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Burnt Squash Open 2022

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$6,000 Men's Burnt Open 2022, Cullman Courts, Mars Athletic Complex, Lakeville, Connecticut, USA, PSA Challenger Tour 5
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Burnt Squash Open 2022
Men's Draw
14-17 Oct
Lakeville, United States, $6k

Final:
[2] Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt [1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (37m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt [4] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) 11-8, 13-15, 8-11, 12-10, 11-4 (71m)
[2] Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt [5] Sanjay Jeeva (MAS) 17-15, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 (74m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt [6] Abdelrahman Nassar (EGY) 4-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4 (69m)
[4] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) bt [8] Muhammad Farhan Hashmi (PAK) 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9 (57m)
[5] Sanjay Jeeva (MAS) bt [3] Abhishek Agarwal (IND) 12-10, 11-6, 11-2 (36m)
[2] Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt [7] Hamza Sharif (PAK) 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (44m)

1st round:
[1] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt Yassin Amir (USA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (36m)
[6] Abdelrahman Nassar (EGY) bt Aaron Allpress (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (35m)
[8] Muhammad Farhan Hashmi (PAK) bt Karamatullah Khan (PAK) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (29m)
[4] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) bt Nicolas Serna (COL) 11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4 (54m)
[3] Abhishek Agarwal (IND) bt [WC] Callan Venkatesan (USA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (44m)
[5] Sanjay Jeeva (MAS) bt Petr Nohel (CZE) 11-5, 14-12, 11-8 (43m)
[7] Hamza Sharif (PAK) bt Salman Hashmi (PAK) 3-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (36m)
[2] Seif Shenawy (EGY) bt Ricardo Lopez (MEX) 11-8, 16-14, 11-9 (47m)
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REPORTS

Shenawy Claims Maiden Tour Title

Seif Shenawy and Spencer Lovejoy after the final of the
Seif Shenawy (right) and Spencer Lovejoy (left) after the final of the

The Burnt Squash Open came to its conclusion on Monday evening in Lakeville, Connecticut, with Egypt’s Seif Shenawy taking home his maiden Tour title.

The Egyptian came into the event as the No.2 seed but as the highest-ranked player in the draw. He started his campaign with a straight games win over Mexico’s Ricardo Lopez, although he needed to go deep into a tie-break in the second game, 16-14, to get the job done.

He then went to four games in the quarter finals against No.7 seed Hamza Sharif of Pakistan. Shenawy led 2-0 but saw the Pakistani fight back to win the third. He regrouped to win the fourth game to seal the deal, before then going the distance in the last four. He came up against Malaysia’s Sanjay Jeeva, and found himself 2-1 down to the tournament’s No.5 seed. Shenawy battled to win the fourth game on a tie-break, before also taking the fifth to move through to the final.

It was the young Egyptian’s first final on Tour, and he came up against top seed Spencer Lovejoy. He shone in the final, winning in straight games in just 37 minutes. An 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 scoreline gives Shenawy his maiden Tour title.
 
Lovejoy and Shenawy Survive
Five-Gamers


Spencer Lovejoy and Babatunde Ajagbe on court in their semi-final
Spencer Lovejoy and Babatunde Ajagbe on court in their semi-final

The semi-finals of the Burnt Squash Open threw up two five-gamers, with both Spencer Lovejoy and Seif Shenawy surviving to set up a meeting in Monday’s final.

Lovejoy, the tournament’s top seed, and the leading American on home soil, came up against Nigerian No.1 Babatunde Ajagbe. Despite taking the second game on a lengthy tie-break 15-13, the American found himself behind after three games. However, a 12-10 win in the fourth turned the tide in his favour, taking the fifth 11-4 to make it through to the final.

The second semi-final saw Egypt’s Seif Shenawy take on Malaysia’s Sanjay Jeeva. The first game tie-break, went all the way to 17-15, with the Egyptian taking it. However, Jeeva then fought back to take the next two games and lead 2-1. Another tie-break came in the fourth, and once again, Shenawy took it to stay alive in the match, before going on to win the fifth game 11-7.

The final of the Burnt Squash Open will take place on Monday, October 17. Egypt’s Seif Shenawy will take on top seed and home favourite Spencer Lovejoy for the Challenger 5 level title in Lakeville.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter.
 
Jeeva Gatecrashes Last Four

Sanjay Jeeva in action against Abhishek Agarwal
Sanjay Jeeva (right)

Malaysia’s Sanjay Jeeva has gatecrashed the semi-finals of the Burnt Squash Open after getting the better of the tournament’s No.3 seed in the last eight in Lakeville, Connecticut.

The Malaysian, who sits nine places below quarter final opponent Abhishek Agarwal in the World Rankings, took a crucial first game in their match on Saturday evening. He won it 12-10, and from there, was in cruise control. He dropped just eight more points en route to a straight games victory, advancing to the last four. Jeeva will now face No.2 seed Seif Shenawy in the semi-finals.

There were no surprises in the top half of the draw, but both top seed Spencer Lovejoy and Nigeria’s Babatunde Ajagbe had to go the distance to advance. The Nigerian took a two-game lead against Muhammad Farhan Hashmi, but the Pakistani forced the match into a fifth game. Ajagbe regrouped to win it 11-9 to advance. Meanwhile, found himself 2-1 down against No.6 seed Abdelrahman Nassar of Egypt. Buoyed on by the home crowd, the American fought back to win the last two games to close out the match in five.

The semi-finals of the Burnt Squash Open will take place on Sunday, October 16, with the last four doing battle in an attempt to reach Monday’s final in Lakeville.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter.
 
Top Seeds All Through

The opening day of the Burnt Squash Open saw the top seeds all safely make it through. The top eight are all into the quarter finals of the Challenger 5 level competition in Lakeville, Connecticut.

The event got underway on Friday afternoon at the Cullman Courts, with Nigerian No.4 seed Babatunde Ajagbe taking on Colombia’s Nicolas Serna. That match was one of just two to go past a third game on the opening day. Ajagbe won in four after 54 minutes to advance to the last eight in Lakeville.

No.7 seed Hamza Sharif was the other man to see his match extended, after falling behind early on to compatriot Salma Hashmi. He lost the first 11-3, but fought back strongly to win in four after just 36 minutes. He will now face the tournament’s No.2 seed, and the highest-ranked player in the draw, in Egypt’s Seif Shenawy.

Top seed Spencer Lovejoy started his campaign strongly, with a confident performance to defeat compatriot Yassin Amir in straight games. Amir gave a good showing of himself in what was his first ever match on the Tour, but Lovejoy was too good, winning 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 to move through to the quarters.

The last eight of the Burnt Squash Open will take place on Saturday, October 15 at the Cullman Courts. The quarter finalists will do battle to move through to the semis on Sunday.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter.
 
Preview

Lovejoy Grateful For U.S. Open Opportunity

Spencer Lovejoy at the 2021 Oracle NetSuite Open

The third and final event on Tour this week will be the Burnt Squash Open. The Challenger 5 level tournament will get underway on Friday, October 14, and will feature a 16-strong draw.

The Cullman Courts at the Mars Athletic Complex in Lakeville, Connecticut will play host to the tournament, which will run over four days, with Monday, October 17 seeing the winner of the event crowned.

Home hope Spencer Lovejoy will be the top seed for the competition. We spoke to the American, who has recently returned to the Tour after a period on the sidelines through injury.

“I feel much better about my game right now than I did a few weeks ago. I am coming off a two month foot injury and only started getting back on court for training about two weeks ago,” Lovejoy said.

“Overall I’m just really happy to be back on court. My ball control has been improving a lot since the injury, but my movement still needs some work as well as my match fitness.”

The World No.111 was one of the wildcards for the U.S. Open last week, coming up against fellow American Todd Harrity in the opening round in Philadelphia. Although he didn’t come away with the win, Lovejoy can still take the positives away from the contest.

“It was a great experience playing in the U.S. Open on Saturday. This was my first official match in months, so I felt the emotions were high and I couldn’t quite settle down. But I’m very grateful for the opportunity I got to play against Todd and I’ll be learning a lot from the match going forward,” he explained.

“I have watched my match recording back and I feel I definitely need to put more emphasis on getting my basic line and length as well as being patient with my balls to the front court.”

Lovejoy will be the top seed for the Burnt Squash Open this week in Connecticut, but that is not something he is thinking about. He also knows that good performances will help see his ranking rise back to his career-best of World No.66 and beyond.

“It’s [being top seed] not something I think too much about. At the end of the day it’s just another squash tournament so I like to treat it like that and try to stay relaxed,” the American said.

“Ranking is also something I don’t think too much about. For me, I want to feel like my level of squash is improving and I’m hitting my targets on court and making good decisions.

“Obviously, it would mean a lot to be back in the top 100 in order to get into bigger tournaments, but after that it’s not really something that plays on my mind.”

Lovejoy’s nearest contender for the title will be Egypt’s Seif Shenawy, with India’s Abhishek Agarwal and Nigeria’s Babatunde Ajagbe making up the rest of the top four seeds for the event. Two more Americans will join Lovejoy in the draw, with Yassin Amir and wildcard Callan Venkatesan both featuring on the Tour for the first time.

The event takes place from Friday, October 14 to Monday, October 17 at the Cullman Courts in Lakeville, where Spencer Lovejoy is the top seed for the tournament.

For more information on the event, visit the tournament website or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter.
 

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