In a remarkably sparse day of sport, Phil Taylor was the biggest name in action as he began his quest to win his 11th PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix title in Dublin.
Taylor started his first round match against youngster Michael Smith in true style, ignoring the debutant’s two 180s in the opening leg by blitzing past him with a 165 finish of his own. A 167 checkout followed later and Taylor capped off a match in which he only lost two legs and no sets. Preparing to face runner-up and winner of the last two Players Championships, Robert Thornton, Taylor stated “I felt I was ready for this and I’ve got a massive chance of winning this title again now”. Despite the dominant win, Taylor declared that Smith was “one to watch in the next couple of years”.
Aside from the World Grand Prix, there was very little else going on. The first leg of speedway’s Elite League Play-off Grand Final was postponed due to a waterlogged track and has been moved to the 15th of this month. On the other end of the spectrum, the Weymouth Speedweek was postponed for a day as the weather was too good and there wasn’t enough win. Seems like we can’t win!
In the competitions that did get underway, all six matches that saw British participation in squash’s US Open ended in our players progressing to the next round. Unfortunately, that was at the expense of fellow Brits Daryl Selby, Adrian Grant and Tom Richards in the three all-English scraps. On the women’s side of things, Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro saw off their opponents in straight set wins whilst Alison Waters scrapped with Dutch rival Natalie Grinham in a close first round game. Over in Japan, Heather Watson won in straight sets to progress to the second round of her latest tennis opponent, whilst Jonny Marray beat the Chinese in their own back garden in his men’s doubles competition.
Squash: Royal Jordanian Open
Michael Harris 1-3 Zahed Mohamed (EGY) 7-11 11-6 3-11 7-11
Squash: Delaware Investments US Open
Men’s Round Two
James Willstrop 3-1 Daryl Selby 9-11 11-4 12-10 11-5
Nick Matthew 3-0 Adrian Grant 11-2 11-5 15-13
Peter Barker 3-0 Tom Richards 11-5 11-7 11-8
Women’s Round One
Jenny Duncalf 3-0 Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Alison Waters 3-2 Natalie Grinham (NED) 12-10 5-11 8-11 11-5 11-7
Laura Massaro 3-0 Kristen Lange (USA) 11-0 11-3 11-4
Tennis: Rolex Shanghai Masters
Round of 32
Jonathan Marray/Treat Conrad Huey (PHI) beat Maoxin Gong/Zhang Ze (CHN) 7-5 4-6 10-6
Tennis: HP Japan Women’s Open
Heather Watson beat Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-4 6-4
Darts: World Grand Prix
Mark Walsh 1-2 Robert Thornton
Dean Winstanley 1-2 Dave Chisnall
Simon Whitlock (AUS) 1-2 Justin Pipe
Terry Jenkins 1-2 Mervyn King
Gary Anderson 0-2 Brendan Dolan
Phil Taylor 2-0 Michael Smith
Kevin Painter 2-0 Kim Huybrechts (BEL)