TODAY in Glasgow – Day THREE


[3] Joelle King (NZL) 3-0 [7] Madeline Perry (NIR)  11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (42m)
[1] Nicol David (MAS) 3-1 [8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)  11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4 (56m)

[3] Peter Barker (ENG)3-0 [5] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (52m)
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) 3-0 [7] Chris Simpson (GGY)  11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (53m)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) 3-1 [6] Dipika Pallikal (IND)  8-11, 11-2, 11-9 , 11-6 (44m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-0 [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS)  11-3, 11-2, 11-6 (35m)

[4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) 3-2 [12] Campbell Grayson (NZL)  8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (93m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0 [15] Ivan Yuen (MAS)  11-1, 11-7, 11-3 (29m)

in  time order, but winners of each pair play in the semis

Top four seeds all through to the semis

14CG7922Joelle King was the first player through to the semi-finals after beating Madeline Perry in straight games in the opening match. After tight openings to each game the third-seeded Kiwi pulled clear – from 4-5 in the first, 3-all in the second and 5-all in the third – to close out the match.SH7787Defending champion Nicol David joined the Kiwi as she beat Jenny Duncalf in a repeat of the 2010 Delhi final. David edged a close opening game, and a 6-0 start was enough to see her take the second. Duncalf played positive attacking squash to pull a game back, but the world #1 was back on top in the fourth.

14CG9174An English men’s finalist was guaranteed when Peter Barker and Nick Matthew both progressed in straight games, against Cameron Pilley and Chris Simpson respectively. Barker withstood opening pressure from Pilley, easing through in the third, while Matthew had to fight back from a deficit in the third, finally winning with a mishit winner.

SH7786A second English finalist became certain after Alison Waters came from a game down to beat Dipka Pallikal, and Laura Massaro eased to a three game win over  Low Wee Wern.

Pontefract training partners James Willstrop and Saurav Ghosal completed the semi-final lineup in contrasting styles. Ghosal fought back from two games down to deny Campbell Grayson in a mammoth match that had the packed crowd on its feet, while Willstrop proved too strong for surprise quarter-finalist Ivan Yuen as the second seed made it three Englishmen in the last four.

They Said:

Joelle King: “I thought it was a really complete performance.  I let it slip a little bit yesterday in terms of concentration and I was really happy that that only happened for maybe two points at the start of the third. Madeline was tenacious and fought back and I’m just really glad I was able to hold my concentration, hold on to what I was trying to do and finish it in three.”

14CG8229Madeline Perry: “I really struggled with the court today.  Joelle was playing really well and I never got to do what I wanted to do. I thought I had a good chance but I couldn’t find any rhythm today.”

Nicol David: “It was a good match – it was good solid squash from both of us.  She was very sharp – in the beginning it was neck and neck.  She played her best squash against me for a while so I had to dig deep.  I really had to step up in the fourth to take the control away from her.

“We were pushing each other – I was really pleased to win the game and now I can move on another level tomorrow.”

Jenny Duncalf: “I knew it was going to be a tough match and I was looking forward to playing on the glass for the first time.  I thought I played well – it’s the best I’ve felt on court for a long time – so it was disappointing to lose in front of this great crowd.  I would love to have sneaked the first game. ”

Peter Barker: “I felt really good – it was my first time on the glass court, with a change of conditions, crowd and adrenaline! I’ve put in a lot of work in preparation for this.  It’s quite a long competition and I’ve come here to win a medal.”

Nick’s played every match on the glass court, but I played all mine until today on the plaster courts – which haven’t had much attention.  I like to go under the radar! Nick hasn’t had a lot of squash in the last six weeks – I hope to use that to my advantage.”

14CG9704Cameron Pilley: “I found it difficult to implement my game – he didn’t let me in it.  A lot of rallies could have gone either way.  He seems to up his game when he plays me! Doubles is now my main focus.”

Nick Matthew: “It was incredibly tough.  Chris was just so desperate to do well – I could feel the pride of playing for Guernsey oozing out of him.  He’s a regular training partner, but I’ve never seen him play that well before.  His court coverage was incredible.”

Chris Simpson: “I always seem to play better when I have a crowd behind me. It’s definitely the best I’ve played against him.  He’s got no real chinks in his armoury – even when you hit a good shot he will return it.  I was pleased I managed to compete with him in so many facets of his game – it’s the first time I’ve done that.”

SH7788Dipika Pallikal: “I won’t say I played badly but she’s got more experience than me and I think that’s what made the difference today.   I played well in patches.  I will take a lot of positives out of the match

It was such a big game – the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games! It’s a pity I have to wait another four years away for the next event – but I’m only 22 so I have a few more chances, I know I can compete with the top five in the world – I just need more confidence and experience.”

Alison Waters: “We both wanted to win this one, I gave her too much at the front in the first game and needed to pin her to the back.

“Before you start, you’re thinking about medals – and now I’m close If I play Laura tomorrow, there’ll be no pressure as she is the higher seed.”

SH7789Low Wee Wern: “I think Laura played really well – and if you want to beat her you have to be fully fit.

Yesterday was my first match since coming out of hospital two weeks ago after suffering with Dengue fever – which can take five to six weeks to get over. I almost didn’t make the Games at all.  I’ve not had the best preparation!”

Laura Massaro: “Wee Wern is known for getting ball after ball back – but the rallies weren’t very long, so I knew something was wrong.

“I didn’t enjoy yesterday at all, so today I just wanted to enjoy myself – from the walk on to the court to the match itself.  I learnt a lot from yesterday. But, to be honest, today’s match was a bit of a blur – I was just in the moment and suddenly it was match-ball!”

SH_2913Saurav Ghosal: “He played some very good stuff in the first two games – I thought I deserved at least one of them,” said Ghosal. “In my head and my heart, I kept telling myself I need one game on board.

“He came out firing in the fourth, going 5-0 up – and in the fifth it was neck and neck. There were some tense moments, but I got the job done in the end.

“I’m really happy to be able to back up yesterday’s 86-minute match with this one today. I’m so focussed on trying to win that maybe I’m missing the chance to appreciate the setting and the crowd. It’s the first time I’ve played on this court and I’m looking forward to coming back tomorrow.

SH_2915Campbell Grayson:  “I feel I’ve been challenging players like that for the past two years – but the problem is that I haven’t been beating them. And that’s why I’m not in the top 20. I’m not consistent enough. I need to win these matches.

“At 2/0 up, I had to remind myself that there was still a long way to go. Perhaps the turning point came in the fourth when I lost my length – then at six-all in the fifth, I slipped.”

James Willstrop: “I was very ready for that,” said the former world No1 from Harrogate. “To beat Alister (Walker) like he did in the previous round meant that I had to be respectful to him. But I managed to stop him attacking.

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

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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, good luck!)