American Christopher Gordon kept home hopes flying when he staged a thrilling comeback to beat England’s higher-ranked Adrian Waller in the first qualifying round of the Davenport North American Open, the second PSA World Series event of the year, in Virginia.
Trailing by two games to one, the 26-year-old from New York hit back to win the fourth game and then clinched a dramatic fifth by a 12-10 margin after 80 minutes of brutal squash on the new courts at the Atlantic Coast Athletic Club in Short Pump, Richmond.
The qualifying finals of the championship, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Richmond, move to the glass court at the Westwood Club in Richmond – where Gordon meets Australia’s Zac Alexander, who overcame Fred Reid of Canada in just 21 minutes.
Another Canadian who was dismissed in straight games was Andrew Schnell, who suffered traumatic travel difficulties because of a North American blizzard. After several missed flights, he arrived just in time to lose to England’s Joe Lee in 36 minutes.
1st qualifying round:
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (36m)
Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY) bt Stephen O’Dwyer (USA) 11-4, 11-1, 11-4 (17m)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) bt Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY) bt Dane Sharp (CAN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (38m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Adrian Waller (ENG) 11-9, 2-11, 7-11, 11-3, 12-10 (80m)
Zac Alexander (AUS) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-6 (21m)
Leo Au (HKG) bt Colin Ramasra (TRI) 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (20m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Robbie Temple (ENG) 11-3, 11-3, 11-6 (49m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Andrew Wagih Shoukry (EGY) 12-10, 11-3, 11-9 (55m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Ibrahim Nyanzi (UGA) 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 (18m)
Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 12-10, 11-7, 11-3 (59m)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 (59m)
Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Sergio Lopez (MEX) 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (21m)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (42m)
Yasir Ali Butt (PAK) bt Shaun le Roux (RSA) 11-6, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 (60m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 11-4, 6-3 ret. (11m)
Qualifying finals line-up:
Joe Lee (ENG) v Omar Abdel Aziz (EGY)
Siddharth Suchde (IND) v Mohd Ali Anwar Reda (EGY)
Christopher Gordon (USA) v Zac Alexander (AUS)
Leo Au (HKG) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN)
Campbell Grayson (NZL) v Gregoire Marche (FRA)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) v Yasir Ali Butt (PAK)