Joel Hinds & Annie Au Strike Gold In Melbourne World Championships

Britain’s Joel Hinds and Hong Kong’s Annie Au shared gold in the World University Squash Championships after straight games victories in today’s (Wednesday) individual finals of the 7th staging of the event at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The British camp occupied three of the six podium spots on offer – with top seed Hinds, a student at Birmingham University in England making his third appearance in the biennial event, the team’s star after his 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 triumph after a fiery yet dominant performance over Germany’s second seed Jens Schoor.

“It was great – it’s my third time so it’s great to finally get that first place,” said the visibly exhausted but relieved and ecstatic 23-year-old from Derbyshire after his win.

Hinds become the second British winner of the men’s title, following success by Chris Ryder, now ranked 38 in the world, in 2006.

Annie Au, a student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University who is ranked 16 in the professional WISPA world rankings, put paid to a British double at Monash after beating Emma Chorley 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.

It was a brave performance by Chorley, a 3/4 seed from Bridgwater College in Somerset who secured a surprise place in the final after downing Australia’s brightest hope Melody Francis, the No2 seed, in the previous round.

The final concluded an impressive tournament run by the highly-rated Au who became the first World University champion from Hong Kong – making up for the disappointment of fellow countrywoman Rebecca Chiu’s runners-up finish ten years ago.

Briton Kirsty McPhee took third place in the women’s event after beating Melody Francis in the bronze medal match.

McPhee and Chorley’s attention will now turn to the team competition where the Britons will try to continue their run of hot form in the face of some fierce opposition from all across the globe.

Men’s final:
[1] Joel Hinds (GBR) bt [2] Jens Schoor (GER)                                    11-6, 11-7, 11-2

Third place play-off:
5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [5/8] Leo Au (HKG)                                  11-7, 11-5, 11-3

Women’s final:
[1] Annie Au (HKG) bt [3/4] Emma Chorley (GBR)                              11-8, 11-5, 11-4

Third place play-off:
[5/8] Kirsty McPhee (GBR) bt [2] Melody Francis (AUS)                       11-7, 12-14, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8


Chorley Raisies Hopes Of GB Double

English student Emma Chorley pulled off an impressive upset over home hope Melody Francis in today’s (Tuesday) women’s World University Squash Championships semi-finals to set up the prospect of the first ever double British gold at the 7th staging of the event at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

The 22-year-old 3/4 seed from Bridgwater in Somerset, a student at Bridgwater College, battled for four games to overcome Melody Francis, the second seed from nearby Sunbury who was leading Australian hopes in the world championships.

Despite being ranked almost 100 places lower in the world, Chorley charged to an 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10 victory over the world No55 from Deakin University to claim her unexpected place in the women’s final.

Chorley will now face the event’s highest-ranked player after top seed Annie Au despatched Britain’s Kirsty McPhee 11-5, 11-2, 11-2.

The 21-year-old from Hong Kong, ranked 16 in the world, arrived in Melbourne fresh from victory in the Des Pyramides Open in France last week – her seventh title on the professional WISPA World Tour. Au has also achieved significant success in the region after winning the Australian Open in Clare, South Australia, against expectations in August 2008.

And it was another Briton who denied the Au family double celebrations at Monash University after Joel Hinds beat Annie’s younger brother Leo Au 13-11, 11-8, 11-8 in the men’s semi-finals.

Hinds is seeded to win the men’s crown – and will be hoping that Chorley can spring a second upset to stand alongside him on the winner’s podium.

But the 23-year-old from Birmingham University – who is making his third successive appearance in the event after losing to the eventual champions both in 2006 and 2008 – will face still opposition in the final from Jens Schoor, the second seed from Germany.

Schoor, the 23-year-old world No 103 from Koblenz who is ranked just two places behind Hinds, ended US interest in the event when he beat 5/8 seed Todd Harrity, from Princeton University, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.

The men’s final will mark Hinds and Schoor’s first meeting – though Au and Chorley will be celebrating their second clash after first doing battle in the semi-finals of the Dutch Junior U19 Open exactly four years ago in Amsterdam, where left-hander Au prevailed in five games.

Men’s semi-finals:
[1] Joel Hinds (GBR) bt [5/8] Leo Au (HKG) 13-11, 11-8, 11-8
[2] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6

Women’s semi-finals:
[1] Annie Au (HKG) bt [5/8] Kirsty McPhee (GBR) 11-5, 11-2, 11-2
[3/4] Emma Chorley (GBR) bt [2] Melody Francis (AUS) 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10

Leo Keeps Au Double Bid Alive In Melbourne

Hong Kong’s Leo Au battled to a five-game upset in today’s (Monday) men’s quarter-finals of the World University Squash Championships to keep alive hopes of the first ever sibling final double in the 7th staging of the event in Melbourne, Australia.

38 students from 11 countries are competing in the week-long event at Monash University, where FISU, the world governing body for university sport, is represented by Kenny Chow and the World Squash Federation by Vice President Heather Deayton.

Au, a 20-year-old student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, stemmed a fightback by Colin West to beat the 3/4 seed from Canada 11-1, 11-4, 7-11, 3-11, 11-5.

The 5/8 seed will now face men’s event favourite Joel Hinds after the 23-year-old Briton, representingBirmingham University, despatched South African Richard Colburn 11-3, 11-8, 11-3.

In the women’s event, Hong Kong favourite Annie Au remains on course to reach the final after dismissing USA’s Kristen Lange 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.  The 21-year-old represents the same University as her younger brother Leo.  If both reach the finals, they would be the first siblings to do so in the 14-year history of the championships.

Miss Au – ranked 16 in the world, and the highest-ranked player in the event – now faces Kirsty McPhee, one of three Britons in the semi-finals.  The 5/8 seed from Leeds Metropolitan University needed five games to overcome surprise opponent Senada Haupt, an unseeded 20-year-old from South Africa, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6.

Men’s 1st round:
Marcus Phua (SIN) bt [9/16] Marcus Greslehner (AUT) 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8
Alex Domenick (USA) bt [9/16] Michael Pittams (NZL) 13-11, 11-7, 11-5
[9/16] Fred Reid (CAN) bt Daniel Haider (AUT) 11-5, 11-7, 11-5
Ho Fai Chui (HKG) bt [9/16] Luke Sims (AUS) 14-16, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9
[9/16] Eduardo Gonzales De Chaves (ESP) bt Alan McGuigan (RSA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-6
[9/16] Christopher Hanson (USA) bt Christo Potgeiter (RSA) 4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7
[9/16] Adrian Dudzicki (CAN) bt Sean Rong (SIN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3

2nd round:
[1] Joel Hinds (GBR) bt Marcus Phua (SIN) 11-4, 11-9, 11-6
[5/8] Richard Colburn (RSA) bt Alex Domenick (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-5
[5/8] Leo Au (HKG) bt [9/16] Fred Reid (CAN) 11-6, 11-9, 11-5
[3/4] Colin West (CAN) bt Ho Fai Chui (HKG) 11-9, 11-3, 11-2
[3/4] Peter Creed (GBR) bt [9/16] Eduardo Gonzales De Chaves (ESP) 11-8, 11-8, 11-4
[5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [9/16] Sam Brown (AUS) 11-3, 11-5, 11-9
[5/8] Chris Hall (GBR) bt [9/16] Christopher Hanson (USA) 15-13, 11-2, 11-8
[2] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [9/16] Adrian Dudzicki (CAN) 3-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2

[1] Joel Hinds (GBR) bt [5/8] Richard Colburn (RSA) 11-3, 11-8, 11-3
[5/8] Leo Au (HKG) bt [3/4] Colin West (CAN) 11-1, 11-4, 7-11, 3-11, 11-5
[5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) bt [3/4] Peter Creed (GBR) 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5
[2] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [5/8] Chris Hall (GBR) 7-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-6

Women’s 1st round:
[5/8] Kristen Lange (USA) bt Selena Shaikh (AUS) 11-3, 11-4, 11-1
[5/8] Kirsty McPhee (GBR) bt Laura Gemmell (CAN) 11-8, 11-6, 11-8
Senada Haupt (RSA) bt [3/4] Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-2, 11-7, 11-7
[3/4] Emma Chorley (GBR) bt Nicole Chua (SIN) 11-2, 11-5, 11-2
[5/8] Logan Greer (USA) bt Stephanie Smith (NZL) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4
[5/8] Shin Nga Leung (HKG) bt Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9
[2] Melody Francis (AUS) bt Micaala Seth (CAN) 11-2, 11-4, 11-4

[1] Annie Au (HKG) bt [5/8] Kristen Lange (USA) 11-5, 11-3, 11-6
[5/8] Kirsty McPhee (GBR) bt Senada Haupt (RSA) 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6
[3/4] Emma Chorley (GBR) bt [5/8] Logan Greer (USA) 11-2, 11-7, 11-9
[2] Melody Francis (AUS) bt [5/8] Shin Nga Leung (HKG) 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9