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Greenwich Challenger 2014
06-11 May, Greenwich, Usa, $5k

Alexander ends Elias run in final
Luke Butterworth reports

[2] Zac Alexander (AUS) bt [Q] Diego Elias (PER)
            16-14 11-5 11-3 58mins

A sublime Zac Alexander becomes our first PSA champion here in Greenwich after downing impressive Diego Elias in 3 games. The biggest crowd of the week gathered amongst the gallery eagerly anticipating the final.

The final began at a ferocious pace with both players playing high up on the T line trying their best to gain the first game advantage. What a first game it was. 37 minutes in duration and some intense tiebreaker rallies were a joy for all to see. Diego’s natural glide to the ball and rapid racket head speed versus Zac’s high paced attacking variety was a match made in heaven for the Greenwich locals.

Points were traded back n fourth throughout right winners and not through many unforced errors. It was a nail-biting finish. Variation of rapid attacks into the front corners countered by fierce cross courts down the middle or wide on the wall. It was Zac who prevailed under the pressure to take an excellent and vital first game 16-14.

After the confidence brewing first game, the momentum was all with Zac. He came out firing in the second and despite Diego playing a little looser, Zac nullified any sort f attack with excellent drives and precise counters. He went on to take this game 11-5.

Zac raced to a 10-0 lead in the third. Diego’s movement was labored and his route from the qualifying was evidently hampering his third game revival. All credit goes to Zac though as its not one match that wins a tournament. He has backed up his performances each night this week with not only excellent squash but prestine professionalism.

We are proud to have our first PSA champion Zac Alexander and we hope for many more years of PSA squash here in Greenwich. In addition, a massive congratulations to Diego Elias for making his first PSA final here at the club aged just 17. We are proud that he made his first final here and all the spectators will be watching what will definitely become a fine career for the youngster.

The final closed an amazing week of squash here at the Greenwich Country Club and we give thanks to the sponsors that helped make it happen and thanks to all the players for being so professional.

Zac” Thank you ever so much to Phil and Chris for making this event so enjoyable. It truly means a lot to be able to play a tournament on your doorstep so thank you to all the sponsors and families that made it happen. Thanks to Diego for a great final and good luck with your squash in the future.”

Excellent tournament enjoyed by all.

Greenwich Challenger 2014
06-11 May, Greenwich, Usa, $5k
Round One
08 May
09 May
10 May
11 May
[1] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 76m
[Q] Diego Elias (Per)
[Q] Diego Elias
11-9, 11-4, 11-5 37m
[8] David Letourneau
[Q] Diego Elias

 11-4, 11-9, 12-10 28m

[4] Lewis Walters

[Q] Diego Elias


 16-14, 11-5, 11-3 58m


[2] Zac Alexander

[8] David Letourneau (Can)
 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 31m
Chris Binnie (Jam)
[LL] Phil Barker (Eng)
11-4, 13-11, 11-9 50m
Shahjahan Khan (Pak)
[LL] Phil Barker
6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11 81m
[4] Lewis Walters
[4] Lewis Walters (Eng)
12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7 71m
(Q) Tom Pashley (Eng)
Hernan D’arcangelo (Arg)
 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 59m
[3] Clinton Leeuw (Rsa)
[3] Clinton Leeuw
 11-9,11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9 71m
[5] Todd Harrity
[3] Clinton Leeuw

11-3, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5 47m

[2] Zac Alexander

[WC] Luke Butterworth (Eng)
 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 41m
[5] Todd Harrity (Usa)
[Q] Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor)
11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 78m
[7] Matthew Serediak (Can)
[Q] Ahmad Alzabidi
11-1, 11-5, 11-8 19m
[2] Zac Alexander
[Q] Chris Hanson (Usa)
12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 67m
[2] Zac Alexander (Aus)
07-May, Qualifying Finals:

Chris Hanson
(Usa) 3-0 Bradbury Thompson (Usa)              11-4, 11-0, 11-3 (23m)
Tom Pashley (Eng) 3-0 Charlie Johnson (Eng)                     11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (35m)
Diego Elias (Per) 3-1 Phillip Barker (Eng)                    11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2 (59m)
Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor) bt Aurangzeb Mehmund (Pak) 12-14, 13-11, 11-3, 11-3  (74m)

06-May, Qualifying Round One:

Chris Hanson (Usa) 3-0 Sergio Lopez (Mex)                   11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (32m)
Bradbury Thompson (Usa) beat Mike Lewis (Usa)          11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)
Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Greg McArthur (Sco)                     11-8 11-4 11-4 (22m)
Phil Barker (Eng) 3-0 Colin Ramasra (Tri)                    11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (17m)
Ahmad Alzabidi (Jro) 3-1Faraz Khan (Usa)         11-9, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8 (57m)
Aurangzeb Mehmund (Pak) 3-0 Leroy Leong (Mas)        11-6, 11-5, 11-7 (41m)
Charlie Johnson (Eng) 3-0 Supreet Singh (Ind)           11-7, 11-9, 12-10 (37m)
Tom Pashley (Eng) 3-0 Travis Judson (Usa)                    11-3 11-4 11-6 (19m)

Alexander in home final
against first-timer Elias ...

Luke Butterworth reports

Diego Elias (PER) 3-0 Lewis Walters (ENG)
              11-4, 11-9, 12-10 28 mins

Teenage sensation Diego Elias makes his first PSA final after taking out Lewis Walters in 3 games. Lewis who battled through a very tough 5 setter last night against Phil Barker. It was apparent in the first game that Lewis was a little flat footed and wasn’t moving to the best of his ability. He tried to extend the opening rallies to find his rhythm and it produced some great opening rallies. A few errors from Lewis gave his opponent daylight at 6-4 and he didn’t look back, attacking the front on the volley and firing some penetrating drives down the line to close out the first game 11-4.

Diego took a quick 4-1 lead in the second leaving the crowd thinking that this was going to be a sprint to the finish for the young Peruvian. Lewis dug in and made the mid and end of this game very hard for Diego. Lewis who hasn’t missed a forehand crosscourt volley nick in any of his matches thus far impressed everyone with his sublime shots. Diego tried his best to contain the Englishman straightening up his game not giving Lewis any opportunities to shoot for the nick. A few very good rallies at 9-9 ended in simple lets and kept up the intensity in the atmosphere as to who was going to win the vital second game. A tight ball missed by Lewis gave Diego game ball and he worked a great rally and finishes the ball with a deadly kill shot.

With the 2 game to love lead it was clear that Diego was brimming with confidence going into the third. As the game went on he started to delight the crowd by expanding his shot selection and showing hes got a lot of talent with the racket, pulling off shots from behind his head and behind his back. Diego serving at 9-6 up was when personally my heart sank….

Not only did Diego pull off possibly one of the best rallies of the tournament, he claimed the ‘Shot of the tournament!’ The rally started off with a few high paced exchanges followed up by slow and solid defensive play. The rally then started to heat up with both players volleying everything and chopping and changing the direction of play. A Diego drop shot to the front left was hammered crosscourt down the middle only to be ferociously driven to the back of the court from behind the back by Diego.

Lewis sprinted as quickly as he could to retrieve the ball up against the back wall. The crowd gasped in astonishment at the retrieval but what happened next was pure excellence. Diego darted towards the front wall and looked to be volleying the ball, he stepped back, swung his racket around the ball on finished the ball with a drop shot into the nick. It was Shabana and Willstrop esque, the whole crowd erupted into applause and really showed their appreciation.

Match still not over though at 10-6 matchball Diego. Lewis fought back with some great attacks and tight drives. He got it back to 10-10 with a Diego unforced error and again the crowd on the edge of their seats. Once Diego got himself to matchball again he made no mistake this time closing the game out with an excellent volley kill.

An excitable Diego said “I’m so happy to make my first PSA final. I’ve worked hard for this and I’m looking forward to playing the final tomorrow.” Diego ran into the office after the match more excited with his shot (which was superb) he said it must be the new ‘shot of the tournament.’

Zac Alexander (AUS) 3-1 Clinton Leeuw (RSA)
               11-3, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5 47mins

Clean striker Zac raced to a 1 love lead in this match taking the game 11-3. Zac clinical finishing of a loose ball was of the highest standard in the first. In the second game it was the complete opposite. Clinton stepped up the court taking the ball in short on the volley quick and defined. This caught Zac off guard after a comfortable first game. All credit to Clinton for redeeming himself after a lackluster start.

Zac cleaned up his approach play in the third and took a 6-0 lead within moments, again with solid attacks but this game there were one too many errors for Clinton’s racket. The momentum was with Zac all the way and he managed to go on to win the third with ease.

The fourth and final game had Zac taking off where he left the third game and this time taking a 9-0 lead. Clinton was tiring but Zac was relentless with his tempo and game plan. A late game comeback to 4-10 wasn’t enough for the South African. Zac closed the match out squeezing one last error out of Clinton to set up a very exciting final tomorrow with Diego Elias.

Zac who has been out with Injury for months recently, is well into his comeback now and he seems to be getting stronger and stronger. He is a great role model for anyone who has an injury and is looking to make a solid comeback. It takes a lot of determination and grit to get back to where you have been after such a period out of the game.

Zac said “I just want to say thanks so much for the past few days to Phil, Chris and Larry local Luke. All the players have enjoyed the tournament so far and it’s been great to play local here in Greenwich. Tomorrrow I hope to play well in front of my new ‘home’ crowd, cheers.”

End of the road for Barker
but Diego marches on ...

Luke Butterworth reports

Diego Elias (PER) beat David Letourneau (CAN)
            11-9, 11-4, 11-5 37mins

Diego downs Dave in 3 games tonight to fire himself into the semi-finals. Diego was out to prove a point tonight with his performance, playing at a high pace attacking at any given opportunity. Letourneau kept the pace with his counterpart in this first game making it as difficult as possible for Diego to close the game out. Letourneau’s strong court presence unfortunately for him wasn’t enough to deter a fearless youngster.

Diego who’s retrieval efforts and rapid attacks in the front court was excellent to watch and he just keeps on impressing the crowd here in Greenwich. The second and third games were played in a similar fashion with Diego hunting the ball down, taking it early and trying to push Letourneau into the back before punishing him in the front.

Both players played in a honorable manner moving well onto and out of the ball allowing free flowing quality squash.

Clinton Leeuw (RSA) beat Todd Harrity (USA)
                11-9,11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9 71mins

Clinton, the fantastic athlete, will be delighted to come through this match taking down Todd in 5 ferocious games. He came flying out of the blocks volleying across the middle at a devastating rate. Whether it was a volley drop or volley drive winner it was working and completely through Todd off his methodical game. At 2-0 down, to his credit, Todd changed his game and tightened up squeezing errors out of Clinton who was getting a little impatient.

Consistent games of 11-8 to the American took the game to the 5th. Clinton lead all the way and closed the match out with an excellent rally working Todd all over eventually pouncing up 3 feet in the air to volley the ball down the line and out of sight for Todd. Well done Clinton, great fight.

Lewis Walters (ENG) beat Phil Barker (ENG)
                 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11 81mins

After possibly the most biased and lengthy report on my own match last night I should probably be writing a novel on this encounter. What a match! Lewis and Phil put on a show that the spectators won’t forget for a while. The home crowd goes home disappointed with the end result however unbelievably proud of their leader. Lewis played fantastically well to close the match out in 5 emphatic games. Phil had to work extremely hard to put himself up by 2 games to 1.

A crucial second game was taken 11-9 by Phil after some really uncharacteristic errors off what Phil would call ‘perfect’ serves. Lewis’s excellent flowing movement around the court was stretching Phil once he floated the ball into the front of the court; the movement came into effect allowing himself to force pressure on Phil by using great holds and precise touch drop shots. Knowing Lewis throughout our junior career his cries of ‘come on’ after rolling some nicks out still hasn’t changed (for those who were interested….) it’s still high pitched.

Talking of the nicks though, hats off to Lewis who showed that he has the ability to punish the ball into the nick from all four corners of the court. It was a great show of confidence and ability. As the match went on the rallies were drawing the crowd in with excellent attacks being reset with great defensive play from both guys. The game was on a knife edge with Phil getting the first chance to take the match at 10-9. From here on in, the rallies were intense and crowd on the edge of their seats. Scores were traded with squeezed errors or outright winners.

It all came to a terrific end when Lewis leapt up off the ground to retrieve a Phil lob only to slam it down into the forehand nick giving Phil no chance. It was a fitting end to an excellent match. We hope that Lewis rests well tonight and feels fresh to take on Diego tomorrow. Well done to both players for excellent entertainment for all.

Zac Alexander (AUS) beat Ahmad Alzabidi (JOR)
            11-1, 11-5, 11-8 19mins

Zac showed why he’s the higher ranked player tonight with a fine performance downing the big Jordanian in 3 games. Clinical kills and fine dying length didn’t give the big lad a sniff. Zac will be really happy to be off in 3 by playing great squash and leaves himself fresh for tomorrow.

Deigo ousts Azan and
Phil Barker is still alive and well....

Luke Butterworth reports

Diego Elias (PER) 3-1 Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS)
                                8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 76mins

What a start to the night at GCC. Two excellent competitors took to the court and didn’t disappoint the excitable crowd. Despite a few second game warnings to Azan and a conduct stroke for too much conversation with the referee, the quality of squash was of the highest quality. With two long-legged players its inevitable there will be contact but once the players tightened up their drives the game began to run much better.

I’m very happy to win this match. It was a hard match and I really worked hard to keep my concentration through the difficult points and the lets and collisions. I feel good and I’m ready for my next match” Diego mentioned after the match.

The crowd were glued to the match - whether it was the controversy or the emphatic retrievals – and this was certainly a match to remember. The referee, Faraz Khan, did a great job with the decisions, though we may not see him for a while as he’s trying to bring his heart rate down after some difficult decisions.

David Letourneau (CAN) 3-1 Chris Binnie (JAM)
                                   11-8, 11-4, 11-7 31mins

With two tall and bulky guys on court it was always going to be a battle of the mid court. Both players were playing good attritional squash throughout however Letourneau kept his composure more often when attacking and took the match in 3 games

Lewis Walters (ENG) 3-2 Tom Pashley (ENG)
                             12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7 71mins

All English battle ended in a thrilling 5 game encounter between these two chaps. Brighton born Pashley started slow and Lewis took advantage of that and really made him pay in the second capitalizing on Pashley’s loose approach. At 7-1 down in the 3rd with the match looking over Pashley’s fighting spirit and experience on court brought him back playing some excellent squash digging in hard and grinding Lewis into many tough rallies.

He managed to bring the game to 2 a piece and it was neck and neck all the way to the end. Both players retrieval skills and shot selection at crucial stages was drawing the crowd in point by point. A Stroke to Walters gave him the edge to match ball and he clinched the match by squeezing an error out of his opponent. A great match played with excellent sportsmanship and passion.

Phil Barker (ENG) 3-0 Shahjahan Khan (PAK)
                             11-4, 13-11, 11-9 50mins

For those that know Phil, it was obvious that he would get drawn the ‘Lucky Loser’ spot. The spawny Englishman used this stroke of luck to full effect taking down young Shahjahan in 3 very, very tight games. The fighting spirit of the youngster vs the steady experienced club head pro was a terrific match. All three games were close and momentum swung back and forth throughtout each game.

A very tight second game was clinched by Phil and that seemed to give him the edge and confidence to close the match out. At 10-9 matchball a long rally concluded with a Butterworth-esque forehand drop shot, tight as you like to the side wall giving Shahjahan no chance to retrieve. Fortunately for the crowd and for everyones sanity, Phil’s dress tonight wasn’t much out of the ordinary (for those who were interested)!

The Lucky loser fights on now to the quarters. Word has spread around the town of Greenwich that Phil has been playing excellent squash this week so we’re hoping for a big crowd tomorrow night!

Todd Harrity (USA) 3- Luke Butterworth (ENG)
                             11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 41 mins

Butterworth showed little cobwebs from his recent getaway vacation in Las Vegas providing some excellent opening rallies with perfectly consistent Todd Harrity. The opening exchanges were steady attritional squash up and down the walls with both players looking to control the T. Harrity’s clinical mid court drops and kills were deadly if Butterworth left it loose.

At 5-6 down in the first game Butterworth produced ‘Shot of the tournament’ thus far punishing a Harrity forehand crosscourt lob straight down into to front left nick before his opponent even had chance to lift his head. As expected the crowd went quiet in shock as this is not something you would expect from Butterworth’s shot book.

After ‘The moment’ Harrity stepped it up getting on to the ball very early catching Butterworth flat on his feet moving on to close the game out. A similar start to the 2nd game players trading volley winners and tight counter attacks up until 6 all where Harrity stepped up again to take the game away. It was Harrity all the way in the third with Butterworth tiring until 8-4 when Butterworth’s lobs came into play using the height well to catch a few extra breaths for a late game push.

It seemed to be working as Harrity made some errors and looked cagey until a ‘stroke’ of luck put him back in control and he made sure there was no mistake in him finishing the match.

Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 3-1 Hernan D’arcangelo (ARG)
                             11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9 59mins

Great match. These two strong players worked hard throughout making the match very difficult for either player to win. It was Clinton who prevailed in 4 tight games.

He showed some composure in the critical points which proved to be the difference. We also get to welcome Clinton to the area as he just acquired a prominent position at New York Athletic Club. Well done Clinton we look forward to seeing you in action tomorrow night.

Zac Alexander (AUS) 3-1 Chris Hanson (USA)
                            12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 67mins

Close friends and training partners never make an easy match for either player mentally. Locally based boys played excellent squash throughout the match tonight. Chris showing great promise for the USA on the PSA tour improving all the time and gaining vital experience needed to kick on. Zac young but experienced PSA player used that to his advantage tonight changing up his game plan and closing the match out in 4.

Ahmad Alzabidi (JOR) 3-2 Matt Serediak (CAN)
                              11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10 78mins

Matt played some fantastic squash tonight really taking the game to his opponent and it looked to be his night at 10-9 matchball up. A very fiery match with the big Jordanian involved in the hustle and bustle around the T. A Serediak tin made it 10 all in the final game and an unique bit of skill from Ahmad sent Serediak the wrong way to put him to matchball. He didn’t need a second invitation squeezing an error out of the Canadian to take a victory he will savor as Serediak gave him one hell of a fight.

Qualifying over, and Barker is the LL ...
Luke Butterworth reports

Chris Hanson (Usa) bt Bradbury Thompson (Usa)
                         11-4, 11-0, 11-3 (23m)

Hanson continued his excellent form from yesterday with a 3 game victory over Thompson from Philadelphia. Happy Hanson sporting a retro boast shirt for the occasion played old school squash hitting excellent line and length. Chris is chomping at the bit for whoever he is to face in the main draw. Chris ran into the office with a huge grin on his face and proclaimed

“This is the first time I’ve qualified for a PSA!” Congrats Chris, onwards and upwards.

Tom Pashley (Eng) bt Charlie Johnson (Eng)
                           11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (35m)

Pashley through to the main draw with a fine performance against flashy Johnson. Johnson played some excellent rallies up and down his backhand wall using great variety and some excellent deceptive shots. Pashley as per his persona was firing on all cylinders. Again hitting at a high pace and using his fine racket preparation to stop Johnson on the T allowing himself to use his deception forcing Johnson into mistakes. Pashley a local just down the road now in Stamford, CT is very happy to make the main draw.

I’m feeling great going into the main draw and was seeing the ball nicely. Charlie made me work however I’m happy to get off in 3 and feel fresh for tomorrow.

Diego Elias (Per) bt Phil Barker (Eng)
                            11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-2 (59m)

Match of the night much to the delight of the home crowd was played by Elias and Barker. Phillip chose a baby blue number for his match tonight and it looked to be dazzling the young Peruvian in the opening exchanges. Diego and his long stride was effective moving well from the T position into all corners of the court. The first game had some hard hitting drives with both players trying to gain dominance of the middle over each other. Diego had some fantastic nicks to close out the game. Phil came out very strong in the next game using great variety down the side walls nullifying Diego’s attacks and holds at the front. He maintained the pressure on him and closed out with a drop shot into the nick that Paul Carter would have been proud of, and Peter (his younger brother) jealous of.

With the games tied at ine all it was nip and tuck all the way to the wire of the third. Diego used his large frame to take his space around the middle to effectively put the ball dying in the front and that was the difference in a game he took 11-8. Phil’s athletic prowess soon diminished rapidly after he flew out of the blocks in the fourth. The young Peruvian who could play all day long (literally) was comfortable to see the game out with simple accurate squash.

“I’m happy to make the main draw and I’m hoping to improve my performance tomorrow. I’m feeling great” Diego concluded.

All the spectators here tonight were enthralled that their boy pushed the youngster to his limits and were proud of his performance. Well done to Phil and to Diego.

Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor) beat Aurangzeb Mehmund (Pak)
                                  12-14, 13-11, 11-3, 11-3 (74m)

This fiery encounter began with 2 very attacking opening games which had a lot of lets due to the little and large combination in the player’s stature. Players were causing a few collisions in the mid-section of the court and traffic wasn’t running smoothly until the referee asked players to clear the ball better. The large Jordanian was gifted the third game through a lot uncharacteristic errors from Aurangzeb.

Another top quality night of squash in Greenwich. Unfortunately we saw Mike McCue from Canada withdraw through sickness which opened up a lucky loser spot. The home crowd see their warrior fight again as Phil was drawn as the Lucky Loser. The winning qualifiers were drawn and we are all very excited to see the first round matches commence tomorrow at 4pm.


Greenwich favourites progress in qualifying openers ...
Luke Butterworth reports

Chris Hanson (Usa) 3-0 Sergio Lopez (Mex)

Greenwich Country Club player Chris Hanson performed to a very high level in his first round match. Precise drives forced Lopez out of position for the majority of rallies allowing Hanson the T position to finish the points with controlled winners. Chris is looking in great shape going into the next round.

Bradbury Thompson (Usa) 3-0 Mike Lewis (Usa)

These two young Americans who play similar length games fought a solid 3 game battle with Thompson the victor. A few late game errors from Lewis and steady attacks from Thompson lead him to the qualifying finals tomorrow night.

Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 Greg McArthur (Sco)

Greenwich Taxis have been sent to the squash facility after a mid-first game rally where Elias was sent the wrong way a record 9 times before McArthur finally put the ball away with an exquisite volley drive. Elias who got better as the match went on showed signs of his excellent ability.

Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor) 3-1 Faraz Khan (Usa)

Match of the night was the battle between these two players. A clash of styles with the tall Jordanian’s strong hitting and large court presence against a smaller scrappy fighter in Faraz. Alzabidi seemed to be in control of the match until Faraz got on to the ball early and hitting the ball into the space on the court and nullifying Alzabidi’s volleying game with excellent width.

Players were exchanging excellent rallies in the tiebreaker points at the end of the second game and two lucky nicks at the back of the court followed up by a excellent length winner took the important second game for Alzabidi. Down but not defeated Faraz dug in hard and kept up his pressure on his opponent and played a much better game in the third.

It was Faraz all the way in the fourth but a little inexperience at the end cost him. All credit to Alzabidi who hung in the and soaked the pressure he was under and closed the game out well. Great match.

Phil Barker (Eng) 3-0 Colin Ramasra (Tri)

Club head pro Phil Barker was on top form in front of his new elegant girlfriend Barkley. His hair brushed to the side and clipped in with his new harrow headband and it was a style that all the fashion gurus were weak at the knees for.

The local Launderette that shrunk his brand new blue shirt won’t be getting any calls from Phil as he powered through to win showing off his fine physique. Phil showed why he teaches the local talent the traditional game playing very smart and clean squash.

Ahmad Alzabidi (Jor) 3-1 Faraz Khan (Usa)

Match of the night was the battle between these two players. A clash of styles with the tall Jordanian’s strong hitting and large court presence against a smaller scrappy fighter in Faraz. Alzabidi seemed to be in control of the match until Faraz got on to the ball early and hitting the ball into the space on the court and nullifying Alzabidi’s volleying game with excellent width.

Players were exchanging excellent rallies in the tiebreaker points at the end of the second game and two lucky nicks at the back of the court followed up by a excellent length winner took the important second game for Alzabidi. Down but not defeated Faraz dug in hard and kept up his pressure on his opponent and played a much better game in the third.

It was Faraz all the way in the fourth but a little inexperience at the end cost him. All credit to Alzabidi who hung in the and soaked the pressure he was under and closed the game out well. Great match.

Aurangzeb Mehmund (Pak) 3-0 Leroy Leong (Mas)

The aggressive attacking Mehmund hits the ball at a ferocious pace down the line and sometimes into the nick and this proved to be too much for Leong. Leong’s smooth strokes and clean striking of the ball was nice to see but didn’t work Mehmund out of position enough to take a game.

Charlie Johnson (Eng) 3-0 Supreet Singh (Ind)

San Francisco based Englishman Johnson worked hard throughout the match and prevailed in 3 games. Both players played great squash but it was Johnson’s deception and clinical finishes which made the difference.

Tom Pashley (Eng) 3-0 Travis Judson (Usa)

Tom came out of the blocks playing at a frightening pace against local boy Judson. Judson couldn’t keep up in the first 2 games but played some solid squash at times to keep Pashley thinking. Pashley’s flamboyant technique delivered some very clinical finishes.

Greenwich Country club spectators couldn’t have asked for a better start with the quality of squash on display and with their home favourites either progressing to the next round or putting on a great show with terrific sportsmanship. Tomorrow the action begins at 4pm.

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