Match reports by Robert Valdovinos
Martin Knight bt. Clinton Leeuw (11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 11-2, and 11-5) in 109 minutes
Martin Knight of New Zealand defeated Clinton Leeuw of South Africa in five games to advance to the final of the Rochester Pro-Am. Martin entered the first semifinal as the favorite having won his first two matches in a dominant fashion against Supreet Singh and Josue Enriquez. Today, Clinton pushed Martin to five games in what turned out to be a marathon of match. The first set the tone for the rest of the games, as both players remained timid on their attacking and looked for their opponent to commit unforced errors. Martin took the first, but Clinton came back firing on all cylinders for the second. Clinton changed the pace of the game by going on the offensive and used a couple of nick shots to propel him to a win in the second. The third, remained closed through its entirety but Martin’s consistency proved to be the difference. In the fourth, both competitors appeared to tire, but it did not impede both players from pushing their bodies to the limit. Clinton used Martin’s frustration to take the fourth and extend the match. With momentum on his side, Clinton looked to upset Martin, but the #1 seed regained his momentum and beat Clinton to secure a spot in the final
Jan van den Herrewegen bt. Lewis Walters (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, and 15-13) in 67 minutes
The second semifinal of the night saw Jan van den Herrewegen of Belgium dispatch Lewis Walters of Jamaica in four games to punch a ticket to tomorrow’s final. The first game was close from the go and saw Jan take advantage of a couple of tins from Walters to take an early lead in games. Fortunes turned in the second as Walters found success with his backhand and a more offensive style of play. However, Jan van den Herrewegen increased the pace of the game in the third to come out ahead to the tune of 11-7. With a ticket to the next round clearly in sight for Jan, he found the extra energy to eliminate Lewis Walters in extra points. Jan will compete in the final tomorrow against Martin Knight in a battle between the top two tournament seeds.