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PSA: Anjema boosts World Series hopes

Laurens Anjema in action

Anjema Boosts World Series Finals Bid















14 December 2011

RESULTS: PSA World Series Punj Lloyd PSA Masters, New Delhi, India

2nd round (top half of draw):
[2] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (37m)
[6] Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 (63m)
[8] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5 (60m)
[4] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 (39m)

Victory for Laurens Jan Anjema in today’s second round of the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in India has boosted the Dutchman’s chances of securing a place in January’s ATCO PSA World Series Finals in London.

The eighth seed extended his unbeaten Tour run against Omar Mosaad to eight matches when he beat the world No15 from Egypt 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the ninth and final PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi.

Anjema’s success followed defeat earlier in the day for Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the Malaysian who is in eighth place in the2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings – a position which would guarantee him a place in the draw for next month’s flagship PSA event at Queen’s Club which features the top eight players in the final list.

Anjema, the world No12 from The Hague, currently sits in ninth place – but would need to reach Sunday’s final in order to overtake Iskandar.

Iskandar went down 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 in 39 minutes to Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the No4 seed who won the PSA World Series Qatar Classic in October.

Gaultier, assisted by errors from Iskandar, established early leads in the first two games and although Iskandar raised his game in the middle of the games it was Gaultier who finished the stronger in each of them.

The Frenchman found himself 6-5 down in the third, but another backhand error brought him level and when the Malaysian hit it straight back to himself down the middle of the court it was 8-6, then 9-6, before he closed out the match 11-8.

“I wasn’t actually supposed to play Azlan – we were in different halves of the draw until Nick (Matthew) pulled out but then the draw changed and we realised that we could meet second round,” explained the world No3 from Aix-en-Provence.

“So we still just spend time together and one hour before the match he goes one way and I go another. He’s a good friend of mine but once we step on the court I just shut off my mind, shut the door and play. I’m happy with this match because it’s a good preparation for my next one. Azlan plays a fast pace which helps me to get ready for the next round,” added the 28-year-old.

Anjema and Gaultier will now face each other for a place in the semi-finals.

The opening match of the day saw Egypt’s sixth seed Mohamed El Shorbagy take on Spaniard Borja Golan – their most recent encounter ending in a tiebreak fifth in favour of Shorbagy.

A place in the quarter final awaited: After the Egyptian opened up a 2/0 lead, Golan found himself 4-3 up in the third after a couple of Shorbagy errors on the backhand. More errors from the Egyptian and a forehand cross court winner from Golan, followed by a forehand straight drop from half court, gave the Spaniard an 8-5 lead.

But another backhand error from Shorbagy led Golan to game ball at 10-5 – which he duly converted to reduce the deficit.

But from 6-5 up in the fourth, El Shorbagy pulled quickly clear to 9-5 following errors from Golan – and later a forehand drop settled matters as the Egyptian progressed to the quarter finals following his 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 victory in 63 minutes.

El Shorbagy will now face fellow countryman Karim Darwish after the No2 seed despatched England’s Tom Richards 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 in 37 minutes.

“I’m really happy to be in the quarters after playing an up-and-coming Tom Richards,” said Darwish, the world No5, later. “I’m really enjoying playing at the moment and felt good on court today. The schedule is very tough but it’s the same for all the guys so we just have to get on with it.”

Remaining 2nd round line-up:
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) v Alister Walker (BOT)
[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)
[5] Peter Barker (ENG) v Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[1] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)

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