After the longest gap between title wins in
the history of the event, 2006 champion Gregory Gaultier
clinched the 2013 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash
Championships title after beating former champion
Nick Matthew in straight games in the final of the fifth
PSA World Series event of the year at Drexel
University in Philadelphia.
It was a supreme performance by the
top-seeded Frenchman who was celebrating his fourth
successive appearance in a PSA World Tour event final
since May - and carved his way through the world-class field
without dropping a game.
World No2 Gaultier (pictured above,
foreground, in final action against Matthew) took early
leads in all three games - 6-1, 4-1 and 5-2 - and only in
the second did third seed Matthew, the world No4 from
England, threaten to close the gap.
The climax between two of the sport's former
world number ones took 51 minutes to complete - the second
game alone lasting more than 20 minutes - with Gaultier
concluding his masterclass in an 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 scoreline.
"It's amazing," said the delighted
30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence. "The last time I won this
was 2006 so to win it again here in this great venue is like
"I gave 500% today, I tried to play fast and
use a lot of variation as he's so strong in the middle of
the court," explained Gaultier - after notching up the 25th
PSA World Tour title of his career.
"For me it's my fifth tournament in a row,
Nick has only just started after five months off, so I have
the matches in my legs - maybe that was the difference
"I'm sure he'll come back strong, maybe we
can have another match in the World Open final next week!
"The sponsors, the organisation and the venue
here are all fantastic, and they're doing great things in
helping to raise the women's game too."
Matthew, the 33-year-old from Sheffield who
24 hours earlier extended his seven-year winning run over
fellow countryman James Willstrop to 16 matches,
summed up his feeling about the final later on Twitter.
"Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and
say that despite giving it everything you were beaten by the
better player," tweeted the 2007 champion.
Matthew Extends Willstrop Run To Make US Open
extended his unbeaten Tour run against fellow Englishman
James Willstrop to 16 matches over almost seven years
when he upset the world No3 in the Delaware Investments
U.S. Open Squash Championships to reach the final of the
fifth PSA World Series event of the year at Drexel
University in Philadelphia.
The 2007 champion from Sheffield will face
top-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the 2006
champion who defeated Egypt's No4 seed Karim Darwish,
also in straight games.
Former world number one Matthew, currently
ranked just a single place behind Willstrop, started well -
taking a 6-1 lead in the opening game before closing it out
The second was level up to five-all - but
Matthew (pictured above, left, in US Open action with
Willstrop) then pulled away again, taking it 11-6.
Second seed Willstrop, runner-up to his
Yorkshire rival in the 2007 final, came out strongly for the
third to lead 4-2.
But nemesis Matthew reclaimed the upper hand
to secure seven points in a row before taking the match
11-3, 11-6, 11-5 after 42 minutes.
"I got a couple of errors and strokes out of
him early in the first game, and I managed to carry that
momentum through to the next two games," said 33-year-old
"It's good to get through in three. Greg's in
great form so I'll need to be as fresh as possible for the
"I'm not putting any pressure on myself: he's
played 75 matches this season and I've played four, so he's
much more match sharp than I am! I'll just go out to express
myself and enjoy it and if I happen to win that would be
The earlier semi-final was a repeat of last
year's quarter-final, which Gaultier took more than an hour
to win, en-route to the final.
Gaultier, bidding to make his fourth Tour
final in a row, was in control from the outset, controlling
the pace and controlling his opponent's movement. The
favourite from Aix-en-Provence led 6-3. Darwish threatened a
comeback but, from 7-6, Gaultier eased away again.
The second was all Gaultier (pictured
above, left, with Darwish), who moved from 6-0 to take
the game 11-4.
Darwish stayed close in the third, but
Gaultier was always ahead. The 32-year-old from Cairo
appealed a let that became a stroke to level at nine-all,
then saved a match ball on a further stroke.
But a volley drop shortly afterwards clinched
the match 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 in 46 minutes for Gaultier - who
becomes the first player to reach a second successive US
Open final since England's former world number one Lee
Beachill in 2005.
"I stuck to my game plan and was pleased with
how I played in the first two games," said Gaultier, whose
defeat of Darwish ends a four-year Egyptian stranglehold on
the title. "He played unbelievable squash to beat Shorbagy
3/0 yesterday: I was aware of that and knew I had to be
focused from the start.
"In the third I went too short, and he's
better at the front than me, so it became tough and I was
just lucky enough to win the points at the end.
"I'm happy to win in three and really pleased
to be in another final, it's what we're all here for."
Matthew is celebrating the 55th Tour final of
his career, while Gaultier is marking his 54th.
The climax will be the pair's 25th Tour
meeting since September 2002 - and third this year, with
2013 honours shared. Their career head-to-head record to
date is 14/10 - in Gaultier's favour!
One of the most celebrated rivalries in world squash will be
re-enacted in Philadelphia where Englishmen James Willstrop and
Nick Matthew will compete for a place in the final of the Delaware
Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, the fifth PSA World Series
event of the year at Drexel University.
The two PSA
stalwarts and England team-mates, who live within 60 miles of each other in the
English county of Yorkshire, will be marking their 31st Tour meeting since June
2001 - but their first for more than a year.
the world No3 from Harrogate, will be looking for his first win over Matthew
since beating the world No4 in his home city of Sheffield in December 2007.
Second seed Willstrop was in sparkling form against Simon
Rosner - the world No12 from Germany against whom he boasted a 4/0 career
head-to-head Tour record.
Willstrop (pictured above in US Open action with Rosner)
went up 6-1 then 8-2 in the first, before taking it 11-5. From 4-2 in the
second, the 30-year-old Englishman eased away again, taking seven points in a
row for 11-2. The trend continued up to 6-2 in the third as the finishing post
looked in sight.
But Rosner fought back to six-all, forcing the first errors from
Willstrop's racket and celebrating some long-awaited winners.
Much to the delight of the packed crowd, the unseeded 25-year-old
from Paderborn took the game - his first against Willstrop in five matches!
But Willstrop restored order in the fourth to move 6-2 ahead.
Rosner dug deep to get back to 6-9, then to nine-all as the crowd sensed an
But it was not to be: two points later and Willstrop was in his
fifth successive US Open semi-final after an 11-5, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9 victory in
"It's not easy to put three games of that quality together in a
row," admitted Willstrop. "If you can, it would be pretty magical, but I was
pleased to be able to do it for the first two games.
"It's tough, especially when you get blamed all the time," said
Willstrop, in reference to the several warnings he'd received from the central
referee about clearing his shots better. "We're both big guys and I certainly
don't think I was entirely to blame. I see it happening in other matches without
them being warned, but maybe it is me, maybe I need to find a way to solve it.
"Anyway, I'm happy I managed to find a way to close out the win
and it should be a good all-English match tomorrow, whoever I play."
Third seed Matthew faced London left-hander Peter Barker,
the sixth seed against whom he boasted a pre-match 20/2 record. But Matthew's
second loss was in the pair's most recent encounter, at the Canary Wharf
Classic in March in Barker's home city.
Matthew (pictured above in US Open action with Barker) was
in charge in the first two games, controlling the rallies with precise volleys,
punching the ball deep into the corners.
Barker was more aggressive from the start of the third, however,
firing in a couple of spectacular volley kills as he opened up a 5-1 lead.
Matthew reduced the gap to 3-5 and 6-7, but the determined world No7 stayed
ahead until Matthew levelled at eight-all.
Barker then saved two match-balls before converting his second
game-ball to take the match into a fourth game.
2007 champion Matthew regrouped, took a quick 6-2 lead before
closing out the match 11-5, 11-4, 12-14, 11-6 after 76 minutes to secure his
fourth successive semi-final appearance in the event.
"I saw how the last match went, with James cruising at 6-2 in the
third," said Matthew. "So I was on my guard against that happening to me but he
played really well at the start of the third and suddenly I was 5-1 down and he
was becoming confident.
"It got a bit scrappy and bitty after that, a lot of lets and
bumps, but I just had to tough it out and I'm pleased how I was able to do
Focussed Darwish Despatches Elshorbagy At Drexel
Despite just a single world ranking position separating the
Egyptian pair, world No5 Karim Darwish endorsed his superiority over
Mohamed Elshorbagy by despatching his sixth-placed national rival in
straight games to reach the semi-finals of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open
Squash Championships, the fifth PSA World Series event of the year at
Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Darwish, the 32-year-old former world number one from Cairo, went
into the match 8-2 ahead in the pair's all-time head-to-head record - but
22-year-old Elshorbagy, from Alexandria, recorded a notable 3/0 win over his
senior Egyptian team-mate last December en-route to an impressive PSA World
Championship final debut.
Fourth seed Darwish took early control, leading 5-2, 7-5 and 9-6
and, despite Elshorbagy's best efforts, took the lead 11-9.
In the second, fifth seed Elshorbagy built up leads of 6-1, then
8-3 and 9-4 before proceeding to self-destruct - with five unforced tins in a
row. Darwish took the game 11-9 with a dropshot for an unlikely two-game lead.
Darwish took full advantage in the third, taking a 5-1 lead, then
extending it to 7-3. At 10-6 a delicate crosscourt dropshot clinched the match
for Darwish - and a first appearance in the US Open semi-finals since 2007.
"I was really focused for this match," said Darwish (pictured
above in action with Elshorbagy) after his 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 victory. "I
really wanted to win this one and it's such a great feeling to be in the
semi-final of the US Open. There were a few collisions in the second. I wasn't
too happy about it, but I told myself I had to win and I'm happy I could do it."
Darwish will now face career-long French rival Gregory
Gaultier, the top seed, for a place in the final.
"Greg's one of the in-form players, so it should be a good match
against him on Thursday," concluded the exuberant Egyptian.
Gaultier, the world No2 bidding to reach his fourth PSA World
Tour final in a row, defeated unseeded compatriot Mathieu Castagnet
13-11, 11-8, 11-6.
Underdog Castagnet, a surprise quarter-finalist after ousting No7
seed Borja Golan in the previous round, got off to a flyer, building up a
The unperturbed event favourite calmly worked his way back into
the game to draw level at eight-all before taking the lead 9-8 with another
Castagnet came back to save a game-ball at 9-10 before getting
his own game-ball at 11-10. But Gaultier pushed to take the game 13-11.
The experienced 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence led in both the
next two games before closing out the match 13-11, 11-8, 11-6.
"He started really fast and took me a bit by surprise," admitted
Gaultier. "It was maybe a bit faster than he usually plays, so I knew I had to
make the game tough even if I lost it. Once I got a few points I was confident I
could win the game, but I had to work hard.
"He didn't slow down at all in the second, he played just as well
as he had in the first, so I had to really dig in to stay in front.
"We've played together for so long it's really hard to play in a
match like this, but you just have to forget about that and find a solution to
Germany's Simon Rosner achieved his goal to reach the
quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event when he upset eighth-seeded
Egyptian Tarek Momen on the second day of last 16 round action in the
Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, the fifth PSA World
Series event of the year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
In a clinical opening game, world No12 Rosner - ranked just a
single place below his opponent - put on a dazzling display of length followed
by precise drops to both sides of the court. The 25-year-old from Paderborn
followed a backhand boast with a straight volley drive that took him to 9-7.
A poor volley tin carried Rosner (pictured above with Momen)
to game ball and an inch-perfect backhand straight volley drop secured the
Momen, who like Rosner was looking to make his first appearance
in the US Open last eight, saved two game-balls in the second to draw level.
After a surprising third in which Rosner reclaimed the lead after
just four minutes - conceding a mere two points - the fourth was a cat-and-mouse
affair with the pair trading point for point. But three unforced errors from
Rosner handed Momen the lead at 9-8.
The German slowed down the game, however, with balls tight on the
backhand wall followed by straight forehand drops - taking the next three points
in spectacular fashion to secure his place in the quarter-finals.
"It's amazing," exclaimed Rosner after his 11-7, 10-12, 11-2,
11-9 victory in 62 minutes. "It's always my goal to get to the quarters in big
tournaments. It's an amazing feeling. I love this tournament and I love coming
"I felt I had to stay straight with the drop shot. There's no
point in playing to the back if your short game is going so well like mine was
"This is only my second World Series tournament to reach the
quarters. I've been in the quarters twice in the North American Open, so it
seems like I play well in America!"
Rosner will now face James Willstrop, the second seed from
England who eased to an 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 win over 22-year-old Egyptian Karim
"It's never easy against any of these up and coming players,"
said Willstrop, the 30-year-old world No3 from Harrogate. "You just have to try
to keep your head, dig in and try to keep winning points.
"It's such a great event here, the venue is wonderful, it's a
great city to come to, and the Philadelphia crowd is really knowledgeable about
"For the next round, Simon is another of the gaggle of hungry up
and coming players, he's fast, plays at an intense pace and he'll be taking the
game to me for sure!"
The other quarter-final line-up settled will produce a certain
English semi-finalist after third seed Nick Matthew takes on England
team-mate Peter Barker, the No6 seed.
2007 champion Matthew ended Campbell Grayson's run,
beating the New Zealand qualifier 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.
"He's one of those players who can keep going at the same level
for two hours," said former world number one Matthew (pictured above with
Grayson). "So I knew I had to get on top from the start and I was pleased
with how I did that, but he was still going strong at the end.
"Maybe I let my opponent off the hook a little in the last round,
and it became a tough match, so I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again."
Londoner Barker was involved in a domestic clash with rising
London-born Joe Lee - in, surprisingly, their first ever meeting. In the
last match of the day, the experienced world No7 Barker had to fight back from a
game down to overcome Lee, ranked 27 places lower, 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 in 66
"Joe's fit and strong, he's coming up the rankings fast and it
takes a long time to wear him down these days," said Barker later.
"I'm glad everyone stayed to watch, especially after that first
game," he quipped. "It was pretty long and attritional. Joe will be happy with
how he played in that one, it's usually my strength, but I was glad to be able
to come back and take the next three."
Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet recorded his first ever
victory over a world-top-ten-ranked player when he upset seventh-seeded Spaniard
Borja Golan in the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships
to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the fifth PSA World
Series event of the year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
World No30 Castagnet went into the match with a 0-3 head-to-head
record against the world No9 from Santiago de Compestela - losing out in five
games over 110 minutes in their most recent meeting.
And the latest clash also took more than 100 minutes as the
unseeded Frenchman bid to make his breakthrough against Golan in his first
appearance in the US Open.
Castagnet (pictured above with Golan) took the opening
game but Golan struck back to lead 2/1. From four-all in the fourth, the
Frenchman opened up a lead before eventually forcing the decider.
In the fifth Castagnet again made a good start, 3-0 and 8-5 - but
Golan battled back to eight-all. A Spanish drop into the tin took the underdog
to 9-8, then a drive that died in the back corner to 10-8, before mishit winner
gave Castagnet his career-best scalp in an 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8
scoreline after 105 minutes.
"I have no words, I'm so happy," said 26-year-old Castagnet. "I
was injured for three months before the world teams and couldn't shake it off. I
really considered ending my career then, but I'm so glad I worked hard to
"It feels so good to be playing again, and to be winning a match
like this is unbelievable.
"If I end up playing Greg (Gaultier) in the quarters, it will be
great for France but a very tough match for me. But playing anyone now would be
tough, I need to get some rest and recovery!"
A speedy 29-minute win by the top seed later did give Castagnet
the opponent he predicted when Gregory Gaultier dismissed Englishman
Adrian Waller 11-1, 11-4, 11-7.
"Today I was really focused from the first point," said Gaultier,
the world number two, now a step closer to his second successive appearance in
the final. "I really had to play fast and bring something. In the first round I
wasn't quite there mentally, so I tried to raise my pace today.
"It's just motivation at the end of the day. I've been a month on
the road and haven't seen my family and my kid. I turned up at the junior
tournament downstairs, and I was also quite impressed with the level of the
The other confirmed quarter-final line-up will also be a clash
between two fellow countrymen when Egypt's fourth seed Karim Darwish
takes on fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy.
Darwish, the 32-year-old world No5 from Cairo, stopped the French
invasion when he beat Gregoire Marche, a 23-year-old from
Aix-en-Provence, 11-5, 11-2, 12-10 in 44 minutes.
"It's always best to win these early rounds as quick as
possible," commented Darwish, seeded to make the semi-finals for the first time
since 2007. "But these days that's getting much harder. The third game today was
like three games."
Elshorbagy delighted the crowd with his dazzling shot-making as
he ousted top-ranked Scot Alan Clyne 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 in 37 minutes.
Within the first five points, the Egyptian was hitting winners between his legs
from the back court, rolling over his backhand volley for nicks.
The 22-year-old from Alexandria (pictured above with Clyne)
put on an impressive array of drop-shots that left the crowd gasping and Clyne
shaking his head.
"I was too passive in my last match, so I knew I had to increase
the pace today," said Elshorbagy. "I used my rest day well yesterday, and I'm
really happy with my performance today.
"Yesterday I just chilled and had a massage. I know if I play
Karim Darwish next I'll be looking for revenge because he beat me 3-0 in
Malaysia the last time we played."
New Zealander Campbell Grayson became the only qualifier to
break through into the last 16 of the Delaware Investments U.S.
Open Squash Championships when he upset Swiss number one
Nicolas Mueller on the second day of first round action in the
fifth PSA World Series event of the year at Drexel
University in Philadelphia.
four previous encounters, the world No41 from Auckland had never
beaten Mueller, though he had taken him to five games as recently as
last March in the Kuwait PSA Cup.
Grayson (pictured above in action with Mueller) took the
opening two games, the first on a tie-break - but world No25 Mueller
fought back in the third to reach game ball at 10-6.
But the 24-year-old from Zurich twice hit the tin and, still up
10-9, attempted a crosscourt backhand drop that just missed the nick
- and Grayson jumped onto it to drive the ball to an unreachable
length. Despite a further game ball for Mueller at 11-10, Grayson
refused to surrender, racing away with his ticket into the second
round by forcing Mueller to scramble too much and ultimately finding
himself congratulating the exuberant Grayson.
just kept telling myself that I was only a couple points away, to
keep fighting," said Grayson after his shock 13-11, 11-7, 13-11
upset in 52 minutes. "I'm really happy with how I played at the end.
I'm looking forward to my next match now."
his first appearance in the second round, Grayson will now face 2007
champion Nick Matthew, the third seed from England. In one of
the most unlikely scorelines ever recorded, the world No4 from
Sheffield beat Kuwait qualifier Abdullah Al Muzayen 11-0,
12-10, 14-12 in 52 minutes.
"In some ways that first game was the worst thing that could
happen," said Matthew. "He played really well after that, and it was
very tough, but I'd rather have it that way than win all the games
interest in the main draw ended when top-ranked German Simon
Rosner ousted eight-time US champion Julian Illingworth
11-6, 11-8, 11-4 in 42 minutes.
"I'm really happy with how I played," said world No12 Rosner
(pictured above in action with Illingworth). "Julian's always a
difficult opponent and especially in front of his home crowd. He was
coming back at me in the second, I had to dig deep to win that one.
"I'm a 9/16 seed here, and I'm hoping to do better than that, which
means I'd have to beat Tarek in two days' time."
But eighth seed Tarek Momen, ranked just a single place above
the German, struggled to overcome Matthew Karwalski, having
to fight back from a two-game deficit before seeing off the
Australian qualifier 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 in 51 minutes.
Gordon Tests Gaultier In US Opener
Top-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier secured his place in
the last 16 of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash
Championships - but the 2006 champion was fully tested by US
wild card Christopher Gordon on the opening day of main draw
action in the fifth PSA World Series event of the year which
is celebrating its third successive year at Drexel University
Gordon, the US champion from New York, led 9-7 in the first game but
world No2 Gaultier fought back to win the opener on a tie-break.
The local hero led in the second - at 8-7, 10-8 and 11-10 - but was
again unable to convert as Gaultier (pictured above with Gordon)
showed his mastery to extend the lead to 2/0.
was all Gaultier in the third as the 30-year-old from
Aix-en-Provence clinched the 12-10, 15-13, 11-1 victory in 47
minutes which takes him one step closer to a second successive
appearance in the final.
was really pleased with how I played," said world No48 Gordon.
"There was no pressure on me so I could just enjoy it. The third was
disappointing, the ball was spongy. I knew it was spongy, and I had
to get a better length, but he just got on top of me so fast."
Gaultier, expected to reach his fourth Tour final appearance in a
row next week, was happy to win: "I've been away for a month now,
three tournaments in a row is tough - you just need to keep the
motivation to play at the right level.
"Chris has improved a lot. He's proved he's number one in America
and we're good friends. I spent a lot of time with him in New York.
Maybe I gave him too much advice - he nearly got me in the first two
won this tournament a few years ago. Winning the US Open means a lot
to all of us and it's getting bigger and better every year. I'll
give all I've got to try to win it again, but there are no easy
matches nowadays - you have to treat every round as a final."
Gaultier will face a surprise opponent in the second round after
England's world No35 Adrian Waller pulled off a notable upset
over Egypt's former world junior champion Marwan Elshorbagy,
ranked nine places higher.
The 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 win takes the 23-year-old from Enfield into the
second round for the first time since 2010.
Scottish number one Alan Clyne survived the day's longest
battle, coming back from two games down to beat Australian qualifier
Steven Finitsis 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 in 88 minutes.
"Had to do a bit of grinding tonight to get the 3-2 win from 2-0
down," tweeted the world No32 from Edinburgh later. "Pleased to be
into the last 16 of the US Open anyhow!"
Clyne moves on to meet fifth seed Mohamed Elshorbagy, who
needed almost an hour to overcome fellow Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz
11-2, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10.
"He played so much better after the first game," said 22-year-old
Elshorbagy, bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the fourth year
in a row. "I think I played the same through the whole match, but he
came back so well and I was fortunate to get through."
Another Egyptian was also fully tested in a marathon: Karim
Darwish, the fourth seed from Cairo who was a semi-finalist in
2007, took 72 minutes to overcome Australian Ryan Cuskelly
11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7.
"It's always tough playing someone like Ryan," said former world
number one Darwish. "I had to be on my toes the whole match. Those
few points at the end of the second were crucial, then I relaxed a
bit in the third but managed to get it back for the fourth."
Seventh seed Borja Golan took his place in round two but only
after his Canadian opponent Shawn Delierre was forced to
retire after only two games.
After dropping the opening game, Canadian number one Delierre was
leading 10-8 in the second when when he stretched for a ball and
fell to the floor.
After taking a three-minute injury timeout, the 31-year-old from
Montreal offered his hand to Golan. "It's not the way anyone wants
to win," said the top-ranked Spaniard. "He played well at the start
of the second game and it's a real shame he couldn't finish the
Delierre was later seen walking away
cautiously: "It's good news that I can walk - nothing too serious,"
he told the official website
Players from seven countries claimed the eight qualifying places in
the men's main draw of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash
Championships following testing encounters in the qualifying
finals of the fifth PSA World Series event of the year which
is celebrating its third successive year at Drexel University
was taken the full distance by fellow Australian Rex Hedrick(both pictured above) before winning a see-saw affair 7-11,
11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5 in 78 minutes.
"We're good friends, so it's tough to play each other," said
Queenslander Finitsis, a 30-year-old now based in Amsterdam. "Not
sure if he'll be in my corner tomorrow though!"
"Don't worry mate, I'll be there," was Hedrick's immediate response.
Finitsis will be joined in the main draw by fellow Aussie Matthew
Karwalski, a 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 winner over England's
But Eddie Charlton provided an English qualifying place when
he dashed US hopes by beating Philadelphia's Todd Harrity
5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10.
"Really happy to qualify in a really tough four game battle,"
Nottingham-born Charlton later told his Twitter followers.
Veteran Canadian Shahier Razik denied further English
interest in the qualifiers when he eased past Charles Sharpes
11-8, 11-4, 11-1.
The 35-year-old from Toronto now becomes the only player in the main
draw to have made his US Open debut in the 2001 championship in
Boston, which was staged in January 2002 following the 9/11 tragedy.
Kuwait's Abdullah Al Muzayen will make his US Open debut
after beating India's Ramit Tandon 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8.
The 25-year-old left-hander is drawn to face England's No3 seed
Nick Matthew, the 2007 champion.
New Zealand's world No41 Campbell Grayson became
highest-ranked player to qualify when he defeated Mexican Alfredo
Avila(both pictured above) 11-8, 11-6, 11-3. The
27-year-old from Auckland will make his maiden appearance in the
event when he faces Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller in the
Masters White In US Open Qualifiers
a 22-year-old Mexican bidding to make his maiden appearance in the
Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, denied
John White the chance to be the event's oldest player ever
when he beat the 40-year-old Scot in straight games in the first
qualifying round of the PSA World Series event celebrating
its third successive year at Drexel University in
A semi-finalist in the 1999 championship, White went
on to top the world rankings in 2004 and is now the Head Coach at
But despite local knowledge, and fervent support from
his students, the Australian-born veteran was unable to wind back
the clock - going down 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 in 47 minutes to the
exciting young Mexican prospect.
Avila, the world No55 from Mexico City (pictured
above with White), now meets New Zealander Campbell Grayson
for a place in the main draw. World No41 Grayson, the highest-ranked
player in the qualifying draw, took just 21 minutes to see off
Scotland's Jamie Macaulay 11-6, 11-2, 11-5.
In other qualifying matches at Drexel, Australians
Steven Finitsis and Rex Hedrick both prevailed -
Queenslander Finitsis beating Pakistan's Philadelphia-based coach
Imran Khan Riaz 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 and Melbourne-based Hedrick
defeating US-based Welshman Gavin Jones 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.
But Merion Cricket Club was the scene of the
sole home win as Todd Harrity delighted his home club crowd
with a comeback five-game win over England's 33-year-old world No72
Chris Ryder in 75 minutes, the longest match of the round.
Harrity, ten years younger and ranked more than 100
places lower, beat Ryder 4-11, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 to earn a
surprise qualifying finals meeting with England's Eddie Charlton,
the world No63.
At Germantown Cricket Club, Pakistan's
Yasir Ali Butt, Australia's Matthew Karwalski and
Englishman Jaymie Haycocks won in straight games - while
Malaysia's Muhd Asyraf Azan took the full five games and 72
minutes to see off Irishman Arthur Gaskin.
The Racquets Club of Philadelphia was the
scene of victories for Mohamed Abouelghar, Shaun le Roux,
Shahier Razik and Charles Sharpes - Abouelghar and Le
Roux ending the hopes of USA's Chris Hanson and Gilly Lane.
Eyes of the squash world will be focussed over the next week on
Philadelphia, where the fifth PSA World Series event of
the year has attracted the world's elite to the Delaware
Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships, staged for the third
year in a row at Drexel University.
The event's top four seeds have all topped the world rankings over
the last four years - with top-seeded Frenchman Gregory Gaultier,
the world No2, looking to make amends for a runner-up finish last
year by winning the men's title for the second time since 2006.
But England's No3 seed Nick Matthew will also be looking to
pick up the trophy for a second time after wresting it from Gaultier
in 2007 in New York.
Gaultier begins his fourth US Open campaign against Christopher
Gordon, the US wildcard who celebrated a significant
breakthrough in March when, against expectations, he won the US
National title for the first time.
The 30-year-old from Aix-en-Provence is enjoying one of his best
career runs since reaching world number one in 2009. Winner of the
Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas in Mexico last month, Gaultier
is expected to notch up his fourth Tour final appearance in a row
when he reaches the US Open climax next Friday (18 October).
the other side of the draw, world No4 Matthew kicks off his eighth
US Open campaign since 2003 against a qualifier. The 33-year-old
from Sheffield, who topped the world rankings throughout 2011, is
expected to reach the semi-finals for the third year in a row -
where his opponent is predicted to be national rival James
Second seed Willstrop, runner-up to Matthew in 2007 and world number
one last year, will be eager to get his hands on the trophy for the
first time. The world No3 from Harrogate opens his 2013 bid against
fellow countryman Chris Simpson, the new world No21.
Willstrop/Matthew clash could not fail to be one of the Philadelphia
highlights. The encounter would be the pair's 31st Tour meeting
since 2001 (with Matthew holding a 22-8 advantage) -
but their first for more than a year!
Egyptian interest in the event will be led by Karim Darwish,
the fourth seed who topped the world rankings from January 2009. The
32-year-old from Cairo takes on Australian Ryan Cuskelly in
the opening round - and may have to overcome fast-rising fellow
countryman Mohamed Elshorbagy, the No5 seed, in the
quarter-finals before a predicted semi-final clash with Gaultier.
Players from 18 nations will compete in the qualifying competition
for eight places in the main draw.
40 years old, Scotland's John White is looking to become one
of the oldest competitors ever to make the main draw. As Head Coach
at Drexel University, the former world number one will surely have
considerable local support.
But White, a US Open semi-finalist in 1999, has a tough first round
opponent in Alfredo Avila, a rapidly-rising 22-year-old from
Mexico who, ranked 55 in the world, is the sixth highest-ranked
player in the qualifying draw.