Stays Hot in Rust Belt
REST FOR THE WEARY
Anjema himself, though having a few more days of rest, had to play his way through two days of qualifying in Dayton to reach White. Though neither of those qualifiers "went the distance."
So on the ASB conventional-court surface, as opposed to the Chicago glass, Laurens Jan Anjema duplicated his first round heroics from Chicago (in which he downed world #3 Peter Nicol) and this time upset Chicago Tour Stop winner and former #1 John White in four gritty games. Now that he has proven his ability to win satellite PSA events and to pull off wins over elite player in early rounds of bigger events, Anjema will need to show consistency during a major event to further boost his rankings.
While Anjema was battling with White, Jonathon Power was very economically disposing of qualifier Cameron Pilley of Australia. When Power is healthy, and he is healthy now, he is a very focused and intelligent tournament tactician. Power rarely wastes early rounds of an event, and this match was no exception, as he saved his reserves for later rounds. Anjema will find a rested, focused, and healthy Jonathon Power waiting for him.
Power, an emotional player, who readily admits to having "favorite courts" (Qatar) and favorite locations (Toronto, New York) seems, in the past two seasons, to have quickly warmed to the US "rust belt", of Detroit, Chicago, and now Dayton, as a friendly venue for him.
OF LAST YEAR'S FINAL
Earlier on, in the Egyptian "Quarter of death" (boasting El Hindi, Darwish and Abbas), Karim Darwish started the crowd going early on, opening main draw play at 4:00 with an almost clinical win over Graham Ryding. On the adjoining court, the stylish Mo Abbas advance with a win over lower ranked Egyptian Wael el Hindi. The Darwish - Abbas showdown is a rematch of last year's final here at Dayton, won by Karim Darwish. This year again, on paper, the matchup goes to Darwish, but this should be a great demonstration, as Abbas has the firepower to match up with his compatriot.
The Simon Parke versus Alan Grant match followed on the same court vacated by Anjema, which turned out to be the match of the evening. Parke pulled off the win in vintage style in 92 minutes and survived 3 match balls in the 4th game. Grant went up 6-2 in the deciding 5th game, but then Parke rattled off 6 straight points, many of them at the culmination of long rallies, to go up 8-6. Grant battled back to tie it at 8-all, and then back & forth to 9-all, with several long rallies ending in let, before Simon prevailed 11-9.
a while since I've won a five-gamer like that, Parke told SquashTalk.
"I had some downtime over Christmas when I couldn't train but now
I'm starting to feel more match fit again." He will have to be, as
he takes on old foe Peter Nicol tonight in the quarterfinal.
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