Pilley quarter-final bound at Swedish Open
SQUASH: Yamba's Cameron Pilley has bounced back from his tough five-set second round loss at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York City last month with a strong three-set showing in the early stages of the 2017 UCS Swedish Open in Linkoping.
The Australian No.1 secured safe passage through to the tournament's quarter-finals thanks to a dominant victory over Welsh qualifier Joel Makin.
The towering World No.17 dominated the centre of the court throughout and was clinical as he capitalised on any loose shots from Makin to build on early leads in games one and two.
Makin started the better of the two in the third game and he dug in and began to build up a series of points, only to see Pilley shut up shop and see out the win by an 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 margin.
While the scoreline may suggest otherwise, Pilley said it was a tough contest that he had to fight all the way throughout.
"It was tough out there, Joel picks up a lot of balls that you feel would win the rally two or three times,” the sixth seeded player said.
"I had to play some quality straight hitting to keep him from using his speed and using the angles, and I was able to do that for most of the match.
"He got stuck in there in the third, started to play some really good squash, so I had to knuckle down and try to close it out in three.”
It is not all roses for the leading Australian with the victory booking him a quarter-final showdown with world champion Kareem Abdel Gawad, the man he took to the limit in a five-set thriller in New York.