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12 Jul 2024

Giant-Killer Russell Marches On At World Hardball Doubles Championships In St Louis

24 Sep 2017

England's John Russell twice defied the seedings on day three of the Stifel World Hardball Doubles Squash Championships by contributing towards the downfall of two sets of top seeds in the biennial event in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

Partnered with Tina Rix in the Mixed quarter-finals in the morning, the No.7 seeds despatched Australian favourites Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14.

The English pair will now face USA's Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis who also claimed an upset after beating fourth seeds Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5.

Despite being title-holders in the Men's championship, Russell and Clive Leach are the No.4 seeds. But in an all-English semi-final, the dynamic duo brushed aside No.1 seeds Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith 15-5, 15-8, 15-11 to celebrate a fourth appearance in five finals since 2009.

Leach & Russell will face Canadians Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke for the title. In a dramatic semi in the lower half of the draw, Brinkman & Clarke edged out fellow non-seeds James Bamber & Alex Stait 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14 to put paid to an all-English climax.

Order was restored in the Women's event when the top two seeded pairings set up the anticipated final. Australian favourites, sisters Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny, defeated Canadians Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating 15-11, 15-12, 15-11, while Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker, the second seeds from England, beat compatriots Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12.

Men's Final line-up:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) v Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN)

Women's Final line-up:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) v [2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG)

Mixed Semi-final line-up:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) v [6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA)
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) v [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN)

For live coverage and streaming, visit www.worlddoubles.com/live/

Men's semi-finals:
[4] Clive Leach & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Michael Ferreira & Jonny Smith (ENG) 15-5, 15-8, 15-11
Thomas Brinkman & Robin Clarke (CAN) bt James Bamber & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-13, 12-15, 6-15, 15-8, 15-14

Women's semi-finals:
[1] Narelle Krizek & Natarsha McElhinny (AUS) bt [3] Stephanie Hewitt & Seanna Keating (CAN) 15-11, 15-12, 15-11
[2] Suzie Pierrepont & Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt [4] Tina Rix & Victoria Simmonds (ENG) 15-11, 11-15, 15-12, 15-12

Mixed quarter-finals:
[7] Tina Rix & John Russell (ENG) bt [1] Natarsha McElhinny & Scott Arnold (AUS) 15-6, 15-13, 5-15, 15-14
[6] Natalie Grainger & Christopher Callis (USA) bt [4] Victoria Simmonds & Michael Ferreira (ENG) 14-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-5
[3] Stephanie Hewitt & Viktor Berg (CAN) bt Georgina Stoker & Alex Stait (ENG) 15-8, 15-3, 15-11
[5] Suzie Pierrepont & James Stout (ENG) bt [2] Narelle Krizek & Matt Jenson (AUS) 15-10, 12-15, 15-12, 15-13