There are four events on the PSA Challenger Tour this week, with action coming from Qatar, Spain, England and France over the next eight days.
Three of those tournaments are Challenger 10 level, with the other being a Challenger 3, the newest level of tournament now on the Tour, a level introduced with lower prize money following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Challenger 3 tournament comes on British soil, at the Bexley Open. The event is only available to those located in the United Kingdom, with players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland allowed to enter.
It is the only event this week which features a women’s draw, with World No.27 Millie Tomlinson the main attraction in Bexley. Also in the draw are three Scots in Alison Thomson, Gergina Adderley and Katriona Allen, along with the winner of last month’s England Squash Challenge, Georgina Kennedy, who currently sits at World No.162.
The men’s draw is headed up by Welshman Emyr Evans, the bother of women’s World No.9 Tesni. England’s Charlie and Scotland’s Rory Stewart are the other top seeds, while highly-rated junior Sam Todd will be the No.8 seed in the 16-man draw.
The first event of the week takes place in Qatar, with the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, the host of the 2019 PSA Men’s World Championship, taking centre stage once more.
The domestic entires only event will feature World No.31 Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi as the top seed, with Syed Azlan Amjad, the man who took a wildcard spot at said World Championship last year, as the No.2 seed.
Five juniors, all outside the top 400 in the World Rankings, will also make appearances, with two of those, in Salem Al Malki and Yousef Al Kubaisi both playing in just their second tournaments on the PSA World Tour.
Costa Del Sol Open
The second tournament of the week, which starts on Thursday, December 17, is the Costa Del Sol Open. The event will be held at the Complejo Polideportivo Municipal Elola in Malaga, and is a domestic-only event.
Iker Pajares Bernabeu will be the star attraction in Malaga
The 16-strong draw features 14 Spaniards, along with a Dutchman and a Colombian who both live in the country, with the top seed being World No.32 Iker Pajares Bernabeu.
World No.69 Bernat Jaume will be the tournament’s No.2 seed, with Hugo Varela and Sergio Garcia Pollan the other men slated to reach the semi-finals in Malaga this week.
Tess Jutte from the Netherlands and Colombia’s Luis Alejandro Mancilla, who both now live in Barcelona, will be unseeded for the tournament and will be looking forward to trying to spoil the home hopes’ weeks.
PSA Bordeaux Nord
The final tournament of the week begins on Saturday, December 19, and goes through to the following Monday. It will be another Challenger 10 level tournament in Bordeaux, France, with four players inside the top 75 of the World Rankings in the draw.
The top seed will be World No.35 Lucas Serme, with World No.46 Victor Crouin looking to cause a slight shock in the draw. Auguste Dussourd will be the No.3 seed, with the only non-Frenchman in the draw, Japan’s World No.75 Ryosei Kobayashi, the No.4 seed.
Nine juniors will be in the draw, including World No.247 Toufik Mekhalfi, will be aiming for glory as well, with Mekhalfi being the No.6 seed in this week’s draw in Bordeaux.
Challenger Tour Events: December 14-21
(Tournament Level in Brackets)
QSF 4 (10): Monday 14-Thursday 17
Costa Del Sol Open (10): Thursday 17-Sunday 20
Bexley Open (3): Saturday 19-Sunday 20
PSA Bordeaux Nord (10): Saturday 19-Monday 21