UPDATE:
Tuesday at the O2 – Men’s Round One bottom half

Tuesday at the O2 – Men’s Round One bottom half

[note]Men’s Round One, Bottom Half:
 [8] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (Fra) 11/2,11/1, 11/5 (30m)
Steve Coppinger (Rsa) bt [Q] Alan Clyne (Sco) 11/9, 11/13, 11/6, 11/3 (61m)
Tom Richards (Eng) bt Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 11/7, 10/12, 11/4, 11/4 (49m)
[3] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [Q] Max Lee (Hkg) 11/8, 11/4, 11/6 (45m)
[6] Peter Barker (Eng) bt [Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 11/3, 11/9, 11/9 (50m)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt [Q] Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) 11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (35m)
[Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) 11/5, 11/6, 8/11, 9/11, 11/1 (64m)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 11/6, 11/4, 11/3 (36m) [/note]

Kemp the only qualifier to make the last sixteen

The first bottom half match at the O2 saw Dutch eight seed LJ Anjema waste little tim in ending the run of qualifier Gregoire Marche.  The Frenchman had spent over 100 minutes on court in his qualifying final, but couldn’t make an impression on the big Dutchman who imposed from the start and never let up, winning 11/2, 11/1, 11/5 in just 30 minutes.

“I had to be very alert today,” he said, “I saw that Greg played very well in qualifying so didn’t want to let him get into a rhythm. It’s cold on the court which suits an attacking game, and I was happy with my movement and my technical game today.

“It’s great to have such noisy support,” he added of the schoolkids massed in the O2 stands, “it should be like this every time!”

His next opponent will be South Africa’s Steve Coppinger, who came through a tough hour-long encounter with Scottish qualifier Alan Clyne. Coppinger edged a close first game 11/9, saved several game balls before losing the second 11/13, but asserted increasing control to take the the next two 11/6, 11/3 as Clyne’s frustration grew.

“I’m really happy,” said a delighted Coppinger, “I felt the pressure was on me today, playing a qualifier, and the way the draw worked out it was a big chance for both of us, so I’m very pleased to make the second round of a world series event for the first time. I’ll just go out and enjoy myself next round and see what happens …”

Tom Richards became the second Englishman through to the last sixteen as he beat Ong Beng Hee, the Malaysian appearing in his 16th British Open, 11/7, 10/12, 11/4, 11/4.  Richards was in control for the majority of the match, had game ball in the game he lost too, and was satisfied with his performance: “I played him six mionths ago and he beat me 3/0 so I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” he explained. “The court is cold and very dead, which probably suited my game better.”

He’ll meet another Englishman in the next round, after defending champion Nick Matthew beat Hong Kong qualifier Max Lee in three games. Lee started well, and led the first 7/6 before Matthew managed to turn the match around, winning in an ultimately comfortable 11/8, 11/4, 11/6.

“He surprised me at the start,” admitted the world champion, “taking everything on the volley and controlling the centre of the court, playing me at my own game really!

“It took me half a game to get adjusted, and then halfway through the match the conditions changed, it became darker and colder, like night conditions! Still, it’s good to get used to whatever it’s going to throw at you later on in the early rounds.”

Peter Barker kept the English bandwagon rolling, looking in great form in taking the first game 11/3, but fellow-lefthander Ryan Cuskelly made the next two pretty tough, although both went to Barker 11/9.

“I played ok,” said Barker, “pretty well in the first game actually, but he played better in the second and third and caused me some problems. I’ll go and enjoy the rest day and work on some things, I’ll have to pick my game up for the next round.

Judging by the next match on court, Barker will indeed need to pick his game up against Saurav Ghosal, whose speed around court and tremendous retrieving won him a tight first game against world junior champion Marwan El Shorbagy, and contributed to the tailing off of the young Egyptian’s challenge in the second and third games. After one point Marwan turned to his elder brother in the crowd and held out his hands in a “what do I have to do” gesture. The last rally summed it up, with Marwan trying everything he could but Saurav getting to everything until a dispirited error finished the match off 11/7, 11/6, 11/5.

“I knew I’d have to play well,” said the Indian number one who had Malcolm Willstrop in his corner, “I tried to be clinical from the start and it worked pretty well. Playing Peter will be tough, but there’s no shortage of incentive with a quarter-final in the British Open for the winner, so hopefully I can play well again and it will be a good match.”

Jonathan Kemp became the only qualifier to progress to the last sixteen when nhe overcame speedy Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in a five game thriller that fizzled out due to an injury to the Colombian.

Kemp, who had fancied a match against Rodriguez before the qualifying draw was made and got his wish,  started strongly, his shotmaking nullifying Rodriguez’s retrieving as he led 11/5, 11/6. Despite the cool conditions, Rodriguez warmed to his task, delighting the crowd with some dives and scrambles as he levelled 11/9, 11/8.

At 3/0 to Kemp in the fifth he brushed past Rodriguez on the way to the front, leaving his opponent writhing in pain behind him. After a 16-minute break for the contributed injury Rodriguez returned to court  but was unable to move properly – and without his movement, well … – s Kemp completed the win 11/1 to make it six Englishmen in the last sixteen.

“It’s never nice to win or lose like that,” said Kemp, “it’s happened to me before, but he did well to come back out and I hope he recovers soon.

“It was shaping up to be a great game, I played well at the start but then he played really well in the third and fourth, got in front of me and really put some pressure on me.”

The second round lineup was completed when second seed Gregory Gaultier made quick work of his 11/6m, 11/4, 11/3 over young Swiss Nicolas Mueller.

“I played quite well,” said the Frenchman, “he’s one of the best up and coming players and he’s had some good results so I knew I had to play well and stay focused and on my toes throughout the match.

“I made sure I warmed up well and was physically 100% before the match, which is important in cold conditions like these, and I was quite happy with my performance tonight.”