Elias Stuns Illingworth; Gordon Advances in Houston

Elias and Khan fullImage courtesy of Matthew Pace

Peruvian seventeen-year-old Diego Elias pulled off the shock of the Hampco Houston Open Thursday evening when he defeated nine-time U.S. Champion and world No. 49 Julian Illingworth. Playing in his largest prize money tournament to date, the U.S. Junior Open champion (pictured, right, with Life Time Athletic CityCentre’s Jahanzeb Khan) had made waves already in the qualifying rounds with his first top-100 upset, against Canadian world No. 94 Andrew Schnell followed by a qualifying final victory against reigning World Junior champion Karim El Hammamy—and now his highest world ranking upset against Illingworth. Illingworth heads north of the border next week for the PSA 25 Northern Ontario Championships.

World No. 49 Chris Gordon is the sole American remaining in the $15,000 main draw after recovering from 1-0 down to defeat Australian qualifier Zac Alexander 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8. Gordon is now tasked with playing top-seeded world No. 23 Stephen Coppinger in Friday’s quarterfinals. The South African twenty-nine-year-old emerged victorious against Gordon in both of their previous meetings, most recently 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 London Open.

Todd Harrity’s outstanding run, including his first professional title last weekend and a top-100 scalp in Wendesday’s qualifying finals against Yasir Butt, has ended. Mexican world No. 41 Cesar Salazar dispatched the twenty-three-year-old 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6 to reach the quarterfinals where the twenty-six-year-old from San Luis Potosi will vie for a semifinal spot against defending Houston Open champion Campbell Grayson. New Zealand’s world No. 43 ended Seattle-based teenager Shahjahan Khan’s hopes of a third upset in Houston 11-3, 11-5, 11-2.

Harrity’s tour moves to upstate New York in two weeks, where the Princeton graduate is seeded third in the PSA 5 Rochester ProAm.

Round of sixteen:
[1] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3
[8] Chris Gordon (USA) bt [Q] Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
[5] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [Q] Todd Harrity (USA) 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6
[4] Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt [Q] Shahjahan Khan (PAK) 11-3, 11-5, 11-2
[3] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [WC] Joshua Masters (ENG) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9
[6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) bt Matthew Karwalski (AUS) 11-4, 11-3, 11-9
[Q] Diego Elias (PER) bt [7] Julian Illingworth (USA) 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5
[2] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY) bt Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 11-6, 12-10, 11-8

[1] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [8] Chris Gordon (USA)
[5] Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [4] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
[3] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [6] Karim Ali Fathi (EGY)
[Q] Diego Elias (PER) v [2] Mazen Hesham Ga Sabry (EGY)