Monday, May 27, 2024

US OPEN: Double bagel day in Philly

Nick Matthew at full stretch. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS
Nick Matthew at full stretch. Picture by STEVE CUBBINS

It was a double bagel day in the Delaware Investments US Open as former world champion Nick Matthew and rising English star Joe Lee both won their opening games 11-0.

Both went on to win their matches in straight games, with Lee flooring Finland’s Henrik Mustonen in 35 minutes, but Matthew was kept on court for almost an hour as Kuwaiti qualifier Abdullah Al Mezayen fought back.

The second and third games were both tight affairs with Matthew relieved to squeeze home 11-0, 12-10, 14-12 to book his place in the last 16.

“In some ways that first game was the worst thing that could happen,” said Matthew. “He played really well after that, and it was very tough, but I’d rather have it that way than win all the games 11-0.”

Kiwi qualifier Campbell Grayson achieved a landmark victory with a shock win over Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in straight games.

The first and third games were brutal affairs, with Grayson hanging in to win each one by a 13-11 margin.

World No.25 Mueller fought back in the third to reach game ball at 10-6. But the 24-year-old from Zurich twice hit the tin and, still up 10-9, attempted a crosscourt backhand drop that just missed the nick – and Grayson jumped onto it to drive the ball to an unreachable length.

Grayson volleys against Mueller
Grayson volleys against Mueller

Despite a further game ball for Mueller at 11-10, Grayson refused to surrender, racing away with his ticket into the second round by forcing Mueller to scramble too much and ultimately finding himself congratulating the exuberant Grayson.

“I just kept telling myself that I was only a couple points away, to keep fighting,” said Grayson after his shock 13-11, 11-7, 13-11 upset in 52 minutes. “I’m really happy with how I played at the end. I’m looking forward to my next match now.”

In his first appearance in the second round, Grayson will now face 2007 champion Matthew, the No.3 seed.

Campbell Grayson celebrates after beating Nic Mueller
Campbell Grayson celebrates after beating Nic Mueller

In an all-England affair, former world number one James Willstrop produced a commanding performance to see off Channel Islander Chris Simpson.

In a battle of two Yorkshire-based players, Simpson made inroads in both the first and third games, but Willstrop’s big-match experience was the decisive factor as he moved one match closer to another all-Yorkshire battle against long-time rival Matthew.

Germany’s Simon Rosner, known as the Wood Chopper, was too strong for America’s Julian Illingworth.

“I’m really happy with how I played,” said world No12 Rosner. “Julian’s always a difficult opponent and especially in front of his home crowd. He was coming back at me in the second, I had to dig deep to win that one.

“I’m a 9/16 seed here, and I’m hoping to do better than that, which means I’d have to beat Tarek in two days’ time.”

Eighth seed Tarek Momen, ranked just a single place above the German, struggled to overcome Matthew Karwalski, having to fight back from a two-game deficit before seeing off the Australian qualifier 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 in 51 minutes.

Men’s Second Round:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
[7] Borja Golan (ESP) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
[5] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v Joe Lee (ENG)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v Simon Rosner (GER)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)

James Willstrop slots home another backhand drop against Chris Simpson
James Willstrop slots home another backhand drop against Chris Simpson

PSA World Series Men’s Round One (bottom half):
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Abdullah Al Mezayen (Kuw) 11-0, 12-10, 14-12 (52m)
[Q] Campbell Grayson (Nzl) bt Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 13-11, 11-7, 13-11 (52m)
Joe Lee (Eng) bt Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 11-0, 11-5, 11-4 (36m)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-5 (54m)

[8] Tarek Momen (Egy) bt [Q] Matthew Karwalski (Aus) 6-11, 5-11 11-5, 11-4, 11-3
Simon Rosner (Ger) bt Julian Illingworth (Usa) 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (42m)
Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt [Q] Eddie Charlton (Eng) 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
[2] James Willstrop (Eng) bt Chris Simpson (Eng) 11-7, 11-2, 11-7 (42m)

WSA World Series Women’s Round One (bottom half):
[6] Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt [Q] Sarah Cardwell (Aus) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (30m)
Amanda Sobhy (Usa) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 10-12, 11-4, 11-1, 11-8 (47m)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Kristen Lange (Usa) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (22m)
Kasey Brown (Aus) bt [Q] Lisa Aitken (Eng) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (42m)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Samantha Teran (Mex) 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt [Q] Kanzy El Defrawy (Egy) 5-11,11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 11-6 (61m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt [Q] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa) 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (17m)
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng) bt Victoria Lust (Eng) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 (26m)


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