Razik Retains National Capital Crown
Canada’s Shahier Razik
retained his National Capital Open crown in the USA after beating
Australian Ryan Cuskelly in the final of the $16,875 PSA World Tour
squash event in its third year at Bethesda Sport & Health Club in
Bethesda in Maryland.
"Shahier won the title with
a masterful display of accurate, defensive squash, seeing him to victory in
three sets over an even hour," said Tournament Director Rod Barnes. "The
beautifully executed strategy defused the attack that opponent Ryan Cuskelly had
used successfully to reach the final."
Sixth seed Cuskelly earned
his place in the final after two successive upsets, over top-seeded Colombian
Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the quarter-finals, then New Zealand’s No3 seed
Martin Knight in the semis.
The 22-year-old left-hander
from New South Wales took Razik to a tie-break in the first game, and displayed
patches of brilliance in the next two games - but the Canadian title-holder held
off the challenge to record a 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 victory after 60 minutes.
The triumph marks Razik's
first PSA Tour title of the year in his third final. But it also brings up the
20th PSA title of the 32-year-old from Toronto’s career since winning his first
at the Sao Paulo Open in Brazil in 1999.
Kiwis Crushed In Maryland Semis
Australian Ryan Cuskelly
and Canadian Shahier Razik dashed hopes of an all-New Zealand National
Capital Open final by prevailing over Kiwis Martin Knight and
Campbell Grayson, respectively, in the semi-finals of the $16,875 PSA
World Tour squash event in its third year at Bethesda Sport & Health Club
in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.
Sixth seed Cuskelly
maintained his tremendous run through the event by despatching an in-form Martin
Knight, the third seed, 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 in 57 minutes.
The 22-year-old from New
South Wales will now face – for the first time – second seed Shahier Razik, the
defending champion from Toronto who battled for 71 minutes to overcome fourth
seed Campbell Grayson 11-3, 11-13, 11-5, 11-3.
Cuskelly is celebrating his
10th appearance in a PSA Tour final, while 32-year-old Razik is
marking his 33rd since 1999.
Ryan Robs Rodriguez Of Maryland
Ryan Cuskelly caused a notable upset in the National Capital Open
when he beat top seed Miguel Angel Rodriguez to reach the semi-finals of
the $16,875 PSA World Tour squash event at Bethesda Sport & Health
Club in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.
Rodriguez, the world No26
from Bogota, dropped the first two games – but rediscovered his form in the
third to lead 10-6.
But 22-year-old Cuskelly,
ranked 25 places lower, recovered the deficit and went on to win 12-10, 12-10,
12-10 in 78 minutes.
The New York-based Aussie
now goes on to face New Zealander Martin Knight for a place in the
final. The third seed from Wellington needed 47 minutes to overcome unseeded
Canadian David Phillips 11-7, 11-3, 11-7.
There will be Kiwi interest
in the other semi-final where fourth seed Grayson takes on Canada’s No2 seed
Grayson, the world No46
from Auckland, had to fight back from two games down to beat eighth-seeded
Colombian Bernardo Samper 9-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in 66 minutes.
Phillips Charges Into National Capital
boosted North American interest in the quarter-finals of the National Capital
Open when he upset fifth-seeded Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan in the
first round of the $16,875 PSA World Tour squash event at Bethesda
Sport & Health Club in Bethesda in the US state of Maryland.
The 29-year-old Canadian
from Montreal took just over an hour to see off Adnan 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 and will
now face New Zealander Martin Knight, the third seed, for a place in the
The weather continued to
play havoc with the event as snow-filled lanes caused unprecedented traffic
gridlock around Bethesda, forcing players and spectators to abandon or park
their cars at distances from the club and make the last mile on foot.
“Wade Johnstone's story
took the cake,” said tournament organiser Rod Barnes. “About a mile from
the club and with only 15 minutes to get to the club for his match, Wade handed
over the wheel to his wife and started running. He made it, just.
“He played his match
against Bernardo Samper - lasting over 30 minutes of playing time – recovered,
then hot-footed it back to join her for the last 1/2 mile, which took another
hour to drive!”
Top seed Miguel Angel
Rodriguez had the toughest battle to secure his place in the last eight.
The 24-year-old world No26 from Bogota twice had to come from behind before
beating unseeded Australian Zac Alexander 6-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 11-4
in 75 minutes.