Irish Open: Gaskin and Perry through to quarters, while Blake suffers shock defeat

Gaskin's scream of joy after beating Anwar Reda 3:0!

Madeline Perry kept Irish interest alive in the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open 2013. Facing a tricky and talented Egyptian Mariam Metwally, Perry steadied herself after winning a shaky first game in the tie-break, and ran out a comfortable 3:0 win in the end. “The first game was a bit bouncy and I hadn’t quite found my range,” said Perry, “but once I did I think I was able to break her down quite nicely. Everyone has been telling me all day that she is really good, so I was definitely on my toes.”

Aisling Blake, who was in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club yesterday to support Squash’s bid for inclusion into the 2020 Olympics together with Senator and former Olympian Eamonn Coghlan, was off the pace today and was duly beaten by Welsh number two Deon Saffrey in 30 minutes. The Dublin-born Irish Champion was seeded three in this tournament, and there was talk of a re-match of the Irish Championships finals between Perry and Blake in the semis. Alas, it was not to be. But Perry sees her win as an ideal preparation for the tournament: “Today, mid-way through the third I began thinking that this is a really good opening match for me. I don’t like if it’s too easy, I think a good tough first round match helps me for the rest of the tournament.” Reason enough to remain optimistic that Irish interests remain in the women’s draw until the final day!

After five exciting men’s first round matches, Arthur Gaskin took to the court at 8pm, facing the world number 39 Mohamed Ali Anwar Reda of Egypt. Gaskin, who has a career-high ranking of 80 and is currently “only” number 96, started confidently and was matching his opponents pace comfortably. Utilising his backhand drop to good effect, Gaskin took the first game  11:8. Whoever thought that the Egyptian was still warming up in game one was corrected quickly: Gaskin continued to match his opponent’s pace and ran out a phenomenal 3:0 win after 51 minutes.

I had a gameplan from the start, and what should I say: it worked out to perfection,” said Gaskin, who now faces Christopher Gordon, the current US champion who upset Shahier Razik in three games. “I played him in Equador I think eight years ago, so that’s not much to go by, but I’ll just go in the court, with my game plan, and play my best in front of a great home crowd!

Lets hope we see Arthur celebrating as he did today:



More Squash tomorrow from 2pm at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club, as well as the premier for live online streaming via from 2pm onwards! Dan Zilic