American Chris Gordon produced one of three major upsets that saw three of the world’s top twenty-five players make first-round exits in the $35,000 U.S. Pro Series Charlottesville Open Wednesday at the McArthur Squash Center at Boar’s Head Resort in Virginia.
After advancing to the main draw after two rounds of qualifying in Richmond earlier this week, world No. 59 Gordon entered the match having lost all three previous encounters with fifth-seeded Tom Richards, world No. 24. After Gordon edged out the first game 11-8, the English international earned a 2-1 advantage winning the second and third games 11-9, 11-4. Gordon then ground through the fourth and fifth games to win the match in five games 11-9, 11-9.
Gordon’s quarterfinal opponent is New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson, who eliminated defending champion and four seed Alister Walker in his first round match. Grayson, world No. 49 and the 2014 U.S. Pro Series champion, had never defeated Walker in his career prior to Wednesday, and completed his first victory over the Botswana world No. 23 in four games 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7.
“Happy to win my match today,” Grayson said afterwards. “Never easy playing against a good friend and we know each others games well. I like the court conditions here and looking forward to my match tomorrow against Chris.”
“Campbell was too good today,” said Walker, the 2014 Charlottesville Open champion. “I had my opportunity in the third to go 2-1 up but once that moment passed I was always behind.”
Harvard graduate Ali Farag pulled off the third major upset of the first round, defeating Mexican world No. 25 Cesar Salazar in four games 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6. Farag, world No. 48, takes on fellow Egyptian and top seed Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarterfinals.
The Charlottesville Open is headlining the third annual Festival of Squash at the Boar’s Head Resort. Adult, juniors, and doubles draws will be contested on the McArthur Squash Center’s surrounding eight international singles and two hardball doubles courts throughout the weekend. All matches are free admission and open to the public.
5pm:  Cameron Pilley (AUS) vs.  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
6pm:  Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) vs. Ali Farag (EGY)
7pm:  Stephen Coppinger (RSA) vs.  Alan Clyne (SCO)
8pm: Chris Gordon (USA) vs. Campbel Grayson (NZL)
Bad day at the office…the only very very slim positive is that I’ve got a few more days to prepare for San Fran #clutchingatstraws
— Tom Richards (@TomRichards86) September 16, 2015
Enjoyed my fist match here in Charlottesville , won in four ! Playing Ali Farag Tomorrow in the quarters .. Another tough match !!
— Karim Abdel Gawad (@Karimsamy91) September 17, 2015