ALAN THATCHER REPORTS FROM RICHMOND
Daryl Selby admitted that he was “feeling flat” as he crashed out of the NAO first round to Mohd Azlan Iskander.
The London-based Malaysian defeated Selby after losing the opening game, hitting back to win 9-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5 in 60 minutes.
Selby said he found it difficult to repeat the fantastic form he showed a week ago to beat world champion Nick Matthew in the final of the British Nationals in Manchester.
Selby said: “I have to admit I was feeling a bit flat after winning the Nationals. It’s very difficult to play that well on a regular basis and Azlan played superbly today. I didn’t feel I was doing much wrong but often felt half a yard off the pace. I guess that’s a sure sign that I was feeling a bit flat. But Azza deserved to win, definitely. He hardly made a mistake.”
Asked about the draw, which paired the world No.10 against the world No.13 in the first round, Selby said: “I can’t have any complaints. I have benefitted in the past and I am sure these things even themselves out over the year. Having said that, I have heard that some fine tuning might take place to sort out one or two possible anomalies. But no complaints. None at all.”
Iskander said that he was fine-tuning his game under coach Peter Genever in London. He said: “There are no massive changes, just some subtle adjustments about how you play certain shots. You do the same stuff all the time but Peter gets you to think creatively about some subtle differences in playing certain shots. That was a very tough match for a first round and I’m pleased to be in the second round and looking forward to a nice rest day.”
Iskander meets Simon Rosner in the second round after the German No.1 beat Joey Barrington 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 in a physically demanding contest lasting 48 minutes.
KEMP’S FLYING START
The North American Open got off to a flying start when England’s Jonathan Kemp powered through the opening match, beating Mexican qualifier Cesar Salazar in just 24 minutes.