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Walker Powers To Pittsburgh Prize

Pittsburgh Open 2011
15-20 Nov, Usa, $25k
Round One
17 Nov
18 Nov
19 Nov
20 Nov
[1] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-5, 11-4, 11-5  (33m)
[Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
Adrian Grant
11-8, 11-8, 11-1 (48m)
Henrik Mustonen
Adrian Grant
11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (75m)
Shahier Razik
Adrian Grant
11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 15-17, 11-2 (100m)
Alister Walker
Stephane Galifi (Ita)
 11-7.11-5. 11-6  (29m)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (44m)
[LL] Scott Arnold (Aus)
Campbell Grayson
11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (56m)
Shahier Razik
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
 11-7, 11-5, 6-1 (rtd) (21m)
[3] Shahier Razik (Can)
[4] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5. 11-4 (74m)
[Q] Olivier Pett (Eng)
Ryan Cuskelly
11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)
Cesar Salazar
Ryan Cuskelly
12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (55m)
Alister Walker
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
Chris Simpson (Eng)
 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6 (65m)
[Q] Joel Hinds (Eng)
Chris Simpson
12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (55m)
Alister Walker
Amr Khaled Khalifa (Egy)
11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (78m)
[2] Alister Walker (Bot)

Walker Powers To Pittsburgh Prize

Alister Walker earned Botswana its second international squash title in a week when he upset top-seeded Englishman Adrian Grant in the final of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, the PSA World Tour International 25 event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

Based in England for much of his life until the beginning of this year, Botswana-born Walker made his international debut for England in the European Team Championships in April 2009 - in a team which also included Grant.

But, after moving to New York in January this year, the 29-year-old world No20 switched his allegiance to the country of his birth in June - and last week won Botswana's first professional squash title at the Dayton Open in Ohio.

"The final matchup of the top two seeds lived up to its billing," said Pittsburgh Open promoter Steven Baicker-McKee. "In game one, the players started conservatively, with long rallies up and down the wall. Walker made fewer errors and carried the game."

Grant levelled after the second, but second seed Walker regained the lead after the third.

"But Grant proved why he is world number 17 in game four, ramping up his energy level to match Walker's," continued Baicker-McKee. "Grant started attaching more himself, and jumped out to a 6-2 lead. But Walker came charging back to knot it at six-all, and things stayed close from there on.

"The pace of play was so frenetic that Walker broke strings on five rackets during the 37-minute game!

"Walker had match ball at 10-9, then Grant had game ball at 11-10, and so on until Grant won the game 17-15. The marathon game seemed to take something out of Grant, however, and Walker dominated the final game."

After his 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 15-17, 11-2 triumph in 100 minutes, a delighted Walker said: "It was a great final and rounded up two weeks of good performances for me.

"It's an honour to make a difference for the squash and sports community back home in Botswana.

"I'd like to thank Dave Hancock and Richard De Vito for their support in keeping me going to back up these events."

With five PSA World Tour titles now to his credit, Walker heads for Kuwait where both he and Grant will compete in the inaugural Kuwait PSA Cup, the eighth PSA World Series event of the year, from 23-29 November.

Top Seeds To Play Pittsburgh Final

Top seeds and former England team-mates Adrian Grant and Alister Walker will contest the final of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open after surviving tough semi-final clashes with the other two seeded players in the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

Grant, the favourite from London, held off a determined challenge from top-ranked Canadian Shahier Razik, needing 75 minutes to overcome the No3 seed 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7.

After world No17 Grant took the first two games, Razik - ranked 14 places lower - came back strongly in the third to reduce the deficit.

"Razik stayed close in game four through 8-7, and a fifth game looked like a real possibility," reported tournament organiser Steven Baicker-McKee. "But Grant closed out the match with two ungettable drops and a Razik tin."

Left-hander Grant will be celebrating the 28th PSA World Tour final of his career - and his third of the year.

Second seed Walker - who switched his allegiance from England to Botswana, his country of birth, at the beginning of the year - faced Ryan Cuskelly, the fourth seed from Australia, in the other semi.

"Cuskelly knew he did not want to rally with Walker, so he attacked the corners, and Walker counter-attacked with re-drops and drives," explained Baicker-McKee. "The first two games were knots at 10-all, but Walker won the next two points both times. Walker then upped his game for the third, and won handily."

The New York-based 29-year-old's 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory takes Walker into the ninth PSA Tour final of his career - but his second this month after winning the Dayton Open in Ohio last week.


Walker Fights Off Khalifa In Pittsburgh

In the longest match of the day, experienced second seed Alister Walker held off a determined challenge from Egyptian teenager Amr Khaled Khalifa to reach the quarter-finals of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open, the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.

Walker, the world No20 from Botswana fresh from his title success in the Dayton Open in Ohio last week, fought back from 1-6 down to take the first game.

Khalifa, the 18-year-old former world junior champion from Cairo, built another 6-1 lead in the second, and this time held on to draw level.

"But the first two games seemed to wear Khalifa down," said tournament organiser Steven Baicker-McKee. "The experience, skill, and fitness of Walker came through in the next two games, where the veteran seemed in control."

Walker's 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 victory in 78 minutes takes the 29-year-old through to the quarter-finals where he will face Chris Simpson, a 12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-6 winner over fellow Englishman and qualifier Joel Hinds.

English favourite Adrian Grant cruised into the last eight after despatching compatriot Jaymie Haycocks, a qualifier, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5.