Qualifying under way in Toluca

Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas 2012. Toluca, Mexico.

Today, Tuesday 30th October 2012, we started this tournament with two men’s first round qualifiers and one women’s first round qualifiers at the Squash Club in nearby Zinacantapec.

Olli Tuominen (FIN) beat Edgar Zayas (MEX) 11/4, 11/5, 11/9. 27 mins.

Olli started off at a good pace, as a seasoned professional should, and did not let 17 year old Edgar into the game very much and, despite some really good play from Edgar, Olli took the first game quite comfortably 11/4. In the second Olli stayed well in command again to lead 8/2, Edgar pulled back three points but then Olli served out to win 11/5. The tempo changed considerably in the third with young Edgar staying very level all the way to 9/9, cheered on by a small but vociferous partisan crowd, but then Olli showed his experience to serve out at 11/9 and won the match 3 – 0.

Gregoire Marche (FRA) beat Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 6/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/3. 32 mins.

Henrik, another player from Finland, started slightly the better in the first game, not letting Greg into the game much, and took the first game 11/6. The next two games were much closer but Greg managed to stay slightly in front to take them both at 11/9, then with Henrik showing signs of tiredness Greg finished off to take the fourth game comfortably at 11/3 and the match 3 games to 1.

Montserrat Castellanos (MEX) beat Diana Gasca (MEX) 11/1, 12/10, 15/13. 27 mins.

The only ladies match played today in the first round of qualifying, due to a revised draw, saw two young Mexican ladies playing. Montserrat, or Montse for short, took the first game very comfortably in quick time 11/1, hardly leaving Diana to take a breath. However Diana started the second much better and took an early 3/0 lead, but Montse broke back to lead 7/3 then 8/4, Diana then fought very hard to get first game ball at 10/9, however Montse took three straight points to win 12/10. The third saw Diana come back much stronger and the scored stayed quite close until Diana took a slight lead at 8/6. Montse clawed her way back to lead 9/8, Diana levelled at 9/9, Montse got her first match ball at 10/9, Diana saved that then got game ball at 11/10, Montse saved that then got another match ball at 12/11, Diana saved again but then another match ball to Montse at 13/12, Diana saved yet again but this time won her next match ball to take the game 15/13 and the match 3 – 0.

After these matches everybody moved up to the Glass Court a couple of miles away in the centre of Toluca, erected in a lovely setting in Plaza de los Matires , but despite the evening being very very cold the small crowd was entertained with some really good matches.

Chris Simpson (ENG) beat Chis Gordon (USA) 11/4, 11/8, 11/7. 34 mins.

First match upon the Glass Court saw Chris Simpson from England up against Chris Gordon from the USA. Chris S stormed into a huge lead of 8/0 at the beginning of the first and although Chris G got a few points towards the end Chris S finished off at 11/4. Chris G came stronger in the second taking 6/3 lead, Chris S got back to 7/7, Chris G took another for an 8/7 lead but then Chris S served out to take the game 11/8. Chris S took control in the third and despite some brave fighting from Chris G, he took the game 11/7 and the match in 3.

Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) beat Eric Galvez (MEX) 11/4, 11/9, 11/4. 38 mins.Ryan

Despite the partisan crowd of Mexicans cheering on their favourite Eric Galvez, he did not have much to offer against the Australian Ryan Cuskelly in the first game until Ryan led 9/3, Eric took another three points before Ryan took the game 11/6. Eric put up much more of a fight in the second, despite Ryan taking an 8/3 lead, he fought back to level at 8/8, saved one game ball at 10/8 but Ryan then took the game 11/9. With Eric visibly tiring Ryan swept through the third game to win 11/4 and the match 3 – 0.

Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) beat Campbell Grayson (NZL) 7/11, 11/7, 12/10, 11/9.

The recently much improved Campbell took the game to Marwan from the start and despite some great play from Marwan, Campbell took the first game surprisingly 11/7. From then on Marwan, who has recently enjoyed a fast rise up the rankings, took control of the match, although Campbell played with great spirit and some fine shots, and Marwan took the second 11/7. The third was much tighter, with Campbell taking a 6/2 then 8/4 lead, Marwan levelling at 8/8, Campbell got to game ball at 10/8, but Marwan held out to take the game 12/10. In the fourth Campbell was showing signs of tiredness at the beginning and Marwan took an 8/2 lead, Campbell pulled back a few points and saved one match ball at 10/8 but Marwan held out to take the game 11/9 and the match 3 – 1.

Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) beat Eric Tepos Valtierra (MEX) 11/5, 11/5, 11/6. 29 mins.

Local Mexican player Erik fought strongly throughout the match with the Mexican crowd behind him, but the much more experienced Mathieu kept him at bay all the time to take the match 3 – 0.

Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) beat Juan Carlos Gomez 11/2, 11/5, 11/5. 17 mins.

The tall Omar, playing much in the style of his fellow countryman Marwan earlier, simply left the young local Mexican player Juan Carlos wondering what had hit him as he took a comfortable first game 11/2. At 10/2 game ball to Omar in the second Juan Carlos gave the crowd a little hope by saving 3 game balls but alas then fell at 11/5. Again in the third Juan Carlos had little answer to Omar’s brilliant shot making as Omar took the game 11/5 and the match 3 – 0.

Saurav Ghosal (IND) beat Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11/8, 11/5, 11/9. 40 mins.

The final match of the night saw India’s No 1 player Saurav, now based in Leeds, England, playing against Cesar Salazar, one of Mexico’s favourite players. The first game saw some excellent play from both players, with the score going up to 8/8, but then Saurav showed the more experience to take the game 11/8. In the second Saurav galloped into a 6/0 lead, Cesar pulled back to 4/6 but then could not do much more as Saurav took the game 11/5. The third game was much better for Cesar as he fought his way bravely into a slight 7/5 lead, Saurav took back the lead at 8/7, Cesar took one point to level, Saurav got to match ball at 10/8 and despite Cesar saving one match ball Sarav took the game 11/9 and the match 3 – 0.

And so we came to the end of a day in which we saw some great matches from the qualifiers, with the crowd excited but very cold, and we move on to the second round of qualifiers in both men’s and women’s tournaments tomorrow.

Arthur Curran

Tournament Page: squashsite.co.uk/2009/mexicano2012.htm

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