Dutch ace downs Greg on day one of the Cambridge Cup in Toronto
Top seed Gregory Gaultier lost on the first day of the Cambridge Cup as Dutch ace Laurens Jan Anjema turned on the power in Toronto. Elsewhere, Spain’s Borja Golan (above) overcame Simon Rosner to gain revenge for last week’s defeat in Chicago.
At Mayfair Parkway: Laurens Anjema bt Greg Gaultier 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8 (52min)
Gaultier, coming off a major win in Chicago, had a start slow. A pumped-up LJ took full advantage of the first game and eventual match. The court coverage of both players was phenomenal. In despite of Gaultier’s superb shot making it was not going to stop a determined LJ from closing the match in 4. The long week for Gaultier in Chicago looked like it may have taken a toll on his body.
Toronto Athletic Club: Mohamed Elshorbagy bt Cameron Pilley 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 (61min)
The Toronto Athletic Club hosted the quarter-final match between world number 3 Mohamed Elshorbagy and world number 15 Cameron Pilley. Cameron started the match whacking the ball to back corners and got off to a good start.
By the midpoint of the game Mohamed was used to the pace, found his rhythm and started to dig into Cameron’s lead, which he eventually overtook and earned the first game.
In the second game the TAC crowd was treated to Mohamed’s full arsenal of shots (which included a few between the leg drops into the nick) as he cut and spun the ball at will into the front corners. Cameron put in a solid effort to weather the storm, but came up just short losing the game 12-10.
The third game saw Cameron slam a few nicks of his own and unfortunately for Mohamed the magic he had in the second game wasn’t there and he lost the third 11-6.
Cameron continued with his winning form and held a 10-7 lead, but Mohamed wasn’t to be counted out. Slowly Mohamed clawed back and eventually took the fourth game and the match 3-1.
Cambridge Club: Borja Golan 3-1 Simon Rosner 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (44min)
The opening match of the Cambridge Cup saw two emerging talents of the PSA Tour lock horns. World number 11 Simon Rosner of Germany fell to Spain’s Borja Golan (WR#6) in a well-contested four games 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 in 44m.
After showing signs of life in the third game, the slimmed-down Rosner couldn’t pull out the fourth getting to 10-9 match ball down.
It was a solid victory for the higher-ranked Spaniard and likely some sweet revenge after being bounced from the second round of the Windy City Open in straight sets by the German just days before.
He’ll move on the semis to face a tough opponent in the young Egyptian Mohammed El Shorbagy who advanced with a 3-1 ‘W’ over Cameron Pilley.
Amr Shabana 3-1 Peter Barker 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10 (46min)
The Battle of the Lefties would be fought on Centre Court next with England’s Peter Barker taking on ‘The Maestro’, past-champion Amr Shabana. Enjoying a return to form of late, the Egyptian would fire his way to a 3-1 victory over the Englishman 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10 in 46m.
Contrasting styles met head-on: Barker the consummate grinder and Shabana’s all-world hands. Barker, somewhat resurgent himself following recent injury woes, would do well to take the third and offer some fierce resistance down the stretch in the fourth.
He’d show some good grit by fending off a couple of match balls at 8-10 but he came out on the losing side of an end-to-ender knotted at 10-10.
With a beautiful hold and a flash of the racquet, The Maestro punched his ticket to the semis with a backhand drop melting into the nick….vintage Shabana.