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|2012 DIGICEL NATIONAL SENIOR SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS - Downes upsets Mekdeci on opening night|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 21:45|
CARIBBEAN Under-13 champion Benjamin Mekdeci was outplayed by Allan Downes on the opening night of this year’s Digicel Senior National Squash Championships last Wednesday evening at the Georgetown Club’s squash court.
On a night when most of the top-ranked players received byes to the second round, the Downes/Mekdeci matchup proved to be the most scintillating encounter of the evening.
Mekdeci was warming up for the Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior Championships later this month while Downes is simply a middle-aged adult keeping fit and active; not exactly the ingredients of a battle, yet it proved to be quite a duel.
Mekdeci had been desperately trying to snap a Mekdeci losing streak on the opening night, after his older brother Ian and his father Joe both lost their first-round matches by 3-0 margins.
Brandishing power and clean, hard hitting close to the end of the first game allowed Mekdeci to come from behind and steal the first game from Downes 12-10.
After losing the first game and the momentum, the situation looked bleak for Downes, who also appeared fatigued. Nevertheless, Downes remained committed to the task at hand, playing reserved shots while allowing Mekdeci to take the risks.
Although his fitness did not seem to permit it, Downes entertained Mekdeci in a few lengthy rallies instead of trying to kill the ball, but the eager 13-year-old could not resist the urge to go for winners.
Mekdeci’s game was off and inconsistent on this occasion and after connecting with the tin more often than not he found himself in a deep hole against a more experienced, mature and composure Downes. Downes was able to prevail after winning the next three games 14-12, 11-9, 11-8.
Earlier in the evening Ben’s father Joe Mekdeci lost to Joshua Abdool (3-0), while Raphael DeGroot defeated Ian Mekdeci 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, Patrick Fraser put up a decent fight against Under-19 campaigner Steven Xavier but it was not enough to avoid a straight-game beating.
National Under-17 champion Nyron Joseph also made light work of Brian Yong (3-0) in one of the penultimate encounters of the night.
Joven Benn took apart Davendra Sahadeo in straight games which were the same margin of defeat Antonio Joseph suffered at the hands of Adam Alves in their matchup. Jason Van Dyke and Nicholas Narain enjoyed comfortable three-game victories over Dwayne Yan and Lee Fung-A-Fat respectively.
Mainly juniors competed in the women’s draw on opening night with Caribbean Under-15 champion Akeila Wiltshire brushing aside Rebecca Low (3-0) and Ashley DeGroot getting past Larissa Wiltshire in straight games.
The tournament will continue on Sunday with most of the hype surrounding world-ranked squash star Nicolette Fernandes who will be competing in both categories once again this year.
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