Anjema Beats Barker to Book Semi Slot in Belgium

June 1, 2009


RESULTS: European Individual Squash Championships, Herentals, Belgium

Anjema Beats Barker To Book Semi Slot in Belgium

Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema brings a surprise look to the semi-final line-up of the European Individual Squash Championships after upsetting England’s 3/4 seed Peter Barker in the men’s quarter-finals of the European Squash Federation event at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.

Anjema is back in action after being forced to miss the European Team Championships at the beginning of the month following an ankle injury. But the world No19 from The Hague was in stunning form against fellow left-hander Barker, now ranked eight in the world, winning 11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-2 in 57 minutes to reach the semi-finals for the second successive year.

The four-time Dutch National champion now faces favourite Gregory Gaultier, the world No2 from France who is bidding to win the title for the sixth year in a row.

Gaultier, 26, from Aix-en-Provence, was taken to four games by Englishman Adrian Grant before beating the 5/8 seed 11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6.

English hopes for men’s success in Herentals now rest on the shoulders of second seed Nick Matthew, the world No6 from Sheffield who defeated Frenchman Renan Lavigne 11-4, 11-5, 15-13. The former British Open champion will now renew his rivalry with another Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the former world champion and world number one from Marseille.

Lincou, runner-up twelve months ago, ended Spanish interest in the event when he beat Borja Golan 11-7, 11-5, 11-1.

The women’s semi-final line-up is the one predicted by the seedings – but Dutch favourite Natalie Grinham, the world No4, had to battle for 45 minutes to overcome 5/8 seed Camille Serme, the 20-year-old from France ranked 30 places lower. Grinham ultimately prevailed 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 to set up a meeting with a further French opponent Isabelle Stoehr.

Defending champion Stoehr ended the giant-killing run of tournament organiser Kim Hannes, the 9/16 seed from Belgium who claimed an unexpected quarter-final berth following her second round upset over 5/8 seed Orla Noom.

But Stoehr, the 11 times French national champion, was too strong for Belgian champion Hannes, winning 11-0, 11-4, 11-8 in just 18 minutes.

The prospect of an all-Dutch final was kept alive when former world champion Vanessa Atkinson beat Italian Manuela Manetta 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10. The 3/4 seed from The Hague will now face England’s No2 seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, who needed just 20 minutes to overcome Dutch opponent Annelize Naude 11-8, 11-3, 11-6.