UCT Keith Grainger Memorial Finals
Hutton comeback secures second title as Vargas wins again
The no 1 seed Milnay Louw (South Africa), playing in her 13th final and who lost 1-3 to Jasmine Hutton (England) the no 2 seed in the Johannesburg Open last week came out firing in front of her home crowd racing to a 2-0 lead but the class and strength of her opponent came through as she clawed her way back with powerful retrieving and belief in her game, eventually clinching the match 3-2, and her 2nd consecutive title on South African soil.
The no 5 seed Fabien Verseille playing in his 6th final having played on the tour for the past 14 years was matched against Juan Vargas (Columbia) the no 1 seed in his 3rd year on the tour. The crowd enjoyed an amazing 33 minute opening game which Fabien clinched 18-16. A blood break was required to patch Fabien’s finger and possibly this allowed Juan the breather to regroup and focus. Juan then started to dominate rallies and taking control of the match taking the next 3 games and being the first Colombian winner of the event.
Juan Vargas, the Colombian top seed, played the longest match of the tournament needing 74 minutes to eventually see off a determined Nick Wall from England.
Match of the evening goes to women’s top seed Milnay Louw who beat the no 5 seed Nour Aboulmakarim in 65 minutes, the longest ladies match we have seen at this event.
Milnay lost the 3rd game in a pulsating thrilling 13-15 game and the crowd felt that the match had edged towards Nour, however the 30 year old South African showed her experience over her 16 year old opponent and played the big points well winning a close 4th game and then the 5th, 11-9.
Jasmine Hutton continued her good run in South Africa reaching her 2nd final in 2 weeks with a solid 3-0 win over Alexa Pienaar.
Quarter-Finals at UCT
Match of the evening goes to no 5 seed Fabian Verseille (France) who beat the no 2 seed JP Brits (South Africa) and took revenge from last weeks semi-final in JHB where he went down 0-3, this time he went up 3-0 and clearly enjoys playing at the coast compared to the altitude of Johannesburg.
No 1 seed South African Milnay Louw took just 13 minutes to win her match.
Tomorrow evening is Semi-Finals starting at 17h30 and the last match beginning at 20h30 and promises to be another eventful evening of top level squash.
Day TWO at UCT
The Keith Grainger Memorial UCT Squash Open Championships produced 3 upsets in the men and 2 in the women’s draw.
Match of the tournament so far is without a doubt the 68 minute tussle between unseeded Kelvin Ndlovu from Zambia winning 13-11 in the 5th game over the no 4 seed, Tom Walsh from England. Kelvin was a late call up to the tournament after a few players withdrew and he would be thrilled with his performance to date pulling off a major upset.
In the women’s draw unseeded Tayla Mounter from England took 43 minutes to beat the 7th seed, 3-1 and local WP no 7 player, 45 year old Miranda Lang took just 14 minutes to beat 8th seeded Tayla Diepenbroek.
Some mouth watering matches on display tomorrow as we head into the quarter finals with all matches now taking place on the match court starting from 13h00.
Egyptian U19 player Sana Ibrahim the no 6 seed is matched against the no 2 seed Jasmine Hutton from England, they both met in the semi-final last week in the Johannesburg Open, which Jasmine clinched in 5 games and then went on to win the title.
Day ONE at UCT
Monday 29 April was round one of the PSA Men’s main draw, and what a night of top level squash did the crowds enjoy with no fewer than 5 of the 8 matches going the full distance finishing in 5 games.
The Men’s Open A, B and Womens Open A sections also started their 5 round event with their first matches.
Longest match of the evening went the way of South African Gareth Naidoo, who had to claw his way back from 1-2 down in games against Switzerland’s Amadeo Costa to eventually clinch the match after 65 brutal minutes of fetching squash.
Gary Wheadon, 2017 Semi-Finalist did extremely well to fight his way back after being 1-2 down and levelling the fixture taking the 4th 13-11, but it was not his night as he narrowly lost 10-12 in the 5th to Shady El Sherbiny from Egypt who kept his composure for a hard fought win.
Former South African National Champion Rodney Durbach showed his experience in the 5th match facing a match ball down kept his cool to fight his way back in the point and eventually win 12-10 in the 5th.
The women’s event begins tomorrow night with the men’s section starting their 2nd round after the top seeds received a bye this evening.