will take on Rösner - complete the line-up.
 
"We're delighted to have such a strong field returning to Zurich once again for the Grasshopper Cup as we look forward to welcoming the strongest field ever to our event," said Tournament Promoter Steve Buchli.

"The Grasshopper Cup continues to set the standard as the premier squash tournament in central Europe and this year we are also very excited to take the event to a brand new location at Halle 622, which will allow more fans than ever before to enjoy world class squash at its very best."

First Round Draw - 2018 Grasshopper Cup 
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[Qualifier] v [6] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[7] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [Qualifier]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [4] Simon Rösner (GER)
[3] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Qualifier]
James Willstrop (ENG) v [8] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[5] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
[Qualifier] v [2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)

Tickets for the tournament are priced from 30 CHF and can be purchased at https://www.gc-cup.com/tickets/  

Malaysia to host 2019 WSF World Juniors

The World Squash Federation has awarded Malaysia the rights to host the World Junior Squash Championships in 2019.
The event, featuring the WSF Women’s World Junior Team Championship from 5-9 August and preceded by the Men’s & Women’s WSF World Junior Individual Championships from 30 July to 4 August, will take place at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur, home of the sport’s Commonwealth Games debut in 1998.
Malaysia has hosted several WSF world championships – 2019 marking the third time the Asian nation has staged the Women’s Junior Team event, following the 1993 edition in Kuala Lumpur and 2001 in Penang.
The biennial event was last staged in New Zealand in July 2017 where Egypt won the title for the sixth time in a row, and Malaysia recorded their best-ever finish as runners-up for the third time.
This year’s event will be held in Chennai, India, from 17-29 July in Chennai, India.
GS003142
Full WSF World Juniors Coverage

18 Feb 2018

Men’s squash wins 35th consecutive OUA championship




The Western Mustangs men’s squash team won a historic 35th straight Ontario University Athletics championship over the past weekend. The team began its streak during the 1983–84 season, well before the members of the current team were born. The 35-year streak is the longest of any sport in Ontario University Athletics history.
David Mill of the Western Mustangs finished the OUA season with a 18–5 record and went 6–0 in the championships. He took home MVP honours for the OUA season and was named an OUA all-star, along with teammate Matt Henderson. Mill highlights another strong recruiting class as a factor in the team’s continuing success.
“The Western squash team this year is the strongest it's been in the past decade," said Mill. "We had a strong recruiting class including Canadian Junior Open champion and national champion, Akasham Rajagopaul, along with Jackson Kay and Brett Schille, who were strong additions in the middle of the lineup; that definitely helped with our success this year.”
The Mustangs dominated in the championship, winning all of their games and finishing with a 54–0 record. The team has a lot of strong players, and coach Moore works to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to play in ample competitive matches.
“We’re much deeper [than the other Canadian teams], meaning we have a lot more players who are high caliber on our team,” Moore said.
Mill attributed a part of the team’s success to unity off the court as well.
“The nice thing about our team is we do essentially everything together, we train together, we study together; a lot of us actually live together,” Mill said. “The bond is definitely strong within our team which I think plays a key role in our success on and off the court.”

With the team enjoying a long period of success, there is pressure in maintaining something that began over 30 years ago. However, the Mustangs have been able to overcome it.
“Everyone that plays on our team has such a competitive drive and nobody wants to be that one team that loses the streak of the longest winning in the history of Canadian sport," Moore said. "So that’s something that the guys look forward to every year, to get to play OUA championships and keep the streak alive."
The Mustangs' season is not yet over. The team will turn their attention to the American College Squash Championship taking place in Hartford, Connecticut, from Feb. 23 to 25.
“Going forward we have the reached the top goal in Canada and our next goal is to reach the top of the U.S. as a team,” said Mill.

17 Feb 2018

Faced with rare underdog status, Penn women's squash has nothing to lose at national tourney


 
SquashPreview_Sedky
In each of junior Reeham Sedky's first two seasons, Penn women's squash made it all the way to the national championship. But as the No. 7 seed this year, that task will be a lot tougher this time around.
Credit: Chase Sutton
If revenge is a dish best served cold, it’s worth checking the forecast for Boston this weekend.
With the mercury ever falling, Penn women’s squash will be looking to finish the season on a high note at the CSA National Team championships.
At the courts in Cambridge, the Quakers (7-6, 3-4 Ivy) have an uphill battle in store should they wish to hoist the storied Howe Cup. Entering the competition as the No. 7 seed, steep competition awaits them at every turn, including Friday’s opener against archrival Princeton. The last time these two met, the No. 2 seeded Tigers (13-1, 6-1) claimed the 6-3 victory, although, this time around, coach Jack Wyant has other plans.
“Monday was off and we had two really good days of practice. We’ve really been focusing more on what we need to do rather than what they’re gonna do,” said Wyant. “Really our goal for this weekend is to put in a good performance against Princeton on Friday, and try to improve on our seeding.”
This match is underscored by a sense of redemption, stemming from a disappointing season record and Penn's lowest Howe Cup seeding in years. Interestingly, January’s battle with Princeton was just one of many recent matches where the top three players' victories were in vain, as the middle of the ladder seemed to fall just short.
Recognizing the bad luck that forced his hand, Wyant explained the rationale behind the four through nine spots collectively having only two winning records between them on the year.
The squad was very young, so we didn’t have much margin for error. That and the lack of a couple starters [Rowaida Attia and Jess Davis] who would have been in the middle of our lineup forced younger team members to play in other positions,” Wyant said. “We probably best top three in the country, at least in my book. When you get past number three we may have some people playing in a position that’s one or two slots higher than I would prefer.” 
This restructured ladder and a few narrow losses have relegated the squad to its worst record since the 2004-2005 season. Of course, this lends itself perfectly to a chance for redemption on the biggest stage. However Penn fares on Friday, they will play the corresponding finisher in the No. 3 Trinity-No. 6 Columbia matchup on the following day.
“Everyone is excited for this weekend. Whether we win or lose on Friday, we’re gonna get an opportunity to beat a team we lost to in the regular season. That’s what we’re most excited about,” Wyant said.
Having fallen to the Lions (9-5, 4-3) by a score of 2-7 and the Bantams (13-2, 6-0 NESCAC) at 4-5 earlier this campaign, the path to the finals will not be an easy one. With the eight best teams in the nation vying for just one title, the Red and Blue will need to leave everything on the court should they wish to rewrite their own story.
Discussing the future of the program, Wyany hopes his underclassmen, which comprise two-thirds of the starting lineup, take away more than just a win from this weekend.
“I want them to be hungry for next year. If there’s one thing the seniors have brought to the program, it’s a real dedication to excellence,” Wyant said. “If they taught us anything, it’s that we as a program expect to be at or near the top, and that’s something we’re gonna work towards — not only this weekend, but also the offseason and next year.”
With this in mind, Penn will be shipping up to Boston with something to prove. In an otherwise unremarkable year, Wyant will look to his underclassmen for the breakout performances needed to upstage the favorites and bring a title back to Philadelphia.

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