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Fairmount Open 2009
02-06 Dec, Philadelphia, $6k
06-Dec, Final:
Philly's Gilly takes Fairmount title
Nick Hunter reports

The inaugural Fairmount Open saw Philly’s Gilly Lane emerge the victor defeating Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in a crowd pleasing final.

Gilly and Cesar had travelled through the draw with comparative ease, and although both dropped games in the semi-finals, they appeared to be at the top of their games.

The final started nervously enough, with Cesar unable to cope with the high tempo enforced by the Philly native. Gilly was four points to nil up before Cesar troubled the marker and closed it out with relative ease.

To the disappointment of the pro-Gilly crowd, the second game saw him return the favour and Cesar easily run away – 11/4 in the opposite direction!

The third told the tale of the final and delighted the spectators with its intensity. Both players displayed both remarkable physical resiliency and attacking stroke making – with Gilly finally taking the game on his third game ball after thirty five minutes.

The fourth game saw Cesar fade, and Gilly tenaciously grab the title with a run of seven straight points from 4/5 – much to the delight of a packed and knowledgeable Philadelphia crowd.

Overall the event itself was a rousing success, with member clinics, a hardball pro-am and a variety of opportunities for Fairmount members to interact with the pro’s. Each day the players were greeted with enthusiastic and packed audiences and plans are in place to make next year's event even bigger and better.

Fairmount Open 2009
02-06 Dec, Philadelphia, $6k
Round One
03 Dec
04 Dec
 05 Dec
06 Dec
[1] Gilly Lane (Usa))
11/0 11/7 11/6
Lewis Walters (Eng)
[1] Gilly Lane
11/5, 11/9, 11/3
[5] Patrick Chifunda
[1] Gilly Lane

11/8, 11/9, 9/11, 11/8

[3] Wade Johnstone
[1] Gilly Lane

11/4, 4/11, 15/13, 11/5

[2] Cesar Salazar

[5] Patrick Chifunda (Zam)
11/6 6/11 12/10 11/5
Fernando Lopez (Mex)
[3] Wade Johnstone (Aus)
11/6 11/1 12/10
Miled Zarazua (Arg)
[3] Wade Johnstone
11/3, 11/9, 11/6
[Q] Lekgotla Mosope
[6] Erik Tepoz (Mex)
11/9 6/11 11/3 12/10
[Q] Lekgotla Mosope (Bot)
[Q] Ryan Thompson (Nam)
11/9 11/4 11/7
[8] Stuart Crawford (Sco)
[8] Stuart Crawford
11/6 11/4 13/11
[4] Arshad Iqbal Burkhi
[4] Arshad Iqbal Burkhi

5/11, 11/5, 11/1, 11/9

[2] Cesar Salazar
Lyall Patterson (Sco)
11/6 11/4 11/8
[4] Arshad Iqbal Burkhi (Pak)
[Q] Paul Frank (Sco)
11/4 9/11 11/9 11/8
[7] Chris Truswell (Eng_
[7] Chris Truswell
11/9, 3/11, 11/4, 6/11, 11/3
[2] Cesar Salazar
[Q] Omar El Kashef (Egy)
12/10 9/11 11/6 11/6
[2] Cesar Salazar (Mex)


05-Dec, Semis:
Philly's Gilly
makes Fairmount Final ...

Nick Hunter reports

Semi final day at the Fairmount Athletic Club saw Philly hero, Gilly Lane, kick off the action with a hard won victory over Australian Wade Johnstone.

Gilly took off at his usual frantic pace and appeared ready to run away with the match, until the gutsy Australian used the height of the front wall and some deft deception to drag himself back into contention. Gilly finally drew away in the fourth to cement a place in the final.

In the final, Gilly will play Mexican Cesar Salazar. Cesar defeated Arshad Burki in a tough encounter 3/1. Arshad, who has been ranked as high as 52 in the world, delighted the crowd with a vast array of attacking shots.

The erstwhile Mexican, however, ran the ball down again and again, forcing Arshad into some slightly over ambitious strokes which found the tin with increasing regularity.

The final promises to be a tough battle between two young players, physically very strong and both moving up the rankings. The local crowd will be excited with the prospect of a “local” winner, the large Mexican contingent will be keen to see an upset.

Tomorrow’s final kicks off at 4pm, with the doubles pro-am, featuring Chris Wright and Rudi Willemse against Maryann Crowe and Jamie Macaulay opening the proceedings at 3pm.

Philly Quarters
Nick Hunter reports

Quarter final action in the Fairmount Open went to seedings, but not without the top four being made to work hard for their victories.

First on court was Arshad Burki against Stuart Crawford.  Both players enjoyed runs of points throughout, with Arshad pulling out an array of attacking strokes.  Despite a typically game performance from Stuart, the record will show 3/0.

Cesar Salazar, the number two seed, was on court next against Chris Truswell.  Chris displayed remarkable skills throughout, dropping and lobbing with remarkable aplomb – however Cesar, a consummate mover, ran him down in the fifth.

Top seeded Gilly Lane, the American number two, crushed the always entertaining Patrick Chifunda in three games.  Gilly’s excellent movement, coupled with some punishing length, gave Patrick little chance to really impact upon the match.

Finally Wade Johnstone defeated Lekgotla Mosope in three games.  Wade, a former Victorian Institute of Sport Scholarship holder, is now resident in Baltimore, but still showed the high tempo attacking style that he is renowned for.  Despite languishing in the 90’s through injury, he appears destined to resume his rise up the PSA ladder in the coming months

Tomorrow’s semi finals begin at 11:30, with coaching clinics, softball doubles and a hardball doubles pro-am from 9am.

Arshad Iqbal Burhki with local pro Wasim Khan

Round One in Philly
Jamie McAuley reports

The Fairmount Open produced some spectacular squash, played in front of an appreciative crowd.
Gilly Lane, currently based in Holland, but a Philly boy through and through, won in spectacular fashion.  Gilly dispatched young Englishman, Lewis Walters, in an emphatic three games, much to the enjoyment of the spectators.
Other matches of note included second seeded Mexican, Caesar Salazar dispatching Omar El Kashef in four games of quality squash.  Omar, forced to come through qualifying, did himself proud in what was a superb exhibition of attacking squash. 
Chris Truswell defeated another qualifier, Paul Frank.  With his two wins yesterday, Paul proved he can still hum the tune, but unfortunately today discovered that he couldn't quite sing the song.
Finally, Stuart Crawford dominated a game Ryan Thompson 3/0, and will look to continue his form in a clash tomorrow with Pakistani, Arshad Burki.  Arshad himself, was in scintillating form, beating wild card, Lyall Paterson.
Play continues tomorrow evening at the Fairmount Athletic Club from 5pm and then on into the weekend.

Qualifying complete in Philly
Stuart Crawford reports

Qualifying concluded today at the Fairmount Open with only one seeded qualifier making it through to the main draw. 

After two rounds of competitive matches, featuring a truly multi-cultural draw, Lekgotla Mosope (Bot), Ryan Thompson (Nam), Omar El Kashef (Egypt) and Paul Frank (Scot/Aus/?) emerged to join the main draw.

Standout match of the first round of qualifying was Jonas Laursen's defeat of Shahid Khan, the final two games going to big tie breaks with Jonas eventually finding the shots when it mattered to come through 14/12 in the fifth.

In the final round Mosope played a gutsy match to outlast Ehimen Ehalen in the full five games.  Both men displayed a full range of skills and enormous reserves of fitness to the delight of Fairmount Athletic Club members.

After two tough rounds it will be interesting to see if any of the qualifiers can recover in time to put up a fight in tomorrow's main draw action.

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