Rosner makes maiden World Series quarters in Richmond!

Simon Rosner (GER) made his 1st World Series quarter-final by beating Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 in the 2nd round of the North American Open 2012Simon Rosner (GER) made his 1st World Series quarter-final by beating Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 in the 2nd round of the North American Open 2012

Rising German star Simon Rosner celebrated his 1st appearance in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event after beating world No16 Alister Walker in the 2nd round of the North American Open in Richmond, Virginia. The 6ft 3in 24-year-old from Paderborn overcame Botswana’s Walker 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 to record his career-first victory over the former world No12 with a consistent display of solid hitting and confident court movement.

Rosner, ranked 20 in the world, will now face No2 seed Nick Matthew. The world champion again made life difficult for himself, struggling against Finland’s Olli Tuominen before winning 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-2 in 55 minutes to finally force his way through to the last eight. “I know I will need to play better against Rosner,” added Matthew. “He is playing well and looking relaxed. We played each other in the World Team Championships in Paderborn and it felt like the whole of Germany was against me!”

Top seed James Willstrop endured a fierce onslaught from former world champion Thierry Lincou before beating the Frenchman 16-14, 11-7, 11-6. Willstrop will meet 4-times world champion Amr Shabana in the quarters who overcame England’s Adrian Grant in the encounter of lefthanders 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-6 after 59 minutes of play.

3rd seed Greg Gaultier powered his way through to the quarter-finals by overwhelming Canadian Shahier Razik in just 29 minutes. The French maestro looked very sharp indeed as he won 11-1, 11-4, 11-4.

Ramy Ashour was 10 minutes late on court but attacked right from the start against Cameron Pilley. The 24-year-old Egyptian won 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in just 28 minutes. Both players produced fast, attacking squash but Ashour was always likely to be the man hitting more winners. Ashour, who is returning to action after injury, echoed Gaultier’s comments about diet and fitness. He said: “I love the food here in Richmond so I have to be very careful about what I eat and how much.

In the quarter-finals, Ashour meets fellow Egyptian Karim Darwish, who beat Australian qualifier Zac Alexander 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 in 30 minutes. Darwish said: “Zac is a very strong player and improving all the time. I am looking forward to playing Ramy. He is one of my best friends. The last time I played him, I lost 3/2 in Hurghada.”

Number 8 seed Azlan Iskandar conceded his match against young Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad because of a thigh injury. The Malaysian world No10 stayed in his chair after losing the first two games and said: “I have been suffering for a few days and trying to play through it. The adductor muscle is causing the problem and it started bruising badly.”

Gawad now meets Gaultier in the quarter-finals, a huge challenge for the skilful 20-year-old from Alexandria.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) v [6] Amr Shabana (EGY)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [5] Karim Darwish (EGY)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Simon Rosner (GER)

2nd round:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Thierry Lincou (FRA) 16-14, 11-7, 11-6 (50m)
[6] Amr Shabana (EGY) bt Adrian Grant (ENG) 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-6 (59m)
[Q] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt [8] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) 11-8, 11-4 ret. (26m)
[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)
[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (28m)
[5] Karim Darwish (EGY) bt [Q] Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
Simon Rosner (GER) bt Alister Walker (BOT) 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (46m)
[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-2 (55m)