Sunday, April 21, 2024

Gina Kennedy and Diego Elias defend PSA Tour titles on US soil

England’s Gina Kennedy and Peruvian Diego Elias defended their crowns at the Cleveland Classic and Sturbridge Capital Motor City Open squash events on US soil.

Kennedy retained her Cleveland Classic title after defeating American Olivia Clyne 3-1 for the biggest title of her rising career in thr $75,000 event, while Diego Elias, who won the recent ToC in New York, capped his 350th PSA World Tour match in style as he beat Mazen Hesham to become the first man to win a hat-trick of Motor City Open titles in Detroit.

Kennedy, who defeated compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry at last year’s event, continued her rich vein of form to land the Cleveland Classic title in successive years after reaching the quarter-finals at the Tournament of Champions and scooping the Carol Weymuller Open trophy. 

Kennedy said: “I’m thrilled to have retained the title. I’ve said it a few times this week but I definitely did not expect it. 

“Coming into this event with the strength of the draw, the fact that I made it to the final is a huge achievement for me and I knew it would be an extremely good battle with Liv (Clyne). 

“She’s been playing amazing squash – I watched her match yesterday and I was definitely worried. 

“She’s so attacking and puts you under so much pressure, so I’m really proud of myself for coming through that because that really could have gone either way.”

Like Kennedy, Elias had to stave off a third-game comeback to see him through to the title against the Egyptian.

Elias said: “It feels great [to win a third title]. I love being here, I love this court and the people here. They make it really amazing and make it feel like home. I’m really happy with my performance this week.

“After [winning the Tournament of Champions] I knew it was going to be really tough playing this week and I’m very proud of myself.

Elias beat Hesham 3-1 PIC: Motor City Open

“Mazen played really well in the third game and I knew the start of the fourth was going to be very important and I’m just happy I got the lead at the start and then I was more relaxed.”

Both Elias and Hesham will compete at the the Silver-level Pittsburgh Open, which takes place Feb 8-12 at the Rivers Club. Kennedy and Clyne head to Detroit next for the DAC Pro Squash Classic.

Result: Sturbridge Capital Motor City Open Final

[2] Diego Elias (PER) bt [4] Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3 (48m)

Result: Cleveland Classic

[8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Olivia Clyne (USA) 3-1: 13-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 (45m)

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