ILEX Construction Charlottesville Open:
Wins Charlottesville Open
Botswanan World No.30 Alister Walker halted the charge of qualifier
Lucas Serme in the final of the ILEX Construction Charlottesville
Open, defeating the Frenchman 3-1 to take home the PSA International
Walker, who dropped only one game en route to the final, was forced
to pull out his best squash to get the better of the 22-year-old who
had claimed the scalps of number one seed Adrian Grant, number four
seed Tom Richards and number six seed Ryan Cuskelly on his way to a
second consecutive PSA World Tour final following his triumph in the
Rotterdam Open in August.
And it was the Frenchman who took an early lead in the encounter,
taking the first game 11-6, but Walker, who has ranked as high as
No.12 on the PSA World Rankings, used all his experience to mount an
impressive fightback that saw him take the next three games to
complete an 6-11, 11-3, 16-14, 11-6 turnaround victory in
It is a victory that sees Walker claim his tenth career title on the
PSA World Tour and his first since winning the Hong Kong Football
Club International in May 2013.
Serme Powers Into Charlottesville Final
French qualifier Lucas Serme, the 22-year-old who ended the hopes of
number six seed Ryan Cuskelly and number one seed Adrian Grant
en-route to the semi-finals of the ILEX Construction Charlottesville
Open, continued his impressive run of form to see off number four
seed Tom Richards and book his place in the final of the PSA
International 25 event.
The man from Creteil has been in sensational form during the
tournament so far and proved too much for Richards, getting the
better of the Englishman in a thrilling 89-minute encounter that saw
him come from 2-0 before taking a nervy tie-break in the third game
before going all the way to the wire, eventually sealing a 5-11,
9-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8 win.
The Frenchman will now hope to end the run of number three seed
Alister Walker in the final, after the Bostwanan comfortably came
through his semi-final with Egypt's Karim Ali Fathi, seeing off the
number eight seed in just 36-minutes.
Seeds Crash Out In Charlottesville
Top seeds Adrian Grant and Chris Simpson crashed out of the ILEX
Construction Charlottesville Open at the quarter-final stage
The duo came out on the wrong end of two epic encounters against
French qualifier Lucas Serme and Egypt's Karim Ali Fathi,
respectively, with both contests going down to a fifth and deciding
game after over 80-minutes of action.
Serme, the 22-year-old from Creteil, continued his giant-killing
form to follow up his surprise first round victory over number six
seed Ryan Cuskelly with an impressive 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2
win over tournament favourite Grant, taking 83-minutes to see off
the man ranked 42 places above him on the PSA World Rankings.
Simpson, the World No.25 from Guernsey, had an equally tough day at
the office after seeing a 2-1 lead slip against Egyptian Fathi
before the man from Cairo powered home to complete an 11-8, 3-11,
7-11, 11-4, 11-7 victory, taking just one minute longer than Serme
to end the hopes of the number two seed.
Number three seed Alister Walker of Botswana and number four seed
Tom Richards of England had no such issues in their quarter-final
match-ups however, coming through with relative ease against Declan
James and Campbell Grayson to book their places in the semi-finals.
Come Through Day One In Charlottesville
Qualifiers Declan James and Lucas Serme upset the odds during the
first day of action in the ILEX Construction Charlottesville Open,
defeating tournament number five seed Mazen Hesham and number six
seed Ryan Cuskelly, respectively.
James, the 21-year-old Englishman from Nottingham, came through a
thrilling 60-minute encounter with Hesham, the Egyptian World No.34,
coming from two games down to storm back and take the match in a
nail-biting tie-break during the final game.
The Egyptian had opened up a commanding advantage after a superb
display of shot making saw him outclass James to take the first two
games 11-5, 11-3, but a series of errors in the third game led to a
change in momentum and it was the Englishman who capitalised,
restoring parity before using his momentum to come through a
gripping finale 15-13.
22-year-old Frenchman Serme was a commanding presence as he upset
Australian World No.43 Cuskelly, recovering from a slow start after
losing the first game to dominate the court and complete a 6-11,
11-3, 11-6, 11-3 triumph.
Tournament favourite Adrian Grant, England's World No.24, came
through a comfortable first round encounter with American
Christopher Gordon, rarely looking troubled as he secured a 3-0 win
while number two seed Chris Simpson, Guernsey's flag-bearer during
the recent Commonwealth Games, was given a scare by Canadian Shawn
Simpson was taken all the way by the 32-year-old from Montreal,
having to fight his way from 2-1 down to force the match into a
deciding game which was neck-and-neck at 8-8 before Simpson regained
control to complete the 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8 victory.