Friday, May 24, 2024

PSA LIVE: Schnells fall in Chicago shoot-out

CANADIAN brothers Andrew and Graeme Schnell both bit the dust in the Chicago Open quarter-finals in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Qualifier Graeme took a game from Frenchman Joan Lezaud but was unable to stop the 27-year-old from Aix-en-Provence winning 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-6 to become the only unseeded player to make the semi-finals.

Lezaud goes on to face fourth seed Eric Galvez after the 30-year-old Mexican battled to a 14-12, 5-11, 11-9, 15-13 victory over higher-ranked South African Clinton Leeuw.

Andrew Schnell, the younger but higher-ranked of the Calgary siblings, met his match in top-seeded New Zealander Martin Knight. The world No47 from Auckland recorded his second straight games win in the event when he despatched 21-year-old Schnell 11-5, 11-9, 11-7.

Graeme Schnell (left) and Andrew Schnell pictured with Extended Stay Manager Beth Mikoley and Hotel sponsor Ashley

Knight will face Farhan Zaman for a place in the final after the third-seeded Pakistani ended qualifier Karim El Hammamy‘s run when he beat the 17-year-old Egyptian 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7.

[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-5, 11-9, 11-7
[3] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 14-12, 5-11, 11-9, 15-13
Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt [Q] Graeme Schnell (CAN) 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-6

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) v [3] Farhan Zaman (PAK)
Joan Lezaud (FRA) v [4] Eric Galvez (MEX)



Unseeded Frenchman Joan Lezaud produced a first round Chicago Open upset when he disposed of second seed Danish Atlas Khan in straight games to secure an unexpected place in the quarter-finals

The 27-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, ranked 114 in the world (pictured above with tournament organiser Franz Schwerer), defeated Khan, the world No75 from Pakistan, 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 to set up a last eight encounter with Canadian Graeme Schnell.

Qualifier Schnell, a 25-year-old from Calgary, booked a surprise place in the quarter-finals – alongside his younger brother Andrew Schnell – when he battled back from 2/1 down to overcome higher-ranked Englishman Lewis Walters 11-7, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6.

Schnell junior, aged 21, claimed his anticipated place in the next round after seeing off fellow countryman David Letourneau 12-10, 11-6, 11-4.

“Pleased to get by Dave Letourneau 3-0 today,” tweeted the world No98 later. “Now for the quarters against Martin (Knight)!”

New Zealander Martin Knight is the event’s top seed. The world No47 from Auckland despatched Pakistan qualifier Muhammad Saqib Yousaf 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.

A notable upset took place in the top half of the draw where 17-year-old Egyptian qualifierKarim El Hammamy – the youngest and lowest-ranked player in the draw – defeated Canadian hope Michael McCue 11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9.

Playing in only his second PSA Tour event since becoming the surprise winner of the World Junior Championship title in Poland in July, Cairo-based teenager El Hammamy now faces Pakistan’s No3 seed Farhan Zaman for a place in the semi-finals.

1st round:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) bt [Q] Muhammad Saqib Yousaf (PAK) 11-6, 11-7, 11-8
Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt David Letourneau (CAN) 12-10, 11-6, 11-4
[Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY) bt Michael McCue (CAN) 11-5, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9
[3] Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt [WC] Karamatullah Khan (PAK) 11-7, 12-10, 11-9
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt [Q] Benjamin Fischer (SUI) 11-9, 11-6, 11-3
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8
[Q] Graeme Schnell (CAN) bt Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-7, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6
Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt [2] Danish Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-6, 13-11, 11-7

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Martin Knight (NZL) v Andrew Schnell (CAN)
[3] Farhan Zaman (PAK) v [Q] Karim El Hammamy (EGY)
[4] Eric Galvez (MEX) v Clinton Leeuw (RSA)
Joan Lezaud (FRA) v [Q] Graeme Schnell (CAN)



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