Mario Yanez Tapia (MEX) bt. Anthony Graham (ENG) 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
Faraz Khan (USA) bt. Mark Fuller (ENG) 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 16-14
Angus Gillams (ENG) bt. Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt. Syed Hamza Bukhari (PAK) 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4
Match reports by Ben Pitfield, Photos by Bill Lampeter
Mario Yanez Tapia bt. Anthony Graham 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
In this match-up, crowd favourite Yanez Tapia came out looking a bit sluggish against the British Graham, who was up for it with his mother — or at least a woman who looks a lot like his mother — in attendance. Graham used this sluggishness to his advantage and took the first game in and around 11-7. It was at this point that some younger members of the crowd began to seriously wonder whether Graham’s coolness was an act, or whether he was a zombie. Young GVC player Mark buried his head in his father, Ilya’s, shoulder and said, “please dad, don’t let the extremely relaxed man get me!” Which made everyone laugh, except for Anthony of course, who was pretty chilled about the whole thing. Yanez Tapia came out firing in the second and, subsequently, the third and fourth and ground Graham off the court in a gutsy showing, their second face-off in 3 weeks.
Faraz Khan bt. Mark Fuller 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 16-14
Some people have said to me that Faraz Khan’s game is reminiscent of a beautiful painting, each brush stroke placed just so in a calculated illumination of an emotional idea. Like a Picasso, or perhaps a late Rembrandt. None of those people, however, saw this match. This match was a grinding, greasing, gesticulatingly wild affair. Fuller was able to push the American into four and had an opportunity at 11-11 to get more, but, alas, it was not to be and he lost.
Angus Gillams bt. Leonel Cardenas 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
In number 1 seed Angus Gillams’ second match of the tournament the crowd was given a real treat, as he beat 2017 US Junior Open Champion Leonel Cardenas of Mexico in three games. Despite that scoreline, the match was not wrought or brought withot some dramatic moments, especially given some truly creative refereeing by local amateur and Jonathan Power impersonator Leonard Mohr, who was seen at one point in the third game on court, demonstrating to the players what appeared to be proper forehand length technique. In this bought, the veteran Gillams used his extremely cutty strings to sashimi chop the young challenger.
Bernat Jaume bt. Syed Hamza Shah Bukhari 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4
If ever there was a man — nay, a legend! — so compelling as the story of Bernat Jaume in this tournament, I’ve yet to hear it. In the first round he took out country man Hugo Varela in a dramatic and fantastic four sets, which set him up to take on the Ponytailed Pakistani in the quarters. This match, I believe, was firmly decided by the play of the Spaniard in the front left corner hitting cross-court lobs, a shot for which Syed could find no answer. If my guess is as good as any, Bernat won in four games.