Eddie Charlton dashed US hopes by beating Philadelphia’s Todd Harrity 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 in the US Open qualifying finals.
Home fans cheered as Harrity won the opening game at Merion Cricket Club. However, Charlton (above) worked his way into the match to win three closely-contested games. The battle raged for 71 minutes before Charlton claimed a fourth-game tiebreak to win 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10.
“Really happy to qualify in a really tough four game battle,” Nottingham-born Charlton later told his Twitter followers.
Veteran Canadian Shahier Razik denied further English interest in the qualifiers when he eased past Charles Sharpes11-8, 11-4, 11-1.
The 35-year-old from Toronto now becomes the only player in the main draw to have made his US Open debut in the 2001 championship in Boston, which was staged in January 2002 following the 9/11 tragedy.
“We’re good friends, so it’s tough to play each other,” said Queenslander Finitsis, a 30-year-old now based in Amsterdam. “Not sure if he’ll be in my corner tomorrow though!”
“Don’t worry mate, I’ll be there,” was Hedrick’s immediate response.
Finitsis will be joined in the main draw by fellow Aussie Matthew Karwalski, a 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 winner over England’s Jaymie Haycocks.
Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Muzayen will make his US Open debut after beating India’s Ramit Tandon 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8. The 25-year-old left-hander is drawn to face England’s No3 seed Nick Matthew, the 2007 champion.
New Zealand’s world No41 Campbell Grayson became highest-ranked player to qualify when he defeated Mexican Alfredo Avila (both pictured below) 11-8, 11-6, 11-3. The 27-year-old from Auckland will make his maiden appearance in the event when he faces Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller in the first round.
Updated 1st round draw:
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Shahier Razik (CAN)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v Shawn Delierre (CAN)
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
Alan Clyne (SCO) v [Q] Steven Finitsis (AUS)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) v Joe Lee (ENG)
 Peter Barker (ENG) v [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Matthew Karwalski (AUS)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Eddie Charlton (ENG)
 James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Simpson (ENG)
RESULTS: PSA World Series Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA
Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (43m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 (60m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10 (71m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Shaun le Roux (RSA) 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4 (40m)
Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Charles Sharpes (ENG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-1 (31m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) 13-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-4 (38m)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Rex Hedrick (AUS) 7-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5 (78m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 (40m)