Waller repeats his US Open victory over Spanish No.1 as four English players power through to the quarter-finals
By Squash Mad Reporter in Manchester
Sheffield’s three-time world champion Nick Matthew led a quartet of home hopes, including surprise victor Adrian Waller, into the quarter-finals of the AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Matthew comfortably saw off the challenge of rising Scottish talent Greg Lobban while Enfield-based 26-year-old Waller pulled off the biggest win of the day to get past World No.7 Borja Golan from Spain.
Just two months after defeating Golan in the opening round of the Delaware Investments US Open, Waller pulled off a repeat 3-2 performance, using all his skill, strength and stamina to complete a dramatic 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 victory after a mammoth 95-minutes on court.
“I knew what to expect from Borja today but he knew what to expect from me as well and it meant that it took something different to win the match,” said Waller.
“It was another long and tough match and it was even closer than at the US Open so it took everything I had to keep in the rallies. I definitely had more belief in my game after beating him in the US and that played a part, because sometimes against the top players that belief can be key.
“I had to re-group towards the end of the fourth game when he came back to level it up and I just managed to keep in there to win it and I’m really pleased to come through, especially here in Manchester as this is a place the English guys all know well and feel comfortable at.”
Elsewhere, Essex duo Daryl Selby and Peter Barker also progressed to the quarter-finals with impressive victories over dangerous Egyptian Fares Dessouki and fellow Englishman Chris Simpson to complete the quartet.
Selby meets Matthew, Barker tackles Gaultier and Waller faces an intriguing battle with Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in what promises to be major contrast in size and technique.
World No.1 Mohamed Elshorbagy and World No.2 Gregory Gaultier came through their opening encounters along with Rodriguez and Mathieu Castagnet of France.
Gaultier beat Essex wild card Richie Fallows, who looked far from overawed in such surroundings, but Elshorbagy dropped a game against Mexico’s Cear Salazar. Scotland No.1 Alan Clyne made Rodriguez battle for almost an hour before clinching victory. No.8 seed Castagnet overcame Egyptian Mazen Hesham in straight games.
Results: First Round – AJ Bell British Squash Grand Prix:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [WC] Richie Fallows (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 [39m]
 Peter Barker (ENG) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 [52m]
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Fares Dessouki (EGY) 3-0: 11-4, 11-2, 11-9 [56m]
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Greg Lobban 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 [39m]
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt  Borja Golan (ESP) 3-2: 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 [95m]
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO) 3-1: 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 [59m]
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 [48m]
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10 [44m]
Quarter-final Draw (Saturday, December 6, 2014):
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v  Nick Matthew (ENG)
Adrian Waller (ENG) v  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v  Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY)
Picture courtesy of PSA