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17 Apr 2024

Pilley Punishes Palmer In Pace Upset

14 Feb 2008

Australia's world No4 David Palmer suffered his first opening round defeat on the PSA Tour for two and a half years when he was beaten by compatriot Cameron Pilley in the first round of the PACE Canadian Classic at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto.

In the pair's second clash this year, 25-year-old Pilley, from New South Wales, beat the former world champion, also from New South Wales, 11-4, 11-5, 10-11 (4-6), 11-4 in 72 minutes.

Palmer revealed later that he had injured his back in training three days ago.

"I spent four hours today with the physio in an attempt to loosen the back up, but on the third point of the first game, it locked up," explained the 31-year-old. When asked whether it had been wise to carry on, Palmer replied: "I guess not, but I just hate to lose."

Pilley goes on to face Wael El Hindi, the fifth seed from Egypt who beat Canadian qualifier Shawn Delierre 11-7, 11-8, 11-4.

Top-ranked Canadian Shahier Razik, ranked 22 in the world, earned his way to the quarter-finals with a 3/0 victory over the 29th ranked Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Colombia. Fellow Canadian Matthew Giuffre, of Edmonton, lost in straight games to the reigning world champion and world No1 Amr Shabana of Egypt.

Shabana, playing his first tournament this year, showed no rusty signs in his first round match. The 28-year-old from Giza took just 26 minutes to finish Giuffre with a dazzling array of winners and inch-perfect length that left the Canadian without any answers.

"I couldn't handle his length and accuracy," Giuffre commented after the match. "It's awesome playing the best in the world. I wasn't shell-shocked because I used to play Jonathon Power a lot. But I simply don't get that level of opposition back in Edmonton."

When asked to compare the great Canadian, (now retired from professional squash) and Shabana, Giuffre said that Power was the more aggressive player. "He hit the ball harder than Shabana, but Shabana is so incredibly accurate."

Troubled with a wrist problem, Shabana has not played a tournament for almost two months.

"I took four weeks off after the World Team Championships in December and only started practising a month ago. Right now, I'm relaxed because I am happy to be playing. When you have an injury you never know if you will play again," said the Egyptian who won the PACE Canadian Classic two years ago.

1st round:
[1] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Matthew Giuffre (CAN) 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (26m)
[7] Mohammed Abbas (EGY) bt [Q] Yasser El Halaby (EGY) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (33m)
Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [3] David Palmer (AUS) 11-4, 11-5, 10-11 (4-6), 11-4 (72m)
[5] Wael El Hindi (EGY) bt [Q] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (46m)
[6] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt Hisham Mohd Ashour (EGY) 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 (35m)
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (36m)
[8] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (47m)
[2] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [Q] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (30m)