Quarters : Top seeds ousted on dramatic day in Inverness

Quarter-finals day in Inverness saw three unseeded players reach the semis, with both home top seeds dramatically beaten in the day’s final matches.

Fifth seed Torrie Malik beat Georgia Adderley in three nailbiting games, and is joined in the semis by fellow Englishwomen Asia Harris and Grace Gear and Egypt’s Nardine Garas.

Unseeded former champion Edmon Lopez sensationally took out top seed Rory Stewart to set up a semi-final with Egyptian youngster Kareem El Torkey, with second and third seeds Ben Smith and Daniel Poleshchuk meeting in the other semi.

2023 Springfield Scottish Squash Open DAY THREE, QUARTER-FINALS

Women’s Quarters :
[5] Torrie Malik (Eng) 3-0 [1] Georgia Adderley (Sco)  11-7, 15-13, 13-11 (40m)
Asia Harris (Eng) 3-1 [7] Kaitlyn Watts (Nzl)  8-11, 11-3, 13-11, 12-10 (43m)
[3] Nardine Garas (Egy) 3-2 [6] Alicia Mead (Eng)  12-10, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)
[2] Grace Gear
(Eng) 3-0 [8] Rana Ismail (Egy)  11-2, 11-4, 13-11 (27m)

Men’s Quarters :
Edmon Lopez
(Esp) 3-0 [1] Rory Stewart (Sco)  17-15, 17-15, 11-7 (66m)
Kareem El Torkey (Egy) 3-1 Miles Jenkins (Eng)    11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2 (52m)
[3] Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr) 3-0 [5] James Peach (Eng)  11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)
[2] Ben Smith (Eng) 3-0 [8] Sam Buckley (Irl)  11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)


Match Summaries and Reaction

Torrie takes out the top seed

[5] Torrie Malik (Eng) 3-0 [1] Georgia Adderley (Sco)  11-7, 15-13, 13-11 (40m)

Hot on the heels of Rory Stewart’s defeat came another shocker for the home crowd as fifth seed Torrie Malik squeezed past top seed Georgia Adderley in three nailbiting games.

The Englishwoman took a quick 3-0 lead and was always ahead in the opening game despite Georgia’s efforts to close. The next two games were as close as they come, but it was Torrie who held her nerve to double her lead, then came from 8-10 down in the third to clinch the victory.

“I’m really happy with how I played today,” said Torrie, “I’m stronger and smarter than when I was a junior, I have more patience and don’t go for silly shots. I’m pleased with how I dealt with those tie-breaks and so pleased to make the semis.

“It will be me and Asia, so it’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”

Former champion Edmon is back to thwart Rory

Edmon Lopez (Esp) 3-0 [1] Rory Stewart (Sco)  17-15, 17-15, 11-7 (66m)

What a performance from 2019 champion Edmon Lopez – unseeded after two years of terrible injury problems but now seemingly back on the upward track.

He and top seed Rory Stewart couldn’t be separated for two long, gruelling opening games – except that the Spaniard did cause separation, taking both 17-15 after a series of game balls for each. From midway through the third Rory seemed to be tiring and errors crept in as Edmon’s determination grew, and he took the final few points to delightedly reach the semis.

“It’s been a tough two years,” said Edmon, “I’ve been six month in, six months out with injury, but now I’m back and I think I’ve found the balance.

“It’s always a great atmosphere and that was such a tough match against Rory. Now I’m back I’d love to win it again!”

Kareem comes of age to reach the semis

Kareem El Torkey (Egy) 3-1 Miles Jenkins (Eng)    11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-2 (52m)

It was a quarter-final between two unseeded players, Kareem El Torkey and Miles Jenkins both having produced first round upsets, so a surprise semi-finalist was guaranteed.

The pair battles it out hammer and tong for two thrilling opening games, but as the Englishman began to tire, the young Egyptian – 19 yesterday – started to take control and by the end had Miles on a string.

It was a spectacular ending though, as on match ball Karim dived across court to hit a winner down the line to Mile’s disbelief!

“I’m really happy,” said Kareem. “This is a great event and to reach the semis after such a hard battle, it’s just so good!”

Asia battles to second upset

Asia Harris (Eng) 3-1 [7] Kaitlyn Watts (Nzl)  8-11, 11-3, 13-11, 12-10 (43m)

A second seeding upset in a row and England’s top junior Asia Harris is into the semi-finals. Harris defeated Kiwi seventh seed Kaitlyn Watts in four games that were full of emotion, thrills and spills. Watts pulled clear at the end of a tight first before Harris powered through the second to level.

There was nothing to choose between them in the last two games, but it was Harris who found the extra push to get over the line in both.

“Lost for words really,” said Asia. “That was a tough battle, just happy to be through to the semis.”

Poleshchuk first into semis

[3] Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr) 3-0 [5] James Peach (Eng)  11-9, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)

Daniel Poleschuk became the first semi-finalist after a hard-fought three game win over James Peach.

The Englishman made a good start to the opening game, but Poleshchuk drew level at 8-8 before taking the game, and went on to hold narrow leads throughout the next two games.

“It’s the first time I’ve played this event,” he said, “so I’m very happy to reach the semis. We had some good preparation with my team in Prague so hopefully I can keep it going and progress further.”  

Gear holds off Ismail fightback

[2] Grace Gear (Eng) 3-0 [8] Rana Ismail (Egy)  11-2, 11-4, 13-11 (27m)

Having battled an Egyptian for five games yesterday, Grace Gear was probably expecting more of the same, but as it turned out the English second seed had a comfortable ride in the first two games with Rana Ismail struggling to find her game and get into the match.

That all changed in the third though, as Ismail took a 5-1 lead and reached game ball at 10-9 in a really competitive game. Grace held her nerve though and was able to close out the match in three.

“I thought I played really well in the first two,” said Grace, “but she came back strongly in the third and I really had to dig in. Happy to close it out in three in the end.”

Smith through in three

[2] Ben Smith (Eng) 3-0 [8] Sam Buckley (Irl)  11-4, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)

Second seed Ben Smith won an entertaining three-game encounter with long-time junior rival Sam Buckley to advance to the last four.

Smith always seemed to hold the upper hand, but the rallies were well contested as Smith took a two game lead 11-4, 11-8. Smith pulled away to 10-3 in the third and although Buckley saved four match balls he couldn’t prevent Smith taking the win.

“It was a good match, I enjoyed it.” said Smith, “but I was getting a little worried as he was coming back in the third so I’m pleased to get off in three.”

Nardine fightback denies Alicia

[3] Nardine Garas (Egy) 3-2 [6] Alicia Mead (Eng)  12-10, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5 (46m)

Third seed Nardine Garas advanced to the semi-finals at the expense of Alicia Mead, who will be ruing missed chances – the Englishwoman led 10-7 in the opening game only to see the Egyptian take the next five points, then took the next two games to lead.

Mead took an early lead in the fourth, bur Garas fought back once more to level the match, and powerd through the fifth.

“I’m so pleased with my performance today,” said Nardine. “I lost to Alicia three weeks ago, so to win today is very pleasing. When I was 2-1 down I just had to concentrate on playing to my game plan and not think about the score.”