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Australian Open: Injured Palmer presses on

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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David Palmer at full stretch against Tom Richards

Palmer Presses On In Canberra

10 August 2011

From ANDREW DENT in Canberra

Australia’s David Palmer overcame a badly injured ankle to edge past Tom Richards of England 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open squash championships in Canberra on Wednesday.

Palmer hurt his ankle when he fell awkwardly during his first round win over Azlan Iskandar on Monday and needed extensive treatment at the AIS just to take the court.

The 35-year-old struggled badly during the first game and looked headed for an early exit in possibly his last ever Australian Open.

However, as the match wore on he slowly started to gain more movement and began to dominate an increasingly frustrated Richards.

Palmer took a close second game then made decisive breaks in the third and fourth to take the match.

He now has a day off for more treatment before facing third seed Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals following Darwish’s 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 win over Hong Kong’s Max Lee.

“I was happy just to get on court,” Palmer said.

“I’ve been out at the AIS getting treatment and they’ve done some great work.

“In the early stages it felt like I was dragging my leg around and I think winning that second game was very important – if Tom had gone two-love up I think he would have run away with it.

“I think it probably affected Tom’s game a little bit because it can be hard to play against someone you know has an injury.”

England’s Nick Matthew remained on track to defend his title with an impressive win over Malaysia’s Ong Beng Hee.

World number one Matthew absorbed everything the Malaysian threw at him to close out the match 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 and move into a quarter-final against Laurens Jan Anjema of the Netherlands.

Anjema reached the final eight when he beat American Julian Illingworth 11-4, 11-3, 11-3.

A dejected Illingworth posted on Facebook: “Possibly the most pathetic PSA effort of my career today. Long day of travel back to NYC tomorrow.”

Matthew and Ong have been opponents since their junior days and the Malaysian used all his experience to undo his opponent, hitting an array of shots to all parts of the court.

However, Matthew was up to the challenge despite struggling to close out the match in a tight third game.

“I seem to get to seven, eight and nine points okay before hitting a bit of a roadblock,” he said.

“But that’s a credit to Beng Hee, he stayed around to fight to the end. He changed his tactics every point so it was hard to feel comfortable.

“I was happy to get off three-love really. I’m getting through, I’m not really playing with full fluency yet, but it’s early days in the tournament so hopefully I’ll find it.

“Everything’s sort of in place, it’s just a matter of piecing the bits together – I’ll get that in the next few days.”

Matthew will need to be at his best against Anjema, who followed up his first round defeat of fifth seed Thierry Lincou with a dominant display against Illingworth.

“I played really well tonight – it’s tough to follow up a win over someone like Thierry,” he said.

“You walk around with your head in the clouds but you have to tell yourself it’s a new day and there’s work to be done.”

Australia’s David Palmer overcame a badly injured ankle to edge past Tom Richards of England 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

Palmer hurt his ankle when he fell awkwardly during his first round win over Azlan Iskandar on Monday and needed extensive treatment at the AIS just to take the court.

The 35-year-old struggled badly during the first game and looked headed for an early exit in possibly his last ever Australian Open.

However, as the match wore on he slowly started to gain more movement and began to dominate an increasingly frustrated Richards.

Palmer took a close second game then made decisive breaks in the third and fourth to take the match.

He now has a day off for more treatment before facing third seed Karim Darwish in the quarter-finals following Darwish’s 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 win over Hong Kong’s Max Lee.

“I was happy just to get on court,” Palmer said.

“I’ve been out at the AIS getting treatment and they’ve done some great work.

“In the early stages it felt like I was dragging my leg around and I think winning that second game was very important – if Tom had gone two-love up I think he would have run away with it.

“I think it probably affected Tom’s game a little bit because it can be hard to play against someone you know has an injury.”

Remaining 2nd round matches:
[4] James Willstrop (ENG) v [Q] Alan Clyne (SCO)
[5] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Adrian Grant (ENG)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Stewart Boswell (AUS)

Official event website: www.australiansquashopen.com

 

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