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Round-up of first round of Gibraltar Squash Open 2021

First game to start in the Gibraltar PSA Open was the 6th seed Ivan Perez of Spain against the Frenchman Manu Paquemar. Paquemar took an early lead 8-3 in the first game which Perez recovered for a game ball at 11-10 before finally taking the first game 13-11. Perez recovered a 7-3 deficit to bring the game back to 7-7. Points were exchanged to take the game to 10-10, Paquemar levelling the game (11-8) at 1-1. The third game was fairly evenly matched with Perez’s consistency being rewarded with an 11-7 victory and a 2-1 lead in the tie. The fourth game again was a closely fought affair up to 8-8. Paquemar took the next three points to level the match at 2 games all. Perez took a 6-2 lead whch Paquemar recovered to 7-7 and carried on to get first match ball 10-9, a second, 11-10, third 12-11 before Perez got his first match ball which he converted to go through to the next round 3-2.

Meanwhile on Court 2 Pablo Dolz of Spain commenced battle with 8th seed Elliot Morris of England. Morris took the first game 11-7. Morris cruised to a 6-1 lead, exchanging points before taking the game 11-5. Morris closed out the match with 11-2 result taking him through to the next round.

Second up on court 2 was Augusto Ortigosa of Spain and England’s 5th seed Miles Jenkins. Ortigosa took a 6-3 lead. Jenkins upped his game to win 11-7 to take a one game lead. A close second game game saw Ortigosa win the final few points to level the match with an 11-8 win. Jenkins took command of the third game to take a 2-1 lead winning the game 11-4. More clinical squash saw Jenkins win the game 11-3 and match 3-1.

Court 1 saw the Spaniard Aron Astray take on 7th seed Roshan Bharos of the Netherlands. The first game saw a battle to take the lead, with the Spaniard taking the first game 12-10. Bharos battled through another close fought second game (11-9) to level the match 1-1. The third game followed the trend of closely fought squash with points exchanged the whole game, Astray coming through for a 11-9 victory to take a 2-1 lead. Astray continued to slightly edge out Bharos to win the final game 11-7 winning the match 3-1.

The next match on court 2 saw the German no 3 seed, Valentin Rapp playing the UK’s Simon Herbert. In a quick first game, Rapp quickly exerted his dominance winning the game 11-2. Another dominant second game saw Rapp cruise to an 11-3 win to set up a 2-0 lead. A strong start from Herbert in the third game saw him take 4-1 lead, form he continued to take the game 11-5. Further excellent attacking squash saw Herbert take the fourth game 11-4 levelling the game at 2-2. Every point was keenly contested in the final game with Herbert edging Rapp out 11-9.

Number 2 seed Nick Wall played fellow English compatriot Hasnat Farooqi. Wall dominated the first game to win 11-5. Farooqi improved in games 2 & 3 but Wall looked comfortable as he took the games 11-7 and 11-8 to win the match.

Fourth seed Hugo Varela faced Jaori Hapers on court 1 in another keenly fought match. Hapers took the first game 11-4 but Varela fought back to take the second game 11-9 to level the match. The third game levelled at 8-8, but Varela edged out Hapers to take the game 11-8 to take a 2-1 lead. Hapers fought straight back to level the second game 11-7 to set up a decider. Varela got the first match ball at 10-6 and converted the second to win the game 11-7 and the match

On court 2, number 5 seed Katriona Allen from Scotland took on Tashy Baker for England. In a tight initial game Allen edged out Baker and carried the momentum of the first game to take the the second 11-1. Baker recovered in the the 3rd to take an 8-3 lead, but Allen recovered to get the first. Match ball at 10-8, she converted her second to win the final game 11-9.

The next match on court 2 was between the two English ladies Lara Newton and the 7th seed Katie Wells. Wells took the first game 11-7, consistent squash beating some precise shots form Newton. Wells continued. The momentum into the second game to wining 11-5 to take a 2-0 lead.. Wells continued to keep the pressure up to take the game 11-5 and the match.

In the final men’s match of the day, number 1 seed, Robert. Downer faced fellow Englishman Ben Smith. In the first game Smith took a lead of 7-2, but the number 1 seed managed to recover the game to win 11-8. The second game saw Smith again take the lead but this time he converted it to take the game. In the third game, Downer slowly edged away away to take the game 11-7 and take the lead 2-1. Smith again retaliated and took the fourth game 11-7 to set up a decider. Smith and Downer battled hard to win the match with Smith edging the number one seed out 11-7 to win 3-2.

On court 2 Aylin Gunsav of Germany faced Andrea Fjellgaard of Norway. In a somewhat one sided match Gunsav win all three games comfortably winning 11-3, 11-4, 11-3

This game was followed by 6th seed Sofia Mateos of Spain against compatriot Maura Dominguez Fernandez. Fernández took the first game after some excellent squash from both players. In the second game Fernendez repeated the excellent play that won her the first game to take the second and third games 11-5 and 11-9 and book herself into the next round.

Courtesy Gibraltar Squash

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