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MRU Open 2023

LATEST

$12,000 Men's MRU Open 2023, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada, PSA Challenger Tour 10
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MRU Open 2023
Men's Draw
23 - 26 Feb
Calgary, Canadia, $12k

ROUND ONE
23Feb
QUARTERS
24 Feb
SEMIS
 25 Feb
FINAL
26 Feb

[1] David Baillargeon (CAN)
11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
Cory McCartney (CAN)

David Baillargeon
11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (39m)
Ben Smith
David Baillargeon
8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (40m)
 Abhay Singh
David Baillargeon
11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (40m)
Simon Herbert
[8] Ben Smith (ENG)
7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (50m)
Emyr Evans (WAL)
Joseph White (AUS)
12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6 (47m
[5] Christopher Gordon (USA)
Joseph White
11-9, 11-3, 11-9 (38m)
 Abhay Singh
[4] Abhay Singh (IND)
11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (24m)
Jamie Ruggiero (USA)
Finnlay Withington (ENG)
11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (41m)
[3] Alfredo Avila (MEX)
Finnlay Withington
7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 1-11, 11-8 (50m)
Simon Herbert
Simon Herbert
11-9, 11-9, 12-10 (33m)
Curtis Malik
[6] Simon Herbert (ENG)
11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (22m)
Connor Turk (CAN)
Edwin Clain (FRA)
11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7 (65m)
[7] Spencer Lovejoy (USA)
Edwin Clain
13-11, 12-10, 11-6 (38m)
Curtis Malik
[WC] Brett Schille (CAN)
11-7, 11-1, 11-3 (25m)
[2] Curtis Malik (ENG)
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REPORTS

Final

Baillargeon Wins On Home Soil

David Baillargeon collects the MRU Open trophy
David Baillargeon collects the MRU Open trophy

The MRU Open came to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon in Calgary with home favourite David Baillargeon lifting the Challenger 10 level title.

Baillargeon came into this competition as the top seed, and with the backing of the home support at Mount Royal University. He started his week with a confident performance to overcome compatriot Cory McCartney in straight games to get the tournament underway.

The Canadian then also got the better of Englandís Ben Smith in straight games as well, to move through to the semi-finals. In the last four, Baillargeon then took on the in-form Abhay Singh, who has won five times on Tour already this season. There would be no sixth win though, with the Canadian coming from behind to win in four games.

The final saw Baillargeon take on Simon Herbert, after the Englishman had defeated No.2 seed Curtis Malik in the semis in a surprise victory. There would not be another surprise for Herbert, though. The tournamentís top seed won in straight games to claim a second title in his last three events, and his sixth victory overall.
Semi Finals

Herbert Downs No.2 Seed To Reach Final

Simon Herbert plays a forehand shot during his MRU Open semi-final with Curtis Malik
Simon Herbert (fore) got the better of compatriot Curtis Malik to reach the final in Calgary

Simon Herbert came through an all-English clash with No.2 seed Curtis Malik to reach the final of the MRU Open in Calgary, Canada.

The English duo were doing battle for the first time on Tour, and it was a close contest throughout. Both players were evenly matched, but it was the tournamentís No.6 seed that drew first blood, winning a tight opening game 11-9.

He started strongly in the second but allowed Malik back into it. However, it was the World No.81 who doubled his advantage. The third then went to a tie-break, and once again Herbert was able to eek out the win, securing a straight games victory to move through to his first final in twelve months.

He will now take on the tournamentís top seed, David Baillargeon, in the final on Sunday. The Canadian No.1 lost the first game of his semi-final clash with Indiaís Abhay Singh, as the Indian showed the skills that have seen him win five times on Tour already this season.

Baillargeon fought back strongly though. He claimed the second game 11-7, before then going on to win both the third and fourth games by an 11-5 scoreline to take the victory in four games. He moves through to the final where he will face Herbert for the second time. The Canadian took a straight games victory at the Carey Olsen Tortola Classic last year.

The final between Baillargeon and Herbert will take place on Sunday, February 26.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.
 
Quarter Finals

Seeds All Move Through To Semis

David Baillargeon and Ben Smith on court in Calgary
David Baillargeon and Ben Smith on court in Calgary

After some surprising results on the opening day in Calgary, the seeds all took wins on quarter finals day at the MRU Open on Friday.

Top seed and home favourite David Baillargeon booked his place in the last four wit a confident performance to overcome Englandís Ben Smith. The Englishman started well, but the Canadian No.1ís experience shone through, and he was able to win in straight games to book his semi-final spot.

He will now face Indiaís Abhay Singh, after the five-time winner on Tour this year got the better of Australian Joseph White. Singh, who has been in unbelievable form on the Challenger Tour this season, took a tight first game 11-9, and that was crucial, as he then went on to win in three to move through to another semi-final.

The other match in the last four at Mount Royal University on Saturday afternoon will be between two Englishmen. No.2 seed Curtis Malik overcame the challenge of Edwin Clain in a tight three-game battle. Both of the opening two games went to tie-breaks, with Malik scraping through them 13-11 and 12-10, before winning the third 11-6 to book his semi-final spot.

He will now take on No.6 seed Simon Herbert in the semis, after he came through an all-English battle with Finnlay Withington. Herbert was behind after the opening game, but then found himself 2-1 up. The English junior then fought back to win the fourth 11-1, but Herbert showed his class, claiming the fifth game 11-8 to advance.Seeds All Move Through To Semis.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.
 
Round 1

Withington Leads English Quartet Through

Finnlay Withington slides for a ball in the front right corner in his match against Alfredo Avila
Finnlay Withington (right)

The MRU Open kicked off on Thursday at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, and Englandís Finnlay Withington secured one of three surprise wins.

The Englishman, who was part of the nationís team to win the WSF World Junior Team Championships in 2022, took on Mexicoís Alfredo Avila in the first round. Avila was the No.4 seed, and already had several wins to his name this season.

However, from the off it was the young Englishman that took control of the contest. He won the first 11-8, and although the Mexican fought back to win the second, Withington regained his composure and focus, to go on to secure victory in four games, to book his spot in the quarter finals.

He will now take on fellow Englishman Simon Herbert, after the No.6 seed defeated Canadian Connor Turk, dropping just 12 points across the three games. Ben Smith and Curtis Malik made it four English players into the last eight of the tournament, thanks to wins over Welshman Emyr Evans and Canadian wildcard Brett Schille, respectively.

Withington was not the only unseeded player to take a surprise victory, as both Australiaís Joseph White and Frenchman Edwin Clain knocked out American opposition on day one.

White came up against No.5 seed Christopher Gordon in the opening round, and a first game tie-break went his way. That was crucial as he then opened up a two game lead, and despite the American winning the third, White was able to close out the win in four to advance.

Clain took on No.7 seed Spencer Lovejoy on Thursday evening, and his match followed the same pattern as Whiteís. The Frenchman won the opening two games, and then had to focus after Lovejoy claimed the third. However, he did so, with Clain moving through to the last eight.

The other two men to win on the opening day were top seed David Baillargeon and the in-form Abhay Singh. Canadaís No.1 defeated compatriot Cory McCartney, while Singh, who has a Tour-leading five victories this season, downed Jamie Ruggiero, with both winning in straight games.

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

David Baillargeon will be the top seed on home soil this week

David Baillargeon in action at the Hong Kong Open

Continuing the Canadian run of events on the Challenger Tour this week is the MRU Open, which begins on Thursday, February 23 in Calgary.

The Mount Royal University will play host to the Challenger 10 level menís competition, and will return to the Tourís calendar for the first time since February 2020.

On that occasion, Canadian No.1 David Baillargeon finished runner-up. As this yearís top seed, he will be looking to go one better and to take the title on home soil come Saturday afternoon in Calgary. He will be aiming for his second victory of the season after winning the Wakefield PSA just prior to the New Year.

It is not just the Canadian who will be looking for another win this season. In total, ten of the 16 players in the draw have already won in the 2022-2023 campaign, with six of those having tasted victory multiple times.

Curtis Malik, Sam Todd and Alfredo Avila make up the rest of the top four seeds, all with wins behind them this campaign. Indiaís Abhay Singh is the Tour leader in 2022-2023, with five wins already, with three of those being Challenger 10 level events.

Englandís Ben Smith and Finnlay Withington, along with Frenchman Edwin Clain, all have two wins, with Argentinian Jeremias Azana and Welshman Emyr Evans both having one win to their name.

The American duo of Christopher Gordon and Spencer Lovejoy, along with Englishman Simon Herbert, make up the rest of the top eight seeds for the event. Brett Schille will be the competitionís wildcard, and the second Canadian featuring on home soil this week.

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

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