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08/10/2011
US OPEN 2011
 

Amr Shabana Is US Open Champion

Click Banner for official site
PSA U.S. Open 2011

28 Sep–06 Oct, Philadelphia, $115k
 
Round One
30 Sep/1 Oct
Round Two
2 Oct
Quarters
3/4 Oct
Semis
5 Oct
Final
6 Oct
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (50m)
[Q] Zac Alexander (Aus)
Nick Matthew
11-8, 11-3, 11-5 (49m)
Omar Mosaad
Nick Matthew
11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6 (65m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Nick Matthew
11/9, 11/7, 7/11, 11/7 (86m)
James Willstrop
Nick Matthew
11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 (51m)
Amr Shabana
 
Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11-9, 11-8, 11-8 (60m)
Omar Mosaad (Egy)
Tom Richards (Eng)
7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11 (61m)
[Q] Tarek Momen (Egy)
Tom Richards
11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4 (53m)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Stewart Boswell (Aus)
8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (64m)
[7] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
[5] Peter Barker (Eng)
11-3, 11-2, 11-9 (40m)
Olli Tuominen (Fin)
Peter Barker
11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (40m)
Hisham Ashour
Peter Barker
7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (63m)
James Willstrop
Hisham Ashour (Egy)
11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4 (49m)
[Q] Alan Clyne (Sco)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (71m)
[Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
Daryl Selby
11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (48m)
James Willstrop
Alister Walker (Bot)
11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (43m)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
[4] Amr Shabana (Egy)
11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 (58m)
Wael El Hindi (Egy)
Amr Shabana
6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (51m)
Adrian Grant
Amr Shabana
5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13 (78m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Amr Shabana
11/1, 9/11, 11/6, 11/7 (48m)
Thierry Lincou
Adrian Grant (Eng)
12-10, 11-5, 11-4 (37m)
[Q] Shawn Delierre (Can)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (42m)
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
Laurens Jan Anjema
7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (76m)
David Palmer
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
11-8, 11-9, 11-9 (51m)
[8] David Palmer (Aus)
[6] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11-9, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
Chris Gordon (Usa)
 
Thierry Lincou
7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11 (69m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez 
Thierry Lincou
6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 (58m)
Azlan Iskandar
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
11-9, 11-13, 3-11, 11-5, 11-5 (82m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
w/o
[Q] Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
Nicolas Mueller
11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (42m)
Azlan Iskandar
Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 7-2 ret. (38m)
[2] Karim Darwish (Egy)
WISPA US Open 2011

30 Sep–06 Oct, Philadelphia, $60k
 
Round One
02 Oct
Quarters
03/04 Oct
Semis
05 Oct
Final
06 Oct
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/13, 11/8, 11/6, 11/5 (55m)
Joelle King (Nzl)
Nicol David
11/9, 6/11, 11/9, 11/4 (59m)
Kasey Brown
Kasey Brown
12/10, 6/11, 11/6, 11/6 (67m)
Madeline Perry
Kasey Brown
5/11, 11/5, 11/3, 11/5 (56m)
Laura Massaro
[6] Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/8, 11/8, 11/6 (44m)
[Q] Dipika Allikal (Ind)
[3] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/6, 13/11, 8/11, 11/5 (52m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Madeline Perry
1/6, 11/7, 11/7 (42m)
Camille Serme
 
[8] Camille Serme (Fra)
10/12, 3/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/8 (67m)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
[Q] Delia Arnold (Mas)
11/13, 11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (46m)
[5]
Laura Massaro (Eng)

Laura Massaro
11/3, 11/3, 11/7 (29m)

Rachael Grinham
 
Laura Massaro
13/11, 11/5, 13/11 (60m)
Jenny Duncalf 
Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
8/11, 5/11, 11/9, 11/9, 14/12 (58m)
[4] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Annie Au (Hkg)
11/1, 11/1, 11/3 (17m)
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Annie Au
11/3, 10/12, 11/8, 11/8 (49m)
Jenny Duncalf 
[Q] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
12/10, 11/6, 11/5 (27m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)

Click Here to go to The Official US Open website
 

Amr Shabana Is US Open Champion

A scintillating performance in the final of the Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia saw Egypt's third seed Amr Shabana upset favourite Nick Matthew to win the PSA World Series squash title for second time in three years at the Daskalakis Athletic Center at Drexel University.

The 32-year-old from Cairo made an excellent start in his first appearance in a World Series final this year, thrilling the Philadelphia crowd with a series of winning shots that left world number one Matthew struggling.

Coming back from 6-1 down was a tall order, but the Englishman almost made it, getting to 8-9. But after a let decision was turned into a no let following a Shabana appeal to the video referee, the Egyptian underdog went on to take the game on another winning volley drop after 19 minutes.

The second was a carbon copy in reverse - Matthew dominant in the early game, cutting off Shabana's shots to race to an 8-1 lead, only to see the world No5 fight his way back.

From 9-4 down, left-hander Shabana rediscovered his touch to climb back to 8-9 before Matthew regained the upper hand to draw level.

But Shabana was totally dominant in the next two games - reeling off winning volley drops and drop shots almost at will.

There was no big celebration as Shabana put in one last drop shot to clinch his 11-9, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 upset after 51 minutes.

"It was a good match, and it's such a relief to win a major tournament again," Shabana said after his first Tour title success since winning his fourth World Open crown in November 2009.

"It's been a tough couple of years, at times I thought I might never win again but I've been playing well this week and my body held up which is the important thing."

The win takes Shabana's career PSA Tour title haul to 27 - bringing him level with Australian David Palmer.

"I'm just glad you were all here to witness me winning again and I hope I can carry on playing well and win some more!" Shabana told the packed crowd.

It was a disappointing outcome for Matthew in his fifth successive appearance in a PSA World Series final this year: "I'm disappointed that my body let me down a little tonight, I was struggling to push off on my foot, but I gave it a good go and you have to be good enough to cope with these problems.

"It feels different from coming off court having given everything you have, but that's not taking anything away from Amr, he played really well," added the 31-year-old from Sheffield.

"His shots were firing in from all over tonight, and even at 100% I would have been struggling to cope with him. He was all over me by the end, and could have probably played some of those drop shots with his right hand, they were so good!"

Egypt's world number two Ramy Ashour maintains his place at the top of the 2011 Dunlop PSA World Series Standings, just five points ahead of Matthew. But Shabana is now in third place alone, after pushing England's James Willstrop down to fourth place.

Egypt's Karim Darwish, beaten by Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the first round in Philadelphia, slips out of the top eight - while the Malaysian takes his place to secure his first appearance in the top eight this year.

Shabana & Lincou Make US Open Semis

Frenchman Thierry Lincou and Egypt's former champion Amr Shabana earned places in the semi-finals of the Delaware Investments US Open after contrasting quarter-final wins in the fifth PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Daskalakis Athletic Center at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Top-ranked Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema was looking for his first Tour win over Shabana in their fifth meeting since January 2006. And the tall 28-year-old from The Hague kept a tight rein on his illustrious opponent in the opening game, maintaining the lead throughout before moving 1/0 ahead.

But as the second game got underway, the Egyptian seemed to be picking up the pace. Fellow left-hander Shabana was moving well - and it was Anjema who began to be hurried and harried.

After drawing level, Shabana was buzzing in the third, moving effortlessly and playing some amazing shots. The four-time world champion from Cairo moved 2/1 up after two forced errors from Anjema.

Both players had the lead in the fourth - with Anjema going on to save two match balls before having a pair of game-balls of his own. But it was a trademark volley into the nick one final time that clinched the match for Shabana to bring an exhilarating clash to an end.

"Sometimes things don't happen the way you want - he started well, the crowd got behind him and got him pumped up, so I needed to focus, regroup and do it all the hard way," Shabana said after his 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13 victory in 78 minutes.

"I got back into it, he changed his game plan so I had to come up with new one myself, it was like a chess game, but it was very tough at the end," added the world No5.

"Now the crowd favourite is out, maybe I'll be their favourite tomorrow!"

Fourth seed Shabana, the 2009 champion, now takes on sixth seed Thierry Lincou, the veteran of nine PSA World Series Finals appearances who earned his first semi-final slot in a 2011 World Series event after beating unseeded Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8.

Iskandar played well enough to take the first game, but the 35-year-old Frenchman is a known slow starter. Lincou gained the upper hand in the second and third to move ahead.

The rallies were longer and tougher in the fourth as Iskandar reduced the errors to make the game more competitive. But it was a final unforced error from the Malaysian that put Lincou through to his first US Open semi-final since 2003.

"I felt pretty comfortable in the second and third games," said former world number one Lincou. "I wasn't sure if something was wrong with Azlan as he was very up and down, didn't seem really fired up and was giving me a few easy points which boosted my confidence.

"I knew I still had to try to keep the ball as straight as I could though, he's very explosive on attacking the cross-courts.

"He played better in the fourth, I think I was trying to finish it off a bit too quickly and froze a little.

"It should be a good match with Shabana," added the world No10. "Once you get to these later rounds the pressure is off, you still want to win but you know you've reached where you should, everything's a bonus after that."

Matthew & Willstrop Ensure English US Open Finalist

Four-game victories by Nick Matthew and James Willstrop in the quarter-finals of the Delaware Investments US Open will ensure an English finalist in the fifth PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Daskalakis Athletic Center at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Top seed Matthew, the 31-year-old world number one from Sheffield, faced rising PSA World Tour star Mohamed El Shorbagy, the 20-year-old Egyptian who earlier in the day celebrated a career-high world No8 ranking.

Despite winning 11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6 in 65 minutes, the Englishman later told the official event website www.usopensquash.com that the match had made him feel "old and slow"!

Errors were the seventh seed's undoing in the early part of the match as he lost the opening game - but El Shorbagy rallied well in the second - forcing a couple of errors from the Englishman at the end to draw level.

For the rest of the match it was the Egyptian who was always behind, under the pressure that Matthew's pace and early taking of the ball puts his opponents under.

Matthew's victory avenged the loss to the young Egyptian in their previous meeting - in the Canary Wharf Classic in London more than two years ago.

"He seemed to decide he could take me on down the backhand wall, and he got the better of that battle in the second," admitted Matthew. "But that effort maybe took something out of him, he wasn't able to press as hard after that.

"He's like all the Egyptians though, they can score two or three quick points out of nowhere, whereas we English like to build the rallies more, so you have to be on your toes all the time," added the Yorkshireman.

"I managed to keep the momentum for most of the match, and he was having to work harder than me, but he still managed to make me feel old and slow at times! He'll be around for a long time, well after I've gone, and he'll be a nightmare to play."

Later, fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop set up the next instalment in the England team-mates' career-long rivalry by earning a semi-final clash with Matthew.

The world No4 from Leeds took on another Englishman with whom he also has a long rivalry - stretching back to their junior days. But since his first Tour meeting with Peter Barker in February 2003, Willstrop had enjoyed 12 successive victories - until their most recent, at the Canary Wharf Classic in March, when the Londoner claimed his first win.

Third seed Willstrop made a good start, going 5-1 and then 7-3 up in the first - but Barker, the fifth seed, struck back with eight points in a row to take the opening game.

From three-all in the second, it was Willstrop's turn to string points together as he pulled away from 7-4 to draw level.

Willstrop maintained the advantage by taking the third, and stemmed a fightback by Barker in the fourth to close out the match 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 after 63 minutes.

"It was just a tough, hard, game," said Willstrop. "You can't expect to win 3/0 every time so when I lost the first, I just kept on playing my game.

"You have to work it out, it's a mental and a physical battle, we were both getting control of the 'T' at times and matches like that come down to very fine margins but I managed to take the important points tonight.

"I'm feeling pretty fit at the moment, but then we've had a summer's training and the season's only just begun. If you don't feel fit at the moment you've got no chance."

Anjema Punishes Palmer In US Open Upset

Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema upset eighth seed David Palmer in the second round of the Delaware Investments US Open to record his career-first Tour victory over the Australian veteran in the fifth PSA World Series squash event of the year at the Daskalakis Athletic Center at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

The 28-year-old from The Hague and fellow non-seed Mohd Azlan Iskandar, of Malaysia, will join Frenchman Thierry Lincou, Egyptian pair Amr Shabana and Mohamed El Shorbagy, together with English trio Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Peter Barker in the quarter-finals of the long-established event which is being staged in Philadelphia for the first time since 1993.

Anjema beat Palmer in a play-off match in the World Team Championship in Germany in August, but the 35-year-old Aussie had always had the edge over the Dutchman in PSA encounters.

Palmer, ranked eight in the world, controlled proceedings to take the opening game, looking set to continue his Tour run. But, from 2-5 down in the second, Anjema began to take the upper hand. After winning the second, the Dutchman romped to a 7-0 lead in the third en-route to moving 2/1 ahead - and built up a 7-2 lead in the fourth.

But the vastly-experienced Palmer dug deep, and slowly brought the score back to seven-all. The Aussie saved one match-ball at 10-9 before Anjema chanced his arm to hit the nick with the second to raise both arms in celebration of his long-awaited 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 victory after 76 minutes.

"I just tried to play my own game and not panic after losing the first," Anjema said afterwards. "I was pleased to have recovered so well, but it was nerve-wracking at the end, getting those last five points.

"He was one of my idols when I was growing up, so to beat him for the first time in PSA is pretty special," added the world No12. "It was a mental victory tonight, I decided to take a risk at the end and thankfully it came off. I hope I can be a bit steadier for the whole match next round."

Anjema will now face fourth seed Amr Shabana. The 2009 champion from Egypt repeated his victory over fellow left-hander Adrian Grant in a rerun of his encounter with the Englishman at the quarter-final stage of the British Grand Prix a week ago. The Egyptian won that one in three close games, Grant threatening to take each one - but this time the Londoner did more than threaten, as he took the lead 11-6.

Thereafter, however, Shabana showed why he is a four-time world champion. Controlling the play without looking overly troubled or hurried, Shabana took the next three games to claim his fourth successive quarter-final berth in the event following his 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 win.

"I just played him a few days ago, and he upped his pace right from the start which took me a little by surprise," said 32-year-old Shabana. "He has good touch too, so it's tricky to hold him off, so it was good to be able to take those three games.

"I'm just trying to stay healthy and listen to my body. I'll take the rest day tomorrow and hopefully be ready for the rest of the tournament."

Younger compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy also booked his place in the last eight with an 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4 win over rising English star Tom Richards.

The 20-year-old No7 seed will now face top seed Nick Matthew, the world number one from England who eased to an 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 victory over tall Egyptian Omar Mosaad.

The unseeded 23-year-old from Cairo fully tested the favourite in the opening game, holding a few points' lead before Matthew finally closed it out with some typically solid play in the final few points.

"The first game was long and drawn out - he came with a strategy and stuck to it well," said Matthew. "It wasn't physically demanding as such, more a mental battle with lots of slow rallies. I was a bit sluggish at the start and left too many things hanging out on his forehand. I managed to claw back the few points lead he had and was more comfortable after that."

National team-mates and career-long rivals Peter Barker and James Willstrop will line up in a clash which will guarantee an English semi-finalist. Fifth seed Barker despatched Egyptian Hisham Mohamed Ashour 11-9, 11-6, 11-4, while Willstrop, the No3 seed, brushed aside fellow countryman Daryl Selby, the reigning British national champion, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6.

Clearly hampered by an injury midway through the second game, Ashour saw out the match. Barker later paid tribute to his opponent in carrying on where many would have stopped.

Veteran Frenchman Thierry Lincou earned his first appearance in the last eight of a PSA World Series event this year following his 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11 victory over Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez.

The 25-year-old from Bogota had earned the nickname 'The Cat' after his spectacular upset over higher-ranked Egyptian Mohd Ali Anwar Reda in the previous round.

But after dropping the first game, sixth seed Lincou restricted the Colombian's opportunities by pinning him to the back corners, and opened up a 2/1 lead.

Rodriguez managed to eke out an advantage in the fourth though, and Lincou had to save five game balls before finally taking the match on his own first opportunity, putting in a clinging drop-shot that Rodriguez's racket could only brush into the floor.

"He's a very unusual opponent," said a relieved Frenchman. "So fast and such an exciting style of play. You think you've hit a winner and it comes back, you have to start all over again, and you have to be alert all the time, on every shot. I really had to use my experience to counter him."

Lincou will take on Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 winner over Swiss qualifier Nicolas Mueller.

"Hats off to him, he's improved a lot in the last year and is beginning to really push the top guys," Iskandar said of his opponent. "But I went in with a game plan and stuck to it."

Rodriguez Races To Remove Reda

Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez celebrated his first Tour meeting with Mohd Ali Anwar Reda in the first round of the Delaware Investments US Open by beating the higher-ranked Egyptian in a dazzling performance in the fifth PSA World Series squash event of the year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Displaying some extraordinary running, retrieving, leaping, diving and unorthodox shot-making, the world No30 from Bogota got the better of Reda, ranked six places higher, in a magical five-game match.

It seemed that the 22-year-old from Cairo had weathered the storm as he edged the second to level the match and eased through the third.

But there was no stopping Rodriguez: "I particularly loved his 360-degree spins, and the drop shot he plays while running backwards, having dashed to the front after his opponent's high boast before engaging reverse gear," said event spokesman Steve Cubbins.

The Colombian went on to win 11-9, 11-13, 3-11, 11-5, 11-5 in 82 minutes to earn his first appearance in the last 16 of a PSA World Series event this year.

Event MC Bryan Ramona was also clearly impressed by Rodriguez: "We'll have to call you 'the Cat' after that display."

Rodriguez will now face Thierry Lincou after the sixth-seeded Frenchman dashed home hopes by beating New York-born wildcard Christopher Gordon 11-9, 11-5, 11-6.

But there was disappointment for Egypt's Karim Darwish when the second seed was forced to retire against Mohd Azlan Iskandar with an ankle injury. The Malaysian went into the match 8/0 down in a career head-to-head record since 2003 - but after leading 2/1 and 7-2 in the fourth, the Sarawak-born 29-year-old celebrated his maiden success when Darwish conceded the match.

Iskandar will now meet Nicolas Mueller after the Swiss number one became the only qualifier to claim a place in the second round when England's Jonathan Kemp was forced to pull out with a back injury.

US-based Australian number one David Palmer made sure of his last 16 place with a straight games win over fellow countryman Ryan Cuskelly. But despite coming through two tough qualifying matches, the world No42 put up a good show against experienced eighth seed Palmer, three times a finalist and winner of the US Open title in 2002.

"I knew he'd keep fighting," said Palmer after his 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 victory in 51 minutes. "I was a couple of points behind in the second but managed to his some winners at the end, which was crucial, and I probably relaxed a little after getting a good lead in the third, but I thought I played pretty well to get to that point.

"If he keeps on playing with an attitude like that, it will go well for him in the future.

"I can't afford long matches," added the former world number one. "At 35, I need to win 3/0 when I can, so it was good in the end and I'm looking forward to coming back tomorrow."

Palmer will now take on last year's runner-up Laurens Jan Anjema, the Dutch number one who defeated English qualifier Chris Ryder 11-6, 11-7, 11-5.

"Chris is very clever tactically," said Anjema. "So I had to try to get the upper hand early and try to put him under pressure physically.

"It was a bit too chaotic for my liking at times, but I'm happy with how I played and pleased to get off with a three-nil win."

Left-handers Amr Shabana and Adrian Grant will meet for the second time in 10 days when they line up in the second round. Fourth seed Shabana, the 2009 champion, came through against fellow Egyptian Wael El Hindi 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, while Englishman Grant overcame Canadian qualifier Shawn Delierre 12-10, 11-5, 11-4.

"He's very unorthodox and hard to read - it took me a game and a half to work him out," admitted Londoner Grant after ending Delierre's run in his first World Series appearance since 2008.

"Once I found my feet I managed to present my game to him and I felt more and more confident," added Grant.

Shabana was meeting El Hindi for the 15th time on the Tour since 2001: "It's always difficult playing someone you know so well," said the 32-year-old four-time world champion. "Wael hasn't played a lot of squash in the last six months, and is just coming back, but he still made it pretty difficult for me at times."

El Shorbagy Comeback Denies Boswell

Former runner-up Stewart Boswell was denied a place in the second round of the 2011 Delaware Investments US Open when Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy recovered from two games down to beat the Australian on the opening day of first round action in the fifth PSA World Series squash event of the year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Boswell, the 33-year-old from Canberra who made his US Open debut in 2000 and reached the final two years later, thoroughly deserved his two-game lead at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

But it was almost one-way traffic for the next three games as seventh seed El Shorbagy, 13 years younger than his opponent, took advantage of the tiring Australian.

"This is only my second World Series tournament of the year, and I was quite nervous at the start," admitted El Shorbagy after his 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 win in 64 minutes.

"After a slow start I started to play better from the middle of the second, and I could have won that but he played better than me at the end of it," explained the two-time world junior champion, now ranked nine in the world.

"I was pleased with my performance to come back and take the last three games."

The UK-based 20-year-old now faces Englishman Tom Richards, a 7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 13-11 winner over Egyptian qualifier Tarek Momen.

"It should be a tough match with Tom tomorrow," added El Shorbagy. "I've beaten him a couple of times but he's a much better player now and I think we're going to have quite a few hard matches over the next few years."

Despite several meetings as juniors, it was only the second time that 25-year-old Richards had faced Momen, aged 23, on the PSA Tour.

It was the Egyptian who made the better start, pulling clear from seven-all to take the first game. But Richards struck back to draw level.

After the Englishman took the third, the fourth game was level all the way with both players fighting hard and moving swiftly around the McWil all-glass court. It was on his third match-ball that Richards finally clinched victory after 61 minutes.

"Tarek always used to beat me in juniors," said the world No25 from Surrey afterwards. "So he probably had a psychological advantage going into the match. But I knew the way I wanted to play and I thought I executed it pretty well, apart from losing a bit of discipline in the middle.

"But I got through it and it worked out ok - I'm pretty pleased to win that one."

Three seeded Englishmen prevailed in comfortable fashion. Favourite Nick Matthew faced surprise opponent Zac Alexander, a 22-year-old Australian who earned a last-minute place in the qualifiers, then survived two tough battles against higher-ranked opponents.

"I'd heard of Zac as an upcoming player for a while, but never played him before," said world number one Matthew after his 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 win. "Coming out of the AIS I knew he'd move well and be a clean striker of the ball, so I wanted to make sure I started out strongly."

Fifth-seeded Londoner Peter Barker beat Finland's Olli Tuominen 11-3, 11-2, 11-9 while James Willstrop, the No3 seed from Leeds, saw off former England international Alister Walker, now representing Botswana, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10.

"First rounds are never easy these days - and scorelines often don't reflect the nature of the match, like this one," said Willstrop later. "We know plenty about each other - we've been playing since we were 12."

The Yorkshireman now faces current England team-mate Daryl Selby, the reigning British national champion who stopped German qualifier Simon Rosner 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3.

"It's a similar story with Daryl next round," Willstrop continued. "We've had some heavy matches so I'm looking forward to a rest day and getting as well prepared for that as I can."

Egypt's Hisham Mohamed Ashour gained revenge for his defeat by Alan Clyne in their only previous meeting in Malaysia when he beat the Scottish qualifier 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4.

"I'm pretty happy with how I played," said Ashour. "He's a very tough opponent who can give anyone in the top 20 a lot of trouble. There was a bit of revenge on my mind for Malaysia, too, I knew I had to be 100% focused from the start and not give anything away.

"I haven't won for the last two tournaments so I need to do well in this one and hopefully the wins will keep on coming," added the 29-year-old from Cairo.

In a match between two of the tallest players in the game, Omar Mosaad became the third Egyptian to book a place in the last 16 when he beat Australian Cameron Pilley 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.