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Grayson Grabs Houston Open Crown

Houston Open 2013
23-28 Apr, Texas, $10k
Round One
[1] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11/9, 11/4, 11/7
[Q] Shahjahan Khan (Pak)
Julian Illingworth
10-10 ret
Lewis Walters
Lewis Walters
11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5
Campbell Grayson
Campbell Grayson
11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (40m)
Cesar Salazar
Lewis Walters (Eng)
5/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/2, 11/9
[Q] Baba Tunde Ajagbe (Ngr)
Joe Chapman (Ivb)
8/11, 11/3, 11/3, 11/6
[Q] Luke Butterworth (Eng)
Joe Chapman
11-6, 11-2, 11-3
Campbell Grayson
[3] Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
12/10, 11/7, 12/10
Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
Chris Binnie (Jam)
11/9, 11/7, 11/5
[4] Cesar Salazar (Mex)
Cesar Salazar
11-5, 12-10, 11-8 (40m)
Arturo Salazar
Cesar Salazar
11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7 (60m)
Joe Lee
Arturo Salazar (Mex)
11/5, 11/5, 11/6
Aqib Hanif (Pak)
Yasir Butt (Pak)
8/11, 11/7, 10/12, 12/10, 11/7
[Q] Syed Hamza Bukhari (Pak)
Syed Hamza Bukhari
11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8
Joe Lee
Richie Fallows (Eng)
11/4, 11/2, 11/6
[2] Joe Lee (Eng)
RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Houston Open, Houston, USA

Grayson Grabs Houston Open Crown

New Zealander Campbell Grayson claimed the sixth PSA World Tour title of his career when he beat Mexico's Cesar Salazar in the final of the Houston Open at Life Time Fitness in Houston.

It was an unexpected climax to the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 tournament which was the seventh event of the year in the new US Pro Squash Series.

Third seed Grayson reached the final - his first this year but the ninth of his career - after overcoming unseeded Englishman Lewis Walters in the semi-finals.

Salazar, the No4 seed from Mexico, gained his revenge for a straight games defeat by Joe Lee in the US Open qualifiers last October, by upsetting the second-seeded Englishman in an hour-long battle to claim his second Tour final berth of the year.

But it was Campbell's day in Houston. The 27-year-old from Auckland beat Salazar 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in 40 minutes.

"Grayson played his best squash for the final and Salazar had no answer for his dominant play," said Life Time squash Tour Director Andre Maur. "After getting to the semis finals in the Atlanta Open in January, he became the second new winner of the Life Time Squash Tour.

Lucky Lewis Laps Up Houston Lift-Off

Struck down with food poisoning and unable to last out the first game, top seed Julian Illingworth was forced to hand victory to Lewis Walters in the quarter-finals of the Houston Open at Life Time Fitness in Houston.

With match completed at 10-10 (ret.), the Englishman becomes the only unseeded player in the semi-finals of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 tournament - the seventh event of the year in the new US Pro Squash Series.

"Semi finals of the Houston Open tomorrow," tweeted Walters. "However not the way I would have liked to get there. I wish Julian a speedy recovery," added the 25-year-old from Nottingham.

Walters will meet Campbell Grayson, the third seed from New Zealand, who beat Joe Chapman of the British Virgin Islands 11-6, 11-2, 11-3.

The other semi-final will pitch fourth-seeded Mexican Cesar Salazar against England's No2 seed Joe Lee.

Cesar recorded his third successive Tour victory over his twin brother Arturo Salazar, winning 11-5, 12-10, 11-8 in 40 minutes.

"Match of the day was the last between Lee and qualifier Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari," said Life Time squash Tour Director Andre Maur. "Joe took a convincing 2/0 lead but let the third slip away to make it 2/1. The fourth he was back on track and he won 11-8."

Illingworth Leads Home Interest In Houston

US number one Julian Illingworth led home interest in the Houston Open through to the quarter-finals after beating Pakistan qualifier Shahjahan Khan in the opening round of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Life Time Fitness in Houston.

The Houston Open is the seventh event of the year in the new US Pro Squash Series.

Top seed Illingworth despatched US-based Khan 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 - and will now face England's Lewis Walters for a place in the semi-finals.

Walters, the world No99 from Nottingham, was fully extended in his victory over qualifier Baba Tunde Ajagbe.

The world No362 from Lagos - the only Nigerian member of the PSA and the first player from his country to contest a main draw PSA Tour match since 2008 - Ajagbe twice led the more experienced Englishman.

Walters held his nerve, however, to close out the match 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9.

But the event's biggest upset came when Pakistan qualifier Syed Hamzah Shah Bukhari, ranked 200 in the world, ousted experienced compatriot Yasir Ali Butt.

The 19-year-old from Lahore twice came from behind to beat Butt, the world No70, also from Lahore, 8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7.

Life Time Events Give PSA US Pro Series A Further Boost

The recently-launched US Pro Squash Series - a collaboration between the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and US Squash - has been given a further boost this week by the inclusion of the Life Time Grand Prix Squash Tour.

Life Time Fitness has 107 clubs with 44 squash locations and 116 courts nationwide, with more clubs being built in 2014. Events staged at clubs in Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago and Boca Raton this year will add to the growing list of events already included within the US Pro Squash Series.

Life Time Grand Prix Tournament Director & Promoters Andre and Danielle Maur are very excited, not only for the PSA Pro players, but also for squash in the US, which is growing at an incredible pace.

"This year's locations are in Atlanta, Houston, Vegas, Chicago, Phoenix and Boca Raton, and next year we will add more locations to the tour," said Andre Maur. "We have a fantastic team with tournament coordinators Jahanzeb Khan in Houston, Richard Glanfield in Vegas, Garry John in Phoenix and Franz Schwerer in Chicago, who are all excited to welcome players to their events.

"Our tour brings $60K in total prize money ($10K each) to the PSA," Maur continued. "We will be adding one more location in 2014 and another in 2015 to round us out with eight stops on our Grand Prix Series."

Maur, a former player on the PSA World Tour, has been promoting and directing tournaments for the past 20 years. "But this is by far my biggest challenge," added Maur. "I know the expectations and how to treat the players to the highest professional level."

The 2013 Life Time Grand Prix Tour includes the Houston Open (25-28 April); The Las Vegas Open (9-12 May); Chicago Open (24-27 October); Phoenix Open (14-17 November); and the Betty F Griffin Florida State Open (5-8 December)