John White’s hopes of reaching the first round of the US Open at the age of 40 were halted by Mexican Alfredo Avila.
Avila, a 22-year-old bidding to make his maiden appearance in the tournament, denied White the chance to be the event’s oldest player ever when he beat the 40-year-old Scot in straight games in the first qualifying round of the PSA World Series event celebrating its third successive year at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
A semi-finalist in the 1999 championship, White went on to top the world rankings in 2004 and is now the Head Coach at Drexel University.
But despite local knowledge, and fervent support from his students, the Australian-born veteran was unable to wind back the clock – going down 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 in 47 minutes to the exciting young Mexican prospect.
Avila, the world No55 from Mexico City (pictured above with White), now meets New Zealander Campbell Grayson for a place in the main draw. World No41 Grayson (pictured below), the highest-ranked player in the qualifying draw, took just 21 minutes to see off Scotland’s Jamie Macaulay 11-6, 11-2, 11-5.
In other qualifying matches at Drexel, Australians Steven Finitsis and Rex Hedrick both prevailed – Queenslander Finitsis beating Pakistan’s Philadelphia-based coach Imran Khan Riaz 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 and Melbourne-based Hedrick defeating US-based Welshman Gavin Jones 11-5, 11-4, 11-7.
But Merion Cricket Club was the scene of the sole home win as Todd Harrity delighted his home club crowd with a comeback five-game win over England’s 33-year-old world No72 Chris Ryder in 75 minutes, the longest match of the round.
Harrity, ten years younger and ranked more than 100 places lower, beat Ryder 4-11, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 to earn a surprise qualifying finals meeting with England’s Eddie Charlton, the world No63.
At Germantown Cricket Club, Pakistan’s Yasir Ali Butt, Australia’s Matthew Karwalski and Englishman Jaymie Haycocks won in straight games – while Malaysia’s Muhd Asyraf Azan took the full five games and 72 minutes to see off Irishman Arthur Gaskin.
The Racquets Club of Philadelphia was the scene of victories for Mohamed Abouelghar, Shaun le Roux, Shahier Razik and Charles Sharpes – Abouelghar and Le Roux ending the hopes of USA’s Chris Hanson and Gilly Lane.
Qualifying finals line-up:
Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) v Ramit Tandon (IND)
Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) v Matthew Karwalski (AUS)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) v Todd Harrity (USA)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Shaun le Roux (RSA)
Charles Sharpes (ENG) v Shahier Razik (CAN)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) v Yasir Ali Butt (PAK)
Rex Hedrick (AUS) v Steven Finitsis (AUS)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Alfredo Avila (MEX)
10 October 2013
RESULTS: PSA World Series Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA
1st qualifying round:
Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt Joe Chapman (IVB) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
Ramit Tandon (IND) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (38m)
Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) bt Dylan Murray (USA) 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 11-2
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (33m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Dane Sharp (CAN) 11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (49m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Chris Ryder (ENG) 4-11, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6 (75m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt Chris Hanson (USA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (21m)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt Gilly Lane (USA) 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-2 (56m)
Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Ben Coleman (ENG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 (51m)
Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 12-10 (56m)
Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) bt Sergio Lopez (MEX) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (26m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) bt Arthur Gaskin (IRL) 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6 (72m)
Steven Finitsis (AUS) bt Imran Khan Riaz (PAK) 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (22m)
Rex Hedrick (AUS) bt Gavin Jones (WAL) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (48m)
Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt John White (SCO) 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 (47m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Jamie Macaulay (SCO) 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (21m)
Bummer. Would love to see a 40+ make it thru to a major event. Maybe Mike Corren……
I like a nice Australian red that travels well.
Mike needs to renew his passport and enter a few of the bigger tournaments around the world.
Before long we should be able to get his travel sponsored by Saga Holidays.