Top seeds through but Adrian Grant hustles back from match ball down
England’s Chis Simpson pulled off a stunning victory over Australian Cam Pilley in the first round of the NetSuite Open in San Francisco.
Simpson’s outstanding fitness was a major factor as he stayed the course with his hard-hitting opponent, finally clinching victory 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10 in 96 minutes.
The audience at Stanford University were treated to a classic match as these two players produced a match of the highest quality.
Simpson built a solid lead, taking the opening two games, but Pilley hit back to win the third and fourth, each by a narrow margin with an 11-9 scoreline. They traded points until it was 8-8 in the fifth, but then Simpson found fortune was on his side as he struck a back-wall nick.
He later admitted on Twitter: “Very lucky to come through with a 12-10 in the 5th win over Cameron Pilley…. And by lucky I mean back wall nick at 8-8 in the fifth.”
Simpson now meets top seed Gregory Gaultier, who overcame fellow Frenchman Gregoire Marche in straight games on the glass court at Justin Herman Plaza.
Another shock result came at the Bay Club as Alister Walker (Botswana) beat No.6 seed Mathieu Castagnet of France in another marathon encounter. He clinched a 3-2 victory with a scoreline of (7-11, 11-6, 14-12, 5-11, 11-4 in 98 minutes.
The Bay Club also witnessed the end of North American hopes in the tournament as England’s No.3 seed Peter Barker removed Julian Illingworth in straight games.
The San Francisco crowd gave Illingworth plenty of support but after the match they all sang Happy Birthday to Barker, who was 31 yesterday.
However, South American presence is in full flow in the shape of the athletic Miguel Angel Rodriguez, of Colombia, who beat qualifier Olli Tuominen of Finland in straight games.
The Netherlands’ Laurens Jan Anjema outlasted Mexico’s Cesar Salazar with a 3-2 victory (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9) over 61 minutes to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals.
Top seeds Gregory Gaultier (France) and Amr Shabana (Egypt) cruised through their NetSuite Open first round matches to advance to the quarter-finals of this PSA World Tour International 70 Tournament in San Francisco.
Gaultier (right) had to stay focused to beat fellow Frenchman Greg Marche, while Shabana ultimately possessed too much quality for the willing Alan Clyne from Scotlnd.
The eighth seed Adrian Grant (England) faced three match balls in a tense third game before coming all the way back to defeat Campbell Grayson (New Zealand) 3-2 (5-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6) in 72 minutes on the Glass Court at Justin Herman Plaza.
Afterwards, Grant commented on Twitter: “2-0 down & 3 match balls down… Everything going against me but survival instinct somehow got me through to quarters final day #Hustle“
Friday’s First Round results:
(1) Gregory Gaultier (France) def. Gregoire Marche (France) 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-2) 41 min.
(2) Amr Shabana (Egypt) def. Alan Clyne (Scotland) 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-5) 31 min.
(3) Peter Barker (England) def. Julian Illingworth (USA) 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5) 44 min.
(4) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Colombia) def. Olli Tuominen (Finland) 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-5) 34 min.
(5) Laurens Jan Anjema (Netherlands) def. Cesar Salazar (Mexico) 3-2 (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9) 61 min.
Alister Walker (Botswana) def. (6) Mathieu Castagnet (France) 3-2 (7-11, 11-6, 14-12, 5-11, 11-4) 98 min.
Chris Simpson (England) def. (7) Cameron Pilley (Australia) 3-2 (11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10) 96 min.
(8) Adrian Grant (England) def. Campbell Grayson (New Zealand) 3-2 (5-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6) 72 min.
Quarter-finals Schedule: Saturday, Sept. 27 at Glass Court
7:00 p.m.: (4) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Colombia) vs. (5) Laurens Jan Anjema (Netherlands)
8:00 p.m.: (1) Gregory Gaultier (France) vs. Chris Simpson (England)
Sunday, Sept. 28 at Glass Court
7:00 p.m.: (3) Peter Barker (England) vs. Alister Walker (Botswana)
8:00 p.m.: (2) Amr Shabana (Egypt) vs. (8) Adrian Grant (England)
Pictures by MA PATAPOFF