Seeds fall around Aussie Palmer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Seeds fall around Aussie Palmer

03/12/2005 06:30:47 AM Comments (0)

Australian David Palmer is the highest seed remaining in the men's competition following a dramatic day of upsets at the World Open Squash Championships in Hong Kong.

On Friday Englishmen Peter Nicol and James Willstrop knocked out the title favourite Thierry Lincou and No.2 seed Jonathon Power in their semi-final match-ups, while Egypt's Amr Shabana also despatched fourth seed Lee Beachill in straight games to leave the door wide open for another Palmer triumph.

Palmer, the third seed and 2002 champion, became the only predicted semi-finalist after beating compatriot Anthony Ricketts in a five-set thriller 11-9 2-11 11-9 7-11 11-8 in 73 minutes.

The Australian will now meet Willstrop in one semi-final in a repeat of their meeting in the Qatar Classic final, while Nicol and Shabana will contest the other.

Lincou, top seed in the men's competition, took the opening game against sixth seed Nicol, but the 1999 champion took control from there to win 8-11 11-3 11-5 11-9 in 46 minutes.

Shabana was in scintillating form as he quashed Lee Beachill, the world No.5, 11-5 11-7 11-4 in 31 minutes.

Just 24 hours after overtaking 1998 world champion Jonathon Power in the PSA world rankings for the first time, James Willstrop endorsed his status as the world No.2 by beating the Canadian 11-6 7-11 11-6 11-6 in 45 minutes.

By contrast, the top four seeds survived the women's quarter-finals to leave Australian sisters Rachael Grinham and Natalie Grinham meeting in the semi-final in the top half of the draw, and the new world No.1 Vanessa Atkinson facing Malaysia's British Open champion Nicol David in the other last four encounter.

The all-Grinham women's semi-final will be the first match in the history of the World Open to feature two sisters.

Top seed Rachael put aside the disappointment of losing her world number one ranking this week to defeat Ireland's tenth seed Madeline Perry 9-4 9-4 10-8 in 39 minutes.

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