8:40 am
16 Jul 2024

Top Seeds Saunter Into Australian Open Semis

6 Jul 2007

The top two seeds cruised into the men's semi-finals of the Clare Valley Australian Open after straight games victories in today's quarter-finals of the PSA Tour event at the Valleys Lifestyle Centre in Clare, South Australia.

World number 12 Stewart Boswell showed he was the man to beat when he knocked out fellow Australian Steve Finitsis 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 in 37 minutes. The top-seeded defending champion from Canberra now plays New South Welshman Scott Arnold in Saturday's semi-finals as he bids to win his third Australian Open and his second in consecutive years.

The second semi-final will be between second seed Cameron Pilley from Yamba in New South Wales and Kashif Shuja, the third seed from New Zealand. Pilley was too good for qualifier Nathan Turnbull, while Shuja edged rising star Ryan Cuskelly.

The 28-year-old Boswell won his first Australian Open title in 2002 when he was at the peak of his form, culminating in a world ranking of four. A serious injury saw him off the tour for over 12 months but since his return 18 months ago he has climbed back to his current position and is looking to break back into the top 10.

"It was probably a bit tougher than last night (when he beat Queensland junior Zac Alexander)," Boswell said. "Steve's a bit more experienced and we've had some pretty hard matches before. I've won them 3-0 but we've had some tough rallies and the scores don't reflect the matches.

"I'm feeling alright - I've got a semi against Scott Arnold tomorrow, my practice partner, so I'll just try and get ready for that one."

Sixth-seeded Sydneysider Arnold caused a minor upset by ousting good friend Aaron Frankcomb, the tournament fourth seed, 11-6, 11-10 (2/0), 8-11, 11-7 in a marathon 95-minute quarter-final.

"I think the first game went for about half an hour and when you start a match like that you know you're going to be out there for a while," Arnold said. "Me and Aaron lived together and trained together every day for the past four years so we know each other's games really well so it was always going to be a pretty tight match."

Defending champion Kasey Brown looked in ominous form in the women's WISPA World Tour event as she defeated Australian Institute of Sport team-mate Peta Hughes in straight games in the quarter-finals.

Brown took 52 minutes to defeat Hughes 9-2, 9-1, 9-3 in a match that was much closer than the scoreline suggests. She now faces Queensland's Lisa Camilleri for a place in Sunday's final, with the winner to take on either top seeded New Zealander Shelley Kitchen or in-form Victorian Amelia Pittock.

Brown said Hughes made her work for every point. "I don't thing the score reflected the match because it was quite tough," Brown said. "It went for quite a long time, but it was good to get that scoreline and get a bit of confidence for the next round."

Camilleri caused the first upset in the women's draw when she crushed fourth seed Elise Ng of Hong Kong 9-1, 9-3, 9-0. The seventh seed, from Tully in far north Queensland, overpowered an out of sorts Ng to set up her semi-final against Brown.

"I just concentrated on getting a good length - I sort of overpowered her," Camilleri said. "I saw her play yesterday against Kerry Wickett, one of the New Zealand girls, and I've been beating those young girls quite consistently, so watching her yesterday gave me a bit of confidence."

Kitchen recovered from being 2-8 down in the first game against Donna Urquhart to win 10-8, 9-0, 9-5 and book a semi-final against third seed Pittock. Kitchen looked in deep trouble early on but she came back to dominate her rival as Urquhart began to tire and the New Zealander won comfortably in the end.

"At 2-8 I just thought I had to hang in there," Kitchen said. "For her to get to eight I made so many errors - she played some really good squash but I also hit the tin with four or five in a row."

Men's quarter-finals:
[1] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [7] Steve Finitsis (AUS) 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (37m)
[6] Scott Arnold (AUS) bt [4] Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 11-6, 11-10 (2-0), 8-11, 11-7 (95m)
[3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 11-9 (46m)
[2] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Nathan Turnbull (AUS) 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 (24m)

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [6] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 10-8, 9-0, 9-6 (40m)
[3] Amelia Pittock (AUS) bt [8] Sachiko Shinta (JPN) 9-1, 9-6, 9-3 (28m)
[7] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) bt [4] Elise Ng (HKG) 9-1, 9-3, 9-0 (32m)
[2] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [5] Peta Hughes (AUS) 9-2, 9-1, 9-3 (52m)