Hanson Heads Into Main Draw of Oregon Open

Hanson finished fifth at the 2014 U.S. Championships.
Hanson finished fifth at the 2014 U.S. Championships

Chris Hanson, American world No. 159, defeated Seattle-based world No. 108 Shahjahan Khan in Tuesday night’s Oregon Open qualifying finals to reach the main draw of the the seventh U.S. Pro Series tournament of 2015 at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.

Hanson bested Khan in a near reversal of their first meeting—where Khan took the match in five close games—with a 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7 score line achieved in sixty-five minutes.

Nancy Keates, writing from the event, shared: “The young Khan put up a skillful fight, but Hanson was playing too well—volleying beautifully and making few errors. Spectators were very impressed by the exceptional level of play Hanson has displayed thus far in the tournament.”

Julian Illingworth, the hometown favorite and top seed in qualifying, fared less well than his American compatriot. Illingworth fell to seventh-seeded Englishman Nathan Lake, world No. 134, upsetting the higher-ranked Illingworth, at world No. 89.

Julian Illingworth (L) fell to Nathan Lake (R) in straight games (Image: Donna Wax)
Julian Illingworth (L) fell to Nathan Lake (R) in straight games (Image: Donna Wax)

Though the first two games, 13-11 and 12-10 respectively, were exceptionally close, Illingworth could not capture a game over his opponent, dropping the third and final set 11-6. Their match lasted forty-eight minutes, but Keates noted, “Julian didn’t win—but he also didn’t disappoint his numerous and multifarious fans, who ranged from the kids he coaches, to his wife, to his mother, and some of the Multnomah Athletic Club’s old-time squash octogenarians. It was a close match, and both played with class.”

Hanson joins countrymen world No. 57 and Queens-based Chris Gordon, the seventh seed, as well as Faraz Khan, world No.  200 and Wild Card selection, in the main draw.

Hanson is set to face fourth seed and Australian Ryan Cuskelly—one of the top three players in the 2014 U.S. Pro Series, recently recognized at the Tournament of Champions—in the first round. Hanson has met the world No. 45 once before, at the 2014 Phoenix Open, where Hanson fell in straight sets to the New York-based Aussie.

Gordon and Khan are set to square off in the first round, playing at 5pm local time today, for the third time. Gordon has won both previous meetings in three games.

Follow @OregonOpen2015 on twitter for updates throughout the tournament.

For more information, visit the official Portland Open tournament page.

Oregon Open Main Draw:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v Peter Creed (WAL)
[Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) v [6] Greg Lobban (SCO)
[8] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) v [Q] Andrew Schnell (CAN)
[Q] Rodrigo Pezzota (ARG) v [3] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY)
[4] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [Q] Chris Hanson (USA)
[WC] Faraz Khan (USA) v [7] Chris Gordon (USA)
[5] Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Tayyab Aslam (PAK)
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) v [2] Adrian Grant (ENG)