Monday, 13 August 2012
Czech squash No.1 Jan Koukal ended Mike Corren's bid for an unlikely second round berth at the Australian Open with a ruthless 11-5 11-2 11-4 first round win in Canberra on Monday.
The 38-year-old Corren provided the good news story of the qualifying tournament when he beat players almost 20 years younger than him to make the main draw.
But the world No.50 from Prague was in no mood for sentiment as he took advantage of Corren's difficulties in adapting to the glass to wrap up the match in straight games.
Koukal dominated with his speed around the court, his well-disguised drop shots regularly leaving the Australian stranded at the back.
"I felt heavy and he was bouncing around as light as a feather," Corren said.
"It's been ages since I played on a glass court, it's so different and my regular go-to shots weren't working at all."
Koukal said he sensed early that Corren was off his game.
"On this court you have to move well and I though Mike was struggling a little bit after the couple of matches he played in qualifying," he said.
"My movement is my strength and I used it to my benefit."
There was further disappointment for the Australians when another qualifier, Justin Beard, was bundled out my New Zealander Martin Knight.
Beard started nervously but came back into the match when he took the third game, only for Knight to assert control again and win 11-5 11-9 9-11 11-4 to set up a second round clash with seventh seeded Scotsman Alan Clyne.
"It's always a nervous one, the first hit-out on the glass, but I felt quite good starting off," Knight said.
"But then he recovered quite well and started to play some good squash in the next few games and I got a bit negative in the second and third games."
Ryan Cuskelly became the first Australian through to the second round when he beat Malaysia's Asyraf Azan 11-5 11-9 11-8 in an occasionally fractious encounter.
"I've known him since we were juniors so I knew what to expect," Cuskelly said afterwards.
In the last match of the night, Omar Mosaad used his size and strength to see off a gallant Max Lee 11-2 12-10 11-4.
In other matches, Egyptian Amr Khaled Khalifa downed New Zealand qualifier Evan Williams 12-10 11-5 11-8 and Ong Beng Hee beat fellow Malaysian Ivan Yuen 12-10 11-8 11-7.