Archive for September, 2011

PHOENIX SEMI FINALS

Posted in Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Squash Results, squash tournament, WISPA squash players, world ranking on September 17, 2011 by siyoli

Semi Finals:
Friday 16th September (evening session)
Opponent: Nicolette Fernandes
Nationality: Guyana
World Ranking: 46
Tournament Seed: No.5
Result: Lost 2-3; 5/11 3/11 11/9 13/11 7/11

Nicolette caused an upset in the Quarter Finals by beating the no.2 seed. She was ranked in the Top 30 before she suffered a major injury. The match between us was tough. I didn’t know what to expect. I started out quite relaxed…maybe too relaxed because i was down 2-0 in games before i knew what happened. I would have been really disappointed if the third game turned out to be a repeat of the previous one, but i received strength to fight…and boy did i fight for each point. The rallies had to be longer, the pace had to be mixed up, and i had to keep moving her around the court – not fearing to attack the ball. In the last game, my length got a little shorter again, giving her more opportunities to control the rallies. In the 5th, she had a 5-1 lead which i managed to close down to 5-4. the 6-4, 7-4, 8-4, 5-8, 9-5, 10-5, 6-10, 7-10, then an unfortunate stroke against me, which gave her the match at 11-7. Lots of lessons learnt. Overall, I am happy that i was able to fight back after a poor start. I probably need to work on that somehow – starting strong.

All in all, it has been a great and successful USA Tour. We will wait for the new rankings at the beginning of October with eager anticipation.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR OCTOBER

KUWAIT OPEN
6th-9th October

CHINA OPEN
11th-14th October

QATAR OPEN
15th -17th October

SPANISH OPEN
19th-22nd October
(My hubby will be joining me on this trip!! Looking forward to it.)

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PHOENIX QUARTER FINALS

Posted in Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Squash Results, squash tournament, WISPA squash players on September 16, 2011 by siyoli

Quarter Finals:
Friday 16th September (morning session)
Opponent: Sarah Cardwell
Nationality: Australia
World Ranking: 68
Tournament Seed: Qualifier
Won: 3-1; 5/11 11/0 11/4 13/11

I had another slow start to match and got punished for it. Sarah moved well around the court, practically doing splits whenever it was needed. It seems i managed to move her around enough to make her splits ineffective, and begin to sap the energy out of her. In the last game i was 7-2 down, and managed to come back well enough to close the game off.

My next match is gonna be a tough opponent, a real fighter. She is a great person off court – but takes no prisoners on court.

Semi Finals:
Friday 16th September (evening session)
Opponent: Nicolette Fernandes
Nationality: Guyana
World Ranking: 46
Tournament Seed: No.5

LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE!!!

PHOENIX ROUND 1

Posted in First Round, Quarter Finals, Squash Results, squash tournament, WISPA squash players on September 16, 2011 by siyoli

Southwest Open
1st Round:

Opponent: Alexandra Norman
Nationality: Canada
World Ranking: 50
Tournament Seed: Unseeded
Won: 3-1; 11/8 9/11 11/8 11/9

Alex is great at slowing the game down and varying her drop shots. I needed to mix up the pace throughout the game, and not be so eager to play cross courts. In the third game, i was up 9-0, and allowed her to come back to 9-8…i really should find a way to get back “in the zone” faster. All in all, i was happy to win that in 4 games.

Quarter Finals:
Opponent: Sarah Cardwell
Nationality: Australia
World Ranking: 68
Tournament Seed: Qualifier

Sarah took out the No.4 seed in the first round, Orla Noom From Netherlands (World No.41) . She is quick and no push-over. I will need to keep it together until the end.

For full results, visit http://www.squashsite.co.uk

PHOENIX TOURNAMENT

Posted in First Round, Squash Results, squash tournament, WISPA squash players on September 15, 2011 by siyoli

SOUTH WEST OPEN (14TH – 17TH SEPTEMBER 2011)

I am in Phoenix this week, my 3rd and last tournament in the USA. The qualifiers kicked off last night which saw 3 Egyptian girls qualify into the main draw. Tonight is the first round of the main event.

Southwest Open
1st Round
:
Opponent: Alexandra Norman
Nationality: Canada
World Ranking: 50
Tournament Seed: Unseeded

I had to play Alex in the World Team Championships in November 2010 when RSA played Canada. I won 3-2, but know that today I will need to start from scratch and work hard in each game.

Watch this space!

CALIFORNIA TOURNAMENT

Posted in Celebrities, Dipika Pallikal, First Round, Quarter Finals, Squash Results, squash tournament, USA Squash, WISPA squash players on September 15, 2011 by siyoli

ORANGE COUNTY OPEN (7TH – 11TH SEPTEMBER 2011)

California is a beautiful place. We were situated in Irvine, which has been voted to be the safest area in the state. The sports clubs are massive, cars are huge, and not too far from here is an area with the highest ownership of Ferrari’s per capita. I had a great host family, with a tremendous hospitality gift and big hearts, and really made me feel at home.

I visited Disneyland for the first time ever with a few squash players. I went to the Laguna Beach with my hostess, Donnella, and we got to see a movie being filmed on the beach – Savages. Apparently the main actors are John Travolta, Salma Hayek, Urma Thurman, amongst others. It will be out September 2012. One of the current biggest basketball stars (the next big thing after Michael Jordan), Kobe Bryant, used the gym we were playing at as his personal training ground. We managed to catch a glimpse of him too!

The squash was always going to be tough, with a strong draw of competitors. A 15year old Egyptian girl made it to the finals, by beating a player 23years her senior in the semi-finals. That’s great for the future of squash. Now to my results…

Orange County Open
1st Round:

Opponent: Diana Elise Garcia
Nationality: Mexico
World Ranking: 235
Tournament Seed: Qualifier
Result: Won 3-1; 11/8 11/7 8/11 11/6 (40 min)

I felt like I was in control of the match, but lost concentration in the third game.

Quater Finals:
Opponent: Dipika Pallikal
Nationality: India
World Ranking: 24
Tournament Seed: 1
Result: Lost 3-0; 11/5 11/6 11/8 (40 mins)

I started quite slowly in this match, but my opponent was not giving me any chances, and putting away every loose shot i gave her. In the second game, I got into a better rhythm, but was still going short too early and making a few unforced errors. The third game was close from the start, played longer rallies which i seemed to win. Dipika is an attacking player, and it really amazes me how well she keeps attacking even when you think she couldn’t possibly pull off a certain shot. Watching her play in the semi-finals made me even more aware that she is playing some great squash at the moment. That’s when you give her a round of applause for this win, and hope you play to your best the next time you meet.

WASHINGTON DC CHAMP

Posted in Finals, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Squash Results, USA Squash, WISPA squash players on September 7, 2011 by siyoli

VICTORY IN WASHINGTON

This was a great tournament, where the organisers treated us like royalty. All the players got the stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where the squash club was also situated.

Quater-Final
Opponent: Katie Tutrone
Nationality: USA
World Ranking: 272
Result: Won 3-0; 11/3 11/3 11/7

Katie is a 16 year junior player who was playing in her first WISPA event. I will not want to play against her in a few years time. South Africa should also learn from this and expose their juniors to playing in such events.

Semi Final
Opponent: Misaki Kobayashi
Nationality: Japan
World Ranking: 53
Tournament Seed: 3
Result: Won 3-2; 1/11 8/11 11/8 12/10 11/9

This was a tough match, as you can see by the score. I started off a little slowly, and my opponent was not giving me an opportunities to settle in. The second game was a little better, bit I made too many unforced errors. Misaki is quick around the court, so rallies became long with both of us working hard. In the fourth, i was 8/10 down, match ball to Misaki, and managed to save the game after a monster rally. At 10/10 I found two cross court nicks that helped me win the game and save the match.
The 5th game was physically rough with a lot of lets and strokes, but i tried to focus on each point and fight til the end…which seemed to help. I’m just happy that match was over and in my favour. Next time, i know i’ll be starting from scratch.

Finals
Opponent: Lauren Selby
Nationality: England
World Ranking: 57
Tournament Seed: 2
Result: WON 3-1; 11/6 12/10 12/14 11/2

Lauren in a very crafty player, with delays and great touch to the front. I knew i had to play aggressively against her. I mixed up the pace too where it was needed, as she is good at taking the ball out of the air when it is loose. In the second game, i was up 6-0, but lost my head to make it 6-6. In the fourth game i was up 9-3, but again, allowed Lauren to catch up to 9-9. In the 4th game i was up 9-1, but finally got the full focus to help finish off the game without letting her back in. Giving away 6 points in a row, twice, is unacceptable at this level. I’ll need to work on that.

In the mean time…THREE CHEERS FOR MY SECOND WISPA TITLE!!!!!

Next Up
Orange County Open, California (8th – 11th September 2011)

BLOG CATCH UP: DEC 2010 – JULY 2011

Posted in Africa Squash, Asia Squash, Australian Squash, British Squash, Dipika Pallikal, European Squash, Finals, First Round, milestone, Qualifiers, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Squash Results, Upcoming Squash Events, WISPA squash players on September 5, 2011 by siyoli

BLOG UPDATE

So. It’s been a long time since I updated my blog. It has been a busy year with some exciting results, other results that I would like to forget and small milestones reached.

(All player’s rankings will be reported on their current August rankings.)

NEW SOUTH WALES OPEN, SYDNEY
JULY 2011

Opponent: Amanda Landers-Murphy
Country: New Zealand
World Ranking: No.66
Round Reached: Semi-Finals
Result: Lost 3-2

Hard match to lose considering I had beaten her the week before. She played well and went on to win the tournament. Some good lessons learned in that match.

QUEENSLAND OPEN, BRISBANE
JULY 2011

Opponent: Song Su Mi
Country: South Korea
World Ranking: No.50
Round Reached: Finals
Result: Won 3-0

It was so weird to end a tournament on a win. I guess we get so used to exiting a tournament on a loss. I played more calmly and clearly and it showed…and payed off. This was definitely the direct effect of the previous weeks training.

THREE CHEERS TO MY FIRST WIN ON THE TOUR!!!!

WISPA PYRAMIDES OPEN, PARIS
JUNE 2011

Opponent: Celia Allemargot
Country: France
World Ranking: No.81
Round Reached: Qualifying Finals
Result: Lost 3-0

This was a match that was tough to lose. I wanted to win that match, but just didn’t play well. The tension in my body was too obvious and affected how I played.

Fortunately, after the tournament, I went to Uk to visit family and friends, and also got the opportunity to train in Pontefract. The training I received there was exactly what I needed – a few things were mentioned before by others but no-one had ever been able to show me “how”.

SA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, JOHANNESBURG
JUNE 2011

June was a tough month on the squash court because I did not play the squash that I wanted. And the results did not lie either, I felt there was something I was doing wrong, but I did not know what it was.

Opponent: Tenille van der Merwe
Country: South Africa
SA Ranking: SA Champion
Round Reached: Semi Finals
Result: Lost 3-1

WESTERN PROVINCE OPEN, CAPE TOWN
JUNE 2011

Opponent: Milnay Louw
Country: South Africa
SA Ranking: SA No.1
Round Reached: Semi-Finals
Result: Lost 3-1

HURGHADA OPEN, EGYPT
MAY 2011

Opponent: Salma Hany
Country: Egypt
World Ranking: No.79
Round Reached: Qualifying Finals
Result: Lost 3-2

This match was a little weird for me. I don’t like making excuses, however, I would like to say that 5minutes before my match, I seemed to lose all energy that I had. It was weird – yes I all of a sudden felt really sleepy and lethargic.

That means that as the match started I felt groggy and dizzy, which on the squash court looked like I was playing purposeless shots and shoddy footwork.
Suddenly I was 2-0 down…then the electricity went off!! This was probably my lucky break…literally. The lights were off in the entire complex. After a few minutes, I decided to lie down, and had a little nap. After what I think was 20minutes, I woke up with the electricity still gone, but I did feel fresher.

The lights came back on, went back on court and managed to catch up to 2-2 in games, In the last game, Salma showed no signs of giving up, and I started playing the wrong game against her, which gave her more confidence. In the end, she won in a tie breaker. I guess this time, I woke up too late.


EGYPT CIRCUIT NO.1, CAIRO
MAY 2011

Opponent: Heba El Torky
Country: Egypt
World Ranking: No.29
Round Reached: Finals
Result: Lost 3-2

Heba is a strong fighter, so I knew the game was going to be somewhat physical and I would need to maintain my levels of positive aggressiveness. The match had a close result in the end, but I was more happy that I played the squash that I wanted to play.

HONG KONG OPEN
APRIL 2011

Opponent: Joshana Chinnapa
Country: India
World Ranking: No.31
Round Reached: Top 16
Result: Lost 3-0

The Indian girls are known for their deceptive moves. Joshna played well and did not allow me to settle into my game. It was a match that was a bit too short for my liking. It ‘s tough meeting the top players in the early rounds.

INDIA CHALLENGER NO.1, CHENNAI
APRIL 2011

Opponent: Dipika Palikal
Country: India
World Ranking: No.24
Round Reached: Top 16
Result: Lost 3-1

In this match, once again I was on the back foot from the beginning, with Dipika attacking me in the front of the court. The third game was long and had some great rallies and I played more confidently and began to attack her too. I soon had the egde and managed to take the game.
The fourth game is one I would love to forget. She played some great winners to start. Then I became too aware of the score line and lost focus. To close the match with a 11-0 loss, after taking the game before was bitterly disappointing…probably should be deemed “unacceptable”.

VINDEE WISPA OPEN, FRANCE
MARCH 2011

Opponent: Lauren Briggs
Country: England
World Ranking: No.49
Round Reached: Finals
Result: Lost 3-1

Lauren Briggs is a player that has had a ranking in the Top 30. Due to injury her ranking dropped and now she is back in the game. She was a tricky player to play – very calm and deceptive. It was a good experience to play against her game style.
THREE CHEERS TO MY FIRST FINAL!!!!! YEAH!

WORLD CUP TEAMS, INDIA
MARCH 2011

This was a team event where countries sent 3 men and 2 women.
Our SA Team comprised of Steve Coppinger, Clinton Leeuw, Rodney Durbach, Tenille ven der Merwe and yours truly.

Opponent: Raneem El Weielly
Country: Egypt
World Ranking: No.12
Result: Lost 3-0

SA team was in a pool with Egypt, France and Sri Lanka. Only the top two teams were going to make it through to the finals rounds. Unfortunately we lost against Egypt and France.

ISP 100TH CELEBRATION INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
FEBRUARY 2011

This was a tournament to celebrate Indian Squash. It was invitational and not for world ranking purposes.

Opponent: Siti Murina Jusoh
Country: Malaysia
World Ranking: No.47
Round Reached: Semi Finals
Result: Lost 3-2

PUNJ LLOYD INDIAN SQUASH TOURNAMENT
DECEMBER 2010

Opponent: Jaclyn Hawkes
Country: New Zealand
World Ranking: No.16
Round Reached: Top 16
Result: Lost 3-0

Jaclyn is known to be a steady player who doesn’t often make mistakes. That means you win by outlasting her or playing accurate attacking squash. In the first two games, I was the won who made the mistakes. I then got into it and was able to rally with her longer and play more accurately. Her experience got he better of me. Next time!!

UPCOMING EVENTS
September will see me playing in the USA. I am looking forward to it.
WATCH THIS SPACE!!

DREAD SERIES OPEN NO.1, WASHINGTON DC
1st – 4th SEPTEMBER 2011

ORANGE COUNTY OPEN, CALIFORNIA
8th -11th SEPTEMBER 2011

PHOENIX OPEN, USA
15th – 18th SEPTEMBER 2011