The 2017 World Masters Games is well underway with many of the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals being determined and for the 430 participants competing in squash they are starting to show off all of their hard training.
The first round of matches began 8am Saturday morning, with the individual competition set to run over the next five days with finals for all age groups scheduled for either Wednesday or Thursday. The Teams event will kick off on Thursday and finishes on Saturday.
The Men’s Open 35+ draw saw one upset in the first round with 13th seed Allan Robinson managing to get the victory over his 4th seeded opponent Harjinder Singh. The semi-final will be an all-kiwi affair. Former world top 40 player and top seed Kashif Shuja (NZ) will face fifth seed Adrian Mennell (NZ), while in the other semi third seed Neil Rossin (NZ) will take on second seed Sam Atkins (NZ).
Men's Open 35+ Semifinals
(1) Kashif Shuja (NZ) vs (5) Adrian Mennell (NZ)
(3) Neil Rossin (NZ) vs (2) Sam Atkins (NZ)
The Men’s 40+ Open draw sees seven of the top 8 seeds through to the quarterfinals. With 6 New Zealanders, 1 UK and 1 Australian this draw is sure to get the locals excited. The 40+ is spearheaded by top seed Corey Love and second seed Daniel Woolbank of Australia.
Men's 40+ Open Quarterfinals
(1) Corey Love (NZ) vs Darren Barclay (NZ)
(5) Craig Stratford (NZ) vs (4) Richard Green (UK)
(3) Allan Crome (NZ) vs (6) Brady James (NZ)
(7) Richard Thompson (NZ) vs (2) Daniel Woolbank (Australia)
The Men’s 45+ Open draw were the first to hit the court at 8am Saturday morning. The 64 draw has played out to its seeding so far with all the top eight seeds progressing through the first three rounds and into the quarterfinals, which will be played at 3.30pm Monday. Australia’s Tim Bateman will be among 7 other kiwis in the Quarters after sneaking past Michael Flood-Smith (NZ) in a five-setter. The only other round of 16 match to get past three games featured Stephen O’Toole (NZ) just managing to overcome Bruce Smith (NZ) in five.
Men's 45+ Open Quarterfinals
(1) Scott Gardiner (NZ) vs (8) Stephen O’Toole (NZ)
(5) Robert Clark (NZ) vs (4) Jason Oxenham (NZ)
(3) Tristran Franklin (NZ) vs (6) Troy Dunn (NZ)
(7) Tim Bateman (Australia) vs (2) Paul Bedford (NZ)
The Men’s 50+ Open draw looks to be one of the feature draws of the event with current 50+ world Masters champion Craig van der Wath the top seed alongside former world champion and North Shore local Gary Duberly. As with the other draws however it has played out to seeding so far with all top eight seeds into the quarterfinals.
Men's 50+ Open Quarterfinals
(1) Craig van der Wath (SA) vs (8) Paul Gardiner (NZ)
(5) Gary Duberly (NZ) vs (4) Nigel Lloyd (NZ)
(3) Grant Craig (NZ) vs (6) Clark Ellery (NZ)
(7) Richard van Rynbach (NZ) vs (2) Steven Wren (Canada)
The Men’s 55+ Open has a truly international flavour to it. All the top seeds have progressed to the second round of matches in the 64 draw with the quarterfinals scheduled for Monday evening at 6pm. Tenth seed Martin McKelvie (NZ) has managed to upset seventh seed Cameron Anderson (Australia) in five to book his place in the quarterfinals.
Men's 55+ Open Quarterfinals
(1) Peter Gilbee (Australia) vs (8) Michael White (NZ)
(5) John van Heeswijk (SA) vs (4) Antony Brettkelly (USA)
(3) Gary Barker (SA) vs (6) Mark Taylor (UK)
(10) Martin McKelvie (NZ) vs (2) Dale Robbins (Australia)
The Men’s 60+ Open draw has completed two round of matches with two upsets coming through. North Shore local Mark Waldin leads the charge as the division’s top seed, but will face plenty of stern competition along the way. It was Malawi's Gordon Benbow that upset 5th seed Lawrence Malan to book his place in the quarter finals and Trevor Harvey who took out Robert Sims.
Men's Open 60+ Quarter Finals
(1) Mark Waldin (NZ) vs (8) Kevin Smuts (Aus)
Gordon Benbow (Malawi) vs (4) Lawrence Skurr (NZ)
(3) Gary Cowan (Aus) vs (6) Wayne Seebeck (NZ)
Trevor Harvey (Aus) vs (2) Roy Oliver (Aus)
The Men’s 65+ Open draw saw tenth seed James Leddy (NZ) managing to get the victory over seventh seed Paul Devoy (NZ). NZ’s Hongi Laing takes the top position in the draw but will have to contend with a possible final showdown against former world Masters champion Trevor Colyer (NZ).
Men's Open 65+ Quarter Finals
(1) Hongi Laing (NZ) vs (9) Ross Cornes (NZ)
(5) Ronald Crosby (NZ) vs (4) Bruce Mellor (NZ)
(3) Chritopher Grainger (South Africa) vs (6) Ross Wells (NZ)
(10) James Leddy (NZ) vs (2) Trevor Colyer (NZ)
The Men’s 70+ Open draw had a series of play-in matches Saturday afternoon to decide which players progressed to the championship round robin draws. The division is led by Canadian top seed Gerald Poulton who will no doubt be in the sights of Kiwi Graeme Richardson who takes second seed .
The Men’s 75+ Open draw sees New Zealand racket sport legend Richard Purser as top seed in the round robin event. The first round saw Purser claim a 3/0 victory over Mike Grant (NZ) while in the other match Thomas Slattery (Australia) took a first-up win over Desmond Succo (SA).
The Men’s 80+ Open draw has only two players left standing due to the withdrawal of Australia’s Kenneth Rathgen leaving NZ’s Trevor Coulter and England’s Malcolm Gilham to face each other for the title.
The Women’s 35+ Open is highlighted by the entry of former world #6 and current Squash NZ High Performance Manager Shelley Kitchen. Second seed Jo Shanks (NZ) has had two wins whilst Kitchen has won her single match so far. The round robin draw is sure to see some good match ups over the coming days.
The Women’s 40+ Open draw saw no upsets in the first round but it was local Michelle Heron who upset higher seeded Erin Ellery to claim a spot in the semi-finals.
Women's 40+ Open Semi Finals
(1) Suk Hee Kim (NZ) vs (5) Michelle Heron (NZ)
(3) Trina Moore (NZ) vs (2) Nadine Cull (NZ)
The big drawcard for the competition is World Masters Games ambassador and 5x World Champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald of Australia. She will meet Sam Godfrey (NZ) in the quarterfinals at midday Monday after Godfrey defeated eighth seed Tracey Flux (NZ). The only other unseeded player to make the quarters was Shari Ball (NZ) who had a 3/0 win over Claire Kluyver of the Cayman Islands.
Women's 45+ Open Quarter Finals
(1) Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Australia) vs Sam Godfrey (NZ)
(5) Juli Voykovic (NZ) vs (3) Tanya Laurence (NZ)
(3) Mandy Kennedy (NZ) vs Shari Ball (NZ)
(7) Vivien Rundle (NZ) vs (2) Lisa Cowlard (NZ)
The Women’s 50+ Open features an international lineup of top seeds including former world Masters champions Susan Hillier of Australia (top seed) and Angelique Clifton Parks of South Africa (second seed). The top NZ hopes in the draw are Kathryn McKay (third seed) and Annie Halls (fourth seed).
Women's 50+ Open Quarter Finals
(1) Susan Hilier (Aus) vs (8) Di Tasker (NZ)
(5) Suzanne Dufresne (Canada) vs (4) Annie Hall (NZ)
(3) Kathryn McKay (NZ) vs (6) Julie Kressler (America)
(7) Juliet McWilliams (NZ) vs (2) Angelique Clifton Parks (South Africa)
The Women’s 55+ Open also has seen all but one of the top four seeds make it through to the semi finals with some tough battles along the way. Christine Ewart took out Mary Turnbull the fourth seed in 3 to secure her place in the semis.
Women's 55+ Open Semi Finals
(1) Susan Lawrence (USA) vs (5) Christine Ewart (NZ)
(3) Elizabeth Hamilton (NZ) vs (2) Phillippa Green (UK)
The Women’s 60+ Open has all run according to seeding so far with 3 Australians and 1 New Zealander left standing. The semifinals will be played on Monday evening.
Women's 60 + Open Semi Finals
(1) Anne Richards (Australia) vs (4) Napoli Teremaki (Australia)
(3) Sarah Wilson (Australia) vs (2) Freda Walker (NZ)
The Women’s 65+ Open followed suit with the top 4 seeds progressing to the semi-finals with Australia’s Susan Volzke, a former world Masters champion as the top seed.
Women's 65+ Open Semi Finals
(1) Susan Volcke (Aus) vs (4) Judith Orr (NZ)
(3) Gwen McGeown (NZ) vs (2) Laura Ramsay (Canada)
The Women’s 70+ Open will be played out over a round robin, with top seed Kaye Jackson (NZ) taking a 3/0 victory in her only match so far. Second seed Patricia Taylor (NZ) has also started convincingly with two 3/0 wins to begin her campaign.
Entry is free for spectators all week at the North Shore Squash Club and you can view all the draws (including the Recreation draws for each age group) and follow the action as it happens at www.northshoresquash.co.nz. The individual competition will continue through until Thursday and will be followed by the Teams competition from Thursday to Saturday.