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
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
“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."