Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (61m)
The opening match of the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic, and the first match to be played under a new trial referring system composing one referee supported by a video referee, began in dramatic circumstances as Daryl Selby was forced off court due to a blood injury before the first point had been played.
A lengthy delay, in excess of fifteen minutes, followed before the match began anew when it was James, playing with confidence and an attacking aura on the stunning all-glass court inside London's East Wintergarden, who took the opening game by a narrow 11-8 margin.
From then on it was Selby who enjoyed the better of proceedings, playing with variation and flair as he countered James's height advantage with well struck lines and length. After levelling at 1-1 the third game could have gone either way but it was Selby who snuck it before wrapping up the match in a rapid fire fourth game.
The very first rally of the match saw Selby exit court with a bloody nose and a 15 minute delay ensue – it was James who ended up taking that first game but Selby's depth of experience undoubtedly played a huge role in helping him recover into the match following such a lengthy delay.
Shot of the Match
Selby's between the legs winner simply deserves to be watched:
Daryl Selby: “That was a very tough start to the week. I knew it would be tough because he came through qualifying with two solid performances and he showed that he wasn't intimidated by the glass court.
“He's one of the young up and coming English players – he's got great reach and he punished me when I was loose. He played well and took the match to me and he deserved the game he got.
“Having a break like that so early was a big comedown. There's a lot of adrenaline spikes before a match and I think we both really needed a long rally to get the blood flowing again.
“I've tried that shot about 50 times especially against Nick as he plays down the middle against me a lot, and I've clipped the tin so many times. I would have loved to have played it against Nick just to see the look on his face but it is nice for it go up.
“We all play with a smile on our faces and I like to improvise and not play the same shots all the time. I get my inspiration by playing different shots like that.”
Declan James: “The second was over quickly so I knew I had to reset the game and start the third like if it was 0/0 in the first. I played much better and it was pretty close. In the fourth, he lifted the pace, his experience made the difference, but overall I am happy with how I played.”