Into the semi-finals we go with an Englishman, an Egyptian and 2 South Africans left! First match up in the quarters, Englishman Tom Ford continued his great run of form in his 4th tournament in a month in SA with a comfortable win over South African Thoboki Mohohlo in four entertaining games. The number 1 seeded Egyptian Mohamed Reda and world number 42 was then pushed all the way to wire by Nathan Lake (ENG, PSA 115) who showed some incredible skill in moving Reda from corner to corner and eventually earning himself a match ball at 10/9 in the 5th only to hit the ball out, clip the tin and then clip the tin again to lose 3 quick points in a row and with it his chance of causing a major upset. All credit to Reda for his shear tenacity and self belief though in a match lasting 96 minutes!
Next up was local boy and second seed Shaun Le Roux who did not start well, making too many unforced errors until finally settling down mid way through the second to win in four after losing the 1st game 11/6. The last match of the evening saw the lucky loser Gary Wheadon (RSA) continue his jolly ride, convincingly beating the number 3 seed Tayyab Aslam in 3 rather quick games.
With both Shaun and Gary facing each other in the bottom half semi-final, SA will be guaranteed a finalist against either one of two players who seem to be getting stronger and stronger as the week progresses.
Results Round 2
Seven of the top 8 seeds progressed into the quarter finals with a relative degree of comfort. The number 3 seed, Tayyab Aslam, was however made to work hard though as he was taken to five by Egyptian qualifier Hossan Nasser.
Maybe the biggest surprise of the evening was the ease in which South African number 2 seed Shaun Le Roux beat the youngster Shehab Hosny from Egypt. Shehab had a great tournament last week losing 3-2 to eventual winner Oliver Pett but tonight Shaun truly showed how much he has improved in the last year and how disciplined his squash has become in showing how to close off the court and to be patient.
The story of the night though is our lucky loser Gary Wheadon (RSA) who after drawing his own name after losing in the final round of qualifiers has gone on to beat the number 6 seed Alex Ingham in four and has now progressed into the quarter finals himself.
The tournament moves into the business end tomorrow and on voting day in South Africa it is going to be very interesting to see who gets the most support from the enthusiastic local crowd with some great matches lined up.