Sunday, October 1, 2023

Walker stunned by qualifier and tumbles from London Open

Walker’s 2013 campaign ends abruptly after Dessouki takes huge scalp
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

WORLD number 17  Alister Walker crashed out of the first-round at the Coronation London Open, as qualifier and world number 81 Fares Dessouki won a 85-minute marathon in five games.

The Egyptian, who struggled past Ben Coleman in the qualifiers 3-2, twice led against Walker, before finally closing out the match 11-9 in the decider at the Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club.

In a back-and-forth encounter, there was almost an air of expectancy that the Botswana number one would eventually ground out a win over his persistent opponent.

But despite levelling the scores at two-apiece, teenager Dessouki won two consecutive points at 9-9 in the fifth to follow up his shock victory over Omar Mosaad in the Sky Open last month with a 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-9 success.

The 19-year-old and reigning British Junior U19 Open champion (pictured in action against Ramy Ashour above) will now face France’s Lucas Serme for a spot in the last four, after the world number 76 upset 21-year-old Charles Sharpes in four games.

Serme, who was knocked out of the first-round at the Hong Kong Open last week, overcame a third-game blip to triumph 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3 in the $25,000 PSA event.

Elsewhere, another five-setter saw Shaun le Roux bow out of the tournament to the lower-ranked Australian Rex Hendrick.

Le Roux, who is ranked 47th in the latest world rankings, looked set to book a quarter-final encounter with number four seed Chris Simpson after quickly opening up a 2-0 lead.

However, with an injury clearly restricting his movement at the start of the third, Hendrick reeled off the next two games before Le Roux duly retired midway through the fifth.

Simpson will now look to captialise on Hendrick’s exertions, after the Englishman eased past last week’s Canterbury Open champion Joel Hinds 11-8 11-7 ,11-9.

In the bottom half of the draw, Coppinger (pictured right) overcame a spirited effort by Jaymie Haycocks to secure a quarter-final meeting with America’s Christopher Gordon, who defeated Declan James in straight games.

Despite racing into an early lead, Coppinger’s control of the T was nullified in the second as Haycocks asserted significant pressure down the backhand side.

Although a tie-break was eventually forced, Haycocks was left to regret squandering a game-ball as the South African took the game at the third time of asking 14-12.

With many expecting Coppinger to seal victory in the third, Haycocks roared back and surprised many as he halved the deficit. However, it merely halted the inevitable as a reinvigorated Coppinger cruised to a 11-4 success in the fourth.

The number two seed was joined in the next round by experienced Englishman Adrian Grant, who dismissed the challenge of wildcard Shahjahan Khan from Pakistan 3-0.

The world number 23 will now face another qualifier in the last eight, after Egyptian Zahed Mohamed beat fellow compatriot  Andrew Waqih Shoukry in four tight games.

There was also a shock result in the women’s London Open, with 18-year-old Surrey qualifier Nada Elkalaawy knocking out eighth seed Birgit Coufal, the world number 57 from Austria, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6 in only 25 minutes.

She joined second seed Emily Whitlock in the quarter-finals of the $10,000 WSA event, after the Cheshire teenager eased past Sina Wall 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 in just 20 minutes.

The world number 24 will now look to exact revenge on her British Nationals conqueror Deon Saffery, after the number seven seed defeated Hollie Naughton in four games. 

While there was success for Whitlock, two other English players – Devon’s Victoria Temple Murray and Leicestershire’s Lily Taylor – succumbed to seeded opponents.

Temple Murray, 19, was beaten 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 by Czech Lucie Fialova, the fifth seed, and 17-year-old Taylor lost 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 to Tesni Evans, the third seed from Wales.

Number one seed Nicolette Fernandes also advanced into the next round, after battling past Gaby Huber of Switzerland 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10. 

The world number 19 will now face 14-year-old Egyptian Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed, after the teenager breezed past number six seed Olga Ertlova in straight games.

First-round – Men’s Results

[Q] Fares Dessouki (Egy) 3-2 [1] Alister Walker (Bot) 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-9 (85m)
Lucas Serme(Fra) 3-1 Chris Sharpes (Eng) 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3 (49m)
Rex Hedrick (Aus) 3-2 Shaun le Roux (Rsa) 9-11, 4-11, 11-1, 11-2, 5-2 rtd (63m)
[4] Chris Simpson (Eng) 3-0 Joel Hinds (Eng) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (55m)
[3] Adrian Grant (Eng) 3-0 Shahjahan Khan (Pak)
[Q] Zahed Mohamed (Egy) 3-1 Andrew Waqih Shoukry (Egy) 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (45m)
Christopher Gordon (Usa) v [Q] Declan James (Eng) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (40m)
[2] Stephen Coppinger (Rsa) 3-1 Jaymie Haycocks 11-5, 14-12, 9-11, 11-2 (47m)

Quarter-Finals – Men’s Draw

[Q] Fares Dessouki (Egy) v Lucas Serme (Fra) – 19:00pm
Rex Hedrick (Aus) v [4] Chris Simpson (Eng) – 15:00pm
[3] Adrian Grant (Eng) v [Q] Zahed Mohamed (Egy) – 17:00pm
Christopher Gordon (Usa) v [2] Stephen Coppinger (Rsa) – 20:00pm

First-round – Women’s Draw:

[1] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 3-1 Gaby Huber (Sui) 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10 (47m)
Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed (Egy) 3-0 [6] Olga Ertlova (Cze) 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (28m)
[5] Lucie Fialova (Cze) 3-0 Victoria Temple Murray (Eng) 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 (25m)
[4] Coline Aumard (Fra) 3-1 [Q] Chloe Mesic (Fra) 15-13, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7 (35m)
[Q] Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) 3-1 [8] Birgit Coufal (Aut) 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6 (25m)
[3] Tesni Evans (Wal) v [Q] Lily Taylor (Eng) 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 (45m)
[7] Deon Saffery (Wal) v [Q] Hollie Naughton (Can) 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)
[2] Emily Whitlock (Eng) v Sina Wall (Ger) 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 (20m)

Quarter-Finals – Women’s Draw:

[1] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) v Habiba Mohamed Ahmed Alymohmed (Egy) – 18:00pm
[5] Lucie Fialova (Cze) v[4] Coline Aumard (Fra) – 16:00pm
[Q] Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) v [3] Tesni Evans (Wal) – 14:00pm
[7] Deon Saffery (Wal) v [2] Emily Whitlock (Eng) 21:00pm

 Pictures by Steve Cubbins (SquashSite); Michael Catling

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest articles