10:25 am
16 Jul 2024

Champions Boswell & Brown On Course For Successful Defence In Clare

7 Jul 2007

Australian hopes of keeping the country's most prestigious squash titles in domestic hands have been kept alive by Stewart Boswell and Kasey Brown after the defending champions came through today's semi-finals of the Clare Valley Australian Open at the Valleys Lifestyle Centre in Clare, South Australia.

Canberra's Boswell will try and make it two national titles in a row when he takes on fellow countryman Cameron Pilley in Sunday's final. The 28-year-old was too good for Sydney's Scott Arnold in their semi-final, winning 11-3, 11-5, 11-10 (3-1).

Pilley took four games to beat the tricky New Zealander Kashif Shuja 11-4, 11-7, 10-11 (0-2), 11-6.

After the first semi-final Arnold conceded he was outclassed by world number 12 Boswell. "It was only in the third game that it clicked that I couldn't just play the length that I play against guys my level if I wanted to compete," said the 21-year-old sixth seed. So I knew I had to start being more aggressive and I started playing better, but Stewart's just another class."

In a match of contrasting styles, the powerful Pilley held off the deceptive Shuja. The world number 22 was cruising at 11-4, 11-7 when Shuja changed tactics and began to slow the ball down. The kiwi grabbed the third game and was looking a real threat before Pilley regrouped and closed out the match.

"He's a decent player, he can play some shots," Pilley said. "I went on there thinking I had to tighten things up a bit more than over the past two days."

Brown will meet top-seeded New Zealander Shelley Kitchen in the final of the women's WISPA World Tour event. The No2 seed took over an hour to subdue the challenge from compatriot Lisa Camilleri in four games, while Kitchen overpowered third seed Amelia Pittock in straight games 9-1, 9-3, 9-4.

Brown took the first two games against Camilleri relatively comfortably and looked headed for a straightforward win but then had to hold off a fight back from the Queenslander before winning 9-1, 9-4, 6-9, 9-1 in 65 minutes.

World No16 Brown won her first Australian Open title in Adelaide last year and has been widely tipped to defend it in Clare.

"I was feeling pretty comfortable in the first two games and went really well," Brown said. "I played really well but then my length dropped off and I started to struggle after that, and then I had to grind it out.

"I lost my head a little bit then through the third game, but I was able to get it back in the fourth."
Whilst Brown has now had two hard and long matches in succession, Kitchen has had two relatively easy matches and said she would go into the final fresher than her opponent.

She also said she wanted to get some revenge over Brown, who beat Kitchen the last time the two met, at the Central Open in New Zealand last month.

"When we played last, she played really well and I didn't play very well at all so it would be nice to get on there and do a bit better," Kitchen said. "Tomorrow's going to be really tough so I'm happy I've saved a bit of energy today."

Men's semi-finals:
[1] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [6] Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-3, 11-5, 11-10 (3-1) (36m)
[2] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-4, 11-7, 10-11 (0-2), 11-6 (50m)

Women's semi-finals:
[1] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [3] Amelia Pittock (AUS) 9-1, 9-3, 9-4 (29m)
[2] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [7] Lisa Camilleri (AUS) 9-1, 9-4, 6-9, 9-1 (65m)