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Walker Scores Hong Kong Football Club Success

HKFC International 2013
HK Football Club, $25k
27-May to 01-Jun,
Round One
29 May
30 May
31 May
01 Jun
[1] Alister Walker (Bot)
11/9, 11/8, 11/5 (43m)
[Q] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
Alister Walker
6/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/8, 11/2 (85m)
Max Lee
Alister Walker
11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (37m
Mohamed Abouelghar
Alister Walker
11-8, 11-6, 11-7
Laurens Jan Anjema
Max Lee (Hkg)
11/0, 11/7, 11/1 (35m)
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
Henrik Mustonen (Fin)
9/11, 11/9, 11/9, 4/11, 11/7 (61m)
[Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy)
Mohamed Abouelghar
11/8, 7/11, 11/6, 5/11, 11/5 (60m)
Karim Abdel Gawad
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
11/9, 4/11, 11/6, 12/10 (67m)
[Q] Nasir Iqbal (Pak)
Cheuk Yan Tang (Hkg)
11/2, 11/5, 11/6 (26m)
[3] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
Olli Tuominen
11/4, 4/11, 8/11, 11/9, 11/8 (66m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan
11-5, 11-8, 11-3 (37m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11/4, 12/10, 11/13, 11/9 (75m)
Leo Au (Hkg)
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
11/8, 5/11, 11/8, 11/6 (45m)
Julian Illingworth (Usa)
Julian Illingworth
11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (38m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Karim Ali Fathi (Egy)
11/5, 11/9, 12/10
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)

RESULTS: Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25,
Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Walker Scores Hong Kong
Football Club Success

Top seed Alister Walker overcame second-seeded Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema in the final of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25 in straight games to win the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

It was their eighth Tour meeting since 2004. Although Walker, the world No14 from Botswana, prevailed in their most recent clash, it was eight-time Dutch champion Anjema, ranked three places lower, who led the pair's head-to-head tally 5/2 going into the final.

"With only three PSA world ranking positions between them, it was always going to be more of a mental battle than one of technique," said event spokesman Dallas Reid. "Anjema benefited early on from a series of uncharacteristic errors from Walker, but both soon settled down into a solid rhythm hitting deep and waiting for openings.

"These were quite rare, but when they came, both players showed supreme execution in hammering high forehand volleys into the opposite front nick to the delight of the crowd. With so little separating the players in ability, unforced errors were bound to be costly, and in the middle of the first game Anjema made several and Walker seized the opportunity to pull level, and then close it out 11-8.

"The second game followed a similar pattern with solid depth squash interspersed with sudden attacks - but, seemingly no matter how tight and fast Anjema hit his drops and attacking boasts, Walker would set off with his trademark expulsion of air from the lungs, and not only reach it but return a strong attacking shot in reply. Again Walker managed to retain his form with fewer unforced errors, and ran out 11-6 up in the second.

"If anything Anjema started hitting even more dangerous attacking shots in the third game, and at times had Walker launching himself from corner to corner of the court to dig out one apparent dead kill after another. Inevitably frustration set in with Anjema tinning the ball in search of a shot that would not come back. Although always under pressure, Walker kept a stranglehold on the match and concluded the match with an 11-7 finish in the third game."

The US-based 30-year-old later acknowledged that the 3/0 score line was very flattering as at any time Anjema could have got back into the game and turned it around very easily. "Once you are ahead, every rally you turn about is another nail in the coffin," said the champion.

The title triumph marked Walker's second PSA World Tour title of the year - and the ninth of his career.

Anjema Makes 30th Final In Hong Kong

Top-ranked Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema reached the 30th PSA World Tour final of his career when he beat Malaysia's Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25, the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

"It was a straightforward match for Anjema, the number two seed," explained tournament spokesman Bill Cox. "He looks in good shape and the Netherlands player always looked in control of the match. Both players played a good range of shots to move each other around the court but it was too many unforced errors that were the downfall of Adnan."

It took just 37 minute for Anjema to secure his 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 victory and a place in his first Tour final for more than a year - but his 30th since making his final debut in the 2002 Swiss Open in Geneva.

The 30-year-old world No17 acknowledged that he is playing well and he has tried to make himself a much more three-dimensional player than he used to be, and has worked hard at that.

Anjema now faces top seed Alister Walker, the world No14 from Botswana. In a match which also took 37 minutes to resolve, Walker ended qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar's run, beating the Egyptian teenager 11-9, 12-10, 11-6.

Abouelghar, the lowest-ranked player in the draw, made his breakthrough in the previous round where he beat fourth-seeded compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad.

"Yes it was tough," conceded 30-year-old Walker after the semi. "The kid is very talented and has got a lot of shots and there is no rhythm, so you are always on your toes. I just managed trying to keep it tight and close the court down. Every game was tight but fortunately it worked."

The final will mark Walker and Anjema's eighth Tour meeting since 2004. Although Walker prevailed in their most recent clash, in the North American Open in February last year, it is eight-time Dutch champion Anjema who leads the pair's head-to-head tally 5/2.

Qualifier Abouelghar Makes Hong Kong Semis

Victory over a fellow countryman ranked more than 45 places higher has taken Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar into the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25, the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

The world No70 from Giza, the lowest-ranked player to survive the qualifying competition, stemmed two fight-backs by Karim Abdel Gawad to beat the No4 seed 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5 in 60 minutes.

Abouelghar, 19, now takes on 30-year-old Alister Walker, the top seed from Botswana. The favourite was up against local hero Max Lee who, spurred on by the partisan crowd, opened up a two-game lead.

It was the Hong Kong number one's first meeting with Walker, the world No14 ranked 18 places higher. Lee was in devastating form, taking the second game despite a significant interruption while he received treatment for a cut above his eye.

"Walker came back to win the third game 11-8 and then 11-8 in the fourth," explained tournament spokesman Paul Errington. "But Walker's experience and determination came through with a win of the fifth game 11-2.

"This was squash at its best with good sportsmanship and amazing skill by both players."

There was an upset in the other half of the draw where unseeded Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan came back from 2/1 down to beat third-seeded Finn Olli Tuominen 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 in 66 minutes.

The 27-year-old from Terengganu will now face Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema after the second seed ended former US champion Julian Illingworth's run, winning 11-5, 11-3, 11-7.


Walker Through In Hong Kong

Top seed Alister Walker secured his place in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Football Club PSA International 25 after subduing Australian qualifier Rex Hedrick in the opening round of the PSA International 25 squash event in its second year at the Hong Kong Football Club in Hong Kong.

Hedrick arrived in Hong Kong fresh from two successive Tour titles on home soil. But 24-year-old world No65 from Melbourne had no answers for the experienced play of world No14 Walker as the 30-year-old from Botswana rallied to an 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 victory after 43 minutes.

"Hedrick put up a very good fight against Walker but succumbed in three," said event spokesman Julian Harniess. "However, he can certainly walk tall, playing with aplomb against the number one seed."

Walker will now have home opposition to deal with as he takes on the Hong Kong number one Max Lee for a place in the last four. The 25-year-old world No32 despatched Malaysian qualifier Muhd Asyraf Azan 11-0, 11-7, 11-1.

There was an upset in the same half of the draw where Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar removed rising Finnish star Henrik Mustonen 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7 after 61 minutes.

"The young Egyptian played some outstanding squash and was the first of the young qualifying guns to win through to the second round of the main competition," explained Harniess.

Abouelghar, 19, from Cairo, now faces fellow countryman Karim Abdel Gawad, the No4 seed also from Cairo, who needed 67 minutes to quash Pakistan qualifier Nasir Iqbal 11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 12-10.

Former US national champion Julian Illingworth also claimed a notable scalp when he beat higher-ranked Egyptian teenager Marwan Elshorbagy 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6 in 45 minutes. The 29-year-old from New York is enjoying a good spell on the PSA World Tour and arrived in Hong Kong less than 24 hours after clinching the Sekisui Open title in Switzerland.

World No55 Illingworth now faces Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, the No2 seed ranked almost 40 places higher who defeated Egypt's Karim Ali Fathi 11-5, 11-9, 12-10.