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HSC Open 2022

LATEST

$12,000 Men's HSC Open 2022, Houston Squash Club, Houston, Texas, USA
PSA Challenger Tour 10
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HSC Open 2022
Men's Draw
30 Nov - 04 Dec
Sutton Coldfield, England, $12k

Final:
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [1] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) 7-11, 3-11, 1-7 ret. (17m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt [8] Andrés Herrera (COL) 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6 (45m)
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [2] Andrew Douglas (USA) 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 (43m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt [WC] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 (41m)
[8] Andrés Herrera (COL) bt [4] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) 11-5, 12-10, 3-11, 11-7 (67m)
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [7] Connor Turk (CAN) 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (23m)
[2] Andrew Douglas (USA) bt [6] Muhammad Ashab Irfan (PAK) 11-4, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (50m)

2nd round:
[1] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bt [9/16] Allan Nuñez (MEX) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (29m)
[WC] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) bt [5] Tom Walsh (ENG) 11-5, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9 (58m)
[8] Andrés Herrera (COL) bt [9/16] Liam Marrison (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (38m)
[4] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt [9/16] Jeremías Azaña (ARG) 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4 (55m)
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [9/16] Carlos Vargas (MEX) 11-5, 11-2 ret. (15m)
[7] Connor Turk (CAN) bt [9/16] Saeed Abdul (PAK) 11-4, 11-0, 11-9 (33m)
[6] Muhammad Ashab Irfan (PAK) bt [9/16] Jamie Ruggiero (USA) 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (30m)
[2] Andrew Douglas (USA) bt [9/16] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) 6-11, 11-2, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7 (77m)

1st round:
[1] Muhammad Asim Khan (PAK) bye
[9/16] Allan Nuñez (MEX) bt Muhammad Ibrahim Noorani (PAK) 11-3, 11-6, 11-0 (16m)
[WC] Mohamed Zakaria (EGY) bt [9/16] Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)
[5] Tom Walsh (ENG) bye
[8] Andrés Herrera (COL) bye
[9/16] Liam Marrison (CAN) bt Salman Rafique (USA) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (20m)
[9/16] Jeremías Azaña (ARG) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (32m)
[4] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bye
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bye
[9/16] Carlos Vargas (MEX) bt [WC] Arhan Chandra (USA) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (22m)
[9/16] Saeed Abdul (PAK) bt Jorge Gomez (MEX) 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 (52m)
[7] Connor Turk (CAN) bye
[6] Muhammad Ashab Irfan (PAK) bye
[9/16] Jamie Ruggiero (USA) bt [WC] Vandrick Inman-Benavente (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 (21m)
[9/16] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA) bt Faizan Khan (PAK) 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
[2] Andrew Douglas (USA) bye
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REPORTS

Final

Avila Secures Fifth Win Of Year

Mexico’s Alfredo Avila became only the second player to win five times on the Challenger Tour in 2022, as he claimed the HSC International Squash Open title.

The Mexican came into the tournament as the No.3 seed, and having won four times already in 2022. After receiving a bye through the opening round, Avila then started his campaign in the last 16 with a win against compatriot Carlos Vargas in straight games.

He then got the better of Canadian Connor Turk in the quarter finals, before then defeating No.2 seed Andrew Douglas in the last four. He overcame a strong challenge from the American to win in four games, and to move through to a ninth final of the year.

Avila then took on top seed Muhammad Asim Khan in the final of the competition, and unfortunately, the Pakistani had to retire hurt due to a knee injury. This allowed the Mexican to secure his fifth title of 2022, and his biggest yet.

Semi Finals

Avila And Khan Into Final In Houston

Muhammad Asim Khan (right) and Andres Herrera (left) on court in Houston
Muhammad Asim Khan (right) and Andres Herrera (left) on court in Houston

Pakistan’s Muhammad Asim Khan and Mexican Alfredo Avila will meet in the final of the HSC International Squash Open on Sunday afternoon.

The Pakistani is the top seed for the competition, and he came up against Colombia’s Andres Herrera in the semi-finals. The No.8 seed had defeated No.4 seed Spencer Lovejoy in the last eight to make it to this stage of the tournament.

After two games, the pair were level in their last four meeting at the Houston Squash Club, with both winning a game by an 11-7 scoreline. From there, though, Khan was able to show his class, and he won both the third and fourth games 11-6 to book his place in the final.

He will now face Mexico’s Alfredo Avila in that final on Sunday afternoon, after the No.3 seed got the better of No.2 seed Andrew Douglas in four games. Like the other semi-final, the pair were tied at 1-1, but Avila was able to power on, winning both of the next two games to move into a ninth final in 2022.

The final of the HSC International Squash Open will take place on Sunday, December 4, with the winner of the Challenger 10 level event being crowned.
 
Quarter Finals

Herrera Joins Top Three Seeds

Colombia’s Andres Herrera caused the sole upset on quarter finals day in Houston, as he downed the tournament’s No.4 seed to gatecrash the semi-finals.

The Colombian is the No.8 seed for the Challenger 10 level competition, and he took on American Spencer Lovejoy in the last eight on Friday. He found himself two games ahead after winning the second on a tie-break, before Lovejoy fought back to win the third. However, the World No.134 regrouped to win the fourth to book his place in the semis.

He will now take on top seed Muhammad Asim Khan on Saturday afternoon, after the Pakistan got the better of wildcard Mohamad Zakaria. The 15-year-old Egyptian had already caused two upsets in the early rounds on his Tour debut, but a solid performance from the Pakistani was enough to take a straight games win.

The other semi-final will see No.2 seed Andrew Douglas take on No.3 seed Alfredo Avila on Saturday afternoon in Houston. Douglas got the better of Pakistan’s Muhammad Ashab Irfan to make the last four, while the Mexican defeated Canadian Connor Turk in straight games.

The HSC International Squash Open semi-finals will take place on Saturday, December 3, with the last four going head-to-head to reach the final on Sunday afternoon in Houston.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected Challenger Tour Events will also be shown live on SQUASHTV.
 
Round 2

Wildcard Zakaria Continues Knockout Run

Mohamad Zakaria (left) and Tom Walsh (right) on court in Houston
Mohamad Zakaria (left) and Tom Walsh (right) on court in Houston

Wildcard Mohamad Zakaria caused a second upset in as many days, as he defeated England’s Tom Walsh to make the last eight of the HSC International Squash Open.

The 15-year-old, who is making his first appearance on Tour this week, got the better of Malaysia’s Asyraf Azlan in the opening round on Wednesday evening, to set up a meeting with Walsh in the last 16 on Thursday.

The young Egyptian won the opening game 11-5, but saw the Englishman claim the second game 11-4 to level the contest. A third game tie-break was crucial in determining the winner of the match, with Zakaria claiming it 12-10. He then went on to win the fourth as well to claim yet another surprise victory.

He will now face off against the tournament’s top seed, Pakistan’s Muhammad Asim Khan. The World No.61 made his way into the last eight after beating Mexico’s Allan Nunez in straight games.

The tightest contest of the day was the opening match, as No.2 seed Andrew Douglas, the highest-ranked player in the draw, had to go the distance to defeat Dewald van Niekerk. The South African fought back from 2-1 down, winning the fourth on a tie-break 12-10. However, it was Douglas who claimed the win, securing the fifth game 11-7.

Douglas will now face Pakistan’s Muhammad Ashab Irfan in the quarters, while the American will be joined in the last eight by compatriot Spencer Lovejoy, who will face off against Colombia’s Andres Herrera. Mexico’s Alfredo Avila and Canadian Connor Turk will do battle in the other last eight contest.

The quarter finals of the HSC International Squash Open will take place on Friday, December 2, with the last eight aiming to reach Saturday’s semi-finals at the Houston Squash Club.
Round 1

PSA Tour Debutant Zakaria Scores Big Win To Reach RD2 In Houston

Mohamed Zakaria

15-year old wildcard Mohamed Zakaria has scored a big win in his first match on the PSA tour at the HSC International Squash Open as he downed World No.201 Asyraf Azan to reach the second round in Houston.

With the scores level at 1-1 in games, Zakaria was able to turn the screw and go on to take the third and fourth games 11-7, 11-9 to advance to the last 16 of the Challenger 10 event. He will now face England’s Tom Walsh for a spot in the quarter finals.

There were no further upsets on day one of the event, but World No.189 Saeed Abdul was pushed all the way to five games against 24-year-old Jorge Gomez from Mexico. The Pakistani found himself 2-1 up in the match before being pegged back by Gomez to 2-2. Abdul recovered in the fifth game however and managed to close the match out 11-8 top move into the second round.

The top seeds now enter the draw with top seed Muhammad Asim Khan looking to start strongly as he takes on Mexico’s Allan Nunez for a quarter final place. Nunez comfortably overcame Muhammad Ibrahim Noorani in round one and needing just 16 minutes to overcome the Pakistani player.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected Challenger Tour Events will also be shown live on SQUASHTV.
 
Preview

Douglas Still Figuring Out This Level


USA’s Andrew Doulas

The HSC International Squash Open is the last of three tournaments taking place on the Challenger Tour this week, with the action getting underway on Wednesday, November 30.

This will be the third Challenger Tour event to be held at the venue, with France’s Victor Crouin and Mexico’s Arturo Salazar having had a win apiece in Houston over the last couple of years.

This time round, Pakistan’s Muhammad Asim Khan will be the top seed for the Challenger 10 level event, but the USA’s Andrew Doulas will be the highest ranked player.

The American moved up to a career-high of World No.52 following a run to the quarter finals at the Robertson Lodges New Zealand Open, and he is proud of the way he was able to deal with being away from home for a prolonged period of time, to also produce the level of squash that he did.

“I am figuring out the sport at this level little by little. At the moment, I feel like my mentality is allowing all the hard work to pay off, which is all I can ask for.,” he explained.

“Going into those events [in Australia and New Zealand], I was worried about how I would manage the discomfort of living on the road for a month. My biggest takeaway, looking back, is that I have the adaptability to perform under different circumstances and find a way of playing well.”

He will be back on American soil this week, and home soil at that. He is excited to be doing so, especially with the home crowd behind him.

“I love playing in the U.S. Squash in the U.S attracts a very diverse audience from varying fields, who are typically engaging and passionate people. This will be my first trip to Houston, so I am excited to experience its vibrant community.”

Douglas goes into the HSC International Squash Open as the highest-ranked player in the draw, but he is not going to be thinking about that when that glass door closes in Houston this week. He is also not going to be thinking about being at a career-high of World No.52, more just about the squash he is playing.

“I think that if I followed the narrative arc of being the higher-ranked player, imagining that I should perform a certain way because of that fact, I would not be able to play my best. With this narrative being where the mind so often goes, recognising that pattern is the best chance I have of playing well this week,” the American said.

“I am very grateful to play squash at a high level still. Of course, I want to improve, so seeing my ranking go up would be a welcome development. That said, whether I am World No.52, 25, 2, or 5, my day-to-day life, goals, and priorities will remain the same.”

Douglas will be joined by compatriot Spencer Lovejoy amongst the top eight seeds for this tournament, with Mexico’s Alfredo Avila, who lost out in the final to Salazar in July at this very venue, also in action.

Canadian Nick Sachvie, England’s Tom Walsh, Egyptian Ibrahim Elkabbani and Pakistan’s Muhammad Ashab Irfan will be the rest of the top eight seeds. South Africa’s Dewald van Niekerk and Argentine Jeremias Azana, both of whom have won on Tour this season, will also be in action.

The HSC International Squash Open will also see the debut of the youngest player currently on Tour. Egypt’s Mohamad Zakaria will be 15 years and 69 days old when he takes to the court on the opening day of the competition, as one of the tournament’s three wildcards.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected Challenger Tour Events will also be shown live on SQUASHTV.
 

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