Form slump continues for Pilley
SQUASH: Yamba's Cameron Pilley's tough run on the Professional Squash Association World Tour continued this week after he was dumped from the Canary Wharf Classic in the opening round.
Pilley, 36, enterred the tournament as one of the oldest players in the field, and in fitting circumstances was eliminated by fellow oldest player Spain's Borja Golan.
Pilley fell 2-1 at London's East Wintergarden.
Golan, the World No.30, had won his last four encounters with Pilley on the PSA Tour and found his winning shots at the business end of the opening game to take it 11-8.
Pilley recovered to level the scores in the second, and he looked poised to put Golan to the sword after taking a 6-3 lead in the third, but the Spaniard dug into his mental reserves to stay in the rallies.
He then showcased his impressive racket skills to close out an 11-8 triumph in the third to complete the win.
"I've known Cameron since we were juniors, we've been playing for 17 years, we're now both 36 and we're good friends,” Golan said.
"Best of three is even harder, you have to be alert to every ball, the pressure is even higher, the nerves are higher, but we play in front of such a good crowd, it's only the first round and it's full.
"I think I just realised that I was playing too much to the front and I wasn't doing enough damage to Cameron.
"He was very accurate to the front, so I tried to put the ball into the back corners, tried to make it more physical and waited for his mistakes. He made a few more than me today and that made the difference in a few points.”
The first round loss was Pilley's second early round exit in as many tournaments after he was ousted in the second round of the PSA World Championships against New Zealand's Paul Coll.
Pilley is still battling the effects of off-season foot surgery which saw him miss the opening two tournaments of the world tour.
His world ranking has now slipped to 40th with fellow Australian Ryan Cuskelly at 22nd.