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Pilley Powers To National Capital Title

National Capital Open 2008
Maryland, USA, 29 Jan to 03 Feb, $24k
Round One
31 Jan
01 Feb
02 Feb
03 Feb
[1] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11/4, 11/6, 12/10 (34m)
Adil Maqbool (Pak)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/4, 11/7, 12/10 (42m)
Tom Richards
Laurens Jan Anjema
11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 10-11 (0-2), 11-3
Liam Kenny
Laurens Jan Anjema
11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (53m)
Cameron Pilley
[6] Bernardo Samper (Col)
6/11, 11/5, 11/6 11/4 (42m)
Tom Richards (Eng)
[4] Liam Kenny (Irl)
11/9, 11/5, 9/11, 11/4 (56m)
[Q] Patrick Chifunda (Zam)
Liam Kenny
11/8, 11/5, 11/3 (38m)
[7] Ryan Cuskelly
[7] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
9/11, 11/7, 11/6,7/11, 11/8 (99m)
Wade Johnstone (Aus)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
6/11, 11/7, 11/9, 11/9 (48m)
[5] Tarek Momen (Egy)
Tarek Momen
8/11, 11/6, 11/6, 3/11, 11/6 (56m)
Aaron Frankcomb
Aaron Frankcomb
11-7, 11-7, 11-8
Cameron Pilley
[Q] David Vidal (Esp)
11/8, 11/6, 11/5 (34m)
[3] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
[Q] Reggie Schonborn (Rsa)
3/11, 11/6, 11/3, 11/6 (47m)
[8] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
Mathieu Castagnet
11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (49m)
Cameron Pilley
[Q] Jens Schoor (Ger)
11/3, 11/6, 11/4 (27m)
[2] Cameron Pilley (Aus)

31-Jan, Qualifying Finals:
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Graeme Wilson (NZl) 11/6, 11/7, 11/8 (53m)
David Vidal (Esp) bt Fernando Lopez (Mex) 11/7, 11/3, 6/11, 11/7 (48m)
Reggie Schonborn (RSA) bt Jacques Swanepoel (RSA) 11/5, 11/7, 11/8 (25m)
Patrick Chifunda (Zam) bt Tom Pashley (Eng) 11/6, 13/11, 12/14, 10/12, 11/8 (81m)

30-Jan Qualifying Round One:
Jens Schoor (Ger) bt Colin Ramasra (Tri) 11/6, 11/3, 11/3 (27m)
Graeme Wilson (Nzl) bt Joe Millman (Eng) 11/4, 11/5, 11/6 (24m)
David Vidal (Esp) bt Page Lansdale (Usa) 11/2, 11/2, 11/4 (21m)
Fernando Lopez (Mex) bt Rod Barnes (Usa) 11/6, 11/1, 11/2 (17m)
Jacques Swanepoel (Rsa) bt James Snell (Eng) 16/14, 13/11, 5/11, 9/11, 11/8 (65m)
Reggie Schonborn (Rsa) bt Ian Brown (Jam) 11/2, 11/3, 11/4 (23m)
Tom Pashley (Eng) bt Johan Bouquet (Fra) 11/9, 11/9, 11/4 (50m)
Patrick Chifunda (Zam) bye

Pilley Powers To National Capital Title
Australia’s Cameron Pilley saved his stunning best for the final of the 2008 National Capital Open where he overwhelmed top seed Laurens Jan Anjema in three straight games in the climax of the inaugural 2 Star PSA Tour squash event in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.

The 25-year-old from New South Wales started tentatively in the first game and tinned several attacking drops, giving Anjema an early 8-3 lead.  In contrast, Dutchman Anjema appeared comfortable against the early Pilley attack and it looked as if he might be able to nullify the lanky Australian in a way that his previous opponents had been unable to do. 

As the play settled in the first, second seed Pilley began to reduce his error rate and lengthen the rallies, forcing his opponent to increase the intensity of his attack.  Subsequently Anjema began to use more short game, including his trademark trickle boast counter drops.  Pilley quickly demonstrated that he was up to this challenge, using his substantial reach to cope with the short game that the Dutchamn's earlier opponents had struggled with.

"These retrieving skills proved to be key, robbing Anjema of the opportunity of his favourite scoring options and forcing the Dutchman to ever increasing tightness which eventually raised his mistake rate," said tournament organiser Rod Barnes.  "Over the three games, there was only one drop, a rolling nick, which Pilley did not reach or receive a let on, in an incredible retrieving display."

Towards the end, Anjema’s head dropped slightly as if to signify he had no answer for what he was facing and indeed the end came shortly after as Pilley wrapped up his 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 upset in 53 minutes.

"I can’t believe how well I was moving and retrieving," said Pilley afterwards - adding that he hoped to carry the form through
Nova Scotia and on to Toronto. 

Tournament promoters, Rod and Connie Barnes of AussieNick Squash, vowed to work with the National Capital Squash Association and sponsors to provide a bigger and better National Capital Open 2009, with use of a portable glass court a major ambition.

Pilley's triumph in
Bethesda - where he failed to drop a game throughout the tournament - gives the UK-based Australian his 12th PSA Tour title in 20 final appearances.

Anjema & Pilley In Bethesda Final
Laurens Jan Anjema
and Cameron Pilley will meet in the final of the National Capital Open in the US state of Maryland, but the top two seeds achieved their anticipated places in the climax of the inaugural 2 Star PSA Tour squash event in Bethesda in contrasting styles.

Second seed Pilley faced compatriot Aaron Frankcomb, the third seed from Hobart in Tasmania. The 25-year-old from New South Wales battled to an 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 victory to reach the 20th PSA Tour final of his career without dropping a game in the tournament

But despite winning the first two games of his semi-final against fourth seed Liam Kenny, Anjema lost his focus as Irishman Kenny upped his game to draw level. The 25-year-old Dutchman, however, regained his focus in the decider to take the match 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 10-11 (0-2), 11-3 and earn his 17th Tour final appearance.

Frankcomb Battles To All-Aussie Bethesda Semi
It took five games for Aaron Frankcomb to overcome Egyptian teenager Tarek Momen in the quarter-finals of the National Capital Open to set up an all-Aussie clash with second seed Cameron Pilley in the semi-finals of the inaugural 2 Star PSA Tour squash event in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.

Frankcomb, the 22-year-old third seed from Queensland, recovered from a game down to beat 19-year-old Momen, the fifth seed and former British Junior U15 Open champion, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 3-11, 11-6 in 56 minutes.

Pilley, a quarter-finalist in last week's Dayton Open in Ohio, defeated Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, the No8 seed, 11-9, 11-10 (2-0), 11-7.

Tom Richards, the 21-year-old Englishman who sprung the only surprise in the first round, went down in the quarter-finals to top seed Laurens Jan Anjema. The 25-year-old Dutchman from The Hague won 11-4, 11-7, 11-10 (2-0) - and will now face Irishman Liam Kenny, the No4 seed who despatched Australian Ryan Cuskelly 11-8, 11-5, 11-3.

Richards Scampers To Samper Win In Maryland
It was not until the last match of the day that Tom Richards of England provided the only upset of the opening round of the National Capital Open when he beat sixth seed Bernardo Samper to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural 2 Star PSA Tour squash event in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.

After the Colombian took the first game relatively easily, the momentum quickly began to change. Samper soon had little impact on Richards at all as the Englishman displayed his well-rounded game to win 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 in 42 minutes.

Richards, a 21-year-old former England junior international from Surrey, now faces Laurens Jan Anjema after the top-seeded Dutchman defeated Pakistan's Khawaja Adil Maqbool 11-4, 11-6, 11-10 (2-0).

Second seed Cameron Pilley also had a comfortable win. The 25-year-old Australian from New South Wales beat German qualifier Jens Schoor 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 and will now face Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, the No8 seed, for a place in the semi-finals.