Archive for October, 2011

QATAR CLASSIC

Posted in Qatar Open, Qualifiers, WISPA squash players on October 19, 2011 by siyoli

QUALIFICATION ROUND 2
SUNDAY 16TH NOVEMBER
Opponent: Farah Abdel Meguid
Nationality: Egypt
World Ranking: 97
Result: Lost 3-1; 8/11 11/5 11/6 11/2 (33m)

I started off well and Farrah started off badly, and the obtained result is a lopsided game score…in my favour of course. I was 7-0 up before i knew it. Then she woke up…and boy did she play well. I managed to hold onto the first game. She caught me flat footed many times with her backhand boast, then she hit nicks and perfect drops left right and centre. I didn’t know what hit me and i felt helpless.

She went on to play Jaclyn Hawkes, the No.11 seed from New Zealand and World #15. Farrah beat her 3-1. That means that Farrah is really playing well at the moment, also boasting her 7kg lighter frame after working hard these previous months. Sometimes it’s best to just pat a player on the back when they are playing superbly, and not get too analytical about your game. Well done Farrah! Next time, i’ll be ready.

These young Egyptians are definitely taking the squash world by storm, and their ranking hardly ever reflects their ability accurately, as some of them tend to only play tournaments that are in Egypt or not far from it. Two Egyptian teenagers just caused major upsets in the Qatar Classic. The 16 year Nour El Sherbini beat the World No.5 and September’s US Open champion, Laura Massaro. The 18 year old Nour El Tayeb, current world junior champion, beat the world No.2, Jenny Duncalf yesterday. They will have to compete against each other today…and I’m sure will have many more battles in the future.

For more squash results, go to:
http://www.squashsite.co.uk/qatar/today.htm

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DRAMA CHINA

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2011 by siyoli

So, great news about the visa for china. I guess you’d think the trouble stops there. Well…not exactly. This is the quick version of the story that followed, written by Dave Waters, aka Hubby.

** Note: match scheduled for 17:00 **

13:00 – flight leaves Beijing (connecting from last nights Kuwait flight), scheduled to arrive at 15:40

16:00 – flight lands in Shanghai

16:15 – taxi

17:09 – arrive at venue

17:11 – Tournament Organiser Statement: “Siyoli you have missed the 10 minutes grace period. You have defaulted the match and your opponent receives a walkover”

17:18 – Opponent agrees to shake siyolis hand on court to ensure Siyoli at least picks up loser ranking points and 1st round loser prize money.

17:30 – Siyoli goes to changing room to compose herself

17:35 – Siyoli comes back to watch matches. Dutch National Team Coach says: “Siyoli, I think the grace period is actually 15 minutes, 10 minutes is the old ruling”

17:40 – Check official manual, can’t see anything. Call Governing body on skype in London.

17:45 – Olga, Siyoli’s room mate finds the ruling in the manual – 15 minutes! governing body in London declare the match must go ahead in 20 minutes.

18:05 – match starts

18:15 – Siyoli is naturally pretty sluggish after 24 hours travel and…. a minor bit of trauma leading upto the match… she goes 1-0 down

18:25 – Siyoli pulls it back to 1-1

18:35 – Siyoli goes 2 – 1 up

18 45 – Siyoli takes game and match to win 3-1!

You couldn’t make it up….

RESULTS

SHANGHAI CHINA OPEN
1ST ROUND MAIN DRAW
Opponent: Pushppa Devi
Nationality: Malaysia
Tournament Seed: Unseeded
World Ranking: 128
Result: Won 3-1

QUARTER FINALS
Opponent: Low Wee Wern
Nationality: Malaysia
Tournament Seed: 2
World Ranking: 21
Result: Lost 3-0

Low Wee Wern is a former world #13. I have new respect for her type of patient game – doesn’t rush to finish off the point – she just makes you work hard to earn your point. Oh yes…and hardly any errors.I learned a lot from playing her, and hopefully can start playing like her in some ways.

KUWAIT OPEN DAY 3: A MIRACLE TOO

Posted in Asia Squash, Miracle, Semi Finals, Squash Results, Upcoming Squash Events, WISPA squash players on October 9, 2011 by siyoli

SEMI FINALS (SATURDAY 8TH OCTOBER)
Opponent: Lauren Selby
Nationality: England
Tournament Seed: 4
World Ranking: 58
Result: Lost 3-0; 11/6 11/7 11/9

This match didn’t really go according to plan. I wanted to go in there all relaxed, but i guess I was too relaxed, and didn’t quite show up in the way i did yesterday. Lauren was in great form, executing her game plan well against me, and i just couldn’t switch it into my favour this time. I know she is a clever player, but today I was too impatient. Not the right game plan. I will just have to learn from this!

Lots of other stuff has been happening in the background though. I had a little complication with my visa to China. Basically left South Africa without one, after being told i could get one here in Kuwait. Turns out that was bad advice. You only get a visa here if you are a resident. Oh dear. So the last few days i sent emails left-right-and-centre to Chinese embassies in SA and Kuwait, as well SA embassy in Kuwait, as well as countless emails to the South African Minister of Foreign affairs’ office, to ask for help in this situation. I got a response from the SA embassy here. They weren’t sure what they could do for me from this side, but they did come to visit me at the hotel…and call me each day to wish me well in the tournament.

My husband, went to ask questions at the Chinese embassy in Cape Town, where the lady was surprised to hear i was denied an application in Kuwait. Somehow, my husband managed to get a helpful response from her, where she agreed to contact the embassy here in Kuwait. I was given strict instructions to make sure i was there first thing Sunday morning, since they operate Sunday – Thursday working days. So that’s what i did, only to get the response this morning, “Sorry, we cannot process your visa here. I do not have the power to authorise this.”
My heart sank. I thought i would cry, but then realised the next plan could be to fly to a neighbouring country/city like Thailand, Vietnam or Hong Kong, and apply there, if time allowed it. Whatever happened, i would need to be in Shanghai to play my match Tuesday afternoon/evening. So, that’s the option hubby and I decided to work on, along with the travel agent who was kind enough to give me her cell phone number for an emergency on Sunday, in case we came to this point. Just as we were about to confirm a possible solution with the agent, i get a phone call in my room. It’s the SA embassy telling me that I should go to the Chinese embassy immediately because my “visa to china is ready.” I said, “What? How?” They just said, “Go!”

I moved as quickly as i could (after letting my hubby know), realising what the time was – 13h30. The embassy closes at 14h00. I asked the hotel to book me a taxi, which seemed to take forever to get here. Finally it came, but we were welcomed by heavy traffic. Oh dear. We arrived at 14h20. The taxi driver tried to phone inside the embassy on my behalf while i was trying to get the attention of the security guard. He told me it was closed and i should just keep calling or press the buzzer. I tried to reason with him…then the driver spoke to him in arabic, which started making him move further away from the small gate, away from us. We went back to buzzing on a bigger gate, and trying to phone. The time now is 14h35. Then the security guard opened the gate and asked me again what the problem was. I told him that if there was any chance someone was inside the embassy, please could he ask them about the South African visa.
“Where is your collection ticket?” he asked. I said, “I don’t have one.”
He then asked, “Where is your passport?”
I pointed to my bag, “I have it with me.”
He quickly exclaimed, “It is impossible then what you are saying, that you must pick up visa if you have your passport.”
I replied,” I know! It sounds crazy to me too, but they phoned me. They told me to come here. If you believe in God, you will believe that maybe this is a crazy miracle!”
He said, “I believe in God.” He then agreed to go inside and ask.

At that moment, we saw three chinese people walk out of the bigger gate. I ran after them. I asked them for the same thing and told them my flight was leaving tonight, so i couldn’t wait to find out tomorrow. Just as one of them was using his phone to enquire, the security guard returned with the lady who had denied me the application that morning. My heart sank again. Then she smiled and said, “After you left this morning, I was informed that I could submit your application, but I didn’t have contact details for you in Kuwait. So, i phoned your embassy to inform them.”

WOW!! I couldn’t believe my ears!!! I’m still shocked and surprised knowing that i can pick up my passport tomorrow. My husband has been working tirelessly to ensure that my flight changes occur smoothly, to still arrive on time for my match. Right now, i will try to remain peaceful and walk in the knowledge that what He has begun, He will bring to completion.

For those of you who pray, hubby reminded me a few days ago of Proverbs 3, verse 5-6.“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
For those of you that don’t pray, don’t let this freak you out, and forgive me if all this God stuff made this feel a little too “religious” for you. Just choose to see the miracle in an impossible situation.

China, here we come!!!

KUWAIT OPEN DAY 2

Posted in Loud Yell, Quarter Finals, Squash Results, Volley drop, WISPA squash players on October 8, 2011 by siyoli

QUARTER FINALS (FRIDAY 7TH OCTOBER)
Opponent: Lisa Aitken
Nationality: Scotland
Tournament Seed: 6
World Ranking: 68
Result: Won 3-2; 10/12 11/7 8/11 11/9 11/9

I knew this was going to be a tough match. Lisa hits the ball really hard, but also volleys well. She is left handed, so at times i tried to keep the ball on her backhand. My cross court shots were not wide enough at that pace and often got me into trouble. In the last 3 games, she was always ahead of me in points and i had to work my way back into the game. The score line for the last game went something like this…6-3 to her, then an error into the tin from me 7-3; long rally then hard straight drive to the back from me 4-7; stroke to me, 5-7; stroke to her (which i think shouldn’t have been) 8-5, forehand volley drop winner,6-8; 9-6,another forehand volley drop winner 7-9; 8-9, long rally then stroke to me, 9-9; another long rally the volley cross court drop winner,10-9; rally down the left side, the straight drop, 11-9 to me, and I let out a loud yell of relief. I used every muscle in my body, including my voice muscles to propel me through the match. There was quite a lot of yelling in those last two games. “Come on!” “Yes!” “Keep at it!” All of this coming from someone who used to say nothing on court. It is just a small thing I’m learning that it’s ok to show i really want something. With time, i will have to bring it down a bit. I just didn’t want to go out like that today. By God’s grace and strength , somehow i pulled through. Lisa has really improved a lot since the last time I played her in March, where i won 3-0. I was just happy to get through that match as the winner…no matter what the score.

This night of squash was a feast of entertainment for the spectators, a nightmare for organisers. All matches had the full 3-2 scoreline and were over their 45 minute time allocation. My match was scheduled for 18h15, but i ended up playing at 20h00.
The top seed, Emma, was beaten by the 15 year old Egyptian rising star. My room mate Olga, narrowly lost out for a place in the semi finals, by two points, also beaten by a young Egyptian. I will play against Lauren, who beat another young Egyptian, who caused an upset the day before.

Full results on http://www.squashsite.co.uk/2009/sheikhaalsaad2011.htm

SEMI FINALS (SATURDAY 8TH OCTOBER)
Opponent: Lauren Selby
Nationality: England
Tournament Seed: 4
World Ranking: 58

KUWAIT OPEN: DAY 1

Posted in First Round, Squash Results on October 7, 2011 by siyoli

SHEIKA AL SAAD SQUASH TOURNAMENT
1ST ROUND (THURSDAY 6TH OCTOBER)

Opponent: Anaka Alankomony
Nationality: India
Tournament Seed: Unseeded
World Ranking: 106
Result: Won 3-0: 11/6 16/14 13/11 (30m)

I had seen her play before, but know that Indian players can always be tricky. I started out strongly and just focused on keeping her behind me as much as possible.
In the second and third game, my length was not that great, and gave her opportunities to get in front of me. I found myself behind in both games and just had to grind unpretty squash to get back into it. This time it worked…but i can’t afford to give away such big leads anymore.

QUARTER FINALS (FRIDAY 7TH OCTOBER)
Opponent: Lisa Aitken
Nationality: Scotland
Tournament Seed: 6
World Ranking: 68

NEW WORLD RANKING

Posted in milestone, squash tournament, Top 50, world ranking on October 5, 2011 by siyoli

It’s a start of a new month,and the world rankings have been updated.

WE’RE NO.44!! YEAH!!

We’ve finally cracked the Top 50…another milestone reached!
This calls for a celebration. WHOOO HOOOO!!!

Ranking History

Oct 2011: No.44
Sep 2011: No.51
Aug 2011: No.52
Jul 2011: No.63
Jun 2011: No.60
May 2011: No.64
Apr 2011: No.64
Mar 2011: No.78
Feb 2011: No.78
Jan 2011: No.63
Dec 2010: No.75
Nov 2010: No.77

NEXT UP:

Kuwait Open
6th – 9th October