The GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN runs from April 17/18th (Qualifying) & April 19/22nd (Main Draw) at Fitzwillam LTC, Dublin 6
With professional players from all over the world there is super squash in store for the week.
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The matches on court 1 will be Live Streamed on from 12 noon, Wednesday & Thursday, 5pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday for the 2 finals on IRISH SQUASH TV
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Nele Gilis (BEL) 11/2, 8/11, 11/7, 9/11, 4/11 61m
 Declan James (ENG) v  Adrian Waller (ENG) 11/9, 6/11, 3/11, 11/5, 11/8 68m
Both matches at the Irish Open in Fitzwilliam LTC went the distance…..and what drama we had in both finals. The women’s final started with an edgy first set with Englishwoman, Millie Tomlinson, finding good length. Nele Gilis from Belgium, looked nervous taking time to settle. Millie – last year’s winner – was in the ascendency and had come through her previous matches without dropping a set. Millie won the first set 11-2. The second set saw a different player in Nele. She started to find good length and Millie was the one who looked a little out of sorts. Nele found herself with a 7-1 lead before Millie got back into the game. The pace of the game increased as Millie began to volley more and put her opponent under increasing pressure. At 8-9 a long rally ended with Millie hitting the tin. This gave Nele the confidence to go on and win the set. The third set took just 10 minutes with both women hitting outright winners and an equal amount of unforced errors. Millie won 11-7. The fourth set was the game of the match with both players playing to their potential. The lengths on the backhand were tight and exacting and the retrieving was superb. Millie led 8-6 and appeared to be on track for a second successive Irish title when Nele won the rally of the tournament. She followed this with two more excellently constructed points giving her a 9-8 lead. Nele came back to level at 9-9 and won the fourth 11-9. The final set saw Nele demonstrate her incredible court speed chasing down everything from the start of the set. At 1-2 she began to volley more winning six points in a row. Millie had lost her length that had given her two sets and was struggling in the rallies. With the score at 7-4 Nele produced three winners giving her match ball. She didn’t require a second…………and the Irish Open title of 2017 was secured.
The men’s game was contested between the number two seed, Declan James, and the number three seed, Adrian Waller. Both men are from England and both are over 6ft in height. . Adrian is a left-hander which resulted in a lot of cross-court shots from both players. After the first ten minutes the crowd knew that the referee was going to earn his money this afternoon. The opening set was very tense and peppered with a series of lets, strokes and no-lets. A nervous Waller went 6-2 down and appeared out of sorts. He recovered and got back to 7-8 before James finished out the set with some outstanding drops. The second set saw the referee called on continuously to make decisions. However, Adrian – who was calling for most of the decisions – began to find form and controlled the game winning the set 11-6. Maintaining the same form in the third Adrian won 11-3. The same pattern emerged at the beginning of the fourth set with Adrian increasing the pace with a string of volleys and drops on Declan’s backhand. At 5-2 down Declan looked as though he was going to be runner-up for a second year in a row. However, he began to find a better length and increased the duration of the rallies. Adrian appeared to tire a little and lost the edge to his winning game. With Adrian needing to change the game pattern, Declan won 9 points without reply and secured the fourth 111-5. The crowd at this stage were eager for the fifth set. Who would be the victor in this contest of giants. At 2-2 Adrian appeared to lose his focus after a discussion with the referee and went 8-2 down, Declan was playing some fantastic squash and the retrieving at the front of the court was brilliant given the height of both men. With Adrian losing focus and having several chats with the referee Declan began to urge the crowd to support him after winning an amazing rally. With a series of errors from Adrian – 5 tins in seven rallies – Declan was 10-3 up with seven match balls. Adrian decided to go for broke and played some outrageous winners saving 5 match balls. With the score at 10-8 Adrian went for an overhead crosscourt nick. It clipped the top of the tin and Declan was the Gillen Markets Irish Open Champion.
WOMEN’S SEMI FINALS
WOMEN’S QUARTER FINALS
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) v  Chloe Mesic (FRA) 11/2, 11/0, 11/8 17m
Quarter finals day at the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN saw some super matches. First match of the day was between current champion, Millie Tomlinson of England and Chloe Mesic of France. Millie was in great form and was ruthless in her approach. She didn’t give Mesic a chance. The score was 3-0 and the champion looks to be determined to hold onto her title. In the 2nd of the Women’s quarters, Dutch No.1 Milou van der Heijden played Mexican and former top 20 player, Samantha Teran. This was a really sporting contest, played honestly between the 2 players and most enjoyable for the large crowd. Milou won a close 1st & 2nd game and Samantha the 3rd. The rallies were nip and tuck with nothing to choose between the 2 players. The 4th game was exactly the same with each point going to one player and then the other. In the end, Milou got it 11/9, but it could very easily have gone the other way. A super match!
Women’s Main Draw Round 1
Reyna Pacheco (USA) bt  Chloe Mesic (FRA) 11/13, 7/11, 6/11 22m
[LL] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) lost to  Milou van der Heijden (NED) 9/11, 11/6, 11/4, 11/7 29m
Julianne Courtice (ENG) bt  Rachael Chadwick (ENG) 9/11, 11/1, 11/3, 9/11, 12/10 48m
 Hana Ramadan (EGY) bt [WC] Hannah Craig (IRL) 11/4, 11/7, 11/2 19m
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt [Q] Tinne Gilis (BEL) 11/5, 11/9, 11/5 33m
 Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [Q] Eva Fertekova (CZE) 11/3, 11/4, 11/6 24m
[Q] Ineta Mackevica (LAT) lost to  Nele Gilis (BEL) 11/5, 8/11, 7/11, 6/11 44m
 Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt Alison Thomson (SCO) 12/10, 16/14, 11/5 47m
Men’s Main Draw Round 1
 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) bt [Q] Ondrej Uherka (CZE) 11/6, 11/8, 11/5 26m
 Ben Coleman (ENG) bt [Q] Evan Williams (NZL) 12/10, 12/10, 7/11, 11/4 41m
 Charles Sharpes (ENG) lost to Shehab Essam (EGY) 11/9, 8/11, 7/11, 6/11 41m
[WC] Arthur Gaskin (IRL) lost to  Adrian Waller (ENG) 5/11, 3/11, 11/7, 11/13 47m
Kristian Frost (DEN) lost to  Youssef Soliman (EGY) 5/11, 11/9, 3/11, 12/10, 3/11 80m
 Todd Harrity (USA) bt [Q] Jens Schoor (GER) 11/7, 11/2, 6/11, 11/9 41m
[Q] Douglas Kempsell (SCO) lost to  Mazen Gamal (EGY) 6/11, 6/11, 5/11 33m
Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) lost to  Declan James (ENG) 8/11, 7/11, 11/13 53m
Irish players Hannah Craig and Arthur Gaskin, both went out of the GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN today. Gaskin played Adrian Waller the WR No.38 and went 2-0 down. Arthur rallied and won the 3rd and had 2 game balls to win the 4th. However Waller dug in and got the win 3-1. The Junior, Hannah Craig from Belfast played Hana Ramadan from Egypy and lost in 3 games to the much more experienced player.
In all there were 16 matches in the Women’s and Men’s first round. The number 1 seed in the women’s draw, Millie Tomlinson, the reigning champion had a straightforward win over the young Belgian player Tinne Gilis 3/0. The No. 2 women’s seed Tinne’s sister Nele made sure the family were in the 2nd round, with a good win over Latvian qualifier Ineta Mackevica, 3-1. It was a good competitive match and Mackevica ranked 50 places behind Gilis played very well. Last year’s finalist Rachael Chadwick gave the crowd full value for money with her passion and running commentary during the match. It went to 5 games and was very close with Julianne Courtice winning the 5th, 12/10. Former top 20 player Mexico’s, Samantha Teran had a good win over Czech qualifier Eva Fertecova 3-0.
In the men’s round 1, Number 1 and 2 seeds, Abdulla Mohd Al Tamini and Declan James both had 3/0 wins. Neither had too much bother but it took James 53min to put India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar down 3/0. There were some super rallies in this match. The higher ranked Charles Sharpes from England had a tough match with a lot of debate with the referee. Playing Shehab Essam from Egypt, Sharpes won the first 11/ 9, but had a tough 3 games to follow and lost 3/1. The No. 7 seed Youssef Soliman from Egypt had a super match with Dane, Kristian Frost. Soliman won the first and it went back and forth to 2 all. Frost worked very hard to stay in it, versus the higher ranked Soliman and in the 5th it showed, where he lost it 11/3. This match lasted 80 minutes and the crowd got great entertainment.
Round 2 starts tomorrow at 12 noon again.
Men’s Qualifying Round 2
 Carlos Cornes Ribadas (ESP) v Ondrej Uherka (CZE) 14/16, 11/3, 9/11, 8/11 71m – Uherka now plays Mohd Al Tamimi
 Jan Van Den Herrewegen (BEL) v  Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 8/11, 8/11, 3/11 50m – Kempsell now plays Gamal
 Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) v  Jens Schoor (GER) 5/11, 7/11, 6/11 28m Schoor now plays Harrity
Ben Grindrod (NZL) v  Evan Williams (NZL) 1/11, 8/11, 2/11 25m – Williams now plays Coleman
Women’s Qualifying Round 2
 Tinne Gilis (BEL) v Makgosi Peloakgosi (RSA) 11/7, 11/5, 11/7 21m – Gilis now plays Tomlinson
 Eva Fertekova (CZE) v  Nadia Pfister (SUI) 6/11, 11/4, 11/6, 4/11, 11/9 49m – Fertekova now plays Teran
 Elspeth Young (SCO) v  Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 6/11, 7/11, 7/11 21m – Mackevica now plays Nele Gilis
(3] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) v  Farah Momen (EGY) Withdrew – Ter Sluis now plays Van der Heijden
In the first of the three women’s matches on today, we had number 1 seed in the qualifiers Tinne Gilis playing the South African Makgosi Peloakgosi. In a competitive match, Tinne came through in 3 games. She played some very tidy squash and now plays number 1 seed and defending champion Millie Tomlonson tomorrow. The next women’s match was between Czech Eva Fertekova and Swiss player Nadia Pfister. Both players started nervously and made several mistakes. Nadia started marginally quicker and won the 1st game 11/6. Eva settled into the match and won the next 2 games well to 4 and 6. Nadia playing better squash at this stage, leveled it to 2 all. The last game was marred by mistakes from Nadia which cost her the match; losing the 5th 11/9.
With Farah Momen withdrawing, it meant Tessa Ter Sluis had a bye into the main draw. The last match was between the Scot, Elspeth Young and Latvian Ineta Mackevica. Ineta used her height advantage to good effect over Elspeth winning the first game 11/6. The Scot started the 2nd & 3rd games well and was up in both but Ineta finished the stronger in both to win out 3-0.
In the Men’s event the first match was between number 1 seed Carlos Cornes Ribadas from Spain and Ondrej Uherka from Czech. The first game was a cracking one with it going over and back until it got to 14 all. Both players were playing very well and the rallies were super to watch. Uherka won it 16/14. The 2nd was all Ribadas and he won it 11/3. The referee had to work hard with many of his decisions being questioned by both players. Again the last 2 games were grueling with many long rallies but Uherka came through to win both 11/9 & 11/8. The 2nd match up between Jens Schoor from Germany and Mohd Syafig Kamal from Malaysia was a much more straightforward affair with Schoor winning well 3-0. Kamal never really got into it.
The match betwen Scot Douglas Kempsell and Belgian Jan Van Der Herrewegen, who beat Irishman Brian Byrne yesterday, was a super match. There were really long rallies and some really good short play at the front. Even though it ended up 3-0 to the Scot, the match was close and lasted 50 minutes. Kempsell retrieved beautifully on occasions and then played some lovely drops immediately after. The last match between the two New Zealanders Evan Williams and Ben Grindrod was a rather short affair, with Williams winning comprehensively in 25 minutes. Grindrod was never in the match really, despite rallying somewhat in the 2nd. But it finished with a 3-0 win for Williams.
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