United States World No.50 Todd Harrity has secured his place at the prestigious PSA World Championships after he defeated England’s World No.53 Joshua Masters in the final of the International Tournament Madeira Island.
The International Tournament Madeira Island is one of a number of PSA Challenger Tour events which will see the winner secure their place at next year’s coveted PSA World Championships, which will take place in Chicago and will become the first professional squash tournament to offer a prize purse of $1 million.
Harrity was forced to work hard to win his third PSA title after he found himself a game down as 23-year-old Masters – who reached the final in Madeira last year – started the match brightly.
United States No.1 Harrity – who prevailed in a gruelling five-game semi-final with India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar yesterday – found himself 6-1 down to his English opponent – who had not dropped a single game throughout the tournament – in the opening moments, but was able to find a way back and even held game ball at one point, which he failed to convert and Masters was able to capitalise to take the lead on a 12-10 tie-break.
However, 28-year-old Harrity did not let that unsettle him as he came battling back in the second to grow in momentum and level the scores. From that moment on, the 28-year-old was able to execute his game plan well and take advantage of some errors from his English opponent to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, Harrity was able to stretch his advantage to eventually claim a 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 win in 49 minutes and ensure his place in Chicago next year for the prestigious PSA World Championships.
“I think for me it was just about keeping things as simple as possible,” said World No.50 Harrity.
“I tend to overthink and sometimes psych myself out, so yesterday [in the semi-finals] I tried to think of it as though it was close, and I was lucky to scrape through and I was lucky to be in the final.
“I just tried to relax today and not put pressure on myself. I had really good preparation and have been playing well and then Josh just came out firing.
“I just tried to not let that bother me and after the first game I just tried to loosen up and play my shots and go for it a bit more.
“I was really happy to be able to come back and not get down mentally after I had done all the hard work and then lost it on the tie-break in the first, but I’m really pleased with how I came back and I’m sure we will have many more battles to come.
“It’s definitely a big wait of my shoulders to already have qualified for the World Championships and it will give me peace of mind that no matter what happens I still have a spot guaranteed there.
“I tried not to think about it too much this week and just take one step at a time, but it feels great to have qualified.”
 Todd Harrity (USA) bt  Joshua Masters (ENG) 3-1: 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (49m)