2:15 am
14 Dec 2017

Stuart Davenport Makes Long-Awaited Comeback in World Masters

9 Oct 2008

Twenty-one years after retiring from the world squash circuit, New Zealand's Stuart Davenport has been named as top seed in his age group (Over-45) at the Head World Masters Squash Championships to be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, from October 19-25.

The former world No3 and US Open champion has played very little squash since that time, although he confesses to have packed in some extra games over the last few weeks.

"I didn't pick up a racket for about eight or nine years after I retired - and over the last three years I have been having only one game a week at Club Kelburn," said the 46-year-old.

"I do keep pretty fit, so I think I will be reasonably competitive - but at these sort of events you will also get someone who is super fit and when you have to play a match every day, the body will take a bit to recover. There are also some pretty handy guys in the grade. I can remember playing Trevor Wilkinson from South Africa back in my competitive days. He is going to be a tough customer.

"The squash aside, it is going to be great to catch up with so many different people," he said.

Davenport started his squash in Christchurch before his family moved to Wellington in the late 1970s.

Interestingly, it is almost exactly 24 years ago that Davenport reached the final of the World Masters in England. Seeded fifth in the then major event on the professional circuit, the Kiwi battled with Jahangir Khan before going down to the Pakistan legend in four games.

Seven hundred and sixty nine players from 35 countries will compete in the eight-day World Masters Championships - which will be held at six host clubs, Christchurch, Christchurch Football, Burnside, Squashways, Richmond and Squash HQ.

Top men's seeds:

O35: 1 Jason Mudge (AUS); 2 Scott Gardiner (NZL), 3/4 Clive Ewins (ENG)/Paul Thomas (ENG)

O40: 1 Peter Gunter (ENG); 2 Danny McQueen (NZL); 3/4 Gary Duberly (NZL)/Stephen McLoughlin (ENG)

O45: 1 Stuart Davenport (NZL); 2 Greg Pearman (ENG); 3/4 Bruce Kaiser (RSA)/Warren Miller (AUS)

O50: 1 Geoffrey Davenport (AUS); 2 Ian Bradburn (ENG); 3/4 Zainal Abidin (SIN)/Pierr Roodt (RSA)

O55: 1 Geoff Redfern (ENG); 2 Michael Bester (RSA); 3/4 Alan Colburn (RSA)/Wayne Seebeck (NZL)

O60: 1 Philip Ayton (ENG); 2 Brian Cook (AUS); 3/4 Hugh Colburn (AUS)/Roy Plumstead (RSA)

O65: 1 Adrian Wright (ENG); 2 Richard Purser (NZL); 3/4 Graham Fisher (ENG)/Tom Slattery (AUS)

O70: 1 John Woodliffe (ENG); 2 Brian Heath (RSA); 3/4 Barry Gardiner (NZL)/Lance Kinder (ENG)

O75: 1 Jonathan Irving (RSA); 2 Bill Berry (NZL); 3/4 Maurice Peters (NZL)/Nino Sydney (AUS)

Top women's seeds:

O35: 1 Amanda Hopps (AUS); 2 Isabelle Tweedle (ENG); 3/4 Judith Casbolt (NZL)/Pat Kekewich (RSA)

O40: 1 Sarah Nelson (AUS); 2 Kathryn Austin (NZL); 3/4 Kylee Hammett (AUS)/Claire Kluyver (ENG)

O45: 1 Leora Greenwood (RSA); 2 Susan Williams (AUS); 3/4 Bea de Dreu-Spitse (NED)/Janet V D Westhuizen (RSA)

O50: 1 Anne Richards (AUS); 2 Pauline Douglas (SCO); 3/4 Julie Field (ENG)/Lisa O'Grady (RSA)

O55: 1 Sue Volzke (AUS); 2 Gaye Mitchell (AUS); 3/4 Kathleen Paterson (AUS)/Francy Stephenson (NZL)

O60: 1 Ann Manley (ENG); 2 Averil Murphy (ENG); 3/4 Bett Dryhurst (ENG)/Marilyn Kennedy (AUS)

O65: 1 Jean Grainger (RSA); 2 Barbara Sanderson (IRL); 3/4 Patsy Fleming (NZL)/Joan Witton (ENG)