Friday , 15 December 2017
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World Hardball Doubles

Day Three:

Giant-Killer Russell marches on in St Louis

England’s John Russell twice defied the seedings on day three of the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships by contributing towards the downfall of two sets of top seeds in the biennial event in St Louis.

Partnered with Tina Rix in the Mixed quarter-finals in the morning, the No.7 seeds despatched Australian favourites Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14.

The English pair will now face USA’s Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis who also claimed an upset after beating fourth seeds Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5.

Despite being title-holders in the Men’s championship, Russell and Clive Leach are the No.4 seeds. But in an all-English semi-final, the dynamic duo brushed aside No.1 seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith 15-5, 15-8, 15-11 to celebrate a fourth appearance in five finals since 2009.

Leach & Russell will face Canadians Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke for the title. In a dramatic semi in the lower half of the draw, Brinkman & Clarke edged out fellow non-seeds James Bamber & Alex Stait 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14 to put paid to an all-English climax.

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Order was restored in the Women’s event when the top two seeded pairings set up the anticipated final. Australian favourites, sisters Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (pictured above), defeated Canadians Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating 15-11, 15-12, 15-11, while Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker, the second seeds from England, beat compatriots Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12.

Men’s semi-finals:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) 15-5, 15-8, 15-11
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14

Women’s semi-finals:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) bt [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN) 15-11, 15-12, 15-11
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt [4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG) 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12

Mixed quarter-finals:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold (AUS) 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt [4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-8, 15-3, 15-11
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) bt [2] Narelle Krizek & Matt Jenson (AUS) 15-10, 12-15, 15-12, 15-13

Mixed quarter-finals:

Day Two: Stait Leads England Day in St Louis

Former world No.53 Alex Stait put England in a commanding position on day two of the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships after claiming unexpected berths in both the Men’s semi-finals and the Mixed quarter-finals in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

The 37-year-old from Gloucester, now based in Philadelphia, partnered James Bamber to a shock 15-13, 10-15, 15-6, 15-9 upset of second-seeded Australians Scott Arnold & Matt Jenson in the men’s quarter-finals.

The unseeded pair will now face fellow non-seeds Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke for a place in the final after the unheralded Canadian duo despatched No.3 seeds Christopher Callis & Greg Park 15-5, 14-15, 15-14, 8-15, 15-11.

England are already sure of a place in the men’s final after both top seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith and title-holders Clive Leach & John Russell prevailed against North American opposition in quarter-finals in the top half of the draw.

Also unseeded in the mixed championship, Stait paired up with Philadelphia-based Merseysider Georgina Stoker to overcome Seanna Keating & Thomas Brinkman, the No.8 seeds from Canada, 15-10, 12-15, 15-9, 15-14. The pair will now face a second Canadian pair Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg, the third seeds, in the quarter-finals.

Stoker was also in action in the opening round of the Women’s event where the 31-year-old, partnered with Suzie Pierrepont, twice had to come from behind to beat US pair Natalie Grainger & Kayley Leonard 11-15, 15-14, 14-15, 15-12, 15-9.

The second seeds – both of whom featured in the 2015 final, in opposing pairings – will now line up against fellow countrywomen Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds, the fourth seeds, for a place in the women’s final.

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Men’s quarter-finals:
[1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) bt [5] Viktor Berg & Justin Todd (CAN) 15-5, 15-12, 15-7
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt Hamed Anvari & Julian Illingworth (USA) 15-4, 15-11, 15-13
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [3] Christopher Callis & Greg Park (USA) 15-5, 14-15, 15-14, 8-15, 15-11
James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) bt [2] Scott Arnold & Matt Jenson (AUS) 15-13, 10-15, 15-6, 15-9

Women’s 1st round:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS)   bye
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN) bt Alexia Echeverria & Andrea Echeverria (ESA) 15-11, 15-7, 15-7
[4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG) bt Elani Landman & Lume Landman (RSA) 15-12, 15-6, 15-8
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt Natalie Grainger & Kayley Leonard (USA) 11-15, 15-14, 14-15, 15-12, 15-9

Mixed 1st round:
[1] Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold (AUS)   bye
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) bt Elani Landman & Jacques Swanepoel (RSA) 15-12, 15-4, 15-8
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt Lume Landman & Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 15-13, 15-7, 15-10
[4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) bt Constanza Navarrine Gonzalez & Julian Illingworth (USA) 15-7, 15-9, 15-6
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt Wendy Maitland Jones & Adam Bews (SCO) 15-9, 15-11, 15-10
Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG) bt [8] Seanna Keating & Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 15-10, 12-15, 15-9, 15-14
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) bt Kayley Leonard & Greg Park (USA) 15-11, 12-15, 15-5, 15-3
[2] Narelle Krizek & Matt Jenson (AUS)   bye

For live coverage and streaming, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

Day One: Top Seeds safely through in St Louis

The top four men’s seeds safely negotiated their first hurdles in the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships in St Louis.

No.1 seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith – bidding to win the title for the first time while keeping the trophy in English hands – saw off their second round opponents in straight games, beating US pair Hameed Ahmed & Adam Perkiomaki 15-10, 15-5, 15-10 (both pairs pictured in action below).

The favourites will now meet fifth seeds Viktor Berg & Justin Todd in the quarter-finals after the Canadian duo also despatched a USA pair Tony Brettkelly & Ray Lindsay in a 15-7, 15-4, 15-8 scoreline.

Boosted by a rise in seeding to fourth position after the late withdrawal of second-seeded Indians Manek Mathur & Parth Sharma, defending champions Clive Leach & John Russell saw off South Africans Clinton Leeuw & Jacques Swanepoel 15-14, 15-7, 15-10 to claim a place in the last eight.

New York-based Leach, a 43-year-old former European Junior Championship finalist from Birmingham in England, is bidding to reach the final for the fifth time in a row.

For a place in the semi-finals, Leach & Russell will line up against Hamed Anvari & Julian Illingworth, a record nine-time US national singles champion. The unseeded US pair upset sixth-seeded Canadians Will Mariani & Freddie Reid15-9, 15-14, 15-9.

Men’s First Round:
Hameed Ahmed & Adam Perkiomaki (USA) bt Ryan Abraham & Mandela Patrick (TRI) 15-4, 15-5, 15-6
Tony Brettkelly & Ray Lindsay (USA) bt Neil Martin & Joseph Roberts (IRL) w/o
Hamed Anvari & Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Iago Cornes & Michael Puertas (USA) 15-9, 15-10, 15-7
Adam Bews & Greg McArthur (SCO) bt Mark Heather & Alex Ingham (ENG) 15-6, 15-6, 11-15, 15-9

Second round:
[1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) bt Hameed Ahmed & Adam Perkiomaki (USA) 15-10, 15-5, 15-10
[5] Viktor Berg & Justin Todd (CAN) bt Tony Brettkelly & Ray Lindsay (USA) 15-7, 15-4, 15-8
Hamed Anvari & Julian Illingworth (USA) bt [6] Will Mariani & Freddie Reid (CAN) 15-9, 15-14, 15-9
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt Clinton Leeuw & Jacques Swanepoel (RSA) 15-14, 15-7, 15-10
[3] Christopher Callis & Greg Park (USA) bt Graham Bassett & Jordan Greenberg (USA) 15-14, 12-15, 12-15, 15-13, 15-10
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [8] Bobby Burns & Ed Garno (USA) 15-9, 15-8, 9-15, 14-15, 15-10
James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) bt [7] Imran Khan Riaz & Aaron Luque (USA) 15-8, 15-11, 13-15, 15-5
[2] Scott Arnold & Matt Jenson (AUS) bt Adam Bews & Greg McArthur (SCO) 15-10, 15-6, 10-15, 15-13

For live coverage and streaming, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

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