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Rodriguez Flourishes In Florida

Florida State Open 2011
06-11 Dec, Boca Raton, $12k
Round One
08 Dec
09 Dec
10 Dec
11 Dec
[1] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
 Fabien Verseille (Fra)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-7, 11-6, 11-9
Dylan Bennett
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
10-12, 8-11, 13-11, 11-3, 12-10
 Yasir Butt
Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-8, 3-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10
 Kamran Khan
Dylan Bennett (Ned)
11-3, 11-2, 11-7
[Q] Geoffrey Demont (Fra)
Anthony Graham (Eng)
11-5, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9 (90m)
[Q] Peter Creed (Wal)
Peter Creed
11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5
 Yasir Butt
[4] Wade Johnstone (Aus)
11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7
 Yasir Butt (Pak)
Alfredo Avila (Mex)
11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (70m)
[3] Kamran Khan (Mas)
Kamran Khan
12-10, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5
Erik Tepos Valtierra
Kamran Khan
11-8, 11-2, 11-5
Yann Perrin
Erik Tepos Valtierra (Mex)
11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4 (38m)
[Q] Tom Pashley (Eng)
Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
12-10. 11-7, 5-11, 11-8  (55m)
[Q] Karim AGA Samy (Egy)
Karim AGA Samy
11-9, 11-4, 4-0 rtd
Yann Perrin
Joan Lezaud (Fra)
8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (60m)
[2] Yann Perrin (Fra)

Rodriguez Flourishes In Florida

Miguel Angel Rodriguez justified his top billing in the Betty F Griffin Memorial Florida State Open in the USA - but the top seed from Colombia was taken the full distance in the climax of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton in Florida.

World number 36 Rodriguez, celebrating his 25th Tour final appearance, was facing Kamran Khan, the 21-year-old Malaysian who made the final as No3 seed after upsetting second-seeded Frenchman Yann Perrin in the semis.

Khan twice levelled the match after the 25-year-old from Bogota opened up leads - and forced the final two games into tie-breaks before Rodriguez ultimately prevailed 11-8, 3-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10.

"It was a tremendous final with athleticism was on full display," said tournament spokesman Kevin Jullion. "The final game was quite the nail-biter all the way through, with Miguel prevailing on a couple of stroke calls against Kamran to end the match."

The triumph marks Miguel's 18th PSA World Tour title - and rounds off a highly successful year for the top-ranked Colombian who became his country's first Pan American Games squash champion in October.

Kamran Crashes Into Florida Final

Malaysian Kamran Khan claimed an unexpected place in the final of the Betty F Griffin Memorial Florida State Open after defeating second seed Yann Perrin in straight games in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

The 21-year-old No3 seed from Kuala Lumpur was in fine form as he despatched Frenchman Perrin 11-8, 11-2, 11-5 to reach the fifth Tour final of his career.

"Kamran continued his fine form of his prior matches, his court movement is cat-like - many times using his non-playing hand to retain his balance while scraping along the court floor and springing back to two feet nano-seconds later," said tournament spokesman Kevin Jullion.

"I recall a series of drop-shot front court rallies that had Yann on his back foot a bit and guessing that a cross-court off-speed counter drop might be coming only to find that Kamran had pushed a straight drive to impeccable length at the back of the court."

Khan will face Miguel Angel Rodriguez after the top seed from Colombia ended the run of unseeded Pakistani Yasir Butt, recovering from two games down to beat the 23-year-old from Lahore 10-12, 8-11, 13-11, 11-3, 12-10.

"Miguel was down two games to nil - and drew to two-all when Yasir went for a series of winners in the third and fourth games to try and stem the Miguel tidal change," explained Jullion.

"In the fifth game, Yasir had several match balls starting at 10-6 and it looked to everyone watching that it was just a matter of time before he hit another of his amazing overhead nick winners (he hits them with impunity from both the forehand and backhand sides); but none of these particular ones were perfect "rollers" and Miguel showed some cat-like reflexes on more than a few occasions to stay alive in points that he really had no chance at winning.

"Yet he scraped, scratched and clawed his way back to 10-10 and the eventual win when Yasir hit a few very tense drop-shots that appeared to be much more conservative than the ones he was hitting earlier in the match and alas those drops didn't put Miguel under any difficulty."

The win puts 25-year-old Rodriguez, from Bogota, into his second PSA World Tour final of the year - but the 25th of his career.

Butt Battles On In Florida

Unseeded Pakistani Yasir Butt continued his impressive run in the Betty F Griffin Memorial Florida State Open when he defeated Welshman Peter Creed to reach the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

But the 23-year-old from Lahore was taken the full distance by Creed before beating the qualifier from Caerphilly 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5.

Butt will now line up against the event's top seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez. The 25-year-old Colombian recorded his second straight games win in the event by beating Dutchman Dylan Bennett 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.

Yann Perrin and Kamran Khan will meet in the other semi-final. Frenchman Perrin, the No2 seed, eased into the last four after Egyptian qualifier Karim A G A Samy was forced to retire injured midway through the third game, with the score standing at 11-9, 11-4, 4-0.

Third seed Khan, from Malaysia, recovered from dropping the second game to beat Mexican Erik Tepos Valtierra 12-10, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5.

Upsets Galore In Florida State Open

Fourth seed Wade Johnstone crashed out and two qualifiers prevailed in the first round of the Betty F Griffin Memorial Florida State Open on an opening day of shocks in the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Unseeded Pakistani Yasir Butt produced the biggest upset when he despatched fourth-seeded Australian Johnstone 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7.

The world No71 from Lahore will now face qualifier Peter Creed following the Welshman's marathon 11-5, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9 victory over higher-ranked Englishman Anthony Graham in 90 minutes.

Egyptian Karim A G A Samy also claimed a surprise quarter-final berth. The 22-year-old qualifier from Cairo overwhelmed Clinton Leeuw, a South African ranked more than 20 places higher, 2-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 in 55 minutes.

But top seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez needed only 37 minutes to register his place in the last eight. The world No36 from Bogota defeated Frenchman Fabien Verseille 11-5, 11-0, 11-7 and will now face Dutchman Dylan Bennett for a place in the semi-finals.

Title-holder Alfredo Avila will not be on the winner's podium for the second year in a row. The 20-year-old Mexican who upset the top seed en-route to success in the event last year, battled for 70 minutes against Kamran Khan - but it was the third-seeded Malaysian who triumphed 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 to reach the quarter-finals.