Tom Richards overcame the challenge of Germany’s number two Raphael Kandra in a high quality four-game encounter that could have gone either way at the University Club of Chicago.
The duo traded the opening two games in what was an attritional affair dominated by long, energy-sapping rallies before a tit-for-tat third game followed in which the pair traded points in an incessant back and forth battle.
But the efforts of downing another Englishman, Oliver Pett, in a tense five-game qualification battle yesterday took its toll on Kandra towards the business end as his energy levels began to drop and Richards used his experience to pounce and exten a 2-1 advantage before continuing to force home the advantage in the fourth.
“I played pretty good squash in the first game and a half, but I lost my discipline in the middle of the second and I started opening the court,” said Richards.
“He got more confident and for the rest of the match I managed to get it back. He moves so well and picks up so many shots and it makes it very difficult to win a point on that traditional court in particular.
“But a win is a win and I’ll take it.”
Tom Richards (ENG) bt [Q] Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (60m)