Hanson Edges Harrity in All-American CAC Open Final to Claim Largest Career Title

Todd Harrity (l) and Chris Hanson

Two-time U.S. national champion Chris Hanson lifted his largest career PSA title—the $15,000 CAC Open—with a four-game final victory against U.S. teammate Todd Harrity Sunday at the Concourse Athletic Club in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Hanson, the tournament’s eight seed and world No. 74, made a surprise run to the final, including a three-game upset over top seed and world No. 50, Joshua Masters, in the quarterfinals, and a four-game semifinal victory against Mexico’s Jesus Camacho.

Harrity, world No. 54, fulfilled his two seed by reaching the final without dropping a game, setting up a sixth-career match up between the two twenty-seven-year-old Americans.

In Sunday’s final, it was Hanson who pulled off his first win against Harrity in his sixth attempt, clinching the title 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.

“The final match-up with Todd was certainly my biggest mental hurdle yet,” Hanson said. “Todd and I have been friends since we first started battling it out as juniors in the U11’s, and let’s just say it’s been a very long time since I’ve beaten him. This win really meant a great deal to me—despite being the same age and being on Team USA together, I’ve looked up to Todd for a long time and have the utmost respect for what he has accomplished. I knew that I would have to be as focused and disciplined as ever to beat him yesterday in the final, and am proud of myself for being able to do just that.”

Hanson adds the $15k CAC Open title to his three previous $5,000 PSA titles. The 2018 CAC Open was the inaugural addition of the tournament, and first $15,000 U.S. Pro Series tournament with prize money parity in the southeast. England’s Emily Whitlock defeated Yale graduate Millie Tomlinson to claim the women’s title.

“This tournament was a great experience, and to be honest, I wasn’t planning on anything for this weekend besides just trying to win one match at a time,” Hanson said. “There were a lot of match-ups didn’t look good for me on paper—Josh being the 1 seed in the quarter, and playing the semi against Jesus, who I lost to 3-0 the last time we played, just to make the final. But I was able to put those things out of mind, and just had my head down the whole way through. I think that shows how important the mental side of the game is, and is something that I have been working at constantly over the last year to break through some of the plateaus in my game.”

Hanson and Harrity—both US Squash Elite Athlete Program (EAP) players—have claimed the past four S.L. Green U.S. Men’s Championship titles with Harrity’s coming in 2015 and 2016, and Hanson’s in 2017 and 2018. The duo represented Team USA together most recently at the 2017 Men’s World Team Championship and will lead Team USA at the 2018 Pan American Senior Championships in Grand Cayman.

It was great to have an All-American final on home soil,” Hanson said. “This kind of weekend makes me really excited about the future for Team USA. I’m looking forward to a good summer of training, including a few weeks at the National Academy camps, in preparation for our next team event at the Pan Ams in Cayman Islands in late August.”

Watch CAC Open live stream replays here.

Live Stream U.S. Pro Series Events in Georgia and New York

Two U.S. Pro Series events are streaming and scoring live on usprosquashseries.com/live this weekend, May 3-6, the $15,000 men’s and women’s CAC Squash Open at the Concourse Athletic Club in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and $5,000 men’s Hyder Trophy at Equinox in New York City.

The men’s and women’s CAC Open main draws are complete following two days of qualifying.

Team USA’s Todd Harrity, world No. 54, enters the men’s draw as the two seed with a predicted final against England’s top seed Joshua Masters. Fellow two-time U.S. champion Chris Hanson is seeded eighth, with a first-round draw against Nigeria’s Adewale Amao and a potential quarterfinal match against the top seed.

American world No. 88 Faraz Khan awaits Trinity graduate and five seed Chris Binnie in the first round, as Trinty’s Vikram Malhotra enters the top half of the draw as the four seed.

On the women’s side, fifteen-year-old U.S. junior champion Marina Stefanoni is set to make her fifth professional appearance of 2018. Now ranked world No. 77, Stefanoni will take on England’s two seed and Yale graduate Millie Tomlinson in the first round.

U.S. teammate Haley Mendez, who reached a career high ranking of world No. 43 this month, enters the draw as the three seed with a first-round match against Malaysia’s Weenee Low. England’s world No. 23 Emily Whitlock leads the draw as the top seed and title favorite.

The Hyder Trophy, which historically has hosted a professional draw alongside amateur draws throughout New York City each spring, marks its first year of an elevated, PSA-sanctioned professional draw.

Mexico’s former world No. 35 Alfredo Avila leads the draw as the top seed with a predicted final against 2018 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medalist Zac Alexander.

Former U.S. junior champion and UPenn freshman Andrew Douglas is seeded eighth, with a first-round match against Rochester graduate and Hazlow Electronics Rochester Pro-Am Champion, Mario Yanez.

Follow all results on usprosquashseries.com/live.

Sedky Wins First Career PSA Title in Richmond

(l-r) Patrick Chifunda, Rowan El Araby, Reeham Sedky, Ros Bowers

Reeham Sedky continued her momentum from a successful March into April, lifting her first career PSA Tour title this weekend–the $10,000 Women’s Richmond Open at the Country Club of Virginia.

Last month, the UPenn junior won her first college individual title, reached her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Championship final and made a surprise run to the final of the $25,000 Texas Open. Her result in Texas shot her up more than 100 places in the world rankings to world No. 79 this month.

Sedky entered the Richmond Open as a qualifier in what was just her third PSA Tour appearance this season. After reaching the main draw, Sedky recorded three decisive 3-0 victories on her way to the final. The top half of the draw included more American interest as three-time U.S. junior champion Marina Stefanoni entered the draw as the eight seed. After a three-game opening victory, the fifteen-year-old upset four seed Catalina Pelaez to reach her first career semifinal in a $10,000 tournament. In the semis, Egyptian top seed Rowan Elaraby ended Stefanoni’s run 11-6, 13-11, 11-7.

The Richmond crowd were treated to a close final between Sedky and El Araby, world No. 31. After seventy-one minutes, it was Sedky who broke through 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 11-2.

The 2018 Richmond Open marked the fifth year of the tournament.

 

Sobhy Tallies Second Texas Open Title in Nationals Rematch

Two weeks after facing off in the U.S. Women’s Championship final, Amanda Sobhy and Reeham Sedky met each other again in the $25,000 Novum Energy Texas Open final on Sunday, with Sobhy taking the spoils once again at the Downtown Club at the Met in Houston, Texas.

Competing in just her fourth career PSA event and first U.S. Pro Series event, Sedky pulled off the best tournament run of her young career. Sedky reached the main draw via two qualifying victories, including a four-game qualifying final against Trinity graduate Anna Kimberley. Sedky, UPenn’s college individual champion, endured a first-round battle against world No. 22 and top seed Hania el Hamammy, dispatching the Egyptian 11-7, 11-5, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8 after ninety-five minutes.

Sedky then upset Cornell graduate and seven seed Danielle Letourneau in a three-game quarterfinal, and reached the final courtesy of a four-game semifinal victory against four seed Mayar Hany.

Sobhy, world No. 18, progressed through the bottom half of the draw as the three seed, recording three wins under thirty minutes on her way to the final, dropping just one game along the way against Nada Abbas in the semifinals.

In Sunday’s final, it was the Harvard graduate who came out on top in four games as Sobhy defeated her U.S. teammate 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9.

The title is Sobhy’s second in Texas, adding to her 2015 title earned in Plano, Texas. The title marks Sobhy’s fifteenth career PSA title, and first since the 2015 NetSuite Open.

View all results here.

Sobhy Seeded Third in $25k Texas Open

Two weeks after claiming her fourth U.S. Women’s Championship title, Amanda Sobhy returns to the PSA Tour as the three seed in the $25,000 Novum Energy Texas Open this weekend at the Downtown Club at the Met in Houston, Texas.

Sobhy, world No. 18, will face Finland’s world No. 74 Emilia Soini in the first round Thursday evening at 6pm local time, 7pm EDT. Follow live scores throughout the weekend on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.

The sixteen-player main draw features seven U.S. current or former college players including Sobhy, a former four-time champion for Havard. UPenn junior Reeham Sedky earned a spot in the main draw via two qualifying victories. Three weeks ago, Sedky won her first college individual final, and reached her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Championship final the following week. Sedky faces Egypt’s top seed Hania El Hammamy in the first round at 4:30pm local time, 5:30pm EDT.

Princeton graduating senior Olivia Fiechter slots into the main draw as the wild card, and will face Canadian and Cornell graduate Danielle Letourneau at 4:30pm local time. Princeton graduate Nicole Bunyan awaits four seed Mayar Hany in the first round at 5:15pm local time.

Sacramento, California-resident Hebaallah qualified for her first career main draw in just her second professional tournament appearance. The twenty-eight-year-old will face Belgium’s two seed Nele Gilis in the first round.

The U.S. Pro Series event was first held in 2002 and rotates host cities between Houston and Dallas every other year. View the full draw here.

Malhotra Lifts Twentieth Anniversary Atlanta METAL Open Title

(l-r) champion Vikram Malhotra, Life Time Grand Prix Director Andre Maur, finalist Mohamed Reda.

The Atlanta METAL Open celebrated its twentieth year with its first Indian champion–Vikram Malhotra–who captured the $10,000 title Sunday at Life Time Athletic Sandy Springs in Georgia.

Malhotra, a Trinity College graduate, has now won six PSA titles since returning to the Pro Tour in 2015 with the Atlanta METAL Open representing his third U.S. Pro Series title following the 2015 Betty F. Griffin Memorial Florida Open and 2016 Charlotte Open.

In Atlanta, Malhotra progressed through the draw as the two seed, enduring a five-game semifinal against Mexico’s Edgar Zayas, which Malhotra pulled off 11-9 in the fifth. The twenty-eight-year-old only needed three games in the final, however, against Egyptian top seed Mohamed Reda, who also made it through a five-game semifinal against Portugal’s Rui Soares.

In the final, Malhotra twice needed overtime against Reda to prevail in three games 13-11, 11-9, 15-13.

“It feels great to win, but I’m more relieved than anything,” Malhotra said. “Two of the three games went to to extra points and I really had to dig deep to win today. Very happy that my training, fitness and coaching all paid off and made the difference.”

The Atlanta Open was first held in 2000.

“This was my twentieth Atlanta Open,” said Andre Maur, Life Time Grand Prix Tour Director and Atlanta Open founder. “It’s the flagship of all of our events. It’s where it all started and it’s grown in both prize money and the amateur player involvement and this tournament set the tone for the rest of our Life Time events that we’ve added to the tour since 2012.”

View all results here.

Urquhart Wins Second Career U.S. Pro Series Title in Cincinnati

(l-r): Sponsors Susie and Vere Gaynor, Victoria Lust, Donna Urquhart, tournament director Nathan Dugan

Australia’s Donna Urquhart earned her second career U.S. Pro Series title and eleventh career PSA title in a flawless weekend of squash at the second annual Bahl & Gaynor Cup hosted by the Cincinnati Country Club in Ohio.

Urquhart, world No. 15, captured the $25,000 title without dropping a game all tournament, culminating in a three-game final victory against England’s two seed Victoria Lust. Egypt’s unseeded Rowan Reda Araby caused the biggest surprise in the sixteen-player draw, upsetting one seed Emily Whitlock in the first round before reaching the semifinals where Urquhart ended her run.

“You dream of weeks were it all comes together and you keep playing at the top of your game,” Urquhart said. “I just can’t believe it happened here, I am so happy”

Urquhart matches her biggest career title in Cincinnati, equaling her $25,000 Monte Carlo Classic triumph in December 2017. The result marks Urquhart’s second title on U.S. soil, following up the $10,000 Seattle Open in 2015.

The 2018 Bahl & Gaynor Cup saw a $15,000 increase in prize money from the inaugural $10,000 Bahl & Gaynor Cup in 2017.

View all results here.

King Tops World Champion El Welily in Cleveland Classic Final

Champion Joelle King (center) and finalist Raneem El Welily (second to right) with tournament organizers. (image: Andrea Dawson Photography)

Competing in her first Cleveland Classic in four years, New Zealand’s Joelle King upset world champion Raneem El Welily to claim her first PSA title since 2016 Monday night at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Ohio.

King spent majority of 2014 and 2015 on the sidelines following a severe Achilles injury, but has been resurgent in the past two season, returning to the world’s top ten and a strong fall of 2017 that saw the world No. 9 reach the Macau Open final, U.S. Open semifinals and Carol Weymuller final.

King met Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy in the semifinals after the Harvard graduate upset two seed and world No. 7 Sarah-Jane Perry in the quarterfinals. King would go on to defeat Sobhy in three games, but gave her opponent credit in what was just her second PSA tournament after her own ten-month Achilles injury layoff.

“I think Amanda did a fantastic job in only her second tournament back after her injury,” King said after the semifinals.

In the final, King recorded just her second career victory against world No. 2 El Welily in their fourteenth career match up. After defeating El Welily for the first time in four games at the Carol Wemuller this fall, King went one better in the Cleveland final, winning 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 after thirty-five minutes.

The $50,000 Cleveland Classic title is King’s eleventh career PSA title, and third career U.S. Pro Series title.

Marwan Elshorbagy Wins Motor City Open in Five-Game Thriller

The 2018 MCO final between ElShorbagy (l) and Coll. (image: Bryan Mitchell for MCO)

The nineteenth Motor City Open presented by the Suburban Collection fittingly concluded with one of the best matches in tournament history, when Marwan ElShorbagy took down Paul Coll 11-9 in the fifth Sunday in Birmingham, Michigan.

A packed Birmingham Athletic Club gallery witnessed an intense ninety-six minute final between ElShorbagy, the top seed and new world No. 4, and Coll, world No. 13, who both reached their first career final appearance in Detroit.

The Egyptian edged his Kiwi opponent at the very end of the match converting on his first championship ball to win 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9.

“It was a tough match,” ElShorbagy said. “It was the longest of my career. It doesn’t get any tougher than beating Paul on this court with how it plays. The points never ends. I had to be very strong mentally.”

The match was decided on a difficult stroke call that left both players initially unsure of what the call was.

“It’s a tense part of the match and anything can happen,” Coll said. “I was scrambling. It probably was a stroke, but I’m obviously disappointed to lose like that. I forced a few things at times. He made me a bit edgy on my backhand volley because I could feel him behind me trying to get a stroke.”

The title marks ElShorbagy’s eighth career PSA Tour title

“I’m really pleased to win my first-ever Motor City Open,” ElShorbagy said. “This is great for me, it’s amazing. I’m so happy. To come back here next year and see my name on the wall will mean a lot to me.”

For more tournament coverage visit www.themotorcityopen.com.

Blatchford and Sobhy Set For Cleveland Classic Main Draw

Amanda Sobhy (r) in the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions

Team USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford enter the 2018 $50,000 Cleveland Classic main draw as the five and six seeds, respectively, this weekend at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Ohio.

The eighth women’s Cleveland Classic has drawn Egypt’s world champion and world No. 2 Raneem El Welily as its top seed, while 2016 and 2017 champion Camille Serme does not return to Cleveland to defend her title.

Sobhy is set to make her second PSA tournament appearance since returning from a ten month injury hiatus. The former world No. 6 has dropped to world No. 28 as a result of her injury layoff, but a pinned ranking of world No. 11 has earned her the five seed. The Harvard graduate will take on a qualifier in the first round Friday, February 2, at 7:15pm ET. Should the American advance, Sobhy could face two seed and world No. 7 Sarah-Jane Perry in the second round.

U.S. champion Blatchford will face Egypt’s world No. 24 Hania El Hammamy in their first career match up. Blatchford, world No. 13, will take on the seventeen-year-old Friday at 5:45pm. A victory would potentially set up a Cleveland rematch between Blatchford and two-time finalist Alison Waters.

World No. 50 Haley Mendez is bidding to join her U.S. teammates in the main draw in qualifying. The Harvard graduate has a first-round bye and is predicted to face American Reyna Pacheco in Thursday’s qualifying finals.

All matches are streaming live below:
Court 1 live stream
Court 2 live stream

Follow live scores and view the draw on www.usprosquashseries.com.

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