10:19 am
18 May 2024

John Rooney Extends Local Interest In Irish Open In Dublin

22 Apr 2009

John Rooney boosted local interest in the main draw of the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open when he beat Jesse Engelbrecht of South Africa in the qualifying finals of the $25,000 PSA World Tour squash event in its seventh year at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in Dublin.

After beating compatriot Derek Ryan in his first qualifier, Rooney started strongly against top qualifying seed Engelbrecht. But after taking the first game 11-4, it became apparent the South African was suffering from a strain picked up in round one and, after Rooney took a 9/1 lead in game two, Engelbrecht was forced to withdraw.

The 29-year-old from Galway, who now joins Irish players Liam Kenny and Arthur Gaskin in the main draw, is rewarded with a place against top seed Thierry Lincou, the world No7 from France who is making his first appearance in the event since 2000.

Swiss teenager Nicolas Mueller beat Frenchman Yann Perrin 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 in 30 minutes and now faces talented Englishman Alister Walker, the third seed in the top half of the draw.

The lower half of the draw opened up following the late announcement of the withdrawal of number two seed Adrian Grant, the world No11 from London who is suffering with a groin injury. The in-form left-hander is replaced in the draw by lucky loser Yann Perrin - leaving fourth seed Mohamed El Shorbagy, the reigning world junior champion from Egypt, the highest-ranked player in the half.

In the qualifying finals of the women's $25,000 WISPA World Tour event, Italian Manuela Manetta had a tough battle with talented 17-year-old Indian Dipika Pallikal. The more experienced Manetta eventually pulled through 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5 in 43 minutes.

In one of the strongest draws in recent times the Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open first round main draw boasts a strong Irish presence in both the men's and women's draws - with Ireland's most successful female Madeline Perry seeded three.

Perry, a three-time former champion of the Dublin event, faces England's Lauren Siddall - who scored one of the best wins of her career by upsetting Indian champion Joshna Chinappa 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 in 24 minutes.

Men's qualifying finals:
John Rooney (IRL) bt Jesse Engelbrecht (RSA) 11-4, 9-1 ret. (10m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Yann Perrin (FRA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-5 (30m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Gilly Lane (USA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (65m)
Rob Sutherland (WAL) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 7-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (45m)

Women's qualifying finals:
Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5 (43m)
Annelize Naude (NED) bt Adel Weir (RSA) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (25m)
Orla Noom (NED) bt Alexandra Norman (ENG) 5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 (47m)
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (24m)