Alex Fuller Successfully Secures Semi-Final Spot

Women's top seed Alex Fuller of Western Province eased into the semifinals of the Growthpoint SA Nationals squash tournament at the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria today with a 3-0 over Farrah Sterne. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Top women’s seed Alex Fuller sent an early warning to her rivals as she dismantled former champion Farrah Sterne in three games, at the Growthpoint SA Nationals in Pretoria, reversing a loss she suffered against the Northerns player the last time they played.

Admittedly that was eight years ago and the 42-year-old Sterne, who won the Nationals in 2008 and 2010, battled to manage the pace set by her 27-year-old Western Province rival on Thursday, 15 October 2020.

Fuller admitted to a certain amount of nerves going into the game but will be feeling a little more comfortable going forward.

“The court is pretty fast-paced and I was a bit nervous about that, but I aimed at just trying to build a rally and to go for my shots when I had the chance,” she said. “This was a good start, but I will continue to take it one match at a time.”

South Africa’s leading professional will now take on Eastern Province’s Hayley Ward, who advanced after a thrilling shootout against Danell Douglas (SA Country Districts).

They are two of the country’s leading varsity players and it was a ding-dong battle which Ward won 3-2 in 38 minutes. After taking time to find her rhythm, Ward marched into a 2-1 lead, but Douglas would not go away and levelled the match by winning the fourth 11-7.

She then shot ahead 3-0, but Ward showed great determination and skill to haul herself back into the game and took a telling 10-7 lead, winning the match when she forced an error on her first match point.

Another burgeoning talent in Teagan Roux, who hails from Queenstown but is now studying at University of Johannesburg, struck a blow for the young guns when she eliminated experienced KwaZulu-Natalian Samantha Herbert in four games.

The 19-year-old was full of energy against her 45-year-old opponent, although Herbert threatened a fightback and showed considerable skill and proper determination to keep the match alive by winning the third game.

Roux, however, regained control in the fourth and won it comfortably to reach the semifinals and set up a showdown with second seed Lizelle Muller. Last year’s runner-up was made to work for her win over close friend Jacqui Ryder after losing the second game, but in the end Muller powered into the last four.

Friday’s Semi-finals:
4pm: Alex Fuller (WP, 1) v Hayley Ward (EP)
6pm: Lizelle Muller (SACD, 2) v Teagan Roux (Joburg Squash)

 

Photo 1 Caption: Women’s top seed Alex Fuller of Western Province eased into the semifinals of the Growthpoint SA Nationals squash tournament at the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria today with a 3-0 over Farrah Sterne. Photo: Reg Caldecott

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