Cuskelly misses out on open
NORTHERN Rivers squash player Ryan Cuskelly has been stopped in his bid to make the main draw of the prestigious Sky Open in Cairo on Monday.
Cuskelly, who had to win through two rounds of qualifying to advance further, battled hard against 12th seeded Egyptian Wael El Hindi before falling in three close games 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.
But Australia’s top two men’s squash players moved into the second round of the tournament with convincing first-round victories.
Lithgow’s David Palmer crushed Englishman Tom Richards 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 while Yamba’s Cameron Pilley, saw off dangerous Pakistani Aamir Atlas Khan in four games 9-11, 11-2, 11-1, 11-6.
The two remaining Australians both face tough second round matches against higher ranked players.
Palmer takes on Egypt’s world number four Karim Darwish in a battle of the former world number ones, and Pilley is up against another ex-number one in Frenchman Gregory Gaultier.
The Sky Open is the third tournament of the elite PSA Super Series, which features 10 tournaments across the world with the top eight ranked players qualifying for the season-ending Super Series Finals.
The 2010 Australian Open, to be held in Canberra from August 9-15, is part of the Super Series for the first time this year.
Palmer is currently seventh on the Super Series rankings with Hobart’s Aaron Frankcomb, who did not travel to Cairo this week, in 15th position.
10-David Palmer (AUS) d Tom Richards (ENG) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2
15-Cameron Pilley (AUS) d Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 9-11, 11-2, 11-1, 11-6
12-Wael El Hindi (EGY) d Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-8, 11-9, 11-9