Clyne stuns Grant in battle of Britain fought in Philly
By Squash Mad Reporter
England’s Adrian Waller, the 24-year-old from Enfield, pulled off the biggest win of his career to date to knock World No.7 Borja Golan out of the 2014 Delaware Investments US Open during the opening round of action at Philadelphia’s Drexel University earlier today.
The World No.27 scraped through what was a tense and attritional 92-minute battle against the Spanish national champion. Waller came from behind early in the encounter to hold his nerve in a nailbiting final game and eventually sealed an impressive 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 victory that sees him beat a top-10 ranked player on the PSA World Tour for the first time in his career.
“That was definitely the biggest win of my career to date,” said Waller. “I’ve never beaten a top ten player before in my career, so to do that in the opening round of a major tournament like the US Open is very big for me.
“I’ve been in good situations before against big players and it’s never gone the right way for me. You have to just try and keep focused on your own game, not get too caught up in the moment and it was great to come out on the winning side.
“I’m really looking forward to the second round now. In many ways the pressure is off me so I’m going to enjoy the match and hopefully I can put in another good performance.”
Waller will now take on Egyptian Mazen Hesham in the second round on Monday after the 20-year-old survived a tough battle with Frenchman Lucas Serme during an opening day that also saw Leo Au of Hong Kong and Scotland’s Alan Clyne, who was bumped into the main draw following the withdrawal of World No.10 Karim Darwish ahead of the tournament, pull off surprise upsets against higher ranking opposition.
Clyne, the World No.38, claimed one of the biggest scalps of the day in the opening match of the tournament on Drexel’s Kline & Specter courts to see off England’s World No.23 Grant in emphatic fashion, taking the match 11-2, 13-11, 11-7.
The 28-year-old from Edinburgh made a flying start winning the first game 11-2, which Grant seemed to concede late in hopes of responding in the second.
Grant did just that in the second game reaching 11-11, at which time Clyne stepped up and closed out the game 13-11. The Scotsman then recovered from 7-6 down in the third to win five consecutive points to win the match in three games and punch his ticket into the U.S. Open’s second round for just the second time in his career.
“I didn’t really expect it to be three straight games,” said Clyne afterwards. “I knew it would be a tough match, and I knew if I played well I would have a good chance to win, but to get through in three is definitely unexpected.
“It’ll be good, I’ll have a day off and will try to get on the glass court to practise. It’s very different on there than this court. I managed to get into the last 16 last year where I lost to Mohamed Elshorbagy, so I’m hoping to better that performance, and get stuck in.”
Au, ranked World No.41, stunned World No.29 Gregoire Marche to take an equally impressive 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 win.
Elsewhere during the opening day of action Simon Rösner came through an epic battle against Mathieu Castagnet to secure his place in the second round while Australian Cameron Pilley saw off compatriot Ryan Cuskelly.
Elshorbagy, this month elevated to world No.2 and with a chance of claiming the top spot if he goes all the way here, overpowered Scottish qualifier Greg Lobban in the first game 11-2. Lobban contested the next two much better, but was always playing catchup as Shorbagy finished it off 11-7, 11-7.
“I’m going to do my best to win here, like we all are,” said Shorbagy. “It’s hard not to think about the world number one thing, but you just have to put it out of your mind.
“I’ll have to prepare well for the next match. I’ve lost to Pilley a few times—he knows how to beat me, for sure.”
Delaware Investments US Open, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. – Fist Round, Top Half.
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 3-0: 11-1, 11-1, 11-5 [27m]
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 3-0: 11-2, 13-11, 11-7 [52m]
[Q] Leo Au (HKG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-2: 11-2, 11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5 [82mins]
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt  Borja Golan (ESP) 3-2: 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9 [92m]
Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-2: 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9 [77m]
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 [69m]
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 [34m]
Pictures courtesy of US Open Squash