Second seeds crash out in World Games semis

Second seeds crash out in Cali semis
Major Maniam reports

The women’s semi finals comprised four players from three different countries  – two from Malaysia, one each from Nederlands and France.

SH_197 Low wee Wern and Natalie Grinham were the first to get on. The match was of good quality with great frontcourt play from Natalie and excellent retrieving by Low. Natalie played an outstanding tactical game to upset the second seed Low today. She was aggressive and used her chances well.

Low on the other hand was too defensive and did not use the front of the court enough. Low did play attacking squash in the second but could not produce that game after that.

Both players showed true sportsmanship as they owned up to a number of double pickups as well as agreeing to a let when no let was called. The packed crowd thoroughly enjoyed the show.

SH_193Two-time World Games champion Nicol David was a phenomenon. She was calm and composed even though she was trailing in the third. Camille Serme gave it everything she had but simply was not as consistent as she would have needed to be to beat Nicol today.

Nicol makes the game look so simple. Perhaps it really is.

The men’s semi finals comprised four players from four different countries-France, Colombia, Germany and Great Britain and this augurs well for the game.

SH_196The men’s event commenced with Peter Barker taking on Simon Rosner. It was a match that showcased the talents of two outstanding squash players.

If one expected a long drawn out affair, it was quickly proven wrong as Simon displayed some awe inspiring squash that had the crowd supporting and cheering him on. Peter played steady squash but it was Simon who was creative, deceptive and less error prone.

There was some pushing and shoving and it was quickly brought under control by the referee. Simon romped home with an unexpected but well deserved 3-0 victory.

When asked as to how come he was able to bounce around the court after the energy sapping match this afternoon, he said: “I was really tired after the afternoon match, but I had a session with my physio and I am feeling fine. He must have done something good.”

At the post match interview Simon mentioned about how great it would be for squash to get into the Olympics and he looked forward to playing in it and he said he was within striking distance.

The final match of the day was as good as one would expect of two extremely fit and skilled players. Gregory Gaultier started off at a furious pace and was in control for the first two games against local hero Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

The third was looking like it was going Gregory’s way when a lapse in concentration gave Miguel confidence and the next game. The fourth was closely fought and the rallies were long and hard laced with some outstanding deception and retrieving by both players.

In the end it was Greg’s finishing shots that saw him home and to his first world games final. Sorry Colombia.!

The gallery was packed to the brim until the end at 12.30 a.m. and they were treated to the highest level of squash by the most talented squash players; what a treat, what a show.

Major S Maniam

Women’s semis:
[1] Nicol David (Mas) 3-0  [4] Camille Serme (Fra)                            11/5, 11/5, 11/8
[3] Natalie Grinham (Ned) 3-1 [2] Low Wee Wern (Mas)             11/7, 2/11, 11/4, 11/4

Men’s Semis:
[1] Gregory Gaultier
 (Fra) 3-1 [6] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)   11/6, 11/5, 8/11, 11/9
[3] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-0 [2] Peter Barker (Eng)                              11/8, 11/7, 11/8

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