Irish Open – Tomlinson & Serme Champions
GILLENMARKETS IRISH OPEN
FITZWILLIAM LTC, DUBLIN
Draw – MEN
Draw – WOMEN
Women’s & Men’s Finals – Saturday 23rd April 2016
 Millie Tomlinson beat 9Q) Rachael Chadwick 11/ 4, 11/4, 11/3 28min
 Lucas Setrme (FRA) beat  Declan James (ENG) 11/9, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 61 min
Finals Day at the 2016 GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN. The women’s final featured Millie Tomlinson and Rachael Chadwick. A close match initially but in the 2nd half of the first game, the more experienced Tomlinson pulled away, exerting her control to win the first 11/4. You could see that Millie was very determined to not let Rachael get any opportunities. She kept her back and dominated the T to win the 2nd 11/4. Millie kept a great length and was really tight. The third game was more of the same and Millie closed it out 11/3. Millie said “ I just wanted to keep her behind me and not give her any opportunities” Rachael was understandably disappointed afterwards, but she has had a super week all the way from last Monday in the qualifiers to today’s final.
The men’s final had 2 players with only 2 places between them in PSA rankings. Lucas Serme, last year’s finalist was up against the 23yrs Englishman Declan James. The crowd anticipated a titanic match.
In the first Serme took an early lead before James found his range to level it. It then went nip ‘n’ tuck to 9 all. In between @ 7-5 there was a rally of 84 shots which ended with a super nick by Serme. First game to Serme 11/9. In the 2nd James started taking the ball earlier and was dropping beautifully. He just stayed in front and took it 11/8. Serme knew he had to do something. “ After the 2nd I had to change things. I pushed to stay in front more, gave him less space and mixed it up more” James started to make more mistakes resulting in the 4th going to Serme 11/6. The 4th was more of the same and Serme won it 11/6. There was a really super rally to give Serme match ball.
So congratulations to Millie Tomlinson and Lucas Serme, IRISH OPEN CHAMPIONS FOR 2016.
Semi Finals – Friday 22nd April 2016
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) beat  Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 11/3, 11/4, 11/5 22min
[Q] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) beat  Alison Thomson (ENG) 11/6, 11/2, 6/11, 11/9 46min
 Lucas Serme (FRA) beat  Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11/5, 8/11,9/11, 11/3, 12/10 94min
 Declan James (ENG) beat  Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 8/11, 11/4, 11/9, 11/3 54 min
Semi final day at the 2016 GillenMarkets IRISH OPEN. The first match on was between Millie Tomlinson and young Georgina Kennedy. The pace was furious from the start. Kennedy was forcing it a bit and put 3 balls out of court in that first game. Tomlinson never relented “We both have similar games, she has a good volley so I knew I had to stay in front of her” That is exactly what Millie did in all 3 games to close it out 11/3, 11/4, 11/5.
In the first men’s semi, we had the No.1 & No.3 seeds play each other. Lucas Serme of France, who lost to Ali Farag (now World ranked 11) in last year’s final played New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson. It was a grueling 5 setter lasting 94min. After going behind in the first, Lucas pulled it back to win the first 11/5. Grayson was very patient in the 2nd & 3rd which worked for him, taking them both. In the 4th, Grayson got a no let decision at 2-1 up which really got to him because within minutes he was 8-3 down. He was a tough decision against him by the referee but he ref thought Grayson could and should have played the ball so…
Two all and the decider.It was very tight and went to 8-7 and Grayson got another no let which this time didn’t upset him because he then had a match ball but Serme remained cool and saved it before winning the game 12/10. Super squash.
The qualifier Rachael Chadwick who had played some great squash all week was up against No. 4 seed Alison Thomson in the 2nd Semi. Alison was up early in the first, 6-3 then Rachael started to find her range and pulled it back to win 11-6. She won the 2nd easily. Thomson worked very hard to win the 3rd 11/6 but Chadwick upped it again, driving beautifully and covering the court really well. Her height and range helps her a lot. It was a tight game which Chadwick just pipped 11/9. So a qualifier in the final, the first time that has happened at the IRISH OPEN in a few years.
The last match of the day was the semi between Declan James and Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema. LJ used all his experience and snuck the first 11-8. James said ” I had a really tough match yesterday and was looking after my body” His game plan was then really put into action in the 2nd. “I wanted to move him around a lot, not make mistakes and wait for my opportunities” It worked, James won the 2nd game 11-4. In the 3rd LJ worked really hard and it was nip and tuck all the way to 9 all before James won it 11/9.
In the 5th James had a beautiful drop at 1-0 to start him off. Using his super forehand drive which won him several points he got to 9/2 very quickly. He then had a super nick to give him match ball which he duly converted to win the match and into the final vs Lucas Serme. They have not played each other before, so it will be interesting to see their respective game plans. Also there is only 2 places between them in World rankings so it should be very close.
Women’s Final at 3pm and the Men’s at 4pm, both Live on IRISH SQUASH TV.
Quarter Finals – Thursday 21st April 2016
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) beat  Elin Harlow (WAL) 11/7, 11/4, 11/2 22min
 Georgina Kennedy (ENG) beat  Enora Villard (FRA) 11/5, 11/4, 11/6 23min
 Alison Thomson (ENG) beat  Tessa Ter Sluis 11/5, 10/12, 11/6, 11/5 38min
[Q] Rachael Chadwick (ENG) beat  Anna Klimundova (CZE) 11/7, 9/11, 12/10, 8/11, 11/4 53min
(1] Lucas Serme (FRA) beat  Charles Sharpes (ENG) 12/14, 11/7, 11/4, 12/10 64min
 Campbell Grayson (NZL) beat  Shaun Le Roux (RSA) 11/4, 11/5, 14/12 44min
 Declan James (ENG) beat  Joe Lee (ENG) 7/11, 10/12, 12/10, 11/9, 11/9 86min
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) beat  Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11/8, 8/11, 11/9, 11/3 55min
The first match saw Number 1 seed Millie Tomlinson play Junior, Elin Harlow of Wales. Elin started well and was up in the first game by a few points before Millie settled into the pace of the game and started to impose her power into the rallies. The 1st game was 11/7. In the 2nd & 3rd games Millie had too much for Elin, who was not getting a good length. Millie won it in 3, 11/7, 11/4, 11/2.
The first men’s match, saw Number 1 seed Lucas Serme have a tough match vs Charles Sharpes of England. Serme, last year a finalist in this event, lost the first game 14/12 after some huge rallies. Sharpes was playing very well before Serme took it up a notch, as he had to. He reeled off the 2nd & 3rd games to 7 & 4. Sharpes wasn’t finished though and really fought in the 4th game. It went to 10 all and then Sharpes had a game ball before Serme finished it out 12/10.
England’s Georgina Kennedy played Enora Villard from France in their quarter final. After a very tough match in Round 1 yesterday. Georgina said she wanted to ” Hit the ball low and hard to keep volleys away from Enora, while also volleying myself as much as I could” The score was reflective of that strategy. Kennedy said afterwards ” I was very happy to finish it in three” Final score was 11/5, 11/4, 11/6.
No, 3 seed Campbell Grayson of New Zealand played Shaun Le Roux from Sth Africa. After a very slow start, Le Roux lost the first 2 games. He then started to get into the match in the 3rd, getting in front of Grayson. The New Zealander said ” I had a very tough match yesterday, so was happy the way I played, but then he started to get in front of me in the 3rd” Le Roux was 6-3 up, then 8-5 in the 3rd. However he got a conduct stroke against him to make it 9 all. Le Roux still fought hard and had 2 game balls but Grayson pushed, got in front again and finished it to 14/12.
MATCHES FROM 4PM
Alison Thomson played Dutch player Tessa Ter Sluis and made a fast start winning the 1st game easily enough, 11/5. Ter Sluis really picked it up in the 2nd, driving beautifully. Then she lost concentration and went 7-5 down. Then got it back again with a couple of lovely nicks to win it 12/10 – 1 all. Alison said “I’ve played her before and wanted to get her twisting & turning to stop her driving it low & hard” In the 3rd Ter Sluis started making mistakes and Thomson upped the pace to win it 11/6. Thomson had too much in the end and won it 3-1.
Joe Lee, playing very well this week, made another good start in his match with Declan James. He won the 1st 11/7 but the 2nd was a much closed affair with some super rallies and unbelievable retrieving from both players. Lee took it 12/10. James took the 3rd 12/10 & the 4th 11/9, playing a much better length than in the 1st 2 games. The 5th was real ‘cat & mouse’ with James playing very patiently, which worked for him, winning it 11-9 to win the match.
In the last women’s match, after winning the first game, Rachael Chadwick, the qualifier from England, stuttered in the 2nd and Anna Klimundova, the Czech player won it. The 3rd & 4th went towards one player and then the other, before they were both shared. In the 5th Chadwick raced ahead using her powerful drive but let Klimundova back in again before closing it finally 11/4.
Laurens Jan Anjema the Dutch player was up against Indian Mahesh Mangaonkar, who put Irishman Arthur Gaskin out last night. The first 2 games were shared 11/8. Anjema took a very close 3rd 11/9 which had some super rallies with a magnificent short game from both players. In the 5th Anjema raced away utilising his tight game at the front, keeping the ball so low to win it 11/3 and the match.
Round 1, Wednesday 20th April 2016
The first match of the day saw the 2 French teammates Lucas Serme and Geoffrey Demont play each other. These 2 players have played on French teams going back to juniors so know each other games very well. Lucas over 40 places higher in World rankings had too much for Geoffrey and won without to much trouble 3-0 in 28min. The young Welsh player Elin Harlow also won convincingly over Moana Gray of Australia 3-0. This is Elin’s 2nd tournament in Ireland this season. She won the IRISH Junior Open Under 19 title last November.
We had a super match between Englishwoman Georgina Kennedy the former European U19 champion and Xisela Aranda of Spain. Xisela belied her ranking of 145to push Georgina and had 2 match balls herself before Georgina just got over the line 16-14 in the 5th in a match that lasted 4min short of an hour.
Shaun Le Roux and Joshua Larkin had a tence match with plenty of questioning of referee decisions. Shaun was always in control but Joshua made him work hard and Joshua certainly worked really hard himself, with the amount of sweat showing from his shirt. Shaun won 3-0 but it was closer than the score suggests.
In the match of the day for the Irish crowd, Arthur Gaskin ranked 85 was up against India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar who is ranked 27 places higher than him. Arthur started slowly but Mahesh was playing well and went 2-0 in games. Arthur knew he had to extend the rallies and get in the game “In the last point of the 2nd game I played the point more deliberately looking to extend the rally and not force it” At the start of the 3rd game Arthur continued with this gameplan. It worked – he leveled the match 2 all to the delight of his home crowd.
In the 5th both his calves tightened when he went to the front wall and before he knew it he was 6-0 down. He got 3 points but Mahesh closed out that 5th game fairly quickly 11-3 to win the match.
In the last match of the evening, Rachael Chadwich from England had a super win over much higher ranked Alexandra Fuller (68) from South Africa. Rachael used her power and height to great effect to beat Fuller 3-0 in 24min. Alexandra was never really in the match as Rachael took full control of affairs.
Thursday’s quarter finals start on Court 1 @ 12 noon, with all matches being streamed Live on Irish Squash TV.
 Millie Tomlinson (ENG) beat [LL] Nia Davies (WAL) 11/1, 11/1, 11/3 20min
 Elin Harlow (WAL) beat Moana Gray (AUS) 11/4, 11/8, 11/9 22min
 Enora Villard (FRA) beat Marija Shpakova (SUI) 11/6, 11/5,11/5 22 min Georgina Kennedy (ENG) beat Xisela Aranda (ESP) 7/11, 11/4, 8/11, 11/6, 16/14 56 min
 Alison Thomson (ENG) beat [Q] Harshit Jawanda (IND) 11/13, 11/7,11/6, 11/6 35 min Tessa Ter Sluis beat Eva Fertekova (CZE) 11/8, 11/8, 11/4 17min
 Anna Klimundova (CZE) beat Eleanor Epke (NZL) 11/8. 11/6, 11/7 25 min
[Q] Rachael Chadwick (ENG beat  Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 11/9, 11/7, 11/4 24min
 Lucas Serme (FRA) beat [Q] Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 11/5, 11/1, 11/4 28 min
 Charles Sharpes (ENG) beat Christopher Binnie (JAM) 7/11, 11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 12/10 86 min
 Shaun Le Roux (RSA) beat [Q] Joshua Larkin (AUS) 11/6, 11/8, 11/5 41min
 Campbell Grayson (NZL) beat Richie Fallows (ENG) 7/11, 11/9, 7/11, 11/4, 11/7 87 min
 Declan James (ENG) beat Jens Schoor (GER) 11/6, 11/9, 12/10 30min
 Joe Lee (ENG) beat [Q] Matthew Hopkin (AUS) 11/4, 11/4, 9/11, 11/3 47min
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) beat [WC] Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 11/5, 11/5, 6/11, 3/11, 11/3 67 min  Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) beat [Q] Christophe Andre (FRA) 11/7, 11/5, 11/2 30min
Qualifying Round 2, Tuesday 19th April 2016
Day 2 of the GILLENMARKETS IRISH OPEN saw some super matches with 2 IRISH players, Sean Conroy and Brian Byrne pushing their much higher ranked opponents hard. In the 1st match of the day,
Byrne was playing Joshua Larkin of Australia. Brian raced into a 2-0 lead, playing super squash. Joshua said “The fast pace of those first 2 games didn’t work for me, so I decided to lengthen the rallies and make it a longer match” Byrne started to force it and made mistakes. Brian said “I just switched off at some big points and lost concentration” Consequently Larkin came back into the match and won the next 3 games to win 3-2. So close and yet so far for Byrne.
The other IRISH player Sean Conroy played Frenchman Geoffrey Demont nearly 100 places higher than him in World rankings. Again Sean started well and won the first game 11/7. Demont had to increase the pressure on Sean. ” I had to put pressure on him in the 2nd game, take volleys early and dominate the T” It worked as Demont took the 2nd game 11/4. The 3rd game went to the wire and crucially Demont just pipped it 11/9, which proved decisive. He closed out the match 11/3 to win 3-1 in 41 min. In the other 2 men’s matches Matthew Hopkin from Australia beat Ashley Davies of England 3-0 and Frenchman Christophe Andre of France beat Scotland’s Douglas Kempsell 3-1 in a close match that went on for 46 min.
In the women’s event the no.1 seed Nadia Pfister from Switzerland lost to Harshit Jawanda of India 3-0. It was a convincing victory for Harshit. Eva Fertekova had too much for Welsh player Nia Davies beating her 3-0. In the last 2 matches there was 3 Spanish players playing in them. In the first Xisela Aranda beat her compatriot Marta Latorre Ramirez and in the last match Rachael Chadwick had a convincing victory over no. 2 seed Marina De Juan Gallach 3-0. Rachael’s high reach proved too difficult for Marina to cope with. Rachael dominated the T and drove superbly.
So on with the Main Draw commencing tomorrow @ 12 noon.
DAY 2 RESULTS – Qualifying Round 2, Tuesday 19th April 2016
 Harshit Jawanda (IND) beat  Nadia Pfister (SUI) 11/5, 11/8, 11/7 21 min (Plays Thomson next)
 Eva Fertekova (CZE) beat  Nia Davies (WAL) 11/5, 11/2, 11/2 18 min (Plays Ter Sluis next)
 Xisela Aranda (ESP) beat  Marta Latorre Ramírez (ESP) 11/6, 11/4, 11/0 33 min (Plays Kennedy next)
 Rachael Chadwick (ENG) beat (2) Marina De Juan Gallach (ESP) 11/8, 11/3, 11/4 22 min (Plays Fuller next)
Lucky loser is Nia Davies who now plays M.Tomlinson – (Cyrielle Peltier withdrew)
 Joshua Larkin (AUS) beat Brian Byrne (IRL) 8/11, 6/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/7 78 min (Plays Le Roux next)
 Matthew Hopkin (AUS) beat  Ashley Davies (ENG) 11/9, 11/4, 11/9 31 min (Plays Lee next)
 Geoffrey Demont (FRA) beat  Sean Conroy (IRL) 7/11, 11/4, 11/9, 11/3 41 min (Plays Serme next)
 Christophe Andre (FRA) beat  Douglas Kempsell (SCO) 12/10, 8/11, 11/6, 11/9 46 min (Plays Anjema next)