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Unknown Upstarts Gain British Open Finals
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Birmingham, SquashCanada news by CSNweb
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND... In a tournament which has been ravaged by an unprecedented rout of the top men's seeds, the British Open Squash Championships returned to a semblance of normalcy today.
David Evans of Wales toppled giant killer David Palmer of Australia with unexpected ease, 15-5, 15-6, 15-11, while Paul Price of Australia had a tougher battle before eliminating England's Marc Chaloner, 17-16, 11-15, 15-7, 15-5. Evans and Price meet in tomorrow's historic final which, for the first time in this event's 70-year history, will feature players who are not among the top four seeds.
Price (no. 14) almost didn't enter this event due to injury but upended Englishman Simon Parke (no. 4) en route to his victory over Chaloner.
Evans (no. 10) derailed Egyptian Ahmed Barada (no. 3) while Palmer (no. 8) caused the biggest stir when he defeated Canada's Jonathon Power (no. 2) in the most thrilling match of the championship. Palmer paid the price for his marathon against Power: "I don't like making excuses because all the players face the same possibilities but I was definitely feeling loggy in my legs after the long match last night.
Evans agreed: "I definitely sensed that David was slower in getting to the ball and this made a big difference as I was able to dictate play and take some risks playing drop shots he seemed unlikely to reach."
Chaloner hadn't beaten Price in their previous encounters but he seemed poised to take the first game when he had game ball at 14-8, only to squander that advantage and eventually lose the frame 17-16.
Price said: "At 14-8 down I told myself to relax and the advice worked wonders for me. After that I settled down and played more steadily." Price conceded that he had never beaten Evans in their prior matches. However, in a tournament that produced such a cascade of upsets, smart punters would be wise to hedge their bets on the final's outcome.
Among the women, New Zealand's Leilani Joyce (no. 2) appeared to be on cruise control as she sailed into the final with an impressive all-court game which proved to be too much for England's Linda Charman (no. 4). The scores were 10-8, 9-0, 9-4. In tomorrow's showdown, Joyce will meet England's Sue Wright, a qualifier and veteran who reached the final of this event in 1991. Wright was a surprise victor over Carol Owens (no. 3) of Australia, 10-9, 9-5, 3-9, 9-5.
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David Evans - Surprise Finalist
Paul Price - surprise finalist from
|Obtain these semi final matches on video: Price over Chaloner 3/1; Evans over Palmer 3/0, Joyce over Charman 3/0, Wright over Owens 3/1; quarters: Palmer over Power 3/2, Price over Kneipp 3/2, Wright over Atkinson 3/2, Owens over Fitz-Gerald 3/0. Special pre-release offer.|
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