The basic schedule was this:
University: Men’s O35 / O40 / O45 on the glass court throughout the day (10.00 to 19.00), with the Men’s O55 and Women’s O50 from 11.20, Women’s O35 and O55 from 13.20.
Edgbaston: Everything else, starting at 10am with the Men’s O75 and essentially getting younger as the day goes on, finishing with the Women’s O45 and O40 in the 18.00 slots.
Birmingham’s Bativala claims Semi Final Spot on Home Soil
Scarlett Smith reports
Bativala battled for almost an hour against his higher seeded Swiss opponent Rene Stofer at the University of Birmingham, in a match that had everything.
After losing a tight first 13/11 Bativala managed to sneak a close second 12/10 to draw level, with nothing between the pair the match looked destined to go to five. However, Stofer came out and demolished the third game 11/1 and with the game at 2-1, it looked like there was only going to be one winner.
Bativala commented: “It was more a mental than a physical battle, I had to keep focus and concentrate on his backhand as much as I could, his forehand is very strong. It wasn’t looking good when I lost the third 11/1, but I managed to get back into it.
“Apparently he got a let he shouldn’t have when I was 10/8 in the fifth, so I’m glad I managed to take it 12/10 or I would have been really depressed! It’s a good result for me, being seeded lower. I don’t usually travel to these events but I live in Birmingham so it was obvious to enter this one,” he added.
The impressive showcourt at the Bramall Auditorium has also played host to plenty of cracking matches already and is the venue for the majority of the younger age group finals.
Number one seed in the men’s O35, Omar El Borolossy who enjoyed a successful professional career, winning 12 PSA title, two World team title and 8 Egyptian National Titles, has made his way through to the semi-finals after dispatching Australian Glenn Hitch 3-0.
The number one seeds also prevailed in the men’s O40 and O45’s with Craig Van Der Wathbeating England’s Stephen Mcloughlin, who put up a good fight at the beginning before succumbing to the South African’s strength 14/12, 11/5, 11/2.
Ireland’s Derek Ryan also looked in great form controlling the majority of the game against England’s Nick Wall, taking a 3-0 victory.
In the Women’s O35 Scottish number two seed Wendy Maitland-Joneshad a tough 3-1 victory, in a match that lasted almost an hour against Australian Jane Kennedy, whilst the number one seed Sabine Schoene of Germany was involved in a more comfortable affair with a 11/6, 11/3, 11/7 win.
Laura Mylotte also secured her semi-final place with a victory against Germany’s Carola Weiss. The former Irish world no.43 was rarely troubled and showed why she may just trouble the second seed tomorrow.
The women’s O65 has been left wide open after both top seeds fell at the quarter final stage.
England’s Anna Manley caused the biggest upset by beating firm favourite, Australian Marilyn Kennedy 11/4, 11/8, 11/6 whilst in the opposite side of the draw second seed, South African Sheena Worwood, went down 3-1 to unseeded Kaye Jackson of New Zealand.
There was late drama on the spectaculat all-glass court in the University’s Bramall Music Building as France’s Jean-Jacques Pineau despatched M45 second seed Gary Duberly, coincidentally just after fellow-Frenchman Renan Lavigne had cruised through to the M35 semis.
The evening finished with a marathon and almost another upset as M40 second seed Craig Rowland survived a 78-minute five-game tussle with Irishman Steve Richardson, survived being the operative word as a relieved Australian lived to fight another day.
We’ll have a follow-up roundup and semi-finals schedule and previews in the morning on the tournament site … in the meantime check out what’s happened today on the MishMash, Flash Results, Draws and Gallery pages …