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Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: Men’s and Women’s Doubles Finals Preview

After an incredible week of superb squash, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games draws to a close today with the men’s and women’s doubles medal matches.

Play begins with the women’s bronze medal match from 10:00 (GMT+1) and will be will be shown live on BBC iPlayer in the UK and by broadcasters around the world.

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match: [3/4] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) v [2] Sarah-Jane Perry & Alison Waters (ENG)

Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy

In the women’s doubles final, England’s Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters – one of three teams competing for the hosts – take on New Zealand’s defending champions Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy.

Both Waters and Landers-Murphy are doubles specialists, with Waters retiring from the PSA World Tour last year and Landers-Murphy retiring from competitive squash altogether before being convinced to come back by King.

Landers-Murphy will presumably have no regrets, with she and King reaching the final without dropping a game, having beaten Guyana’s Mary Fung-A-Fat and Ashley Khalil, England’s Georgina Kennedy and Lucy Turmel, and Malaysia’s Ainaa Amani and Chan Yiwen in straight games.

Perry and Waters, too, have impressed. After recording comfortable victories over Jade Pitcairn and Marlene West of the Cayman Islands and Scotland’s Georgia Adderley and Lisa Aitken, the No.2 seeds showed their resolve to come back from a game down against Malaysia’s Aifa Azman and Rachel Arnold in yesterday’s semi-finals.

Will Waters avenge her mixed doubles final defeat to King last night?

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match: [1] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) v [3/4] Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller (ENG)

Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller

In the first ever single nation gold medal match, English top seeds Declan James and James Willstrop face compatriots and 3/4 seeds Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller.

The two sides met in the semi-finals of the 2018 Gold Coast Games, when Selby and Waller edged an 86-minute epic 11-9, 9-11, 11-10.

While both teams have spoken ahead of the match of the respect they have for each other, both will be desperate for the win. Selby is 39 years old and Willstrop 38, and the 2018 silver medallist, who last week announced his retirement from the PSA World Tour, acknowledged that his 12-year run on Commonwealth Games courts was nearing its conclusion. If this is to be their last act at the Games, both will give their all to finish with a gold.

Both teams have had to dig in at times on the way to today’s final, with Selby and Waller coming from behind to win their opening two matches and holding off a ferocious fightback from Scotland’s Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart in yesterday’s semi-final.

James and Willstrop had been enjoying a trouble-free run at the Games with comfortable wins over Malta and Australia, before showing steely resolve in yesterday’s semi-final against Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng and Ivan Yuen, where they came from a game down to win 2-1, with a late run of points rescuing them from 7-3 down in game three to eventual 11-8 winners.

Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match: [5/8] Ainaa Amani & Chan Yiwen (MAS) v [5/8] Rachel Arnold & Aifa Azman (MAS)

Ainaa Amani (left) and Chan Yiwen (right)

The first match of the day pits two of the tournament’s surprise packages against each other and guarantees a first ever women’s doubles medal for Malaysia and their first in any format since the great Nicol David’s singles gold in 2014.

Amani and Chan sprang the shock of the tournament in the quarter-final when they downed top seeds and reigning World Champions India 2-0.

Arnold and Azman, meanwhile, have shown impressive chemistry as a new doubles partnership, with Arnold’s usual partner Sivasangari Subramaniam forced to withdraw ahead of the Games after being badly injured in a road accident.

[5/8] Eain Yow Ng & Ivan Yuen (MAS) v [2] Greg Lobban & Rory Stewart (SCO)

Lobban (left) and Stewart (right)

Things could get even better for Malaysia if Eain Yow Ng and Ivan Yuen are able to find the form that took them to the brink of the final.

If the Malaysian side are to win a first ever men’s double bronze medal, they will have to find a way past a brilliant team of Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart. The Scottish No.2 seeds form a formidable partnership, with the reach and flair of Stewart combining excellently with the drive and movement of Lobban.

Click here for the full schedule and live results as they happen.

Stats kindly provided by Squash Info.

10:00 (GMT+1): Birmingham 2022 Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match:
[5/8] Ainaa Amani & Chan Yiwen (MAS) v [5/8] Rachel Arnold & Aifa Azman (MAS)

11:00 (GMT+1): Birmingham 2022 Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match:
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng & Ivan Yuen (MAS) v [2] Greg Lobban & Rory Stewart (SCO)

12:00 (GMT+1): Birmingham 2022 Women’s Doubles Final:
[3/4] Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) v [2] Sarah-Jane Perry & Alison Waters (ENG)

13:00 (GMT+1): Birmingham 2022 Men’s Doubles Final:
[1] Declan James & James Willstrop (ENG) v [3/4] Daryl Selby & Adrian Waller (ENG)

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