Stafford through but others out

The Cedrus Investments Cayman Open was another full day of world class squash at the club in South Sound on Monday.

Mixed fortunes for Cayman’s battlers but no upsets. With home representation in three of four men’s matches, the South Sound crowd expected at least one of their own to go through to the quarter-finals.

In the afternoon match Chris Binnie, the 2009 Senior Caribbean champion, was given a real test by Bermuda’s Micah Franklin for two games, but Binnie took no prisoners in the third as he claimed a quarter-final place.

The long-limbed Barbadian Shawn Simpson is in his third tournament here and almost an adopted son. But he wasn’t fazed by the home support for Gabe Rabess in the first of the evening matches.

Simpson has awesome power, elongated reach and is a left hander so is a nightmare for anyone to play. It was all too much for Rabess in the first game. Rabess stayed competitive for the start of the next two games, but Simpson opened up and pulled clear in both.

Simpson’s next assignment is against Ramy Ashour at the glass court in Camana Bay on Wednesday and if he uses his assets to the full he’ll present the Egyptian former world champion with a few challenges he doesn’t meet much on the tour.

Cameron Stafford duly delivered the home win, looking impressive against Bahama’s Van Rolle. “I always used to beat Cameron,” said the loser, “but he’s improved a lot. It was a tough match but he deserved to win.”

Stafford was happy with his performance too: “I just needed to play good length, if I left it loose he would jump on it. I’ve been training in Amsterdam for three months with the likes of LJ Anjema. I’m really enjoying it and hopefully it will improve my squash some more.”

Last up was second seed Alister Walker, the world No.8, against the last of the Cayman hopefuls, teenage novice Alex Frazer. It was an entertaining 18 minutes to finish, the crowd, and Frazer, enjoyed it, but there was never going to be an upset.