Alister Walker overcame a bout of illness and a sore knee to progress to the round of 16 stage of the ongoing 2015 Windy City Open. The Chicago based tournament will resume on Tuesday (today), and Walker will face Egyptian player Omar Mosaad for a place in the quarterfinals.
The Botswana squash player qualified for the round of 16 after beating Mohamed Abouelgah of Egypt 3-0 (13-11, 11-3, 11-9). Walker recorded the fastest winning game of the first round on Thursday, he took 29 minutes to beat his opponent.
Other matches had an average timing of 50 minutes on the day but Walker disposed of his opponent in the quickest time.
Prior to the tournament the squash star had a troublesome knee injury that threatened to derail his preparations. He was at risk of forfeiting his place in the competition due to the fitness issues but he made a recovery in time to partake in the Windy City competition.
Speaking to Gazette Sport on the eve of the tournament, Walker said the following, “There is a good chance I shall be fit enough to compete in Chicago although I will not have had perfect preparation due to illness. I recently came back from a knee injury which had been bothering me since the world championship in Doha so I am delighted to put that behind me. It is a long season and I am used to dealing with injuries and illness and feel I can be ready for Chicago in time.”
Walker’s opponent, Mosaad, is ranked 13 places above him in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) world rankings. A win for the Botswana player will surely result in a higher world ranking next month and enhance his chances of winning his first tournament since his triumph in the Charlottesville Open, which took place in September last year.