Match reports by Jesse Cramer
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt. Hernan D’Arcangelo (ARG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-2 (26m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) took the game to Hernan D’Arcangelo (ARG) starting from the first point. Clinton’s movement was quick and efficient, and his holds from the front kept Hernan unsure and unbalanced. Hernan simply could not apply enough pressure to make Clinton doubt himself, and the game lasted only 8 miuntes. 11-4 to Leeuw.
Leeuw came out determined to play cleaner squash in the third. Perfect play gave him a 4-0, then 5-1 lead. He was volleying everything he could, fighting to stay on the T. The lead grew to 9-1 as Hernan could not quite keep up with the pace. A pretty straight nick gave Clinton 10-1 and nine match balls. Clinton won the second, giving him the third 11-2 after 8 minutes.
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt. Matthew Serediak (CAN) 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (42m)
The other 6:00 PM match featured Wade Johnstone (AUS) and Matt Serediak (CAN). The play started even and steady, nothing that would set the world alight. Back and forth, the game reached 6-6. But then Wade went on a little run, taking advantage of a couple tins by Matt. 11-9 to Wade.
Matt came out re-focused in the second. He maintained a small lead throughout, as 5-3 grew to 8-5. Then a pair of untimely tins and a few nice winners from Wade brought the score to 9-9, then 10-10. After a couple long, searching rallies, Wade had the game won at 12-10.
Matt seemed to tire a bit in the third, and Wade took full advantage. Tight, deep squash gave Wade a 4-2 lead that grew to 7-4. Even when Matt did apply pressure, Wade retrieved brilliantly, mitigating even Matt’s best shots. A perfect lob gave Wade four match balls at 10-6. He capitalized on the first, winning the third game 11-6.
Ali Farag (EGY) bt. Scott Arnold 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5 (81m)
The best match of the night saw young, mercurial Ali Farag (EGY) against lengthy, smooth Scott Arnold (AUS). The game was even early on, tied at 4. Then some terrific shots from the front court gave Ali a 7-4 advantage. Scott retrieved brilliantly, but Ali was too good. The lead grew to 10-6. Scott fought off three game balls using steady length, rebuffing any of Ali’s attacks. But a thunderous tin at 10-9 gave Ali the first game, 11-9.
Ali started out loose in the third, and Scott took full advantage. His lead was quickly 6-2. Then Ali calmed himself and came roaring back. Great shotmaking brought the score back to 5-6. A lob out of court by Scott tied things at 6. After a few more rallies, it was 8-8. A straight nick by Scott, followed by a lucky guess when Ali held him in the front, and Scott had two game balls. But Ali fought both off, and then won the next point to give him 11-10. After a short rally, Ali lept onto a loose forehand rail and dunked the ball into the nick. Game to Ali 12-10.
The fourth was fierce. Scott jumped out to 4-1, then Ali fought back to 4-4. Back and forth to 6-6. A loose boast gave Scott time to deceive Ali in the front right corner; too much time it turned out, as Scott’s hold-drop clipped the tin. After a “no let” and a pair of strokes, the score was locked at 8. A perfect length by Scott gave him 9-8, but he immediately followed it with a tin. 9-9. Ali forced Scott to leave a ball out in the middle, but this time it was Ali who clipped the tin. 10-9 to Scott. Ali fought off the game ball, but could not permanently deny Scott. A tight drop followed by a lob out of court gave the tall Aussie the fourth, 12-10.
The fifth started out very even. 2-2, 3-3, then 4-4. There were some terrific rallies ending in lets; the crowd especially loved watching Ali dart in and out of the deep corners, refusing to go down easily. Scott simply could not put Ali away. Eventually, Scott began to aim lower and lower on the front wall, trying to put the ball out of Ali’s reach. But, he ventured too low. A series of tins moved the game from 5-5 to 9-5 in Ali’s favor. Yet another tin brought the score to 10-5. Ali secured the match on his first match ball, winning the fifth 11-5.
Erik Tepos Valtierra (MEX) bt. Josh Cardwell (AUS) 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-1 (50m)
Cardwell started off the first game with and 8-3 lead. Erik was just getting warmed up and dug back in but it was to large a ap to bridge wth Cardwell taking the first game 11-9.
In the second Erik shot back with a 6-0 lead finishing off at 11-8. Game score 1-1.
The third and fourth were comfortable 11-4, 11-1 wins for Erik winning him a place in the semifinals.