Pilley out but promise shows
UNSEEDED Australian Cameron Pilley’s run at the Swedish Open squash tournament in Linkoping came to an end on Saturday when he fell to world number two and top seed Nick Matthew in the semi-finals.
The Clarence River star, who played two marathon matches in a row to reach the final four, ran out of steam against Matthew as the Englishman recorded an 11-3, 14-12, 11-2 victory.
Pilley was slow to start and found it difficult to keep pace with Matthew in the first game, but in the second he woke up and began to show the form that saw him dump two seeds from the tournament in successive days.
But once Matthew won the second in a tiebreaker to go 2-0 up the writing was on the wall and the top seed ran away with the third.
Pilley is ranked inside the top 20 in the world and learnt his trade on the local circuit before matching it with the best around.
“It was definitely my best match here in Linkoping and I feel stronger every day,” Matthew said.
“Cameron opened heavy and had a hard time, but in second he played well and it was difficult to match him.
“But having won the second game in a tie-break, I gained momentum -- the second game was crucial for the outcome of the match.”
Cousin Donna Urquhart also started the year impressively.
Matthew takes on fellow Englishman James Willstrop in the final after Willstrop downed Egyptian Amr Shabana 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7.
An interested observer on semi-final day was former tennis great Stefan Edberg, who is a keen competition squash player in Sweden.