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Walker Wins Grasshopper Cup

Grasshopper Cup 2013
22-27 Apr, Zurich, Switzerland, $35k
Round One
24 Apr
25 Apr
26 Apr
27 Apr
[1] Borja Golan (Esp)
11/5, 11/9, 5/11, 11/4 (56m)
Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
 Borja Golan
11-6, 11-2, 12-14, 11-3
 Andrew Wagih
Borja Golan
11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 14-12 (124m)
Alister Walker
Alister Walker
11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-2 (102m)
Daryl Selby
Andrew Wagih (Egy)
11/6, 9/11, 11/5,11/6 (43m)
Andre Haschker (Ger)
Kristian Frost (Den)
11/4, 11/7, 8/11, 11/5 (76m)
[Q] Eddie Charlton (Eng)
 Eddie Charlton
11-9, 11-4, 11-7
Alister Walker
[4] Alister Walker (Bot)
11/8, 11/8, 11/8 (37m)
[Q] Harinder Pal Sandhu (Ind)
[Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
11/6, 5/11, 11/7, 11/5 (47m
[3] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11-5, 11-8, 11-9
Grégoire Marche
Laurens Jan Anjema
6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 (68m)
Daryl Selby
Adrian Grant (Eng)
11/6, 5/11, 11/3, 11/9 (58m)
Grégoire Marche (Fra)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/0, 11/4, 11/9 (28m)
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
Daryl Selby
9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (98m)
Nicolas Mueller
Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
9/9 rtd
[2] Tom Richards (Eng)

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Grasshopper Cup, Zurich, Switzerland

Walker Wins Grasshopper Cup

Surviving his second successive match lasting more than 100 minutes, Alister Walker dethroned defending champion Daryl Selby to win the Grasshopper Cup in a five-game final of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at the Grasshopper Club in Zurich, Switzerland.

Twice Walker, the world No13 from Botswana, led the match - and twice English title-holder Selby, ranked just a single place lower, battled back to draw level in front of a packed crowd at the club.

Digging deep, and rediscovering the form which saw him oust top seed Borja Golan in a two-hour long semi-final, Walker raised his game again - taking the first five points of the decider before Selby made his mark.

Eager to extend his unbeaten record on the Zurich court, Selby was hoping to maintain his momentum in the fifth.

But it was New York-based Walker who took the early advantage in the decider - taking the first five points without reply.

"Ali did play really well in the fifth - he went for shots and it paid off," said an event spokesman.

After 102 minutes of intense squash, it was Walker (pictured, right, with Selby) who emerged as the Grasshopper Cup champion, winning 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-2 to claim the eighth PSA Tour title of his career.

"Congrats @alisterWALKER," tweeted Selby later. "Played a great match today and deserves this title. Gave everything I had but came up just short."

Walker responded to his Twitter followers: "Great tournament, comeback from 8-0 in the quarter and dominant display in the semi. Things went my way today!"

Selby & Walker In Surprise Grasshopper Final

Fourth seed Alister Walker and unseeded Daryl Selby, the defending champion, will meet in a surprise final of the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland after a marathon victories over higher-seeded opponents in the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at the Grasshopper Club in Zurich.

Englishman Selby faced third seed Laurens Jan Anjema. The Dutchman played a solid opening game and took the lead. After Selby, the 30-year-old world No14, drew level by taking the second, it was again left-hander Anjema who took the early advantage in game three to forge 5-2 ahead.

"There were some really hard rallies in the middle of the game which Daryl came out on top of and took nine points in a row against a tiring LJ," explained event spokesman Mark Meyer. "Daryl was on top the whole way through the fourth and closed out the match 11-2."

The 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2 win in 68 minutes takes Selby into his first Tour final since contesting the 2012 Grasshopper Cup climax - but the 18th of his career.

"Very happy with my performance tonight against an always strong @ljanjema," tweeted Selby later. "Hoping I can play like that again tomorrow!!"

Walker survived an epic encounter against top seed Borja Golan, the world No9 from Spain who won their most recent Tour encounter in straight games.

Walker, the world No13 from Botswana, took the first two games before Golan reduced the deficit by taking the third.

"The fourth game was pure drama, both players getting gradually more tired and the let count increasing," said Meyer. "The crowd were treated to an unbelievable game of squash that really could have gone either way.

"The last part of the match was a great advert for squash in two players fighting for everything and Ali was overjoyed to sneak the fourth 14-12 and the match in 124 minutes."

Selby himself summed up the battle via Twitter: "Unbelievable match between @alisterWALKER and Borja. Big respect to both for the total commitment and fight to win a gruelling match."

The 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 14-12 victory takes Walker into the 13th PSA Tour final of his career - but his first of the year.

The final will be Selby and Walker's fifth Tour clash since 2005 - with the current head-to-head record finely poised on two wins apiece!

Selby Secures Semi Slot In Zurich

England's defending champion Daryl Selby became the only unseeded player to make the semi-finals of the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland after a double fight-back over local hero Nicolas Mueller in the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event at the Grasshopper Club in Zurich.

World No21 Mueller, the highest-ranked Swiss player of all-time and winner of a seventh successive Swiss national title at the weekend, is yet to beat the Englishman ranked seven places higher.

"Both athletes did their utmost and Nici was really asking for his first win against Daryl," said event spokesman Mark Meyer. "He won the first two games 11-9 and 11-6, when Daryl gave a first sign of life by winning the third 11-3.

"And then the game went crazy. Daryl turned a 1-6 defeat to a 9-6 lead, finishing the game 11-9 in his favour. Nici took it easy and started with 8-0 run into the fifth. And Daryl came back again, taking eight points in a row and finishing the match with another 11-9 game.

"The match had everything you can ask for in the sport of Squash," added Meyer of the 98-minute battle which was a repeat of the 2012 final.

Selby later admitted to his Twitter followers: "Not sure how I managed to win that match. Shows what can happen if you dig deep and hang in there."

The 30-year-old from Chelmsford now faces Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema after the third seed ended the brave run of Frenchman Gregoire Marche 11-5, 11-8, 11-9. The 23-year-old from Aix-en-Provence had reached the quarter-finals after a shock upset over England's world No20 Adrian Grant.

Top seed Borja Golan will contest the other semi-final as predicted. But the world No9 was pushed all the way by Andrew Wagih Shoukry before beating the 'lucky loser' from Egypt 11-6, 11-2, 12-14, 11-3.

Golan will line up against Alister Walker, the No4 seed from Botswana who quashed English qualifier Eddie Charlton 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.

Home Hero Mueller Makes Grasshopper Cup Quarters

Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller delighted the packed crowd at the Grasshopper Club in his home city of Zurich when he claimed an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the Grasshopper Cup after overcoming second-seeded Englishman Tom Richards in the first round of the PSA World Tour International 35 squash event.

"Everybody at the Grasshopper Club knew this match was going to be a very close encounter between the number two seed and the local hero and so the game started," said event spokesman Mark Meyer. "High-paced and with great touch the players traded points up to nine-all.

"Then Richards slipped on a drop of sweat on the court floor, while rushing to pick up a ball in the back left corner. It was clear for all spectators that Richards - who was gasping in pain - would not be able to continue playing. After a 3-minute injury break the young Englishman had to resign and let Nici Müller through to the quarter final. We wish him fast recovery."

Mueller, the world No21 and winner of a sixth Swiss national title at the weekend, will now face another English opponent - title-holder Daryl Selby, ranked seven places higher in the world.

Selby set up a repeat of last year's final when he beat Malaysian qualifier Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-0, 11-4, 11-9 in 48 minutes.

But the biggest upset of the day came when Andrew Wagih Shoukry earned a place in the last eight after beating German wildcard Andre Haschker. Shoukry lost out in the qualifying finals - but became the event's second 'lucky loser' when German number one Simon Rosner was forced to withdraw as a result of illness.

The 22-year-old Egyptian took full advantage of his lucky break, defeating Haschker 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 to set up a quarter-final clash with top seed Borja Golan. The Spaniard was tested for almost an hour before seeing off Australian Ryan Cuskelly 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4.

Another intriguing first round battle took place between Eddie Charlton and Kristian Frost Olesen. The pair had already fought out a 105-minute qualifying final, with Englishman Charlton surviving 12-10 in the fifth to become a qualifier.

But Dane Frost Olesen was handed the first 'lucky loser' slot when Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet pulled out. And Charlton justified the earlier win when he beat Olesen for the second time in 24 hours, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 in 76 minutes.