Tony Hands became Paul Johnson's latest victim yesterday in the second round of the Leekes British Open. The Kent player took another unexpected step towards the latter stages at the Cardiff International Arena after a 15-17, 15-11, 15-12, 15-13 victory which took more than an hour and a half.
After a hesitant first game on the Perspex show court, the 23-year-old left-hander drove Hands on to the defensive and cut him apart at the end with string of forehand kill-shots. "Everyone thought the English would do well in this tournament, but they didn't expect it to come from me," said Johnson, who put out the national champion, Peter Nicol, in the previous round.
Johnson was probably expecting to meet fellow Englishman Chris Walker in today's quarter-finals, but Walker, the only other remaining seed in the half of the draw of the defending champion, Jansher Khan, was unexpectedly beaten 15-13, 15-9, 12-15, 15-8 in 63 minutes by the French champion, Julien Bonetat. Bonetat never allowed Walker to get into the match and could have won in straight games but for the Essex man providing brief resistance to fight back from 9-5 down in the third game.
England was successful in the women's matches with Gloucester's Fiona Geaves, the eighth seed, beating Rebecca Macree of Essex 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 in just 22 minutes. Cassie Jackman, the fourth seed, beat Vicki Cardwell, the 40-year-old Australian who dominated in the early 1980s, 9-1, 9-5, 9-6. "I played pretty well for two games but I let her drag me into the third," Jackman admitted. "It is always hard to get past Vicky without getting messed about a bit."
n Mark Chaloner, who is through to the quarter-finals in Cardiff, has been voted player of the year by the British Squash Professionals' Association. The England No 3 Linda Charman took the women's award.Reuse content