Doubles Pairings March into Knockouts

All four of Team England’s Men’s and Women’s squash doubles partnerships reached the knockout stages of their events at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last night.

Defending Men’s Doubles champions Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant eased past Papua New Guinea’s Schubert Maketu and Moreaina Wei 11-6, 11-7 in just 12 minutes to top Pool A with three wins, while third seeds James Willstrop and Daryl Selby routed St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Jason Doyle and Jules Snagg 11-2, 11-2 in the same time to head Pool C.

In the women’s doubles favourites Laura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf gained their second victory of the day by beating Trinidad and Tobago’s Kerrie Sample and Charlotte Knaggs 11-2, 11-4 in 13 minutes to win Pool A, while third seeds Alison Waters and Emma Beddoes claimed Pool C after beating Papua New Guinea’s Dorothy Boyce and Sheila Morove 11-2, 11-7 in only 11 minutes.

In the mixed doubles, sixth seeds Sarah Kippax and Daryl Selby overcame Welsh pairing David Evans and Saffery 8-11, 11-3, 11-8 in 47 minutes, before fourth seeds Peter Barker and Alison Waters defeated another Welsh duo – Tesni Evans and Peter Creed – 11-9, 10-11, 11-5 in 45 minutes.
Matthew said of his and Grant’s victory, which earned them a last-16 clash with Jamaica’s Chris Binnie and Bruce Burrowes:

"That was good fun, but it is the calm before the storm because we know now the singles ranking really goes out the window and medals are at stake. We are going to treat it as if we have no ranking, just like the pair we played were doing”.

Willstrop and Selby now face Wales’ Scott Fitzgerald and David Haley, but Willstrop stressed that the English pair’s top-10 world rankings mean nothing:

“Everything now is on a leveller in the doubles. We know we are both top 15 players in the world, but that goes out the window from now. We have to be so focused and ready, and respect every pair. The lines are too fine and the players are too good.

“We’ve had a lot of serious matches and it has been an intense few days for those who have played – and it will get intense again soon, so we wanted to enjoy it. These experiences aren’t going to keep coming around for the rest of our lives."

Massaro would have preferred another match on the glass court before she and Duncalf meet seventh-seeded Australians Lisa Camilleri and Donna Urquhart in the quarter-finals, but she pointed out that the top seeds are used to playing on glass courts in singles.

“It was a good game for us and we are safely through to tomorrow now," said the Lancastrian. "We can start thinking about the knockout stages.

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