Avila Holds Off Late Harrity Comeback to Win Salt Lake City Open

Photos by: Morgan Leigh Photography
Todd Harrity (l) and Alfredo Avila before the Salt Lake City Open final. (image: Morgan Leigh Photography)

Mexico’s Alfredo Avila held off a third-game comeback from Team USA’s Todd Harrity to win his eighth career PSA Title and first U.S. Pro Series title since 2013—the $15,000 Wasatch Advisors Salt Lake City Open—Saturday night at SquashWork’s in Utah’s capital.

Avila, world No. 75 and former world No. 35, showed no signs of fatigue after two consecutive five-gamers to reach the final and played his best squash of the tournament against the American world No. 53. After controlling the first two games 11-5, 11-6, Avila held three match balls in the third game up 10-7. Harrity dug in and fought off all three match balls and earned a game ball up 11-10, but Avila bounced back to seal the final 14-12.

“Today I played by best squash in this tournament,” Avila said after the final. “One of the most important things for me today was coming into the match with a plan against Todd. We’ve played twice before and I know how he plays and where he’s strong. I tried to play a game that wouldn’t let him play his best. I made my best shots and they went to the right places. It was 10-7 and after that I started to think I was going to win, but then he put a lot of pressure on me and played good shots, and I was hitting the ball without thinking about it being under pressure. Then it was 10-all and he had a game ball. So after that I refocused and went back to my game that was working well.

The Mexican aims to continue his U.S. Pro Series success in the new year, when he will aim for a second title in two months in Pittsburgh.

View an image gallery by Morgan Leigh Photography here.