Trinity graduate and current assistant coach entered the U.S. Pro Series Betty Griffin Memorial Florida Open—the ninth PSA tournament of the twenty-six-year-old’s career—as a qualifier, and emerged the champion this weekend at Life Time Fitness Boca Raton.
Last year in the same tournament, the Indian international made his U.S. Pro Series debut having played just two PSA tournaments before in 2006.
The three-time CSA team championship-winner stormed his way through qualifying, upsetting Team USA’s Faraz Khan in a four-game final to reach the main draw. There he met Seattle-based Pakistani Shahjahan Khan, who fell in a three-game upset. English Wild Card Joe Green was next to fall to Malhotra in a three-game quarterfinal.
Malholtra managed the biggest upset of his career to date in a shock semifinal, where he toppled one seed and world No. 64 Farhan Zaman 12-14, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5.
New York City-based Irishman Arthur Gaskin met Malhotra in the final after defeating Cayman Islander Cameron Stafford in three games. Like Malhotra, Stafford made a surprise run to the semifinals after upsetting two seed Kush Kumar in the first round and taking out Guatemala’s Josue Enriquez in the quarters.
“Vikram played a close to perfect game by winning 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 in forty-five minutes, and showed no signs of fatigue from yesterday’s monster five-game match against Zaman,” said Andre Maur, tournament director.
“I’ve had a great week and I want to thank everyone for supporting me throughout the qualifying and main draw matches which has kept me focused,” said Malhotra.
“I’m looking forward to coming back next year and defending my title.”
For now, the world No. 277 returns to his post at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
The 2015 U.S. Pro Series calendar year ends with the Florida Open. The Tour resumes in 2016 with the women’s Liberty Bell Open in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, January 20-24.