J.P.Morgan Tournament of Champions 2016 • 05-14 Jan, New York

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TODAY at the ToC 2015 :    Days one and Two
Thu 15th, Day TWO:
Qualifying finals at four New York clubs, as sixteen players aim to book themselves matches on the Glass Court at Grand Central ...

PSA Qualifying Finals:  

[1] Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 3-0 [14] Mohamed Reda (Egy)
                  11-5, 12-10, 11-9 (54m)                  v Golan
[8] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-1 [11] Lucas Serme (Fra)
                   3-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (57m)          v Ghosal

[3] Joe Lee (Eng) 3-1 [15] Martin Knight (Nzl)
                  11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5 (67m)          v Rodriguez
[9] Cesar Salazar (Mex) 3-1 Zac Alexander (Aus)
                   4-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10 (58m)       v Simpson

[4] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) 3-1 [10] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
                  11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (41m)          v Mosaad
[16] Campbell Grayson (Nzl) 3-1 [5] Alfredo Avila (Mex)
                   10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (62m)       v Mueller

[13] Diego Elias (Per) 3-0 [2] Mazen Hesham (Egy)
                  11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (48m)                 v Castagnet
[7] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-0 [12] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
                  11-8, 11-5, 11-8 (37m)                v Walker

Elias, Abouelghar and Salazar to make their Main Draw debuts
Beth Rasin reports

A Peruvian player will grace the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions glass court for the first time when 18-year-old Diego Elias plays Mathieu Castagnet of France on Saturday afternoon.

“It is a dream come , true,” said Elias after defeating Egyptian Mazen Hesham 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 in just 37 minutes to earn the trip to the squash tournament’s main draw and the majestic venue in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.

After a scrappy victory in the prior round where he had to fight off three match balls, Elias was pleased to be in better form for his match with Hesham.

“Last night’s match was tough, but it helped me get over my stress. I knew I couldn’t let him attack so I focused on playing the ball very tight to the wall and deep,“ said the only teenager to be make it into in the main draw.

Mexico’s Cesar Salazar and Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar defeated two Australians to also earn main draw debuts in the tournament considered to be one of the three majors on the international squash tour.

Salazar eliminated Zac Alexander in four games and will take on Englishman Chris Simpson in the first round. Abouelghar defeated Ryan Cuskelly, also in in four games.

Abouelghar and Cuskelly split the first two games of the match which featured high quality, classic squash. The third game, however, was more contentious as both players started feeling the pressure. It was Abouelghar who stepped up to meet the challenge, playing aggressive and attacking squash and hitting decisive winners from the center of the court. Abouelghar next plays countryman Omar Mosaad, world no. 9.

Veteran Ong Beng Hee earned a return trip to Grand Central by defeating Egypt’s Mohamed Reda. Beng Hee’s ball placement gave him the edge in a close three game contest between the two experienced veterans. The Malaysian plays seventh seed Borja Golan of Spain.

Frenchman Lucas Serme got off to a spectacular start against Alan Clyne winning the first game 11-3. The Scotsman turned the tables in the second game, winning it by the identical score.

Clyne’s relentless ball retrieval wore down the 22-year-old Serme who was completely spent by the time Clyne wrapped up the match in the fourth game. Saurav Ghosal of India will be Clyne’s first round opponent.

Kiwi Campbell Grayson played very patient, classic squash – straight low balls to the back of the court followed by short balls to the front corners – to defeat Mexico’s Alfredo Avila in four games.
Grayson will be taking on Nicolas Mueller of Switzerland in his first round.

Englishman Tom Richards’ experience carried the day in his qualifying encounter with India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar. Richards, who made it straight into the main draw at last year’s ToC, was undaunted by this return to the qualifying rounds.

”I I love competing and I train to play match after match after match. So I just have to make sure I get up for it mentally,” the pragmatic 28-year-old said. ”And I did feel confident that I should qualify.”

Richards' first round opponent will be Alister Walker who represents Botswana and now calls Greenwich, Connecticut home after growing up in England.

England’s Joe Lee earned his ticket to Grand Central by defeating New Zealand’s Martin Knight. Lee faces world no. 8 Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia.

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Wed 14th Jan, Day ONE

The 2015 edition of the ToC kicked off tonight at four New York Clubs, each hosting four first round qualifying matches.

Qualifying Round One:

HA [1] Ong Beng Hee (Mas) 3-1 Chris Hanson (Usa)
                               11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6 (53m)
HA [14] Mohamed Reda (Egy) 3-1 Shawn Delierre (Can)
                               14-16, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (64m)
HA [11] Lucas Serme (Fra) 3-1 Christopher Gordon (Usa)
                               7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 11-1 (69m)
HA [8] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-1 Faraz Khan (Usa)
                               11-4, 11-8, 11-6 (29m)

YL Zac Alexander (Aus) 3-2 [6] Leo Au (Hkg)
                               9-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (74m)
YL [9] Cesar Salazar (Mex) 3-1 Ahmed Kalek (Egy)
                               7-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6 (48m)
YL [15] Martin Knight (Nzl) 3-0 Mike Lewis (Usa)
                               11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (31m)
YL [3] Joe Lee (Eng) 3-0 Charles Sharpes (Eng)
                               11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (40m)

NY [4] Mohamed Abouelghar (Egy) wo Bradley Ball (Eng)
NY [10] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 3-1 Shahier Razik (Can)
                               11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 (64m)
NY [16] Campbell Grayson (Nzl) 3-1 Raphael Kandra (Ger)
                                11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 (55m)
NY [5]  Alfredo Avila (Mex) 3-0 Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
                                11-2, rtd (3m)

PC [7] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-1 Eddie Charlton (Eng)
                                9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 (54m)
PC [12] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-0 Samuel Kang (Usa)
                               11-2, 11-9, 11-6 (23m)
PC [13] Diego Elias (Per) 3-2 Greg Lobban (Sco)
                               10-12, 11-8, 3-11, 13-11, 11-2 (90m)
PC [2] Mazen Hesham (Egy) 3-0 Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
                                11-4, 11-0, 11-8 (24m)

                      HA Harvard Club, YL Yale Club,
                NY New York Athletic, PC Princeton Club


Beth Rasin reports

A mix of veterans and new faces advanced in first round qualifying matches for the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the world’s largest spectator squash event, as all five US players fell at the first hurdle.

On his very first visit to New York City, Lucas Serme enjoyed a day of sightseeing before earning a hard fought four-game victory over American Chris Gordon.

With the partisan crowd at the Harvard Club cheering him on, Gordon snagged the first game 11-7. The second game was nip and tuck the whole way, as both players pushed each other to the four corners of the court.

After Gordon couldn’t convert two game balls at 12-11 and 13-12, Serme closed out the game at 15-13.

"I think the difference in the end was fitness," said the 22-year-old Frenchman who closed out the match 11-6, 11-1. Serme’s next opponent will be Scotsman Alan Clyne who eliminated Faraz Khan in straight games.

In a 90-minute epic encounter, Peru’s 18-year-old Diego Elias, the 2014 World Junior Champion, fought back three match balls in the fourth game to defeat 22-year-old Greg Lobban of Scotland.

Elias’ next opponent will another ToC newcomer, 20-year-old Mazen Hesham of Egypt, who attacked his way to victory as he defeated Malaysia’s Muhd Asyraf Azan in straight games, in just 24 minutes.

Playing error free squash punctuated by deceptive holds, Hesham prevented his opponent from scoring a single point in the second game, and kept Azan constantly guessing as to where the ball might end up.

Veteran Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia, who won the 1998 World Junior title, played what he called “jet lagged squash” to defeat American Chris Hanson in four games.

He will next take on Mohamed Reda who dropped the first game 14-16 to Shawn Delierre of Canada before winning the next three games in a 74-minute-contest.

"The difference in the end was my shooting," said Reda, who recently moved to Philadelphia from Egypt with his wife Engy and three month old son.

Englishmen Tom Richards and Joe Lee both advanced, with Richards next slated to play ToC first-timer Mahesh Mangaonkar of India while Lee takes on New Zealand’s Martin Knight.

Cesar Salazar of Mexico meets Aussie Zac Alexander; Egyptian Mohamed Abouelghar plays Aussie Ryan Cuskelly and Alfredo Avila of Mexico goes up against Grayson Campbell of Australia.

Qualifying finals are at the same four clubs
on the evening of the 15th.


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