North American Open Squash - Round One News

Latest results and reaction from the North American Squash Open

Online PR News – 23-February-2010 – – Round one has now been completed in Virginia and all of the top seeds are safely through to the second round, but some had to battle to do so. The early rounds of PSA Super Series events seem to be getting more competitive, indicating the quality of the top 30 players in the world. Whilst at the moment such an event is rarely won by a player ranked lower than 6 in the world, it appears that the influence of the players closely behind this group on deciding the eventual winner of a tournament is ever increasing.

stephen coppingerAmong the top players to get bogged down in the first round was the world number one Ramy Ashour, who came up against the in-form Stephen Coppinger. The tall South African who now bases himself in Leeds has hit a great run of form, recently deposing Alistair Walker in the local premier league and he took Adrian Grant to five sets at the Swedish Open. Grant, commentating for the Ashour-Coppinger game, noted the improvement in the South African’s game and pointed out how he uses his height to dominate the ‘T’ and his deceptive high swing which is very hard for opponents to read.

Joey Barrington struggled to shake off the doggedly determined Rafael Alarcon, eventually doing so in five sets. But such a battle early on will not help his cause against Gregory Gaultier who he faces in the next round. In his post-game interview, Barrington acknowledged that he was still getting used to balancing his new role as PSAsquashTV commentator with playing in the tournaments, but spoke proudly and positively about the new online TV package.

Adrian Grant had a tough time against Simon Rosner of Germany, with the Englishman taking a 2-0 lead, before a Rosner fight back. The upset of the first round was the defeat of local hope Julian Illingworth to Egypt’s Mohammed Abbas. His next opponent Nick Matthew said of Mohammed Abbas “nice to see him fit again & playing well. he was nearly top 10 before his injury. we are same age & had some battles from age of 15!”

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