Mexico’s Cesar Salazar celebrated his second career U.S. Pro Series title and sixth career PSA Tour title after storming to the Life Time Chicago Open title this weekend at Life Time Vernon Hills in Illinois.
Salazar, who rose to a career-high ranking of world No. 19 this month, fulfilled his seeding as the top seed by dropping just one game all tournament. That game came in the first round against Canada’s Andrew Schnell. From there, Salazar defeated his twin brother, Arturo, in the quarters, New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson in the semifinals and Wales’ Joel Makin in the final—all in three games.
The Chicago Open title adds to his 2014 Life Time Atlanta Open title as this second U.S. Pro Series title.
The 2017 Life Time Chicago Open offered its highest prize money of $25,000 in the tournament’s fifth year in Vernon Hills.
Watch video stream replays of the matches below. View all results here.
The first round of the 2017 Carol Weymuller Open included an upset as world No. 23 Mariam Metwally defeated 2016 finalist and 2014 champion Alison Waters in five games Thursday night at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn.
The first four main draw matches of the tournament yielded four Egyptian winners. Metwally recorded the first victory of the session in what was her first career win against Waters, the English world No. 8, in five games.
Another five-gamer ensued as Egypt’s Salma Hany notched her first victory over world No. 13 Joshna Chinappa in her sixth attempt.
“I’m so relieved! I finally beat Joshna in the sixth time,” Hany said. “I’ve never beaten her. First of all when I went on the court I was so relaxed, and I wasn’t sure how my body would carry me and I thought it’s not the end of the world to lose for the sixth time. When I was 9-1 down in the first game I thought just enjoy and stay a little bit longer in my favorite tournament.”
The Carol Weymuller quarterfinals will see a massive match up between world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini and U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management champion Nour El Tayeb, both of whom advanced in three games. Last week, El Tayeb defeated El Sherbini in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
El Tayeb defeated Dutch qualifier Milou van der Heijden.
“I was very nervous before this match with huge expectations after last week,” El Tayeb said. “I had to tell myself that it was just another match. Milou had two good wins in the qualification and so I knew she was playing well. I was very excited and nervous to play another match and I’m just trying to enjoy playing and put the results aside. If Nour wins her match tonight and we play tomorrow, she is still #1 and it’s going to another exciting match with a good friend.”
El Sherbini would go on to defeat fellow Egyptian Mayar Hany.
“Mayar is not an easy first round, she’s one of the young Egyptian players who is up and coming fast,” El Sherbini said. “I’m feeling good it’s the first round and it’s hard to mentally get back after a week of being here since the US Open. Nour just beat me last week so hopefully its revenge time!”
The second half of the first round will play out Friday evening from 5:30pm local time. Follow live scores and streaming on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.
The sixteen-player main draw is complete after two rounds of qualifying, with the top half of the first round set to play out Thursday, October 19, and the bottom half Friday, October 20.
Egypt’s two-time defending Carol Weymuller champion Nour El Sherbini leads the draw as the top seed. The twenty-one year old also spoke during the tournament’s fourth annual opening lunch Wednesday. Watch an interview with El Sherbini here.
Less than a week after winning the U.S. Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management, Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb is back in action as the seven seed, with a potential match up against El Sherbini in the second round.
The fifth annual Festival of Squash in Charlottesville, Virginia, features the $25,000 Harrow Sports Charlottesville Open professional men’s draw at the Boar’s Head Resort, September 20-24.
While the professionals compete on the all-glass center court, the McAthur Squash Center’s eight adjacent courts will host US Squash-sanctioned open adult and junior silver tournaments.
The sixteen-player PSA draw kicks off Wednesday, September 20, at 12pm noon local time, with all matches scoring and streaming live on www.usprosquashseries.com/live.
Switzerland’s world No. 30 Nicolas Mueller leads the draw as the top seed in his Charlottesville debut. England’s world No. 38 Adrian Waller returns to Virginia as the two seed after reaching the 2016 semifinals.
Three Americans are set for first round action. Unseeded Timmy Lasusa is the first American in action against Egypt’s eight seed Mazen Hesham at 12:50pm. U.S. veteran Chris Gordon, world No. 63, takes on Qatar’s three seed Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi at 2:30pm. U.S. champion Chris Hanson faces Mexico’s seven seed Arturo Salazar at 5:20pm.
This past week Gregory Gaultier took another step toward redefining his pro squash career with a masterful performance at the PMI Bellevue Classic. Staged at the Boys and Girls Club Hidden Valley Field House just outside of Seattle, the sixteen-man $150,000 tournament was the richest event ever for an event its size.
Gaultier pocketed over $25,000, after working through the draw without dropping a game. In Saturday’s final, he took out Egypt’s Ali Farag 12-10, 12-10, 11-8 to win his fortieth PSA title. The win returns Gaultier to the world No.1 ranking, which, due to the PSA’s ranking algorithm, he’d lost in May despite not dropping a match.
The Frenchman is a familiar figure to pro squash fans. For the past decade he’s never been ranked lower than sixth in the world, occupying the number-one spot for nine months and winning the World Championship in Seattle in 2015. At thirty-four years old, he’s in the midst of an epic PSA winning streak that currently stands at six tournaments and twenty-seven matches—a level of play that’s bound to elevate his status in the pantheon of squash’s all-time greats.
Throughout his career, Gaultier has been known for wearing his heart on sleeve—pumping his fist and strutting around the court when he’s won a crucial point, pouting and crying to the heavens when he hits the tin or feels he’s been dealt an injustice by the referee. It’s been a common sentiment that if he could rein in his emotions, he would be nearly unbeatable.
As recently as January he delivered an astounding display of hot-blooded melodrama against Mohamed Elshorbagy in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions. In the months following that notorious match, though, he seems to have found his long-illusive inner peace. His play has been relaxed, cool and clinical as he systematically has beaten one opponent after another. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: is Gaultier playing well because he’s so calm, or is he calm because he’s playing so well?
Whatever the case may be, his newfound composure was on full display in the PMI Bellevue final against Farag. The quality of play was through the roof. Farag is a unique talent—he seems to glide effortlessly around the court, his thin limbs acting like rubber bands as he stretches to reach shots and then contracts back to the T. He was Gaultier’s equal through much of a match that was distinguished by long, spectacular rallies. Farag tried to disrupt the Frenchman’s rhythm with a mix of crosscourt drives and boasts; Gaultier countered with classic tight length and pinpoint shot-making. Both made one jaw-dropping retrieval after another.
Farag had one game ball in the first game and four in the second, but at those crucial moments Gaultier kept his focus and elevated his play. He took the first game with two immaculate cross-court kills, and pressured rare errors from Farag to save those games balls in the second. The intensity and entertainment value were as high as imaginable for a three-game match.
While the quality of the final was exceptional, the match of the tournament was the back-and-forth five-game quarterfinal between two veterans, James Willstrop and Borja Golan. After losing the first two games, Golan threw caution to the wind and went on a run of relentless, error-free attacking squash. For two games he was on fire, taking the third 11-2 and jumping ahead 10-1 in the fourth before closing out 11-6. The tension of the fifth game brought Golan back down to earth, but he still managed to scrap to a 10-7 lead, earning a conduct warning along the way. Willstrop looked weary, but he dug in and took advantage of loose balls to pull back even at 10-10. He then delivered his trademark shot, a spirit-crushing backhand drop, to reach match ball, and finished with an unreturnably tight backhand drive. The crowd was stunned by the remarkable comeback.
The tournament was also notable for the return of injury-plagued star Ramy Ashour. His first-round match was only his seventh PSA match of the year, and the first since retiring injured in the semifinals of the British Open in March. Ashour is famous for returning in top form after long layoffs, but things didn’t pan out that way this time. He was beaten in the second round by Marwan ElShorbagy 11-8, 12-10, 5-11, 11-6, in a match of short rallies, finished with some beautiful winners but also an uncharacteristically high number of errors from both players. Ashour’s movement looked tentative at times, but the good news is that he completed the match with his body intact.
Former Columbia No. 1 Ramit Tandon won his first PSA title against fellow Indian Kush Kumar in the final of the $5,000 SYS Open Sunday, May 14, at Southampton Youth Services on Long Island, New York.
The main draw included a raft of first round upsets that included all four qualifiers advancing to the quarterfinals. Former U.S. world juniors teammates Timmy Brownell and Spencer Lovejoy both recorded their first PSA main draw victories in the first round. Lovejoy upset seven seed Joshua Hollings in four games, before falling short in the fifth game against Trinity No. 1 Kush Kumar in the quarterfinals.
Brownell made a surprise run to the semifinals beginning with a three-game first-round upset over five seed Stu Hadden, and a five-game win over qualifier Mohammed Nabil in the quarterfinals. Kumar then dispatched Brownell 11-7 in the fifth in the semifinals.
After winning two qualifying matches, Tandon progressed through the draw without dropping a game, including in the semifinals against two seed Clinton Leeuw. In the final, Tandon defeated his compatriot 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 in thirty-one minutes.
Sixteen-year-old Egyptian Rowan Elaraby claimed two women’s U.S. Pro Series titles in just as many weeks this month in Virginia—the $5,000 Richmond Open, April 15, and $10,000 Sentara Martha Jefferson Charlottesville Open, April 23.
In Richmond, April 13-15, Rowan entered the Richmond Open as the two seed and didn’t drop a game on the way to her third career PSA Tour title, including a final upset over Canadian top seed Nicole Bunyan.
This weekend, Elaraby entered the Charlottesville Open as the eight seed and opened her tournament with a three-game win in the first round. The world No. 69 then defeated the tournament’s top three seeds to claim the title, three seed Vanessa Chu in the quarterfinals, one seed Ho Tze-Lok in the semifinals, and two seed Danielle Letourneau in the final 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9 in fifty-two minutes.
Elaraby, Egypt’s top-ranked U17 player, has now already competed in five U.S. pro series events in 2017.
Mexican nineteen-year-old Jesus Camacho upset the top three seeds on his way to winning the largest title of his career—the $10,000 Madison Open—this weekend at Madison Squash Workshop in Wisconsin.
Camacho first upset England’s five seed Chris Fuller in a four-game, first-round match, before taking out Seattle-based three seed Shahjahan Khan in a three-game quarterfinal.
The Cuautitlan Izcalli-native pulled off two major upsets in the final two rounds of the tournament. First, a three-game upset over two seed and U.S. champion Chris Hanson to reach Sunday’s final. In the final, Camacho held off a two-game comeback from top seed Piedro Schweertman to win the title 13-11 in the fifth game.
The Madison Open marks Camacho’s second career PSA Tour title in addition to the $5,000 2016 British Virgin Islands Open, and first U.S. Pro Series title.