For the first time in eleven years, Cleveland, Ohio, will host a men’s professional event in the form of the inaugural Cleveland Skating Club Open—a $6,000 U.S. Pro Series event.
“This tournament was entirely funded by club members, so all credit to them for making this happen,” said Ray Lindsay, Tournament Director and Cleveland Skating Club squash professional.
“It’s exciting to have such a young and up and coming group of professionals who all train hard and are trying to prove themselves. It looks to be a really even field. There could be some really long games, and everyone is really jazzed up to watch them. There’s great camaraderie among the players and club members, so we hope they have a great experience in Cleveland.”
Andrew Wagih Shoukry is the top seed and title favorite, but is still on the hunt for his first PSA World Tour title of the year.
The 25-year-old Egyptian claimed back-to-back titles at the London Open and Valencia Open at the tail end of 2014 but his best finish this year has been the semi-final place he achieved at the recent Life Time Fitness Chicago Open.
World No.73 Shoukry received a bye in the first round and will set his sights on the quarter-final where he will face either Cameron Stafford or Thoboki Mohohlo.
Ireland’s Arthur Gaskin is also vying for the crown in Cleveland and, unlike Shoukry, has tasted success in 2015 with a title at the Christchurch Vets Ipswich Open coming in May.
Twenty-one-year-old Faraz Khan is the sole American representation in Cleveland, and will take on England’s five seed Lyell Fuller in the first round.
Tournament proceeds are benefiting Cleveland’s NUSEA program, Urban Squash Cleveland.