On the opening day of action at the 2016 Men’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions staged in the iconic setting of New York’s Grand Central Terminal it was Spaniard Borja Golan who stole the headlines as he knocked adopted crowd-favourite Miguel Angel Rodriguez out of the prestigious PSA World Series tournament at the first hurdle.
Rodriguez, returning to the scene of his 2015 heroics when in a career-defying week he downed current World Champion Gregory Gaultier en-route to a maiden World Series semi-final appearance, was odds-on favourite to come through against the 33-year-old but found himself on the receiving end of a performance of clinical precision from Golan – which will serve to bolster his hopes of reclaiming a place within the world top ten.
It took the World No.19, who ranked as high as No.5 just 18 months ago, just 35 minutes to complete the straight-games win against an under-par Rodriguez who, after a particularly ferocious rally in the heart of the second game, looked to be struggling with inhibited movement and cut a dejected figure as he left the court in front of a subdued capacity crowd.
“I’m really happy to win today,” said Golan. “This is one of the biggest tournaments on the circuit and the first event of 2016 so to start by beating a player of Miguel’s ability is a good confidence boost for me.
“I struggled with my consistency last year and I had a few matches where I was close to winning, but just couldn’t see it out, and I lost some of my confidence. I worked hard throughout the Christmas break and changed some of my training with the aim of feeling good on court so to get off to such a good start in 2016 is great for me
“I’m very pleased to be in the second round and I’m just going to focus on the next match and not look too far ahead. I’m going to enjoy being on court and try to put into practice the things that I have been working on and hopefully I will continue to play well.”
Borja Golan (ESP) bt  Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (34m)