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James Willstrop with the London Open trophy

Weekend Round-Up: Willstrop, Sobhy Win In London, Maiden Titles For Wall, Taylor, Devred

On the Challenger Tour this week, there were eight titles available across six countries, with three players taking their first ever tournament victories on the Tour.

The biggest name in action this weekend was James Willstrop, who took the men’s London Open title after defeating compatriot Patrick Rooney in the final.

Willstrop, the former World No.1, had been featuring in the World Championship quarter-finals just a week earlier, and he brought that good form to London, as he dropped just a single game throughout the tournament.

To reach the final, the Englishman defeated Brazil’s Vini Rodrigues, Malaysian No.6 seed Mohd Syafiq Kamal and the tournament No.3 seed, American Shahjahan Khan.

In the final, it was Rooney who took the early advantage by winning the first game, but Willstrop fought back to win the match 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 in 58 minutes, as he claimed the 21st PSA Tour title of his career.

The women’s champion in London also only dropped a single game during the event, as Sabrina Sobhy downed the No.1 seed in the final.

Sobhy (fore) and Hutton in action in the final in London

The American overcame England’s Jasmine Hutton to take the title, dropping just 11 points in the entire final as she lifted the third title of her PSA Tour career.

In order to reach the final, Sobhy also had to knock out both the No.4 and No.6 seeds, in Rachael Chadwick and Menna Nasser, respectively, after overcoming Alison Thomson in the second round.

In an all-Mexican final at the Saskatoon International Movember Boast in Canada, Alfredo Avila took the crown after beating compatriot Leonel Cardenas in straight games.

With the win, Avila has now won 75% of the finals he has played on the Tour, winning 12 out of 16. To win in Canada, he also had to defeat the No.5 seed Nick Sachvie and No.4 seed Daniel Mekbib on his way to the final.

Arguably the biggest shock of the week came in Italy, as No.15 seed Elliott Morris Devred took out three of the top four seeds to win the Internazionali D’Italia title, the first PSA Tour title of his career.

The Welshman defeated No.4 seed Aqeel Rehman in a 70 minute final, the third five-game match he had to come through to take the title in Rende.

He also had to battle to defeat No.3 seed Yuri Farneti in five games in the semi final, having gotten the better of No.2 seed Yannik Omlor in the last eight.

In Las Vegas, 19-year-old Nick Wall also became a PSA Tour winner for the first time, as he defeated Faraz Khan in the final of the Life Time Vegas Open.

Nick Wall (second left) celebrates after winning the Life Time Vegas Open

The Englishman needed just under an hour to defeat the American, less than 24 hours after battling past the No.1 seed David Baillargeon in a five-game thriller.

Before facing Baillargeon in the last four, Wall also had to overcome challenges from Josue Enriquez and Fernando Magdaleno.

There was also a first PSA Tour title for England’s Lily Taylor over the weekend, as she defeated compatriot Grace Gear in the final of the Capra Baerum Open.

The tournament’s No.4 seed needed just 21 minutes to overcome Gear, having gotten the better of No.2 seed Cristina Gomez in the semi finals.

Taylor had also defeated home favourite Chloe Kalvo and compatriot Katie Wells on her way to just her second final on the PSA Tour.

In the men’s final, Spain’s Bernat Jaume took just under an hour to win the title, beating Hungarian Farkas Balazs in four games.

The Spaniard had come through a five-gamer in the last four, downing Moustafa El Sirty, to reach the final, having downed No.7 seed Joseph White and England’s Jared Carter en route.

Frenchman Victor Crouin lived up to his No.1 seed billing in the Dominicana Squash Open, as he came through the entire tournament without dropping a game.

Crouin (left) and Yanez shake hands after the final in the Dominican Republic

The young star overcame No.3 seed Mario Yanez in the final, needing just 37 minutes. He got the better of Henrik Mustonen, Javier Martin and Miles Jenkins to reach the final.

Result – Men’s Final: London Open
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [5] Patrick Rooney (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (58m)

Result – Women’s Final: London Open
[6] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [1] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (35m)

Result – Final: Saskatoon International Movember Boast
[1] Alfredo Avila (MEX) bt [2] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 (42m)

Result – Final: Internazionali D’Italia
[15] Elliott Morris Devred (WAL) bt [4] Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-2: 6-11, 13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10 (70m)

Result – Final: Life Time Vegas Open
[3] Nick Wall (ENG) bt [2] Faraz Khan (USA) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 (59m)

Result – Women’s Final: Capra Baerum Open
[4] Lily Taylor (ENG) bt [5] Grace Gear (ENG) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (21m)

Result – Men’s Final: Capra Baerum Open
[1] Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt [2] Farkas Balazs (HUN) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7 (59m)

Result – Final: Dominicana Squash Open
[1] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [3] Mario Yanez (MEX) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (37m)

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