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Monday, April 19, 2021

US OPEN: Finitsis wins battle of the pals

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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Players from seven countries claimed the eight qualifying places in the men’s main draw of the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships following testing encounters in the qualifying finals of the fifth PSA World Series event of the year which is celebrating its third successive year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Steven Finitsis was taken the full distance by fellow Australian Rex Hedrick (both pictured above) before winning a see-saw affair 7-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5 in 78 minutes.

“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.

But Eddie Charlton provided an English qualifying place when he dashed US hopes by beating Philadelphia’s Todd Harrity 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 Sharpes 11-8, 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.

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 seedNick 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 above) 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:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v [WC] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) v Adrian Waller (ENG)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v [Q] Shahier Razik (CAN)
[7] Borja Golan (ESP) v Shawn Delierre (CAN)
[5] 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)
[4] Karim Darwish (EGY) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[3] Nick Matthew (ENG) v [Q] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) v [Q] Campbell Grayson (NZL)
Henrik Mustonen (FIN) v Joe Lee (ENG)
[6] Peter Barker (ENG) v [Q] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [Q] Matthew Karwalski (AUS)
Simon Rosner (GER) v Julian Illingworth (USA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [Q] Eddie Charlton (ENG)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) v Chris Simpson (ENG)

 

Men’s Qualifying Finals:
Abdullah Al Mezayen (Kuw) bt Ramit Tandon (Ind) 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (43m)
Eddie Charlton (Eng) bt Todd Harrity (Usa) 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10
Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bt Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 (60m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) bt Yasir Butt (Pak) 13-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-4 (38m)
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)
Steve 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)

 

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