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Miguel Makes It Third Time Unlucky For Selby At Bluenose

Bluenose Classic 2013
15-20 Oct, Halifax, Nova Scotia, $35k
Round One
17 Oct 
18 Oct
19 Oct
20 Oct
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-2, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
Daryl Selby
11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (46m)
Eddie Charlton
Daryl Selby
111-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (109m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Daryl Selby
4-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6 (58m)
Miguel Angel Rodrigues
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11-8, 7-11, 2-11, 11-7, 14-12 (112m)
Steve Finitsis (Aus)
Shaun Le Roux (Rsa)
 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (37
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
Campbell Grayson
11-7, 11-8, 13-11 (62m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (34m)
[4] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodrigues (Col)
11-8, 11-7, 11-3
[Q] Arturo Salazar (Mex)
Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-3, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5 (51m)
[Q] Eric Galvez
Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)
Alister Walker
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8 (127m)
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10
[Q] Jan Koukal (Cze)
Martin Knight
 6-12, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7 (78m)
Alister Walker
[Q] Lucas Serme (Fra)
16-14, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6
[2] Alister Walker (Bot)

RESULTS: PSA International 35 Fiera Properties Bluenose Classic,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Miguel Makes It Third Time Unlucky For Selby At Bluenose

Colombian squash star Miguel Angel Rodriguez upset top seed Daryl Selby in the final of the Fiera Properties Bluenose Classic to consign the Englishman to runner-up of the PSA World Tour International 35 event at Saint Mary's University Homburg Centre in Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia for the third time since 2010.

Third seed Rodriguez, the world No16 from Bogota, reached the final after upsetting Alister Walker, the No2 seed from Botswana, in the semi-finals of the eighth edition of the Bluenose Classic.

But after the Colombian built up a 3-0 lead in the opening game of the final, it was Selby, the world No14 from Essex, who reclaimed the initiative - taking eight consecutive points en-route to an 11-4 game one win.

Rodriguez (pictured above in Bluenose action with Selby) changed his tactics in the second game, and soon drew level after conceding just two points - an achievement he duplicated in the third.

"In the fourth game, Rodriguez had so much confidence in his drop, the first two points were secured in drops executed in exchanges immediately after the serve," explained tournament spokesman Blair Cook. "Another three perfectly-executed drops and Rodriguez grew the lead to 5-0."

Selby fought back to 4-7, but the 27-year-old from Bogota continued his dominance to close out the match 4-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-6 in 58 minutes to win his first Bluenose Squash Classic Championship.

"I didn't play badly today and played well in the first game," said Selby later. "Credit to Miguel, he played unbelievable squash after that. He upped the intensity, and did it absolutely perfectly.

"I take my hat off to him, and he definitely deserved to win."

When asked whether he was disappointed, having lost in the finals now three time, Selby responded: "It will definitely keep me coming back, however, one more loss and it's not bad luck is it?"

Rodriguez pronounced the final as "one of the best matches I've ever played".

"I was ready to play this match," continued the highest-ranked South American of all-time, who now boasts 23 PSA World Tour titles from 31 final appearances.

Miguel Masters Walker In Canada

Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez upset second seed Alister Walker - ranked just a single place higher in the world - in four games to reach the final of the Fiera Properties Bluenose Squash Classic, the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its eighth successive year at Saint Mary's University Homburg Centre in Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

The world No16 from Bogota will now face an opponent ranked two places higher when he faces off against top seed Daryl Selby, the Englishman who recovered from two games down to beat fourth seed Laurens Jan Anjema in a 109-minute marathon.

The closeness of their rankings was evident in the opening rally between Walker and Rodriguez (both pictured above) - which lasted 107 shots and 3 minutes! The Colombian took an early 4-0 lead and went on to take the first game.

Walker found focus and success at the front corners and quickly built up a 3-0 lead in the second before levelling the match

"I was going too early to the front and I knew I had to change things up," admitted Rodriguez later.

Indeed, the third seed began mixing the pace of the rally, at times forcing the pace, and at others opting to build position. Rodriguez went on to take the match 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 after 51 minutes.

"Alister is a very strong player from the T and likes to take the ball early," Rodriguez continued later. "I was playing a fast pace and trying not to give him the chance to slow down the rally."

In the second semi, Dutch champion Anjema took the first two games and led 4-1 in the third as a straightforward straight games win seemed on the cards.

"From 4-1, Selby hit two nicks and quickly tied the game at 4-4," reported Farley MacLeod. "More tight drops and a stroke against Anjema and Selby was ahead 9-5. Anjema continued to put up a strong fight but in the end Selby took the game 11-8 in 23 minutes."

The world No14 from Essex (pictured above with Anjema) continued to impose himself on the match before running out an 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 winner.

"Had to dig very deep tonight in a brutally hard match with LJ," Selby tweeted later. "Managed to come back from 2-0 and 4-1 down. Recovery mode in full operation."

Selby is celebrating the 20th PSA Tour final of his career, and the second in a row, while Rodriguez is marking his 31st. The final will be the pair's sixth Tour meeting - but first since October 2008 - with Selby holding a 4/1 head-to-head lead.

Seeds Still In The Chase In Halifax

The four seeds duly secured their places in the semi-finals of the Fiera Properties Bluenose Squash Classic in Canada - but were not given easy rides by their quarter-final opponents in the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its eighth successive year at Saint Mary's University Homburg Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

While English favourite Daryl Selby chalked up his second successive straight games win in the event - beating compatriot Eddie Charlton (pictured above with Selby, foreground) 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 in his second 46-minute victory in 24 hours - second seed Alister Walker was taken the full distance by Martin Knight before beating the New Zealander in 78 minutes.

Kiwi Knight, the world No47 celebrating his seventh successive Bluenose Classic appearance since 2006, twice led the world No15 from Botswana. But Walker dug deep to force a decider.

Game five saw both players enter the court with a heightened sense of intensity and focus. With everything on the line, the score remained close throughout the game. It was nip and tuck up to seven-all. A stroke against Knight put Walker ahead 8-7. Three Knight tins later gave victory to Walker 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7.

"Martin is constantly improving and adding more shots to his weapons," said Walker (pictured above, foreground, with Knight) later. "He kept me unsettled throughout the match."

Walker now faces Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the No3 seed from Colombia who needed four games to see off Mexican qualifier Eric Galvez 11-3, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5.

The other semi will be a European affair in which Selby takes on Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema. The fourth seed from The Hague defeated New Zealand's Campbell Grayson in straight games, but it took the world No18 62 minutes to close out the match 11-7, 11-8, 13-11.

"I felt like I was always one step behind and there was a lot of pressure," said Anjema afterwards. "The last time I played Campbell, in Guatemala, I was struggling. He has a good technique and you never know where the ball is going till the last second."

Selby Sails Through Bluenose Opener

England's Daryl Selby, seeded to make it third time lucky after two runner-up finishes, sailed through the first round of the Fiera Properties Bluenose Squash Classic in Canada to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its eighth successive year at Saint Mary's University Homburg Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The world No14 from Essex, beaten finalist in 2010 and 2012, faced top-ranked Mexican Cesar Salazar. At 1-2 down in the opening game, Selby strung together 10 consecutive points to take the game 11-2.

From seven-all in the second, the favourite pulled away to establish a two-game lead.

"In the third game, it appeared that Selby (pictured above, left, with Salazar) was in control as he commanded an early 5-2 lead," said event spokesman Jon Boody. "Salazar was not ready to surrender as he went on a four point spree to go ahead 6-5. In Selby fashion, his patience throughout long rallies paid off as he dominated the next five rallies to take game three 11-6 for a 3/0 match win."

Selby will now face fellow countryman Eddie Charlton for a place in the semi-finals. Charlton, the world No63 from Nottingham, pulled off a confidence-boosting upset over Steven Finitsis, ranked five places higher.

But the Australian extended Charlton to five games - and 112 minutes - before the 25-year-old Englishman secured the 11-8, 7-11, 2-11, 11-7, 14-12 win which gained him a place in the next round.

The decider was a dramatic affair in which Charlton squandered five match-balls from 10-5 - then had to save two match-balls against him before finally clinching victory.

But a longer match took place in the other half of the draw where Mexican qualifier Eric Galvez (pictured in the match above, right) - the lowest-ranked player in the draw - managed a mighty upset over Muhd Asyraf Azan, beating the world No65 from Malaysia 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8 in 127 minutes.

The marathon encounter marks the longest winning match in the 14-year PSA Tour career of 30-year-old former world No33 Galvez.

The experienced Mexican now takes on PanAm rival Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the third seed from Colombia. The world No16 from Bogota ended all Salazar interest in the event when he beat Cesar's twin brother Arturo Salazar, a qualifier, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3.

New Zealander Martin Knight celebrated his seventh successive Bluenose Classic appearance by overcoming Czech qualifier Jan Koukal 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10 in 64 minutes.

The world No47 from Auckland, competing in his sixth PSA Tour event in his fourth country since early September, will now face No2 seed Alister Walker.

The world No15 from Botswana battled for more than an hour to quash French qualifier Lucas Serme 16-14, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6.