Anjema Punishes Palmer In US Open Upset
3 October 2011
RESULTS: PSA World Series Delaware Investments US Open,
 Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 11-8,
11-3, 11-5 (49m)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Tom Richards
(ENG) 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4 (53m)
 Peter Barker (ENG) bt Hisham Mohamed Ashour (EGY)
11-9, 11-6, 11-4 (40m)
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt Daryl Selby (ENG)
11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (48m)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 6-11,
11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (51m)
Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt  David Palmer (AUS)
7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (76m)
 Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez
(COL) 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11 (69m)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Nicolas Mueller (SUI)
11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (42m)
Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema upset eighth seed David
Palmer in the second round of the Delaware Investments US
Open to record his career-first Tour victory over the
Australian veteran in the fifth PSA World Series squash
event of the year at the Daskalakis Athletic Center at
Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The 28-year-old from The Hague and fellow non-seed Mohd Azlan
Iskandar, of Malaysia, will join Frenchman Thierry Lincou,
Egyptian pair Amr Shabana and Mohamed El Shorbagy,
together with English trio Nick Matthew, James
Willstrop and Peter Barker in the quarter-finals of
the long-established event which is being staged in Philadelphia
for the first time since 1993.
Anjema beat Palmer in a play-off match in the World Team
Championship in Germany in August, but the 35-year-old Aussie
had always had the edge over the Dutchman in PSA encounters.
Palmer, ranked eight in the world, controlled proceedings to
take the opening game, looking set to continue his Tour run.
But, from 2-5 down in the second, Anjema began to take the upper
hand. After winning the second, the Dutchman romped to a 7-0
lead in the third en-route to moving 2/1 ahead - and built up a
7-2 lead in the fourth.
But the vastly-experienced Palmer dug deep, and slowly brought
the score back to seven-all. The Aussie saved one match-ball at
10-9 before Anjema chanced his arm to hit the nick with the
second to raise both arms in celebration of his long-awaited
7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 victory after 76 minutes.
"I just tried to play my own game and not panic after losing the
first," Anjema told event website
afterwards. "I was pleased to have recovered so well, but it was
nerve-wracking at the end, getting those last five points.
"He was one of my idols when I was growing up, so to beat him
for the first time in PSA is pretty special," added the world
No12. "It was a mental victory tonight, I decided to take a risk
at the end and thankfully it came off. I hope I can be a bit
steadier for the whole match next round."
Anjema will now face fourth seed Amr Shabana. The 2009
champion from Egypt repeated his victory over fellow left-hander
Adrian Grant in a rerun of his encounter with the
Englishman at the quarter-final stage of the British Grand Prix
a week ago. The Egyptian won that one in three close games,
Grant threatening to take each one - but this time the Londoner
did more than threaten, as he took the lead 11-6.
Thereafter, however, Shabana showed why he is a four-time world
champion. Controlling the play without looking overly troubled
or hurried, Shabana took the next three games to claim his
fourth successive quarter-final berth in the event following his
6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 win.
"I just played him a few days ago, and he upped his pace right
from the start which took me a little by surprise," said
32-year-old Shabana. "He has good touch too, so it's tricky to
hold him off, so it was good to be able to take those three
"I'm just trying to stay healthy and listen to my body. I'll
take the rest day tomorrow and hopefully be ready for the rest
of the tournament."
Younger compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy also booked his
place in the last eight with an 11-2, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4 win over
rising English star Tom Richards.
The 20-year-old No7 seed will now face top seed Nick Matthew,
the world number one from England who eased to an 11-8, 11-3,
11-5 victory over tall Egyptian Omar Mosaad.
The unseeded 23-year-old from Cairo fully tested the favourite
in the opening game, holding a few points' lead before Matthew
finally closed it out with some typically solid play in the
final few points.
"The first game was long and drawn out - he came with a strategy
and stuck to it well," said Matthew. "It wasn't physically
demanding as such, more a mental battle with lots of slow
rallies. I was a bit sluggish at the start and left too many
things hanging out on his forehand. I managed to claw back the
few points lead he had and was more comfortable after that."
National team-mates and career-long rivals Peter Barker
and James Willstrop will line up in a clash which will
guarantee an English semi-finalist. Fifth seed Barker despatched
Egyptian Hisham Mohamed Ashour 11-9, 11-6, 11-4, while
Willstrop, the No3 seed, brushed aside fellow countryman
Daryl Selby, the reigning British national champion, 11-7,
Clearly hampered by an injury midway through the second game,
Ashour saw out the match. Barker later paid tribute to his
opponent in carrying on where many would have stopped.
Veteran Frenchman Thierry Lincou earned his first
appearance in the last eight of a PSA World Series event this
year following his 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11 victory over
Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
The 25-year-old from Bogota had earned the nickname 'The Cat'
after his spectacular upset over higher-ranked Egyptian Mohd
Ali Anwar Reda in the previous round.
But after dropping the first game, sixth seed Lincou restricted
the Colombian's opportunities by pinning him to the back
corners, and opened up a 2/1 lead.
Rodriguez managed to eke out an advantage in the fourth though,
and Lincou had to save five game balls before finally taking the
match on his own first opportunity, putting in a clinging
drop-shot that Rodriguez's racket could only brush into the
"He's a very unusual opponent," said a relieved Frenchman. "So
fast and such an exciting style of play. You think you've hit a
winner and it comes back, you have to start all over again, and
you have to be alert all the time, on every shot. I really had
to use my experience to counter him."
Lincou will take on Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the
11-6, 11-7, 11-3 winner over Swiss qualifier Nicolas Mueller.
"Hats off to him, he's improved a lot in the last year and is
beginning to really push the top guys," Iskandar said of his
opponent. "But I went in with a game plan and stuck to it."
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v  Mohamed El Shorbagy
 James Willstrop (ENG) v  Peter Barker (ENG)
 Amr Shabana (EGY) v Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) v  Thierry Lincou
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