Stars continue to fall
The stars have continued to fall in the $225,000 Australian Open’s blue-ribbon men’s singles disciplines this morning.
Australian Jackaroos vice-captain Brett Wilkie and defending champion Nathan Wilson continued yesterday’s mass exodus of former titleholders, with both concluding their campaign in the third round of knockout play.
Wilkie, who won the coveted singles silverware in 2009, had his hopes of a successive crown dashed by Kelvin Scott 18-21 at Gold Coast Lawn.
The former world number two hasn’t squandered all of his chances to finish the transformed event in the money however, after advancing to the men’s pairs semi-finals alongside Club Helensvale Australian teammate Nathan Rice.
Wilkie and Rice claimed the prized scalp of five-time Australian Open finalist Barrie Lester and Scottish Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alex Marshall in their blockbuster quarter-final, to book a berth in tonight’s semi, which will be staged from 6.00pm on their home-deck at Helensvale.
Reigning champion Wilson fell short of becoming the event’s first male to secure the title twice and first from either gender to go back-to-back, with his run cut short by Mason Lewis by a slender shot.
Only two past singles winner remain able to replicate their past success now, with Australia’s three-time international bowler of the year Aron Sherriff and former world number one Mark Casey lurking ominously in the field of 32.
Sheriff prevailed over Malaysia’s Muhammad Saufi Rusli by 2 shots, 21-19, while Casey was clinical in his third round performance, defeating Mark Malogorski 21-3.
Five world renowned and international calibre players also found them themselves out of the mix this morning, with triple World Cup winner Jeremy Henry downed in a wrestle with Warilla teammate Aaron Teys, former English captain Stuart Airey eliminated by William Emerson, Australia’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Matthew Flapper edged out by Ben McCall, former New Zealand Blackjack Paul Girdler cut down to size by one-time Australian representative Sean Baker, and former Kiwi Brian Baldwin downed by the Northern Territory’s Jade Groenewege.
The fourth round of men’s singles action is currently taking place at Club Helensvale, with the fifth rubber’s round of 16 set to commence at 2.15pm.
Caption: Three-time World Cup winner Jeremy Henry is among the fallen this morning.