South African Clinton Leeuw had to survive a 95-minute first round marathon in the Betty F Griffin Memorial Florida State Open before claiming his place in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 event at the Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton, USA.
The Cape Town-born 30-year-old beat Jamaican qualifier Christopher Binnie (both pictured above) 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12.
“The match between Leeuw and Binnie was spectacular,” said event spokesman Kevin Jullion. “Lots of tough points and athleticism on display. Leeuw was very focused throughout and Binnie showed a great deal of grit in levelling the match at two-all – coming back from a score of 4-8 in the fourth game, and ultimately winning that game 11-8.
“That was a pre-cursor to the fifth game, as the two traded off several match points but were unable to close out. Finally, at 12-13 with a an overhead forehand volley nick attempt Binnie tried to extend the match still further but the shot clipped the top of the tin to end it.”
Unseeded Leeuw, ranked 95 in the world, will now take on Yasir Ali Butt, the third seed from Pakistan who beat English qualifier Tom Pashley 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.
But Farhan Zaman, the 19-year-old world No93, failed to join compatriot Butt in the last eight – going down 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 to lower-ranked Australian Scott Arnold.
“First upset win of season in the last tourn before xmas,” tweeted Arnold later. “Didn’t need another reason to love Florida but I’ll take it!”
US interest in the event is being led by top seed Julian Illingworth. The record eight-time US champion beat Canadian Thomas Brinkman 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 and will now face Mexican Erik Tepos Valtierra for a place in the semi-finals.
1 Julian Illingworth (USA) v Erik Tepos Valtierra (MEX)
3 Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) v Clinton Leeuw (RSA)
4 Peter Creed (WAL) v Scott Arnold (AUS)
2 Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Alfredo Avila (MEX)
1 Julian Illingworth (USA) bt Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (37m)
Erik Tepos Valtierra (MEX) bt Steven London (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (47m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt [Q] Christopher Binnie (JAM) 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12 (95m)
3 Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) bt [Q] Tom Pashley (ENG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (42m)
4 Peter Creed (WAL) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 13-11, 11-7, 11-5 (39m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (40m)
Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [Q] Michael McCue (CAN) 11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (35m)
2 Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt [Q] Pablo Rawden (ENG) 11-1, 11-5, 14-12 (40m)
Pablo Rawden (ENG) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 (45m)
Tom Pashley (ENG) bt Aurangzeb Mehmund (PAK) 11-8, 11-4, 12-10 (49m)
Michael McCue (CAN) bt Micah Franklin (BER) 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-5 (55m)
Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt Colin Ramasra (TRI) 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 (25m)
1st qualifying round:
Pablo Rawden (ENG) bt Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) 11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 (49m)
Aurangzeb Mehmund (PAK) bt Kyle Sleaseman (USA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (37m)
Colin Ramasra (TRI) bt Sergio Lopez (MEX) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (30m)