Burnt Open SF: Lovejoy and Shenawy Survive Five-Gamers

The semi-finals of the Burnt Squash Open threw up two five-gamers, with both Spencer Lovejoy and Seif Shenawy surviving to set up a meeting in Monday’s final.

Lovejoy, the tournament’s top seed, and the leading American on home soil, came up against Nigerian No.1 Babatunde Ajagbe. Despite taking the second game on a lengthy tie-break 15-13, the American found himself behind after three games. However, a 12-10 win in the fourth turned the tide in his favour, taking the fifth 11-4 to make it through to the final.

The second semi-final saw Egypt’s Seif Shenawy take on Malaysia’s Sanjay Jeeva. The first game tie-break, went all the way to 17-15, with the Egyptian taking it. However, Jeeva then fought back to take the next two games and lead 2-1. Another tie-break came in the fourth, and once again, Shenawy took it to stay alive in the match, before going on to win the fifth game 11-7.

The final of the Burnt Squash Open will take place on Monday, October 17. Egypt’s Seif Shenawy will take on top seed and home favourite Spencer Lovejoy for the Challenger 5 level title in Lakeville.

Semi-Final Results: Burnt Squash Open
[1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt [4] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) 3-2: 8-11, 15-13, 8-11, 12-10, 11-4 (71m)
[2] Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt [5] Sanjay Jeeva (MAS) 3-2: 17-15, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 (74m)

Final Draw: To Be Played Monday, October 17
[1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) v [2] Seif Shenawy (EGY)

Canberra Open Preview: Baillargeon Excited For Oceania Run

The Jansher Khan Canberra Open will be the first of four tournaments taking place on the Challenger Tour this week. 

The Challenger 20 level competition will see 24 men take to the Woden Squash Centre, and it will take place from Tuesday, October 18 to Saturday, October 22.

England’s Adrian Waller will be the top seed for the competition, with the World No.32 being the favourite to take the title home. Canada’s David Baillargeon will be the No.2 seed, and we spoke to him prior to the event starting.

“I’m feeling very confident about my game at the moment. I’m coming back from a week of training with Rodney Martin where we made a few technical and tactical changes and I’m looking forward to testing it out in tournaments,” the Canadian said.

“I’m definitely looking forward to being a seeded player for this tournament. The last two tournaments, I played guys seeded ahead of me and ended up losing a couple of close matches where I didn’t have much pressure but this time around it will be the opposite and I’m hoping to string together a series of victories there to get my season going properly.”

This will be the first of a four-event stint for the Canadian, who is making the trip to Australia and New Zealand worthwhile. He will also feature at the Australian Open and the Robertson Lodges New Zealand Open, along with playing for his country at the Nations Cup.

“It [Australia] is the furthest place you can go from Canada and I haven’t been anywhere near this part of the world so far so I thought it was a great opportunity to go somewhere new while there is a series of four big events in a row,” he explained.

“You obviously need a series of tournaments to make the trip worthwhile as it will take me more than 24 hours to get there and will cost me a fair amount, so I’m glad the PSA and the tournament organisers were able to make such a series of events. I’m sure it will be hard physically and mentally but I’m prepared as just put in a good training stint for that reason.”

The Nations Cup will be a brand new event on the Tour, and will see eight nations pit two of their best players against each other in a new format, one never seen before on Tour. Baillargeon will play alongside Hollie Naughton for Canada in the event.

“I’m always proud to represent my country and I’m looking forward to this new event where there will be a few different rules trying to make our sport even more engaging,” Baillargeon said.

“It will be a good way to get some great matches while having a break from a PSA event for a week so the pressure will be different. I’m glad I’ll play alongside Hollie Naughton who’s been on fire recently and I’m confident we can have a strong result there. 

“I’m hoping to get my ranking up close to top 50 before the end of the year so I can enter the bigger tournaments without being in the reserve list and having to travel at the last minute. This trip to Australia and New Zealand is surely a good opportunity to do so if I perform well.”

England’s Charlie Lee and Tom Walsh, New Zealand’s Lwamba Chileshe, Malaysia’s Mohammad Syafiq Kamal, American Andrew Douglas and Czechian Martin Svec will make up the rest of the top eight seeds for the tournament.

World No.134 Joseph White will be the leading Australian on home soil in Canberra, with compatriots Rhys Dowling, Nicholas Calvert and James Lloyd all in action.

The event takes place from Tuesday, October 18 to Saturday, October 22 at the Woden Squash Centre in Canberra. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

First Round Draw: Jansher Khan Canberra Open
[1] Adrian Waller (ENG) – [Bye]Nicholas Calvert (AUS) v [9/16] Valentin Rapp (GER)
[9/16] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) v Owain Taylor (WAL)
[7] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) – [Bye][5] Martin Svec (CZE) – [Bye][WC] Uzair Shoukat (PAK) v [9/16] Simon Herbert (ENG)
[9/16] Joseph White (AUS) v Wee Ming Hock (MAS)
[4] Andrew Douglas (USA) – [Bye][3] Charlie Lee (ENG) – [Bye]Zahir Shah (PAK) v [9/16] Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR)
[9/16] Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) v Bryan Lim Tze Kang (MAS)
[8] Tom Walsh (ENG) – [Bye][6] Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (MAS) – [Bye][WC] James Lloyd (AUS) v [9/16] Rhys Dowling (AUS)
[9/16] Sandeep Ramachandran (IND) v Amaad Fareed (PAK)
[2] David Baillargeon (CAN) – [Bye]

Concourse Athletic Club Open: Todd Wins Biggest Title To Date

England’s Sam Todd has claimed his biggest Tour victory to date, coming through the draw at the Concourse Athletic Club Open without dropping a single game.

The Englishman came into the Challenger 10 level tournament in Atlanta as the No.3 seed and received a bye through the opening day’s action. He then faced off against compatriot Jonah Bryant, a member of the England team that won the WSF World Junior Team Championships earlier this year. Todd took the victory in straight games to get his campaign underway.

19-year-old Todd then overcame Finnish No.1 Henrik Mustonen in the semi-finals in three. That set up a clash with No.2 seed Muhammad Asim Khan in the last four, and after a match that saw two tie-breaks in three games, Todd got the job done in just over an hour.

The final saw the Englishman take on Egypt’s Aly Hussein for the Challenger 5 level crown. It was the first time that the two had played on Tour, and from the off, Todd was on top. He closed out the first game 11-6, and held the momentum throughout the contest. Todd went on to win in straight games to come through the event without dropping a game, and to claim the biggest title of his career to date.

Results: Concourse Athletic Club Open
[3] Sam Todd (ENG) bt [6] Aly Hussein (EGY) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (53m)

[6] Aly Hussein (EGY) bt [1] Faraz Khan (USA) 3-1: 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3 (66m)
[3] Sam Todd (ENG) bt [2] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 12-10 (61m)

Quarter Finals
[1] Faraz Khan (USA) bt Finnlay Withington (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3 (55m)
[6] Aly Hussein (EGY) bt Darosham Khan (CAN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-7, 11-4 (38m)
[3] Sam Todd (ENG) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (36m)
[2] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt [5] Alejandro Enriquez (GUA) 3-2: 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (77m)

Second Round
[1] Faraz Khan (USA) bt Jamie Ruggiero (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 (39m)
Finnlay Withington (ENG) bt [8] Saeed Abdul (PAK) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (39m)
[6] Aly Hussein (EGY) bt Mohamed Nabil (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8 (65m)
Darosham Khan (CAN) bt [4] Josue Enriquez (GUA) 3-1: 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4 (45m)
[3] Sam Todd (ENG) bt Jonah Bryant (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 (44m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt [7] Ricardo Toscano (GUA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (28m)
[5] Alejandro Enriquez (GUA) bt Lewis Doughty (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (42m)
[2] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt Faizan Khan (PAK) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (23m)

First Round
Jamie Ruggiero (USA) bt Maximilien Godbout (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (33m)
Finnlay Withington (ENG) bt Mehran Javed (PAK) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (35m)
Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Mohamed Nabil (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4 (45m)
Darosham Khan (CAN) bt Muhammad Ibrahim Noorani (PAK) 3-0: 11-5, 11-4, 11-0 (16m)
Jonah Bryant (ENG) bt Abdul Malik Khan (PAK) 3-0: 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 (24m)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) bt [WC] Varun Chitturi (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (40m)
Lewis Doughty (ENG) bt [WC] Felipe Pantle (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)
Faizan Khan (PAK) bt [WC] Fletcher Cline (USA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6 (42m)