Birminghams Bativala Claims Semi Final Spot On Home Soil
An epic performance by Rustom Bativala in the men’s O55 has guaranteed Birmingham a local semi-finalist in tomorrow’s World Masters Squash Championships.
Bativala battled for almost an hour against his higher seeded Swiss opponent Rene Stofer at the University of Birmingham, in a match that had everything.
After losing a tight first 13/11 Brativala managed to sneak a close second 12/10 to draw level, with nothing between the pair the match looked destined to go to five. However, Stofer came out and demolished the third game 11/1 and with the game at 2-1, it looked like there was only going to be one winner.
A brave Brativala pulled himself together and showed great strength of character to take the next game 11/8 before winning the fifth with a nerve wrecking 12/10 victory to take the match 3-2.
Brativala commented: “It was more a mental than a physical battle, I had to keep focus and concentrate on his backhand as much as I could, his forehand is very strong. It wasn’t looking good when I lost the third 11/1, but I managed to get back into it.”
“Apparently he got a let he shouldn’t have when I was 10/8 in the fifth, so I’m glad I managed to take it 12/10 or I would have been really depressed! It’s a good result for me, being seeded lower. I don’t usually travel to these events but I live in Birmingham so it was obvious to enter this one,” he added.
The impressive showcourt at the Bramall Auditorium has also played host to plenty of cracking matches already and is the venue for the majority of the younger age group finals.
Number one seed in the men’s O35, Omar El Borolossy who enjoyed a successful professional career, winning 12 PSA title, two World team title and 8 Egyptian National Titles, has made his way through to the semi-finals after dispatching Australian Glenn Hitch 3-0.
The number one seeds also prevailed in the men’s O40 and O45’s with Craig Van Der Wath beating England’s Stephen Mcloughlin, who put up a good fight at the beginning before succumbing to the South African’s strength 14/12, 11/5, 11/2.
Ireland’s Derek Ryan also looked in great form controlling the majority of the game against England’s Nick Wall, taking a 3-0 victory.
In the Women’s O35 Scottish number two seed Wendy Maitland-Jones had a tough 3-1 victory, in a match that lasted almost an hour against Australian Jane Kennedy, whilst the number one seed Sabine Schoene of Germany was involved in a more comfortable affair with a 11/6, 11/3, 11/7 win.
Laura Mylotte has also secured her semi-final place with a victory against Germany’s Carola Weiss. The former Irish world no.43 was rarely troubled and showed why she may just trouble the second seed tomorrow.
The women’s O65 has been left wide open after both top seeds fell at the quarter final stage.
England’s Anna Manley caused the biggest upset by beating firm favourite, Australian Marilyn Kennedy 11/4, 11/8, 11/6 whilst in the opposite side of the draw second seed, South African Sheena Worwood, went down 3-1 to unseeded Kaye Jackson of New Zealand.
Worcestershire’s Bett Dryhurst continues to go strongly beating South African Margaret Hunt-Kemp 12/10, 6/11, 11/6, 11/8
Semi-finals take place tomorrow (Thursday) at the University of Birmingham and Edgbaston Priory Club.
For full results and schedule visit: www.squashworldmasters.com
Snapshot from the players:
Carola Weiss – W Over 35 – Germany
“It’s my first master’s event and it’s been a perfect experience. All the staff is really nice and helpful. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Sabine Schoene – W Over 35 Germany
“It’s been a great event, no complains at all. And, I am glad to be still in the draw and with the opportunity to defend my title.”
Steven O’Toole – M Over 40 New Zealand
“Organisation, timing and scheduling has been damn good. Excellent tournament.”
Nick Taylor – M Over 40 England
“Really happy with the venue and it’s really nice to play in some really nice clubs with great facilities. And, the glass/show court in Bramall auditorium is absolutely beautiful.”