Canada’s Graeme Schnell scored a notable upset over his
higher-ranked younger brother Andrew Schnell en-route to winning his
first PSA World Tour title at the inaugural MRU Open in his hometown
of Calgary in Alberta.
Seeded seven, the 26-year-old ranked No.196 in the world made his
breakthrough in the quarter-finals of the PSA Challenger 5 squash
event at Mount Royal University Recreation Centre when his
third-seeded opponent Jonathan Maloney retired injured after just 12
minutes of play.
This led to the unexpected clash with his illustrious sibling
Andrew, the 23-year-old who has already tasted international success
for Canada in the World Team Championships.
It was the pair’s sixth meeting on the PSA Tour and World No.92
Andrew took the opening two games - looking on course to seal his
sixth successive win but after 101 minutes it was Graeme who emerged
the shock victor with a 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 score-line –
thereby earning his first appearance in a Tour event final.
His opponent Baptiste Masotti was also celebrating his first time in
a PSA Tour final. The No.8 seed despatched Austria’s top seed Aqeel
Rehman in the quarter-finals before overcoming England’s Reuben
Phillips, the fifth seed, in the semis.
But after taking the opening game in the final, Massotti’s attack
fell away in the third and fourth games as Schnell senior closed out
the match 9-11, 11-8, 11-0, 11-1 after 44 minutes to secure his
breakthrough title triumph.
“To win my first PSA tournament in my hometown really means a lot,”
said Schnell afterwards. “I want to thank my brother for coaching me
and tiring me out!
“My win record right after I play him is zero for zero: I virtually
never win after I play Andrew because he tires me out so much, so
this is a first. I wanted to thank everyone for coming out and
thanks to Kiefer (Waite) and the sponsors and hopefully there's a
tournament next year and I'll see you there."