TODAY in Delhi -
Tuesday 13th, Day TWO
Round One, bottom half:
Alister Walker (Bot) bt Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (28m)
 Peter Barker (Eng) bt Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11/5, 11/4, 11/1 (25m)
Simon Rosner (Ger) bt Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (34m)
 Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
11/4, 11/5, 11/9
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Julian Illingworth (Usa)
12/10, 11/4, 11/2
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
9/11, 11/3, 11/4, 11/9
 James Willstrop (Eng) bt Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
8/11, 11/7, 11/5, 11/5
Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 13/11
Ghosal delights, Ramy returns,
Willstrop on track ...
Day two of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in Delhi saw a series of
quick opening matches as Alister Walker, Peter Barker,
Simon Rosner and Daryl Selby all eased through to
the last sixteen in straight games.
Walker's opponent, Scotsman Alan Clyne, complained on twitter of
suffering from 'Delhi belly', as the Botswanan went through to a
possible meeting with the in-form James Willstrop, who
will become world number one if he wins the tournament.
The evening session started with a popular home win for the
recently re-crowned Indian National champion Saurav Ghosal,
who edged a tight first game before dominating the next two
against the sole American in the draw, Julian Illingworth.
All eyes were then on top seed Ramy Ashour as he started
off his campaign, returning to action after limping out of the
World Open some two months ago, and he looked a little sluggish
in the opening game against Malaysia's Nafiizwan Adnan. In the
next three games though he showed the brilliant shotmaking that
is his trademark, winning convincingly in the end.
Willstrop set up that meeting with Walker, coming through
strongly after dropping the first game to Swiss Nicolas Mueller.
The first round concluded with Australia's Cameron Pilley
getting the better of Jon Kemp in a rapid-fire exchange, and he
now meets Ashour in the last sixteen.
Walker (Bot) bt Alan Clyne (Sco)
11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (28m)
Walker takes advantage
The first match of the day was a one-sided affair due to Clyne
suffering from the old 'Delhi-belly', as I was informed
He is usually known for his doggedness and movement round the
court but there was little evidence of that today. He couldn't
get forward at all and was often doubled over in between points.
took full advantage of the situation, stepping up the court and
working any loose shot from Clyne into the front of the court.
Even though Clyne managed a big push in the second, going up 4
love and then 6/2, Walker responded in time and won 9 points in
a row to take the game 11/6.
The result was never really in doubt and after 28 mins Walker
secured his place in the second round with a convincing 3 love
I was struggling
to concentrate at times because I was aware that something was
I sensed that he was struggling to move and that made me over
think things at times. I was 6/2 down in the third but managed
to focus in time to turn it round.
If you get a good length on that court, it just dies so you can
really stretch players out and make the court big. It will be
great for the top players. There should be some great matches to
look forward to.
Barker (Eng) bt Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11/4, 11/4, 11/1 (25m)
Barker at ease
has a good record against Tuominen and that statistic showed in
both players today. Barker looked calm, collected and utterly in
control. Tuominen on the other hand seemed unsettled and at a
loss what to do.
Barker raced to a 7/2 lead in the first, controlling the pace of
the game with perfectly weighted length and well times drops and
boasts. He quickly took the game 11/4.
In the second Tuominen looked like he might put up more of a
challenge after a contentious decision fired him up, however
Barker was having none of it and from 3 all he played a number
of well executed rallies after which, once again, the errors
started to flow from the Tuominen racket.
Barker had only made two unforced errors so far and the third
was a formality with Tuominen refusing to chase and making
unforced errors off serve. After only 25 minutes Barker was off
court warming down. A disappointing performance from Tuominen
who is generally known for his tenacity. Possibly another case
of the dreaded 'Delhi-belly'?
Everything I tried
today just seemed to work. Yeah I've got a good record against
him, I don't think he likes playing me! If you play fast against
him, you make it tough for yourself so I was trying to slow it
down and use some hold to mix up the pace.
The court is quite slow. Yet another dead court! Should suit
It's a good venue, just a pity there's not more support for the
event. We are being well looked after though and the hotel is
great so can't complain.
Selby (Eng) bt
Mohammed Abbas (Egy) 11/4, 11/5,
Selby faces more serious challenges
Abbas has always been an easy player to watch, but in recent
times injury has held him back and even though Daryl Selby's
form has not been as convincing as last season's, he looked the
probable winner beforehand.
He started the better, too, leading 7-2. A hard rally, which he
won, took him to 8-3 and looking comfortable he won the first
11-4 on a stroke.
He led in the second, too, in control. A lovely forehand drop by
Abbas took him to 5-7,then 6-7,but that was as close as he got
and at 10-6 Selby served for the game, winning it at the second
attempt 11-7 with a delicate backhand volley drop.
For the first time in the match Abbas began well in the third,
leading 7-4,but Selby held his game together to draw level at
8-8 and at 10-8 he served for the match. A mishit took the score
to 9-10, but the second match ball was enough.
Selby had a pleasing workout and Abbas, although not offering a
serious challenge, remains easy to watch.
Selby will face a more severe examination from his next
opponent, Simon Rosner.
Rosner (Ger) bt
Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) 11/7, 11/6, 11/4
Rosner races through
these players like to attack and it made for an entertaining
though at times scrappy match. The first two games were level
until the midway point with Rosner pulling away each time
towards the end of the game. In the first Rosner won four points
in a row to go from 4-6 to 8-6 up and went on to close it out in
style with a forehand volley nick.
The second followed a similar pattern with Rosner playing his
best squash towards the latter stages of the game.
In the third he raced to a 7/0 lead, in the end taking the game
Overall, Rosner has matured as a player and plays a more
measured game than his younger self. He did well to close it out
in three and keep himself fresh for the next round where he'll
meet Daryl Selby.
I thought I played
really well there and I'm happy to get through in three games.
First rounds can be a struggle but I felt really comfortable out
I felt that he got tired towards the end of each game which
helped me. The court was great.
Ghosal (Ind) bt
Julian Illingworth (Usa) 12/10, 11/4, 11/2
Saurav savours his revenge
Julian Illingworth, American no.1 beat Indian no.1 Saurav Ghosal
in the last World Team championships when last they were
played,so here was an opportunity for Ghosal on home ground to
put matters right.No doubt interest in Ghosal meant there was a
worthwhile crowd for his match.
Ghosal,encouraged by the support, led 3-1, 4-2 before
Illingworth won a tough rally on a stroke to go 4 all. The
quality was already high early in the first game and it
continued to be so,as both players sought an advantage with
precise play down the backhand side.
Illingworth, playing soundly, led 8-6 with a backhand volley
into the cross court nick.A delectable cross court drop took
Ghosal to 7-8 and Illingworth called the ball down to make it 8
all.9-8 now to Ghosal,the crowd shouting their approval. 10-8
crucial game ball; a stroke 9-10-an error 10-10 and a tiebreak,
appropriate on the balance of the play. A cross court volley
into the nick,third gameball and Ghosal led 1-0.
Ghosal, fortified by the lead, Illingworth talking to the
referee now, led 5-1,confident .For the third time the American
called one of his own balls down and Ghosal led 6-2 to 10-2,
winning the game 11-4.
Illingworth arguing needlessly with referee John Masarella
before the third game began-not sure what about, but a waste of
Another cross court hold by Ghosal gave him the first point of
the third game; he quickly raced to 5-1, having chased a rally
to death and having won it, playing now with great confidence to
the delight of his many supporters.10-1 match ball-not much
restistance now,11-2 game and match.
Ashour (Egy) bt
Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 9/11, 11/3, 11/4, 11/9
surprising that Ramy Ashour, returning from injury, lost the
first game to Nafizwan Adnan .No doubt he was feeling the way,
testing his leg.
Once that was out of the way he took the next two comfortably
enough against the Malaysian. Moving more confidently as the
match wore on and happily looking like his old self at times,
Ashour eased away to 5-2 in the fourth ,which became 8-4,happy
with the way things were going, doubtless relieved to be back.
At 10-7 Ashour served for the match but Adnan wiped the ball
into the nick and Ashour won on the next point 11-8.Post match
Ashour expressed himself satisfied with his performance,
especially as his body held up.
Willstrop (Eng) bt
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 8/11, 11/7, 11/5, 11/5
Nicolas Mueller has been
building on his promise over the past year and set off with
confidence and self belief against his in form opponent,
attacking from the onset. Willstrop, too, settled well enough
into the rhythm he has been showing lately.
An error by him, though, on the backhand volley gave Mueller a
6-5 lead; a cross court volley into the nick 7-5;a stroke
8-5,another winner 9-5,and yet another 10-5. Wllstrop, though,
wasn't inclined to let it go and he fought back threateningly to
8-10 before a review went against him and he found him self 1-0
The match continued at a high level, Mueller's racket skills
much in evidence, volleying well. Willstrop led 6-3,before
Mueller came back to six all, still menacing.
There was a protracted rally at 8-6 which Willstrop won on an
error and he levelled what had been an entertaining match at one
Willstrop began to exercise some control in the third, leading
5-2,when Mueller played a brilliant deep forehand drop to go to
5-3,but from 8-4 Willstrop pulled away without it ever being
easy to take a 2-1 lead 11-5, Mueller showing odd signs of
frustration, puzzling in view of the excellent performance he
was putting up.
Willstrop was now on top and Mueller made a couple of tired
looking errors at 8-4 and 9-4,goimg to 10-4 with a backhand
deception. He won the match 11-5 but certainly knew he had been
in a game.
Retrospectively I am sure Mueller will appreciate the merit of
what he achieved and playing as he did tonight he is danger to
anyone. Willstrop ,in retrospect, may be happy to have had such
a tough opening with a day's rest to come.
Cameron Pilley bt Jon Kemp
11/5, 9/11, 11/4, 13/11 (55mins)
I think anyone could have
predicted that the last match of the evening would be a quick
fire match. Two of the most attacking players on the tour on a
relatively dead glass court... its not rocket science.
And so it was, especially from Kemp who has struggled with
injuries throughout his career which seems to have made him even
more determined to keep the rallies as short as humanly
Kemp came out firing in the first but more often than not found
the tin with the usually equally attacking Pilley trying to
contain rather than counter attack. Kemp was leaving no margin
with his shots and the error count proved costly, giving Pilley
the game 11/5.
Kemp steadied himself in the second and created more space with
a much more measured attack. It was working well and they stayed
neck and neck throughout most of the game with Kemp eventually
squeezing the game 11/9.
The third was played at a frenetic pace and although Kemp had
some good fases, Pilley was still the more consistent of the
two, attacking at the right time and finishing well. In a
similar vein to the first, Pilley took the game 11/4.
At 2-1 to Pilley in games, one might have expected the Kemp
challenge to wane, however he pushed on in the third once again
finding the right balance in his attack. It was close all the
way with Pilley pulling away to 10/8. On the first match ball,
Pilley dived into the front losing the rally and causing quite a
long break while the court was being cleaned.
Needless to say, both players reacted to the colder ball, firing
into the front at any given opportunity, with Pilley eager to
finish it off and Kemp pushing for a fifth. Kemp did manage to
force a tiebreak, however on his fourth attempt after an
entertaining four games, the Australian finally prevailed 13/11
in the fourth.