New Yorker Chris Gordon out to impress as he begins with a tough French test at the Harvard Club
By KRISTI MAROC – Squash Mad USA Editor
It’ll be a home town hustle for Chris Gordon as the native New Yorker takes on Frenchman Lucas Serme in the first round of the qualifying draw for the 2015 JP Morgan Tournament of Champions on Wednesday evening.
The 28 year old Gordon, who is currently the highest ranked men’s player in the United States and world ranked #57, will take on the 22 year old world #47 in front of a home crowd at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.
As one of the favorite tournaments on the tour calendar for many players, both Gordon and Serme will be spurred on by the potential opportunity to play on the spectacular glass court inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal if they can make their way through their qualifying matches.
“It would be amazing,” says Gordon. “Tournament of Champions is always one of my main goals of the year. Obviously it’s here in New York and I grew up watching the event. It also has to be one of the best tournaments on tour.”
“The venue is amazing, the actual buzz and amount of spectator support we get is just amazing, so I’d really love to be able to get a few wins and qualify.”
The home crowd and familiarity of the Harvard Club will also help energize Gordon in his quest to qualify.
“I love playing this tournament even though I’m qualifying, because I get to play at the Harvard Club which is where I grew up playing and I know the courts inside out. So it’s a really enjoyable week for me,” he said.
Gordon has the added support of his long-term coach, David Pearson, who is in town from England for the tournament.
“It helps tremendously to have a bit of support mentally there. He’s helped me so much throughout my career and it’s really just helpful at big events like these to have that little extra push, and that little bit of extra advice to get the tactic right on the day,” says Gordon.
Gordon has spent the week preparing by training with his close friend and current world #2, Gregory Gaultier.
“Tomorrow I’ll have a little practice with Greg in the morning, not too long, maybe 20 or 30 minutes, just to get the blood flowing and feel the ball a little bit. Then I’ll just relax the rest of the day before the match tomorrow night,” he says.
“I think it’s going to be good. All the draws that you get here are really tough. It’s unbelievably strong this year and Lucas is playing really well at the minute so it’s going to be an excellent challenge.”
The full men’s qualifying draw is available at: http://www.tocsquash.com/draws/draw-archive/2015-men-s-qualifying-draw.html