After 100-minute semi-finals, Aussie Ryan Cuskelly powers past Egyptian Omar Meguid in Portland final
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Victories over two higher-ranked opponents led to Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly claiming the 11th PSA World Tour title of his career at the Oregon Open in the USA.
The US-based left-hander made his breakthrough in the semi-finals of the PSA Challenger 15 squash event at Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland where he outlasted England’s World No.28 Adrian Grant, the second seed, 15-13, 12-10, 11-13, 12-14, 11-6 in 105 minutes in his first ever victory over the former World No.9.
Fourth seed Cuskelly’s opponent in the final was Omar Abdel Meguid, the No.3 seed from Egypt who also survived a semi-final marathon in his 107-minute 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 15-13, 11-4 win over Saurav Ghosal, the top seed from India.
In the first game of the final, Cuskelly exposed Meguid with soft touch in front corners, resulting in the Aussie taking the first game, relatively quickly, 11-5.
In the second, the World No.45 from New South Wales continued his impetuous form and quickly forged a 6-0, then 9-2, lead. Cuskelly’s excellent short game secured the second game with a beautiful straight drive that licked the wall and died in the back corner.
The 26-year-old Egyptian changed his tactics in the third game to increase the pace to force Cuskelly errors. But from six-all, Cuskelly moved ahead to 10-7 – and quickly clinched his first match-ball to secure his 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 title triumph.
“In the past it’s been a tough battle for me at the Oregon Open,” said Cuskelly as he received his trophy. “I feel the result of strenuous work and focus over the past year has elevated my game towards the world top 20.
“Winning the Oregon Open, defeating higher-ranked and experienced players such as Adrian and Meguid, builds confidence moving forward.”
He told his Facebook followers: “So happy I won the Oregon open 3-0. Thanks to Rod Martin. I wouldn’t have won without his help over the last few months. Also a great start after signing with Harrow as my new racket sponsor. Thanks to BoastUSA and Squash Australia for their ongoing support.”
When asked if his marathon semi-final victory over the top seed affected his plan for the final, Meguid – also the Oregon Open runner-up in 2014 – said: “The effort early on in the third game was defining the outcome reflecting the atrocious semi-finals. I apologise for not playing up to my standards tonight.
“However I’m planning on returning to Oregon Open next year, a tournament and squash community which makes me feel so welcome.”
PSA Challenger 15 Oregon Open, Portland, USA.
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-13, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 (53m)
 Greg Lobban (SCO) bt [Q] Nathan Lake (ENG) 13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2 (46m)
 Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt [Q] Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-3, 8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-1 (85m)
 Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt [Q] Rodrigo Pezzota (ARG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt [Q] Chris Hanson (USA) 11-1, 11-9, 9-11, 11-2 (40m)
 Christopher Gordon (USA) bt [WC] Faraz Khan (USA) 11-6, 14-12, 9-11, 11-6 (54m)
 Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 6-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8 (38m)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) bt Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT) 11-5, 11-8, 14-12 (34m)
 Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt  Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (84m)
 Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt  Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (41m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt  Christopher Gordon (USA) 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 (41m)
 Adrian Grant (ENG) bt  Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-6, 10-12, 11-3, 14-12 (48m)
 Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt  Saurav Ghosal (IND) 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 15-13, 11-4 (107m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt  Adrian Grant (ENG) 15-13, 12-10, 11-13, 12-14, 11-6 (105m)
 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt  Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7
Pictures from social media