Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez upset second seed Alister Walker - ranked just a single place higher in the world – in four games to reach the final of the Fiera Properties Bluenose Squash Classic, the PSA World Tour International 35 event in its eighth successive year at Saint Mary’s University Homburg Centre in Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
The world No16 from Bogota will now face an opponent ranked two places higher when he faces off against top seed Daryl Selby, the Englishman who recovered from two games down to beat fourth seed Laurens Jan Anjema in a 109-minute marathon.
The closeness of their rankings was evident in the opening rally between Walker and Rodriguez (both pictured above) – which lasted 107 shots and 3 minutes! The Colombian took an early 4-0 lead and went on to take the first game.
Walker found focus and success at the front corners and quickly built up a 3-0 lead in the second before levelling the match
“I was going too early to the front and I knew I had to change things up,” admitted Rodriguez later.
Indeed, the third seed began mixing the pace of the rally, at times forcing the pace, and at others opting to build position. Rodriguez went on to take the match 11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 after 51 minutes.
“Alister is a very strong player from the T and likes to take the ball early,” Rodriguez continued later. “I was playing a fast pace and trying not to give him the chance to slow down the rally.”
In the second semi, Dutch champion Anjema took the first two games and led 4-1 in the third as a straightforward straight games win seemed on the cards.
“From 4-1, Selby hit two nicks and quickly tied the game at 4-4,” reported . “More tight drops and a stroke against Anjema and Selby was ahead 9-5. Anjema continued to put up a strong fight but in the end Selby took the game 11-8 in 23 minutes.”
The world No14 from Essex continued to impose himself on the match before running out an 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 winner.
“Had to dig very deep tonight in a brutally hard match with LJ,” Selby tweeted later. “Managed to come back from 2-0 and 4-1 down. Recovery mode in full operation.”
Selby is celebrating the 20th PSA Tour final of his career, and the second in a row, while Rodriguez is marking his 31st. The final will be the pair’s sixth Tour meeting – but first since October 2008 – with Selby holding a 4/1 head-to-head lead.