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Nathan Lake in action at the Manchester Open in 2020

Life Time Plano Open: Lake Aiming For England Call-Up

The second event of the week taking place in the United States is the Life Time Plano International Squash Open 2021 – Presented by Resolve Tech Solutions, a Challenger 10 level men’s event held in Dallas, Texas.

The event is limited to cross-border participation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but due to the international nature of the United States, with nine nationalities represented in Texas this week.

Players from Botswana, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan and the United States will all be battling it out to take home the Challenger 10 level title on Sunday afternoon.

Four members of the world’s top 100 will be in action, including the American duo of Faraz Khan and Spencer Lovejoy. Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas is the No.2 seed, while England’s Nathan Lake, the World No.44, will be the top seed for the event, and he is excited to be back.

“I think like most players everything is a little unknown at the moment due to the limited number of events. I’ve put in a solid phase of training over the past 10 weeks and I’m excited to be back competing,” Lake said.

“I do feel my results over the last couple of years have been improving but it’s so hard to take huge amounts of confidence from events when they’re so spaced out, as they have been over the past 12+ months.”

The Englishman has won his last three events on the Challenger Tour, following successes at the 2nd Novum Energy Texas Open Squash Championships in 2019, and then E.M. Noll Classic and the Qualico Manitoba Open in 2020.

He also made it into the last 16 of the Egyptian Open, reaching the third round of a Platinum level tournament for the first time in his career. Those performances saw him move to World No.40 in November, his highest ever ranking, and the Englishman is aiming even higher.

“I’d like to get as high as I can and an ambition of mine has always been to play for England. That said, none of that happens unless I consistently do the right things and continue to learn and improve, the results will take care of themselves,” he explained.

“My overriding feeling going into this week is an excitement to be back competing. It feels like a long time since my last event and I should add that I have been one of the luckier players, that has still had events to play through the COVID pandemic.”

The event takes place from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 at the Life Time Plano in Texas, where Nathan Lake is the top seed for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

First Round Draw: Life Time Plano International Squash Open 2021 – Presented by Resolve Tech Solutions
[1] Nathan Lake (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Salma Rafique (USA) v [9/16] Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY)
[9/16] Allan Nunez (MEX) v Haidar Jafry (USA)
[5] Timothy Brownell (USA) – [Bye]
[7] Mark Broekman (ENG) – [Bye]
Matias Knudsen (COL) v [9/16] James Wyatt (ENG)
[9/16] Abdul Malik Khan (PAK) v Nick Sutcliffe (ENG)
[3] Faraz Khan (USA) – [Bye]
[4] Spencer Lovejoy (USA) – [Bye]
[WC] Labeeb Ali (USA) v [9/16[ Alejandro Reyes (MEX)
[9/16] Juan Carlos Gomez (MEX) v [WC] Ranna Thakkar (USA)
[6] Ahsan Ayaz (PAK) – [Bye]
[8] Asyraf Azan (MAS) – [Bye]
Lucas Rousselet (FRA) v [9/16] Alister Walker (BOT)
[9/16] Chris Fuller (ENG) v Vandrick Inman-Benavente (USA)
[2] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) – [Bye]

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