Trio fly the flag around the world
Gary Baker on 21/12/2011
Squash players have been causing quite a racket on the tournament scene around the world during 2011 with Welsh men and women playing their part as well.
On the global circuit, Barry-born 23-year-old Deon Saffery enjoyed a great year as she returned to her best in Australia last summer.
Saffery won the Delaware State Open in America back in February but then reached two semi-finals and a quarter-final during an impressive July Down Under.
That helped her rise 65th on the world rankings before a period of Autumn rest and inactivity as she gets ready for the 2012 season.
But Tesni Evans has delivered her highest ever world ranking after climbing into 77th place on the WISPA world rankings last month.
Evans, born in Cardiff but living in Rhyl, has enjoyed a big rise during the year. Towards the end of last year, she was down at 264th but a big regime of training and playing has brought its' just rewards.
She rose a massive 152 places by May this year after an exhaustive seven months from January where she played 18 tournaments from Australia to Germany and America to France.
Good showings in the South Australia, Millicent, City of Perth and Black Knight Opens down under cemented her rise, while later round appearances in several junior competitions and then on the World Tour in Nottingham, America and Brazil helped Evans climb to 77th in the world.
And she hopes to go even further up the ladder before Christmas in the London Open before she too concentrates on the 2012 calendar.
Meanwhile, on the men's circuit, Caerphilly's Peter Creed has entered the world's top 120 and is within sight of his best ever ranking.
The 24-year-old reached 117th in June this year before dropping down. But two semi-final places at the Madison Open in the USA and the Goodlife Oepn in Canada during October have moved Creed back up from 124th to 119th.
Evans, Creed and Saffery should all be in action at the Welsh Senior Championships next month (January) but the Welsh Closed Junior title winners were crowned in November.
The Under-11 champion was John Kamel, while Layna Beattie won the girls event.
Top seed Dan Christopher took the boy's Under-13 event, with Ciara Richards taking the girls title.
While, at Under-15 level, Emyr Evans showed he is looking to follow the greats of Welsh squash by winning the boys title without dropping a single game.
But, with the girls, it was Lowri Roberts, who was the second seed, who beat top seed Elin Harlow in a thumping final by 3-2, with the final game finishing at 11-8 to Roberts.
Alex Pendleton, who has just returned from injury, won the boy's Under-17 event by beating Callum Davidson in the final. Pendleton also won without dropping a game.
Jenny Haley took the spoils in the girl's even as she beat Nia Kenward 3-1 in their final.
Meanwhile, Jordan Davies played some excellent squash to beat Joel Makin to the Under-19 crown, while Hannah Davies landed the girls' title with a win over Fiona Murphy.
And, in the new Under-23 competition introduced for the first time this year, Sam Fenwick beat Sam Davidson 3-0 in the boy's final, with Tesni Evans winning the girl's event with victory over Abby Hicks, also by 3-0.
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