German World No.6 Simon Rösner moved through to round three of the 2019-20 PSA Men’s World Championship after he defeated England’s Declan James 3-1 at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar.
Rösner had beaten James in all five of their previous matches and he added to that tally after completing an 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 to set up a third round encounter with either Welshman Joel Makin or Egypt’s Mohamed ElSherbini.
James had the better of the opening stages as he took the first four points on offer, but he dropped off as Rösner came back to take the opener. James levelled in the second after finding his best attacking shots, and the pair then traded blows in the third until the midpoint of the game.
With the scores locked at 6-6, Rösner held his nerve and concentration to move ahead to hold four game balls, and despite some unforced errors from the 32-year-old handing James a lifeline, he was able to see the game out to take a crucial 2-1 advantage.
The pair are two of the tallest players on the PSA Tour – Rösner standing at six feet, two inches tall, with James coming in at six feet, three inches – and as such there were some traffic issues throughout the match which saw a number of lets and strokes halt the momentum of the match.
The opening stages of the fourth were scrappy, and it was Rösner who came out on top in some nip and tuck rallies to become the first man to seal his place in the last 16.
“It was very tense throughout the match,” Rösner said.
“Dec’s had a bit of a tough time over the past few weeks. I haven’t quite been happy with my game either, so it was good to bring out the best of us.
“I think we both played really well, and I’m really happy with how I played today. He’s so dangerous, he’s big just like me, he takes it on the volley and goes for it, so it’s never easy getting a win.
“Looking at the scoreline, each game could have gone either way, so I’m happy to get three out of those four games. I felt good today physically, even though my heart rate was up there. I still felt I could push on, whereas on other days when your heart rate is pushing above 190, you feel like you’re dying.
“Today I was able to push even when it was hard and physical. I actually like to continue, I like to keep the rhythm and stay in touch rather than getting out of it. I have my coach with me who I can hit with tomorrow, which is good. I will try and stay in good shape for the next match.”
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (70m)