Dazzling Daryl meets Saurav Ghosal in quarter-finals
By SEAN REUTHE
England’s Daryl Selby came up with a magnificent display on his 400th PSA World Tour appearance to shock World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in five games on the opening day of main draw action at the 2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill held in Weybridge.
The 34-year-old had lost his last five matches against ElShorbagy and looked to be heading to a sixth successive defeat after falling 2-1 behind. Selby showed nerves of steel though to halt his opponent’s momentum in the fourth and draw level, and he followed that up by edging the fifth to wrap up a fantastic win by a 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 margin.
“It’s about confidence and belief,” said Selby. “I’ve always believed I was a top 10 player, but having the confidence to believe that I can play a top five player and win is a whole different kettle of fish.
“I played well and I really am delighted to beat Mohamed because he deserves that World No.1 status. His consistency is without a doubt the best on Tour, and to beat the World No.1 is a special feeling.”
New Zealand’s Paul Coll was also in inspired form to claim one of the biggest wins of his burgeoning career against Hong Kong’s Max Lee, recovering from a game down to defeat the World No.18 by a 3-2 margin.
World No.33 Coll battled through qualification to reach the main draw, but his tournament looked to be coming to an end after he fell 2-1 behind to an experienced Lee.
However, he responded brilliantly to force errors from his opponent and, with cramp beginning to take hold of Lee in the latter stages of the decider, Coll pressed on to close out a superb 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4 victory to advance to his first ever PSA M100 quarter-final.
“I’m very happy. Max is a quality player, I’ve been watching him for a few years and I’ve always thought he had the potential to get into the top 10,” said Coll.
“I’m very happy with the win and with the way I stuck in the game. It’s one of my best wins for sure. He’s in the top 20 and he’s been there for a while.
“I was just happy to make the main draw, so everything is just a bonus from now on. It’s a good Christmas present already and hopefully I can get better.”
Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal will take on Selby in the last eight after he ended a seven-match losing streak to former World No.5 Borja Golan.
Golan had spent three months on the sidelines due to a herniated disc, and Ghosal capitalised on the former World No.5’s lack of match fitness as he claimed a 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 despite strong resistance from the Spaniard.
“In my head, I’ve been working really hard, but the results haven’t shown the work that I’ve put in, and it gets to you mentally, no matter how long you’ve been on the Tour,” explained World No.22 Ghosal.
“We all want to win, and we all want to prove ourselves to get higher in the rankings. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out for me the way I would have liked this year, but I just have to keep working, which is in my control. If I keep doing that then hopefully the results will go my way.”
Colombian World No.13 Miguel Angel Rodriguez was the other player to emerge victorious on day one after he defeated Frenchman Gregoire Marche in straight games to set up a quarter-final clash with Coll.
“It was tough because he is very talented and he’s been improving over the last six months,” said Rodriguez.
“It’s never easy because he’s also very fast and he has quick hands. He must be very proud of the way he finished this year, he did a great job. But I came here with a purpose, to win my matches, to be a little bit more aggressive and enjoy it a little bit more.”
Tickets for the tournament are priced from £10-£45 and can be booked online here: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ChannelVASSquash
Title sponsor Channel VAS has committed to donating 100 per cent of the ticket sales to children’s charity CLIC Sargent, who offer cancer support for young people.
2016 Channel VAS Championship at St George’s Hill.
First Round (Top Half):
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt  Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (89m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt  Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 (64m)
[Q] Paul Coll (NZL) bt  Max Lee (HKG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4 (75m)
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 (42m)
First Round (Bottom Half). To be played Friday December 9th:
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
[WC] Joe Lee (ENG) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
[Q] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v  Omar Mosaad (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA