PSA $25k, 15-20 Nov, Pittsburgh, USA
Steven Baicker-McKee reports
Adrian Grant bt Shahier Razik 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7
In a beautifully played game of classic squash, number one seed Grant was a little bit more consistent. The match was played at Razik’s pace, with medium speed tight drives and pressuring drops dominating the play. Game one was even at 6 all, before Grant rattled off 4 straight points with a series of soft drops.
Grant won game 2 comfortably, but Razik came back strong in the third, winning primarily with very tight length. Razik stayed close in game 4 through 8-7, and a 5th game looked like a real possibility, but Grant closed out the match with two ungettable drops and a Razik tin.
Alister Walker beat Ryan Cuskelly 12-10, 12-10, 11-3
The second match was a contrast in style to the first game. Cuskelly knew he did not want to rally with Walker, so he attacked the corners, and Walker counter-attacked with re-drops and drives. The first two games were knots at 10 all, but Walker won the next 2 points both times. Walker then upped his game for the third, and won handily.
There was quite a humorous moment in the second game. A stroke was called against Walker at 9-8. Walker both disagreed with the call, and also thought the game was over. He stormed off the court over to his corner, with a few choice (but civil) words for the ref.
The ref then told him it was only 10-8, and Walker said, “that’s all right then – I thought it was a rough call for game ball” and returned cheerfully to the court, only to win the next 4 points and the game.