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Top seeds squash the opposition

03 August 2002

The mixed doubles quarter-finals took place at the National Squash Centre earlier this morning.

Sarah Fitz-Gerald

Fitz-gerald swings into action at the National Squash Centre earlier today

Top seeds Chris Walker and Fiona Greaves won a breathtaking showcourt match against the third-seeded Australians Sarah Fitz-gerald and Paul Price to set up a showdown with the Malaysian second seeds Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee.

Fitz-gerald and Price opened up a 4-1 lead in the first game, but the English pair hit back and the contest became deadlocked at 8-8, as lengthy rallies pushed the scores to 14-14. Walker opted for a set-three outcome and the score moved on to a nail-biting 16-16 in front of a vocal crowd.

The Engliah pair clinched the opening game in 20 minutes, when Fitz-gerald forced a tricky return over the side line, the singles world No 1 slamming her racket into the glass in disgust.

It was much the same in the second, as the pairs were involved in thrilling exchanges to send the score to 13-13, the Australians levelling the match in a further 27 minutes with a 15-13 outcome.

But Walker and Greaves refused to lie down and produced sensational doubles squash in the third to storm into an 11-5 lead and eventually take the game and the match 15-7.

All four quarter-finals began at 11.00 on Saturday and the first names in the semi-finals were eigth seeds Leilani Rorani and Glen Wilson, who dismissed their fifth-seeded New Zealand team-mates Carol Owens and Daniel Sharplin with surprising ease 15-13, 15-3. The result deprived Owens of a potential third medal.

Rorani commented: "It was the hardest game. It stinks playing your own team-mates. When we came over here we'd not beaten them. Out of all the teams in this draw we didn't want to get them. They were disappointed as well. We had two good teams coming through that could have done well. I'm just glad it's over, the first game was so hard."

England's fourth seeds Stephanie Brind and Paul Johnson faced Australia's Robyn Cooper and Joe Kneipp on court eight for a place in the semis against the New Zealanders.

They lost a hard-fought opening game 15-11 in 26 minutes and the contest was settled in the Australians favour 20 mi9nutes later when they clinched the match 15-12.

The fourth quarter-final was the Wales versus Malaysia encounter on court three. Second seeds David Ong faced the unseeded Gavin Jones and Karen Hargreaves.

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