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PSA: Grant meets Walker in Pittsburgh final

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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Alister Walker in action. Picture by PATRICIA LYONS

Top Seeds To Play Pittsburgh Final

20 November 2011

RESULTS: PSA International 25 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, Pittsburgh, USA

[1] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-8, 11-8, 11-1 (48m)
[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (56m)
[4] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)
[2] Alister Walker (BOT) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)
[1] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [3] Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (75m)
[2] Alister Walker (BOT) bt [4] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (55m)

Top seeds and former England team-mates Adrian Grant and Alister Walker will contest the final of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open after surviving tough semi-final clashes with the other two seeded players in the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

Grant, the favourite from London, held off a determined challenge from top-ranked Canadian Shahier Razik, needing 75 minutes to overcome the No3 seed 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7.

After world No17 Grant took the first two games, Razik – ranked 14 places lower – came back strongly in the third to reduce the deficit.

“Razik stayed close in game four through 8-7, and a fifth game looked like a real possibility,” reported tournament organiser Steven Baicker-McKee. “But Grant closed out the match with two ungettable drops and a Razik tin.”

Left-hander Grant will be celebrating the 28th PSA World Tour final of his career – and his third of the year.

Second seed Walker – who switched his allegiance from England to Botswana, his country of birth, at the beginning of the year – faced Ryan Cuskelly, the fourth seed from Australia, in the other semi.

“Cuskelly knew he did not want to rally with Walker, so he attacked the corners, and Walker counter-attacked with re-drops and drives,” explained Baicker-McKee. “The first two games were knots at 10-all, but Walker won the next two points both times. Walker then upped his game for the third, and won handily.”

The New York-based 29-year-old’s 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory takes Walker into the ninth PSA Tour final of his career – and his second this month after winning the Dayton Open in Ohio last week.

Walker Fights Off Khalifa In Pittsburgh

18 November 2011

RESULTS: PSA International 25 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, Pittsburgh, USA

1st round:
[1] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (33m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt Stephane Galifi (ITA) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (29m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (44m)
[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 11-7, 11-5, 6-1 ret. (21m)
[4] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Olivier Pett (ENG) 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (74m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Joel Hinds (ENG) 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6 (65m)
[2] Alister Walker (BOT) bt Amr Khaled Khalifa (EGY) 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (78m)

In the longest match of the day, experienced second seed Alister Walker held off a determined challenge from Egyptian teenager Amr Khaled Khalifa to reach the quarter-finals of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

Walker, the world No20 from Botswana fresh from his title success in the Dayton Open in Ohio last week, fought back from 1-6 down to take the first game.

Khalifa, the 18-year-old former world junior champion from Cairo, built another 6-1 lead in the second, and this time held on to draw level.

“But the first two games seemed to wear Khalifa down,” said tournament organiser Steven Baicker-McKee. “The experience, skill, and fitness of Walker came through in the next two games, where the veteran seemed in control.”

Walker’s 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 victory in 78 minutes takes the 29-year-old through to the quarter-finals where he will faceChris Simpson, a 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6 winner over fellow Englishman and qualifier Joel Hinds.

English favourite Adrian Grant cruised into the last eight after despatching compatriot Jaymie Haycocks, a qualifier, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Adrian Grant (ENG) v Henrik Mustonen (FIN)
[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) v Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[4] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Cesar Salazar (MEX)
[2] Alister Walker (BOT) v Chris Simpson (ENG)

For all the latest Tour news: www.psaworldtour.com



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