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PSA: Walker ousts Anjema in Hong Kong final

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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hkfinaliWalker Scores Hong Kong Football Club Success

2 June 2013

RESULTS: Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Final:
[1] Alister Walker (BOT) bt [2] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7

Top seed Alister Walker overcame second-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the final of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25 in straight games to win the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

It was their eighth Tour meeting since 2004. Although Walker, the world No14 from Botswana, prevailed in their most recent clash, it was eight-time Dutch champion Anjema, ranked three places lower, who led the pair’s head-to-head tally 5/2 going into the final.

“With only three PSA world ranking positions between them, it was always going to be more of a mental battle than one of technique,” said event spokesman Dallas Reid. “Anjema benefited early on from a series of uncharacteristic errors from Walker, but both soon settled down into a solid rhythm hitting deep and waiting for openings.

“These were quite rare, but when they came, both players showed supreme execution in hammering high forehand volleys into the opposite front nick to the delight of the crowd. With so little separating the players in ability, unforced errors were bound to be costly, and in the middle of the first game Anjema made several and Walker seized the opportunity to pull level, and then close it out 11-8.

“The second game followed a similar pattern with solid depth squash interspersed with sudden attacks – but, seemingly no matter how tight and fast Anjema hit his drops and attacking boasts, Walker would set off with his trademark expulsion of air from the lungs, and not only reach it but return a strong attacking shot in reply. Again Walker managed to retain his form with fewer unforced errors, and ran out 11-6 up in the second.

“If anything Anjema started hitting even more dangerous attacking shots in the third game, and at times had Walker launching himself from corner to corner of the court to dig out one apparent dead kill after another. Inevitably frustration set in with Anjema tinning the ball in search of a shot that would not come back. Although always under pressure, Walker kept a stranglehold on the match and concluded the match with an 11-7 finish in the third game.”

The US-based 30-year-old later acknowledged that the 3/0 score line was very flattering as at any time Anjema could have got back into the game and turned it around very easily. “Once you are ahead, every rally you turn about is another nail in the coffin,” said the champion.

The title triumph marked Walker’s second PSA World Tour title of the year – and the ninth of his career.

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

Picture shows: 

Award presentation – left to right – Heather Deayton, the Vice-President of the World Squash Federation,

Winner – Alister Walker, runner-up Laurens Jan Anjema, Phil Head of Blade and John Shanahan- Chairman of Hong Kong Football Club.

Picture by (Bill Cox/The Epoch Times)

Anjema Makes 30th Final In Hong Kong

1 June 2013

RESULTS: Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Semi-finals:
[1] Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (37m)
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 (37m)

Top-ranked Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema reached the 30th PSA World Tour final of his career when he beat Malaysia’s Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25, the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

“It was a straightforward match for Anjema, the number two seed,” explained tournament spokesman Bill Cox. “He looks in good shape and the Netherlands player always looked in control of the match. Both players played a good range of shots to move each other around the court but it was too many unforced errors that were the downfall of Adnan.”

It took just 37 minute for Anjema to secure his 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 victory and a place in his first Tour final for more than a year – but his 30th since making his final debut in the 2002 Swiss Open in Geneva.

The 30-year-old world No17 acknowledged that he is playing well and he has tried to make himself a much more three-dimensional player than he used to be, and has worked hard at that.

Anjema now faces top seed Alister Walker, the world No14 from Botswana. In a match which also took 37 minutes to resolve, Walker ended qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar‘s run, beating the Egyptian teenager 11-9, 12-10, 11-6.

Abouelghar, the lowest-ranked player in the draw, made his breakthrough in the previous round where he beat fourth-seeded compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad.

“Yes it was tough,” conceded 30-year-old Walker after the semi. “The kid is very talented and has got a lot of shots and there is no rhythm, so you are always on your toes. I just managed trying to keep it tight and close the court down. Every game was tight but fortunately it worked.”

The final will mark Walker and Anjema’s eighth Tour meeting since 2004. Although Walker prevailed in their most recent clash, in the North American Open in February last year, it is eight-time Dutch champion Anjema who leads the pair’s head-to-head tally 5/2.

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