11:56 am
24 Feb 2024

Mixed Fortunes For 'Veterans' In Tournament of Champions Qualifiers

23 Feb 2007

Two former leading lights on the international squash circuit made notable comebacks in the first round of qualifying in the Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions, one of the most prestigious events on the PSA Tour which will celebrate its tenth anniversary at New York's Grand Central Terminal later this week.

It is four years since Chris Walker last played in the event, since when the former England captain has set up home in the USA where he is coach to the US men's team. The 39-year-old left-hander put in an impressive performance against one of his 'students', extending 23-year-old Julian Illingworth for five games before the US National champion finally prevailed in a tie-break 4-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 6-11, 11-10 (2-0) after 76 minutes.

Former Belgian international Stefan Casteleyn marked his return to PSA Tour action after a gap of two years with a 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 victory in 73 minutes over Australia's Aaron Frankcomb. The 32-year-old from Brussels will face Germany's European Junior champion Simon Rosner for a place in the main draw.

Egypt's Yasser El Halaby, fresh from his maiden PSA Tour triumph at the Worldgate Sport & Health Open in Virginia last week, caused the biggest upset of the day by beating Canada's Shawn Delierre, ranked more than 60 places higher in the world, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5. The 22-year-old from Cairo now faces Frenchman Julien Balbo for a place in the first round.

1st qualifying round:
Stacey Ross (ENG) bt Benjamin Oliner (USA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 (27m)
Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Chris Walker (ENG) 4-11, 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 6-11, 11-10 (2-0) (76m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Tony James (AUS) 11-10 (2-0), 11-8, 11-10 (2-0) (37m)
Bradley Hindle (AUS) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 (36m)
Mark Heather (ENG) bt John Fulham (USA) 11-6, 11-10 (3-1), 11-6 (33m)
Steve Finitsis (AUS) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 7-11, 11-5, 11-2, 6-11, 11-10 (3-1) (59m)
Stefan Casteleyn (BEL) bt Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (73m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Ahmed Maged Hamza (EGY) 11-4, 10-11 (0-2), 11-2, 8-11, 11-0 (56m)
Laurent Elriani (FRA) bt Karim Yehia (EGY) 11-3, 11-10 (4-2), 10-11 (3-5), 11-4 (66m)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7 (40m)
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Bernardo Samper (COL) 2-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-7, 11-6 (49m)
Dan Jenson (AUS) bt Patrick Bedore (CAN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-10 (3-1) (31m)
Chris Simpson (ENG) bt Luke Margan (AUS) 7-11, 11-10 (3-1), 11-9, 11-6 (63m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt David Barnett (ENG) 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (32m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 (47m)
Yasser El Halaby (EGY) bt Shawn Delierre (CAN) 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 (61m)