Saturday, January 31, 2009

Singles seeds through to the English National semi-finals

THIRD SEED Harry Wright is through to the semi-finals for the first time since he made it as a teenager by overcoming former England squad member Toby Honey in the quarter-finals.

Wright (Lancs) beat the sixth seed from Surrey 21-18 21-15 and now faces second seed Carl Baxter (Avon), who put out 2002 champion Mark Constable 21-13 21-16.

For Wright it is the first time he has been beyond the second round since the Championships came to Manchester six years ago.

Top seed and defending champion Rajiv Ouseph (Middlesex) is though to tonight's last four after beating eighth seed Jamie Bonsels (Surrey) 21-16 21-13.

He will meet Surrey's Ben Beckman, who put out Nottinghamshire's seventh seed Neil White 21-14 21-11.

In the women's singles the game attracting most attention was the clash between Warwickshire second seed Jill Pittard and 16-year-old Panuga Riou of Hampshire.

Pittard had just too much experience for the youngster and booked her semi-final place with a 21-16 21-15 win. She now faces Cheshire's Helen Davies, who knocked out Fontaine Chapman of Warwickshire in the only singles quarter-final to go to three games.

Davies won 21-16 15-21 21-9 in what was also the longest singles quarter-final at 41 minutes.

In the top half of the draw Jersey’s No 1 seed Elizabeth Cann, chasing her fourth title in five years, cruised past Nottinghamshire's Alexandra Lindley 21-10 21-10 to set up a semi-final with fourth seed Sarah Walker (Essex), who beat Yorkshire’s Sarah Milne 21-19 21-11.

In the doubles events Nathan Robertson, battling with a streaming cold, eased into the men's doubles quarter-finals with Anthony Clark (both Notts). They knocked out Dorset’s Mark James and Cheshire’s Matthew Sprake 21-7 21-11.

Clark and Derbyshire’s Donna Kellogg, the European champions, defeated Yorkshire’s Marcus Ellis and Surrey’s Sam Ward 21-6 21-10 to set up an exciting semi-final against young stars Chris Adcock of Notts and Gabby White of Yorkshire. The teenagers needed three games to get past Robin Middleton and Mariana Agathangelou 21-15 10-21 21-15.

Surrey’s Chris Langridge and Yorkshire’s Sarah Bok scored the big shock by knocking out third seeds and world No 16s David Lindley of Notts and Suzanne Rayappan of Herts 15-21 21-17 21-15 and will now meet Robertson and Lancashire’s Jenny Wallwork. The second seeds beat Dean George and Sarah Walker 21-19 21-15.