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Champion Fiberglass Open 2023


$6k, Men's Maspeth Open 2023, 22-25 June, PSA Challenger Tour 5
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 Maspeth Open 2023
Men's Draw
22 - 25 Jun
New York, USA, $6k

[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [1] Tom Walsh (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (39m)

[1] Tom Walsh (ENG) bt [4] Mohamed Nabil (EGY) 3-2: 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11, 12-10 (84m)
[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [5] Liam Marirson (CAN) 3-1: 11-7, 11-4, 2-11, 11-8 (39m)

Quarter Finals
[1] Tom Walsh (ENG) bt Abhishek Agarwal (IND) 3-1: 11-6, 13-11, 10-12, 11-6 (69m)
[4] Mohamed Nabil (EGY) bt Vinicius Leao Rodrigues (BRA) 3-1: 11-9, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9 (43m)
[5] Liam Marrison (CAN) bt Brett Schille (CAN) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 (38m)
[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt [6] Leo Vargas (MEX) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)

First Round:
[1] Tom Walsh (ENG) bt Zahir Shah (PAK) 3-0: 11-1, 11-1, 11-4 (24m)
Abhishek Agarwal (IND) bt [8] Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) 3-2: 11-6, 8-11, 13-15, 11-2, 11-3 (56m)
Vinicius Leao Rodrigues (BRA) bt [7] Ricardo Toscano (GUA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)
[4] Mohamed Nabil (EGY) bt [WC] Felipe Pantle (USA) 3-1: 11-4, 11-13, 13-11, 12-10 (45m)
Brett Schille (CAN) bt [3] Connor Turk (CAN) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (35m)
[6] Liam Marrison (CAN) bt Nicolas Serna (COL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 (36m)
[6] Leo Vargas (MEX) bt Luis Quisquinay (GUA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (31m)
[2] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Muhammad Farhan Hashmi (PAK) 3-2: 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 (48m)
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Rehman Downs Top Seed Walsh For Title

Aqeel Rehman
Aqeel Rehman

Austria’s Aqeel Rehman claimed the Maspeth Squash Open crown on Sunday, beating top seed Tom Walsh in the final.

The 37-year-old Austrian came into the Challenger 5 level competition as the No.2 seed, and started his week with a tough five-game contest. He had to fight from two games down to overcome the challenge of Pakistan’s Muhammad Ashab Irfan, eventually winning in a deciding fifth game.

Rehman then got the better of Mexico’s Leo Vargas, the tournament’s No.6 seed, in straight games. Canada’s Liam Marrison stood in Rehman’s way in the semis, but the 37-year-old was able to come through in a quick four-game contest to move through to the final.

England’s Tom Walsh, the tournament’s top seed, was his opponent in the final. Rehman won in straight games, taking the victory 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in under 40 minutes to secure his first title of the season.

Maspeth Squash, situated in the steelworks of the area

The Maspeth Squash Open kicks off on Thursday, June 22 in New York City, and it will be the first of its kind, played outside on a steel court.

The Challenger 5 level men’s event will be the first to be held on the new steel court in Maspeth, which opened in June 2020, when squash professionals were unable to train indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We spoke to Robert Gibralter, one of the main men behind the project, to get the back story about the court, and how it has led to this point.

“We started looking around the property and engaging staff, students, and suppliers in conversations in early 2019. Construction materials were ordered and received in August and September of 2019, and a few basic pieces for testing were laid out in the fall and winter,” he explained.

“The company’s business was too robust to assign workers to this “in-house project.” In March 2020, COVID closed everything down for a few months. In May 2020, Jeff brought staff back to work on “the steel court” and it took six weeks to finish.

“Squash construction had seemed to settle into a default mode over the past few decades. Creativity around building courts with new materials has always been necessitated by cost constraints in places where the products of existing suppliers were seen as too expensive.

“Nevertheless, the standards were ASB and CourtTech – industrial solutions with a known track record – even though cement, plastics, and other materials have been used in various locations around the world for many years.

“Basically, we hit our many types of squash balls against walls and steel sheets and said, “Why not?” And the benefits, advantages, and opportunities to experiment bloomed.”

Due to the different nature of the court, compared to the usual glass or traditional plaster courts you normally see, the still court in Maspeth provides a different experience, but it still plays like a true court.

“It is surrounded by priceless nature and the real world – the skies, clouds, breezes, butterflies, bees, sounds from surrounding construction workers, aromas from coffee grinding companies in the area, trees, flowers, scrap metal artwork, a Hollywood film set, an occasional visit from raccoons..” Gibralter said.

“It is a different playing experience – like outdoor vs. indoor tennis. Imagine a clay court on the Amalfi coast? The world is the oyster for outdoor squash.

The likes of Mohamed ElShorbagy, Saurav Ghosal and Joelle King have all spent time on the court, along with plenty of other professionals. Gibralter has asked them all for feedback, with some appreciating the difference in sound when the ball hits the wall.

Others believes that the court plays truer than most, and that because the floor is suspended just above the ground, that it is a more comfortable court to move about on.

All of that will be tested to the max this week, as the Maspeth Steel Court hosts its first PSA Challenger Tour competition. The Maspeth Squash Open will begin on Thursday, with England’s Tom Walsh as the top seed for the Challenger 5 level tournament.

Austria’s Aqeel Rehman, Canada’s Connor Turk and Egypt’s Mohamed Nabil, the tournament promoter, make up the rest of the top four seeds for this week’s competition.

Liam Marrison, the second Canadian in action, is joined by Mexico’s Leo Vargas, Guatemalan Ricardo Toscano and Nigerian No.1 Babatunde Ajagbe in rounding out the top eight seeds. Felipe Pantle will be the tournament’s wildcard, and the only American in action in Maspeth 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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