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Cuskelly Captures Toronto Cup

Toronto Cup 2012
10-15 Nov, Toronto, Canada, $15k

Round One
12 Nov 
13 Nov
14 Nov
15 Nov
[1] Shahier Razik (Can)
 11/5, 11/4, 11/6 (48m)
[Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
Shahier Razik
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (50m)
Andrew Schnell
Shahier Razik
12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9 (84m)
Nafiizwan Adnan
Shahier Razik
11-5, 7-1 ret. (34m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Robbie Temple (Eng)
11/8, 11/7, 11/9 (37m)
Andrew Schnell (Can)
Raphael Kandra (Ger)
11/6, 8/11,11/8, 11/6) (70m)
[Q] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
Raphael Kandra
11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5 (57m)
Nafiizwan Adnan
David Letourneau (Can)
 11/8,11/4, 11/7 (38 m)
[3] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[4] Zac Alexander (Aus)
11/9, 8/11, 11/3, 11/6 (61m)
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
Campbell Grayson
11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-9 (62m)
Matthew Karwalski
Campbell Grayson
11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-4 (83m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Matthew Karwalski (Aus)
11/4, 10/12, 11/4, 11/3 (58m)
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
15/13, 11/7, 11/8 (27m)
[Q] Farhan Zaman (Pak)
Farhan Zaman
11-9, 11-3, 11-1 (35m)
Ryan Cuskelly
Shaun Le Roux (Rsa)
11/8, 14/12, 11/6 (50m)
[2] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)

Cuskelly Captures Toronto Cup

In a disappointing climax to the inaugural Squash Revolution Toronto Cup in Canada, home hero Shahier Razik was forced to retire injure midway through the second game to give the title of the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event to Australia's Ryan Cuskelly.

Top seed Razik had been hampered by a calf injury before Wednesday's semi-final, but was able to use his experience and intimate knowledge of the courts at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club to manoeuvre his way through.

"Cuskelly was undoubtedly aware of Razik's impeded movement and made the opening rallies long and testing," reported event spokesman Mike McCue. "The Canadian competed well but the Aussie always had a lead and finished the first game with a comfortable 11-5 margin.

"Cuskelly raced out to a commanding lead in the second as Razik's movement became visibly pained. A three-minute injury break was not enough time to treat the problem, and although Shahier played three more rallies, the concession handshake was now inevitable."

It was an additionally sad conclusion as Razik, the world No30 from Toronto, was the driving force behind this new PSA World Tour event.

The title is the eighth of New York-based Cuskelly's career - but his second in a row in Canada.

"A big thanks to Squash Revolution for sponsoring the tournament, Shahier for taking care of logistics, and the hosting clubs/pros for welcoming the event into their clubs," added McCue. "This was a unique event on the PSA Tour, with a total of nine clubs hosting matches throughout the week.

"The format exposed substantially more fans to the excitement of pro squash than most events. It was the first time many people have seen such high-level action. A city with a diverse squash community like Toronto was an appropriate host for such an event. Hopefully these clubs have been inspired to host events of their own."

Ryan Romps Into Toronto Semis

Australia's Ryan Cuskelly raced into the semi-finals of the Squash Revolution Toronto Cup after despatching Pakistani qualifier Farhan Zaman in the quickest quarter-final in the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in Toronto, Canada.

It was at the National Squash Academy that Cuskelly, the No2 seed from New South Wales, beat Zaman - the only qualifier to make the last eight - 11-9, 11-3, 11-1 in 35 minutes.

"Zaman had endeared himself to the NSA crowd all week with his exciting shot making and easy going personality, but today most certainly met his match," explained club spokesman Jamie Nicholls. "Cuskelly, a left hander coming into his prime on the tour, took the first few rallies to adjust to the lively NSA courts before starting to show his class with inch perfect dying length, subtle but effective holds and outstanding movement.

"Down 9-4, Farhan mounted a spirited comeback with an offensive assault on Cuskelly, attacking early and often in every rally mixed in with some nice counters, brought it all the way back to 9-9. However, with a stroke and yet another dying length into the nick on the left side, Cuskelly weathered the storm 11-9 to go up 1-0.

"From that point on, the Aussie completely dominated this match putting on a clinic of positional squash with sensational volleying, dying length, and JP-esque hold and flicks from the front. He cruised to an easy 11-3 2nd game and closed the match out with a nearly flawless 11-1 third game."

The New York-based world No34 now faces New Zealander Campbell Grayson for a place in the final. The world No45 from Auckland became the only unseeded player to make the last semis after defeating Australian Matthew Karwalski 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-9 in 62 minutes.

Canadian interest in the event will now be led single-handedly by top seed Shahier Razik, the world No30 from Toronto and driving force behind this new PSA Tour event. In an all-Canadian clash, Razik defeated Calgary-based Andrew Schnell 11-7, 11-4, 11-6.

"It was a battle between youth and experience," reported Andrew Thompson from the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. "Razik was the heavy favourite going into the match as the number one seed playing on his home court in front of a partisan crowd. The match started with both players finding their rhythm with some good working shots to the front court. The long rallies in the first half of the game favoured Razik as Schnell grew impatient in the later stages of each game, finding the tin when he least needed it.

"Razik jumped out to an early lead in the second and never looked back, taking the game 11-4 with little sustained resistance from the youngster. The third game was much closer than the score line would indicate as every rally was long and physical. In the end, much to the home club crowd's delight, Razik's experience prevailed, but Schnell showed that he has a bright future in squash."

Razik, the 34-year-old six-time Canadian national champion, now faces third seed Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan after the Malaysian beat Germany's Raphael Kandra 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-5.

Grayson Axes Alexander In Toronto Upset

New Zealander Campbell Grayson claimed an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the Squash Revolution Toronto Cup after ousting fourth-seeded Australian Zac Alexander in the opening round of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 15 event in Toronto, Canada.

In fact, only a single ranking position separates the pair, but the 26-year-old from Auckland laid claim to a higher ranking than the 45th place he currently holds by beating world no44 Alexander 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6 in 61 minutes.

"The match began with some cagey rallies as both players adjusted to the slow court and ball," said a spokesman for the event. "After two even games, Zac began showing signs that he is still not back to 100% after a hip injury and Grayson took a 2/1 lead with some comfort.

"Inside of two minutes into the fourth, the Kiwi was up 6-2; Alexander staged a brief comeback on the heels of some winners seen more often on a hardball doubles court, but Grayson still looked the likely winner and closed out the match winning five consecutive points. The sold out gallery were grateful to have two great exponents of clean play grace the courts."

Pakistan qualifier Farhan Zaman also produced a notable upset at the National Squash Academy by overcoming higher-ranked Mexican Arturo Salazar 15-13, 11-7, 11-8 in just 27 minutes.

"Farhan has been at the NSA all week training and with his infectious smile and easy going personality was the fan favorite going in," said the Academy's Jamie Nicholls. "Along with compatriot and training partner Danish Atlas Khan, the Pakistani duo had been mixing in with our Canadian National team and were seen sparring earlier in the week with NSA owner and former world champion Jonathon Power (for the record, JP rarely loses on his home courts and this week was no exception).

"After two good wins in qualifying Zaman was looking in fine form for his match with Arturo, who had only arrived the day before looking a bit travel weary. The first game was back and forth with some sublime winners and head scratching errors from the Pakistani who was certainly dictating the pace with his quick movement and hard hitting length mixed in with deft touch.

"Each had several game balls with Arturo the steadier of the two but clearly missing the physical component needed to impose his game on Zaman. A quick stroke and outstanding winner from Farhan to take the first game 15-13 would prove to be critical for the match. In both game two and three, Farhan jumped out to early leads as Salazar continued to look sluggish and then let the Mexican back in the game with some over exuberant unforced errors before steadying up to complete the tournament's first upset and advance to the quarter-finals."

Andrew Schnell, the 21-year-old world No79 from Calgary, ensured Canadian presence in the semi-finals when he upset England's Robbie Temple, ranked 13 places higher, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9.

Schnell will now face top seed Shahier Razik, the world No30 from Toronto and driving force behind this new PSA Tour event. Razik defeated English qualifier Jaymie Haycocks 11-5, 11-4, 11-6 in 48 minutes.

"With a sold out crowd at the famous Parkview Bar court, they all anxiously awaited the top seed Shahier Razik to show us what he could do," reported Craig Schele. "Jaymie got to see all of the court with Razik digging out great drops from the front corner and sending lob after lob into either back corner."