6:24 pm
16 Jun 2024

Seeds Sail Through In Salt Lake City

16 Jul 2004

The battle for places in the quarter-finals of the Squashworks Salt Lake City Open proved to favour the favourites as all eight seeds survived on the first day of action in the Utah state capital.

Only England's top seed Joey Barrington (pictured) needed more than three games to overcome his first round opponent. Pakistan qualifier Kumail Mehmood displayed an excellent array of shots in the first game but Barrington's quickness and overall fitness lengthened the game to his advantage.

Even though Mehmood won the first game, he was clearly labouring at the end while the world No40 from Somerset continued to bound around the court without showing any signs of weakness. After 61 minutes, Barrington advanced through to the last eight in a 13-15 15-6 15-7 15-8 scoreline.

The favourite will now meet Mexican Eric Galvez, the No8 seed who defeated English qualifier Ben Howell 15-11 15-8 15-13 in 43 minutes. Galvez used his quickness to the front court and his Mexico City-trained altitude lungs to outlast Howell. The last time Barrington and Galvez met was in March's Ontario Open, where the Englishman prevailed in a two-hour five game classic.

At the other end of the draw, second-seeded Welshman David Evans faced Canada's Shawn De Lierre. Salt Lake City squash fans were anxious to see this match because of Evans's experience and impressive accomplishments (a British Open Champion and former world No3) - matched up against De Lierre's youth and charisma. The 22-year-old Canadian was in Salt Lake City last year and put on a great display by qualifying for the event only to lose in the quarters.

Evans, however, never allowed De Lierre any room to display his shot-making ability. The experienced Welshman used his length to volley balls and keep De Lierre in the back which in the end seemed to dishearten the Canadian. Despite two tight first games, the match ended emphatically 15-10 15-12 15-3 in Evans's favour.

Evans now plays another Canadian, sixth seed Matthew Giuffre in the quarter-finals.