Seattle, Washington, host city of the 2015 PSA World Championship in November, is warming up its professional circuit this weekend with the U.S. Pro Series men’s and women’s Stratos Seattle Open at the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown.
The men’s draw sees its prize money purse rise to $10,000, from a $5,000 draw in the inuagural men’s Stratos Seattle Open in 2014. The $5,000 women’s draw revitalized a competition that has laid dormant since 2005, when Rachael Grinham claimed the title.
Local qualifiers kicked off the first round of men’s qualifying Tuesday night, but to no avail with Seattle’s finest falling in three games. Local fourteen-year-old Elena Wagenmans caused a stir in women’s qualifying Wednesday night, defeating Dartmouth graduate and world No. 127 Melina Turk 11-3, 11-5, 11-4. American Kelsey Engman also earned a spot in the main draw following a win against fellow Philadelphian Nabilla Ariffin.
American world No. 171 Faraz Khan lost out in the men’s qualifying finals Wednesday night against twenty-year-old Englishman Ashley Davies. Davies joins countryman Anthony Graham and George Parker in qualifying for the main draw, as well as Canadian world No. 196 Graeme Schnell, who won his maiden PSA title last week in Calgary, Canada.
Nine-time U.S. Champion Julian Illingworth weighs in as the sixth seed and takes on Davies in his opening match Thursday.
After reaching the Oregon Open final, and qualifying for the Windy City Open, Egyptian world No. 33 Omar Abdel Meguid returns to the pacific northwest as the men’s top seed. Meguid is seeded to face German world No. 50 Raphael Kandra, who has lost to the Egyptian in both of their previous encounters.
Seattle-based Pakistani Shahjahan Khan is the men’s wild card, and faces nineteen-year-old Englishman Richie Fallows.
Australian world No. 36 Donna Urquhart makes her return from an injury-induced hiatus as the women’s top seed. The former world No. 13 from Brisbane is seeded to meet Hong Kong’s world No. 57 Liu Tsz-Ling.