The lucky loser Gary Wheadon’s phenomenal run has finally been stopped by another local boy and number two seed Shaun Le Roux. From the very first point Le Roux made sure that Wheadon felt every single lunge after 5 gruelling days of qualifiers and main draw matches and the plan worked perfectly as he proved just too strong, too quick and too accurate for Wheadon who was noticeably hurting from all the previous matches. Wheadon gave it his all as he always does but Le Roux never gave him an inch and ended up winning 3-0 in just over 27 minutes.
Wheadon had this to say “Having stopped playing on tour a few years ago, I relish the chance to give the boys still on tour a bit of a run, even more so on my own doorstep. To be up in my qualifier, then down, then up and then down and out in 5 was hard but two people told me I would draw my own name and now the only mistake I made was not buying a lottery ticket on the way home that night! After then seeing the draw, I felt if I played well I could trouble one or two of the guys.”
The remaining semi-final between Mohamed Reda and Tom Ford was a completely opposite match lasting 79 minutes with both players showing incredible movement, superb retrieving, fantastic shots and very cool heads as the momentum shifted back and forth constantly. Ford managed to win the first 11-9 after a short blood stoppage at 9 all for a cut on his hand but Reda quickly regained his composer and went on to win the next two 11/5 and 11/7 quite comfortably. It was then Ford’s turn to find his form and touch again as he won the fourth 11/4 only to come out in the fifth and find himself immediately under pressure again from a focused and determined Reda. Great entertaining squash followed and even though it was tight in the end with Reda only winning the 5th 11/7 he always was in front and looked in control at all times in the final game.
So we move onto the finals with both the number 1 and 2 seeds ready to do battle in a repeat of last year’s final between an Egyptian and a South African. It was Egyptian Aboulghar who triumphed over local player Leeuw last year, will history repeat itself or will a South African raise the trophy this time around?
Come out and support the finalists tomorrow night from 17:30 at WPCC.
A sincere thank you to all the markers who did duty throughout the week especially those who served at the early fixtures each evening.
We hope that you all enjoyed the week’s squash and that you will support the WP Closed Championships from 7 – 14 June.
Entry forms can be picked up from the Tournament desk or emailed to you on request.