By Martin Heath
After a successful qualifying day, the 3 local University of Rochester players put up strong resistance for the seeded players in the first round. The popular, energetic and highly athletic 1st seed Patrick Chifunda showed his match experience against “local boy” Hameed Ahmed. Hameed controlled most of the rallies, though the retrieving ability, counter attack and deception of Chifunda proved too much for Hameed to control for the duration of the match, Chifunda pulling through in a tough 3-1 battle.
Will Newnham also put up stern resistance against 4th seeded Fernando Lopez from Mexico. Lopez fits with the Mexican tradition of great basic game, strong movement and a dogged determination, a combination that was to prove too tough for Newnham in the long run. Lopez clinched a close 2-0 lead, and while Newnham fought back to win the 3rd game with some killer dropshots, fell short physically in the 4th game to the searching, moving strategy of the Mexican player.
Jim Bristow came into the tournament as a wildcard and with high expectations, though didn’t rise to the occasion against 3rd seed Quebecer Michael Reid. Reid used his Power-esque terse technique and attritional strategy to test Bristow’s ability to take control. Unfortunately Bristow didn’t come with his typical controlled game, and didn’t really find his rhythm, not applying enough pressure to break Reid’s resolve, Reid coming through to the quarter finals with a relatively straightforward 3-0 victory.
With all eight quarter finalists impressing in their own ways, it seems impossible to predict a winner on Sunday, though there are sure to be some great matches to come.
Patrick Chifunda bt. Hameed Ahmed (11-9, 11-2, 10-12, 11-4)
Salvador Martinez bt. Jacques Swanepoel (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8)
Fernando Lopez bt. Will Newnham (11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8)
Lekgotla Mosope bt. Armando Olguin (11-6, 11-3, 11-4)
Ahmed Maged Hamza bt. Jason Delierre (14-12, 11-9, 11-7)
Michal Reid bt. Jim Bristow (11-7, 11-3, 11-9)
Arturo Castillo bt. Navin Samarasinghe (11-7, 13-11, 11-4)
Andrew McDougall bt. Joe Millman (11-5, 11-2, 11-3)
(*We’re lucky to have Martin’s insight on tonights matches*)
Photos from Round 1 by Jonathan Davis: