James Willstrop unable to deny inspired Cesar Salazar in 1st round of US Open

James Willstrop was unable to prevent the biggest upset of the 2017 U.S. Open Squash Championships as Mexican Cesar Salazar produced a stellar performance to defeat the inform Englishman 5-11 11-9 10-12 11-6 11-9 in an exhilarating 82 minute 1st round encounter.

The 29-year-old World No.19, who lost an agonising fifth game tie-break against eventual champion Mohamed ElShorbagy in the first round twelve months ago, showed impressive composure as he recovered from dropping the opening game to prevail in a mammoth five-game encounter that saw the pair produce squash of the highest calibre.
 
Utilising his speed and agility to attack Willstrop and force a high tempo, Salazar was rewarded when he held off a late Willstrop surge to reach the second round of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Series tournament for this first time in his career.
 
“I think the U.S. Open is one of my favourite tournaments – I love coming to play here,” said Salazar. “I worked really hard in pre-season and this is a good start for me. To beat a really top player like James you have to play your very best and some more, so I'm really happy with my performance. I tried to play intelligent, and hit the four corners. I felt I moved well and played aggressive squash. There was a moment in the fifth game when I thought about last year and got a little tense, but I forced myself to relax and it's a great result for me. I hope to be ready for the next match.”
 
Results: First Round (Top half) - Men's 2017 U.S. Open
[2] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (44m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 11-6, 13-15, 11-4, 11-3 (52m)
Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0: 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 (46m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-2: 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9 (82m)
[7] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Adrian Waller (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (33m)
Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 3-1: 11-4, 11-1, 11-13, 11-4 (46m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 3-2: 8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (86m)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (42m
 
Draw - First Round: Bottom Half
[4] Ali Farag (EGY) v [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) v [Q] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [Q] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
[WC] Christopher Gordon (USA) v [8] Fares Dessouky (EGY)
[6] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [Q] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)
Max Lee (HKG) v Diego Elias (PER)
Omar Mosaad (EGY) v [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG)
Paul Coll (NZL) v [1] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
 
UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.
 
James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com
 
UNSQUASHABLE sponsored players and brand ambassadors competing on the PSA World Tour are sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest providers of online investment platforms and stockbroker services.
 
For more information regarding the 2017 U.S. Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management, visit: www.psaworldtour.com, www.squashsite.com & www.usopensquash.com