Kubukeli & Smith Snatch World Masters Final Slots In Hong Kong

RESULTS: WSF World Masters Squash Championships, Hong Kong China

Men’s Over-40 semi-finals:
[1] Craig Rowland (AUS) bt [3/4] Stephen Cooke (NED) 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (27m)
[5/8] Zuko Kubukeli (RSA) bt [2] Craig Wapnick (RSA) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (26m)

Men’s Over-45 semi-finals:
[1] Craig van der Wath (RSA) bt [3/4] Jean-Jacques Pineau (FRA) 11-8, 14-12, 11-2 (38m)
[2] Michael Tootill (RSA) bt [5/8] Predi Fritsche (GER) 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 (22m)

Men’s Over-50 semi-finals:
[1] Brett Martin (AUS) bt [3/4] Peter Hill (HKG) 11-3, 12-14, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (49m)
[2] Willie Hosey (IRL) bt [5/8] Jonathan Clark (ENG) 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (35m)

Men’s Over-55 semi-finals:
[1] Geoffrey Davenport (AUS) bt Dave Fuller (AUS) 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
[5/8] Kelvin Smith (AUS) bt [2] Zainal Abidin (SIN) 11-8, 14-12, 11-9 (30m)

Seeded only to make the quarter-finals, South African Zuko Kubukeli and Australian Kelvin Smith carved out places in the finals of the WSF World Masters Squash Championships in Hong Kong after successful upsets in today’s semi-finals of the Men’s Over-40 and Over-55 events, respectively.

Kubukeli, a 41-year-old from Johannesburg who only just made it into the top 300 on the PSA World Tour, took just 26 minutes to see off second-seeded compatriot Craig Wapnick, a former world No32, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5.

Underdog Kubukeli (pictured above in World Masters action with Wapnick, rear) will now have another Craig to contend with when he takes on Craig Rowland, the top seed and ex-world No7 from Australia, in Friday’s Over-40 final.

Kelvin Smith, a world top ten player in the mid-80s, wound back the clock to despatch Singapore’s No2 seed Zainal Abidin 11-8, 14-12, 11-9 to earn a surprise place in the Men’s Over-55 final. The 55-year-old will line up in the final against fellow countryman Geoffrey Davenport, the 56-year-old top seed looking for his fifth World Masters title since 2003.

In what was described as the ‘Match of the Day’, Australian squash hero Brett Martin – the 51-year-old former world No2 making his World Masters debut – recovered from 2/1 down to beat Hong Kong-based former Singapore international Peter Hill 11-3, 12-14, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 49 minutes.

Top seed in the Men’s Over-50 event, Martin (pictured above in action with left-hander Hill) will now face second seed Willie Hosey after the Irishman beat England’s Jonathan Clark 11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5.

South Africa are already assured of two titles, while Australians feature in ten of the finals and are guaranteed three gold medals.

Official event website: www.worldmasterssquash.com.hk

World Masters images courtesy of www.squashpics.com

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