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PSA Round-Up: Titles for Haycocks, Schoor, Malhotra and Peter

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Jaymie Haycocks and Mike McCue
Jaymie Haycocks and Mike McCue

Haycocks claims first title in two years
By SEAN REUTHE 

 

On a busy weekend for squash, Jaymie Haycocks (England), Jens Schoor (Germany), Vikram Malhotra (India) and Reiko Peter (Switzerland) all claimed PSA titles in tournaments taking place in Canada, Spain, USA and Germany.  

English World No.84 Jaymie Haycocks captured his first PSA World Tour title for over two years by downing home hope Michael McCue in the final of the MAA Invitational, PSA M5 event.

The 32-year-old was in fine form throughout the tournament and dropped just one game en-route to the final against compatriot Ashley Davies in the semi-final. McCue was similarly dominant in the build up to the showpiece event and slalomed past fellow Canadian David Baillargeon in the previous round.

Haycocks took an early lead in the final encounter after forcing some errors from his opponent but McCue bounced back and took five straight points to send the opening game into a nervy finish.

It was Haycocks who narrowly managed to close it out and he surged into victories in games two and three to wrap up an 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 triumph in 39 minutes.

Haycocks’s victory in Montreal sees him lift the third PSA World Tour crown of his career and his first since 2013’s 4th Cerdil Squash Open.

‘It turned out to be a good thing that the first game was longer,” said Haycocks.

“He did a lot of work and it took a lot out of him. This made the second and third more difficult for him as I was able to get comfortable leads in both games.”

Result – Final: MAA Invitational 2015:

[1] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt [2] Michael McCue (CAN) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 (39 mins)

Jens Schoor celebrates victory
Jens Schoor celebrates victory

Number three seed Jens Schoor secured his 10th career PSA World Tour title at Mazen Gamal’s expense after defeating the Egyptian 3-1 in the final of the PSA Valencia, M10 tournament.

Both players came through exceptionally difficult semi-final fixtures with Schoor overcoming top seed Kristian Frost Olesen in five games while Gamal saw off Piedro Schweertman in a mammoth 3-2 battle.

Schoor seemed to have recovered better than his opponent after a fast start saw him power to an 11-3 victory in game one before a much closer second game went Gamal’s way to level the scores.

The pair traded a number of high-octane blows in the third game with both players remaining consistent but it was Schoor who edged ahead courtesy of his triumph on the tie-break.

That broke Gamal’s resolve and World No.74 Schoor went up a gear to record an 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5 win to claim his first PSA World Tour title of the year.

Result – Final: PSA Valencia 2015:

[3] Jens Schoor (GER) bt [6] Mazen Gamal (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5 (55 mins)

Valencia champion Jens Schoor and runner-up
Valencia champion Jens Schoor and runner-up Mazen Gamal

Giant-killing Indian qualifier Vikram Malhotra secured his maiden PSA World Tour title in stunning fashion after rising to claim a shock victory against number three seed Arthur Gaskin in the final of the Betty Griffin Memorial Florida Open, PSA M10 event.

Malhotra stunned top seed Farhan Zaman in the previous round to book his place in the final while Gaskin eased by Cameron Stafford in a straightforward semi-final triumph.

However, Malhotra showed no early signs of fatigue as he roared into action, hitting a number of perfect winners to take a one-game lead.

Gaskin posed more of a challenge in the second, pushing Malhotra into all four corners of the court with regularity but he was still powerless to stop a superb display from Malhotra allowing the World No.277 to double his advantage.

Malhotra, appearing in only his third ever PSA World Tour main draw, romped to victory in the third and final game to complete an 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 win.

“I’ve had a great week and I want to thank everyone for supporting me throughout the qualifying and main draw matches which has kept me focused,” said Malhotra.

“I’m looking forward to coming back next year and defending my title.”

Result – Final: Betty Griffin Memorial Florida Open 2015:

[Q] Vikram Malhotra (IND) bt [3] Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (45m)

Swiss top seed Reiko Peter wrapped up a strong 2015 in style after securing his fourth PSA World Tour title of the year with victory over compatriot Benjamin Fischer in the final of the Airport Xmas Challenger, PSA M5 tournament.

Peter was irresistible throughout the event and dropped just one game, in his opening round clash with Bernat Jaume, on his way to the final. Fischer meanwhile downed fellow countrymen Jonas Daehler and Manuel Wanner in the quarter-final and semi-final stages, respectively to confirm his final berth.

World No.67 Peter started the match in the ascendancy, moving Fischer around the court well and pouncing on some lose shots to drop some inch-perfect shots into the front.

This approach paid dividends in the opening two games but a resurgent Fischer attempted to battle his way back into contention in a hard-fought third game.

However, Peter steadied the ship and held on impressively to close out an 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 triumph to ensure that his last PSA World Tour event of the year was a victorious one.

Result – Final: Airport Xmas Challenger 2015:

[1] Reiko Peter (SUI) bt [3] Benjamin Fischer (SUI) 3-0: 11-5, 11-6, 11-9

 

 

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