Top Seeds To Play Pittsburgh Final
20 Nov 2011
Top seeds and former England team-mates Adrian Grant and Alister Walker will contest the final of the 3 Rivers Capital Pittsburgh Open after surviving tough semi-final clashes with the other two seeded players in the PSA World Tour International 25 squash event in its third successive year at Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, USA.
Grant, the favourite from London, held off a determined challenge from top-ranked Canadian Shahier Razik, needing 75 minutes to overcome the No3 seed 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7.
After world No17 Grant took the first two games, Razik - ranked 14 places lower - came back strongly in the third to reduce the deficit.
"Razik stayed close in game four through 8-7, and a fifth game looked like a real possibility," reported tournament organiser Steven Baicker-McKee. "But Grant closed out the match with two ungettable drops and a Razik tin."
Left-hander Grant will be celebrating the 28th PSA World Tour final of his career - and his third of the year.
Second seed Walker - who switched his allegiance from England to Botswana, his country of birth, at the beginning of the year - faced Ryan Cuskelly, the fourth seed from Australia, in the other semi.
"Cuskelly knew he did not want to rally with Walker, so he attacked the corners, and Walker counter-attacked with re-drops and drives," explained Baicker-McKee. "The first two games were knots at 10-all, but Walker won the next two points both times. Walker then upped his game for the third, and won handily."
The New York-based 29-year-old's 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory takes Walker into the ninth PSA Tour final of his career - but his second this month after winning the Dayton Open in Ohio last week.
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 Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-8, 11-8, 11-1 (48m)
 Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (56m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (40m)
 Alister Walker (BOT) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 9-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 (61m)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) bt  Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (75m)
 Alister Walker (BOT) bt  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (55m)