TODAY in Glasgow – Day FOUR

It’s semi-finals day at Scotstoun, with the top two seeds in both events winning through to the Gold Medal matches …

Women’s semi-finals:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) 3-0 [3] Joelle King (NZL)  11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (39m)
[2] Laura Massaro
(ENG) 3-1 [4] Alison Waters (ENG)  11-5, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8 (65m)

Men’s semi-finals:

 [1] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-0 [3] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-3, 13-11, 11-6 (63m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0 [4] Saurav Ghosal (IND)  11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (49m)

14CG15485Willstrop 3-0 Ghosal

The final match of the day provided great entertainment for the packed crowd as James Willstrop set up a repeat of the 2010 final as he beat Saurav Ghosal in three games.

The Englishman always had the edge on the scoreboard, despite Ghosal’s considerable efforts.

James Willstrop: “To be honest, I’ve been through a very difficult few weeks. There were a couple of days when there was no way I was going to play this event, the fact that I’ve got this far is a serious achievement, I’m very proud to be in the final.

“Nick  and I have both been in a bit of a mess – he couldn’t walk and I was unsure of my future. However, now I’m playing well and in good shape. There’s no reason why I can’t produce a performance to win tomorrow.”

14CG15211Massaro 3-1 Waters

After the first four points were shared, Massaro pulled away to lead 5-3, extened to 8-3, and taking the game 11-5.

The pattern was resumed from the start of the second as Massaro went 6-1 up with Waters unable to get a foothold. Out of the blue Waters started to play her best squash, closing to 5-6. Form then on it was a real contest, never more than a point between them and the video ref in frequent use, with Waters eventually levelling 14-12 on a stroke.

Massaro was back in charge from the outset of the third though, agains going 6-1 up but this time pushing through to regain the lead 11-3. The fourth was a similar story, 6-1 for Massaro, and although Waters staged a late recovery, it was too late as Massaro closed it out 11-8 on her third match ball.

Laura Massaro: “I feel great! That was a feisty encounter – we’ve not played for a while. We’re both athletes at the top of our game and it was a match for a gold medal – everybody wants to win it.

“She was getting frustrated. I wasn’t happy getting pushed and I knew she wasn’t happy. For the majority of the match I was happy with the way I played – I didn’t feel it was physically hard.

“I don’t think there will be pressure on either of us tomorrow. Nicol knows I’m capable of beating her – we both know the score!”

Matthew 3-0 Barker14CG13541

The match started with a two-minute rally ending in a let. Matthew, dominating the centre of the court, opened out to a 5-1 lead, and from 5-3 took six in a row to take the lead.

Barker settled into the second, some tough rallies as they reached 3-all. Barker forged ahead to lead 7-4, Matthew levelled at 7-all, more tough rallies for 8-all, 9-all, 10-all, 11-all. Matthew was awarded a stroke for 12-11, upheld on video appeal to Barker’s disgust, then Matthew’s no let was overturned, not helping Barker’s mood who returned the next serve into the tin to end the 31-minute game 13-11.

That seemed to take the wind out of Barker’s sails, and a few errors helped Matthew to a 7-2 lead in the third. Barker rallied, taking three in a row to reduce the deficit, but it was too late as Matthew closed it out 11-6 with two strokes and two Barker errors.

14CG13754Nick Matthew: ““I couldn’t have wished for any more, to be honest.  A few weeks ago I would have signed a million pieces of paper for that, I need to enjoy it and then really refocus ahead of the final.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would feel as good as I do with the knee – but I can’t get carried away. “Pete made me work incredibly hard today. “I was in a hospital bed five weeks ago – how can I be favourite?”

“If it is James I play in the final, then I hope it will be good for squash – and hopefully lots of people will sit up and take notice.”

 Peter Barker: “I wasn’t good enough and he was too good, he didn’t let me play how I wanted to play.  I tested him as much as I could.  But he is the world champion.

“I attacked a little bit more in the second game, but it didn’t go my way.  I needed that second game really.”

“A couple of decisions didn’t go my way and sometimes things like that can cost you a game. “Nick has been a friend for many years and I probably wouldn’t be here without his help over the years, he has been a good guidance.

“All credit to him because he had surgery five weeks ago and he is playing at a level of quality like that. You obviously come for a medal and I will have no problems picking myself back up.  It is an honour to have any medal at the Commonwealth Games and I will be fired up for it.”

14CG13109David 3-0 King

After taking a quick 3-0 lead David maintained the advantage to take the first 11-6. King came out firing in the second though, taking a 4-0 lead. David fought back  to level at 5-all and pressed on to lead 10-6, taking it 11-8 on a King error.

King again started well in the third, leading 3-1, but David struck back again to lead 7-3, and with King unable to get the defending champion off the ‘T’, david closed out the match 11-5.

14CG12902Nicol David: “I really played well today – but Joelle was really on form.  When you see her on that form, you really have to break it up.  I had to really fight hard. It’s such a great crowd – I just want to get back on that court for the final.  I can’t wait!

“Winning the gold would be the highlight of the year for me – you wait for four years to get this moment.”

 Joelle King: “That was horrible.  Nicol really didn’t give me much opportunity.

I’m really disappointed.  All week, I’ve prided myself on not making too many errors – but I guess when you’re playing someone like Nicol, who retrieves so well and comes back at you, it puts that pressure on. I am disappointed that it was in three.”

Watch on BBC red button, and on BBC website (UK only)

SH7800 SH7801

TODAY in Glasgow – Day by Day reports

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Plate Competitions

The Plate competitions continue today – three events for First Match losers, Second Match losers, and Plate First Match losers. You can check out the results on the Official Games Results service (link in the footer)

One comment

  1. To win a match against Nicol David is like to win a match against Rafael Nadal in the French Open. Its very tough.

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