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Milou van der Heijden will be in action in Hamburg this week

Challenger Tour Weekly Preview: Action From Europe and the USA

While the El Gouna International Squash Open takes place on the PSA World Tour, there is still plenty of action going on on the PSA Challenger Tour, with four tournaments going on this week.

Three of those events will take place on European soil with action coming from the Czech Republic, England and Germany, along with a Challenger 10 event, the highest-rated of the four, taking place in the United States.

Two of the European events are all domestic-only due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with only players currently residing in the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom in the English event’s case, being allowed to enter.

The Assurance Financial Austin South Squash Open, the sole American-based tournament, has allowed cross-border entry, with players currently living in Canada and Mexico, along with the United States, being able to play. The same applies for the DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup, which allowed those in bordering nations of Germany to enter.

Czech Pro Series 3
The first of the four events to take place this week is the Czech Pro Series 3, the third event to be held at Squasclub Strahov in Prague this year.

‘French General’ Gregory Gaultier won the first, while Englishman Robert Downer took victory at the second, and the will be the top seed for this week’s event in the Czech Republic. He is one of two foreign players involved, along with Germany’s Heiko Schwarzer.

The rest of the draw is filled with Czech players, including World No.97 Martin Svec, who sits six places behind Downer in the World Rankings. Jakub Solnicky, Ondrej Uherka and Viktor Byrtus are all in close proximity in terms of rankings, and will be aiming for glory as well.

Action from the Czech Pro Series 3 will be streamed live on the PSA Challenger Tour YouTube channel, which will be shown from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 May.

Assurance Financial Austin South Squash Open
The sole cross-border event this week is the Assurance Financial Austin South Squash Open, which takes place in Austin, Texas, from Thursday 20 through to Sunday 23 May.

Eight nationalities will be represented, due to the international nature of the United States, with Mexican Alfredo Avila as the top seed. Christopher Gordon, Faraz Khan and Spencer Lovejoy, all members of the world’s top 100, will also be in action.

Christopher Gordon

The English trio of Lyell Fuller, Mark Broekman and Nick Sutcliffe are joined by Malaysia’s Asyraf Azan, Pakistan’s Abdul Malik Khan, Botswana’s Alister Walker, Colombian Matias Knudsen and Frenchman Lucas Rousselet in the 24-strong draw.

AS Insurance Services Ltd Pontefract Ladies Challenger
A women’s Challenger 3 event takes place on English soil this week, with the AS Insurance Services Ltd Pontefract Ladies Challenger taking place in Yorkshire.

The majority of the field hails from England, with Scotland’s Alison Thomson, Georgia Adderley and Katriona Allen, the former being the event’s top seed, also in action. They. Are joined by Welshwoman Ali Loke and Dutchwoman Sanne Veldkamp.

Thomson, Loke and Adderley are all inside the top 100 in the World Rankings, and are inside the top five seeds for the event, along with the English duo of Lily Taylor and Alicia Mead. Georgina Kennedy, who performed well in all of the AJ Bell events held in Manchester, is unseeded and could cause some surprises this week.

DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup
The final event of the week is the DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup, which will once again take place at the Sportwerk club in Hamburg, Germany. It will be the fourth time the Challenger Tour has had a tournament at the club in 2021.

The event has both men’s and women’s draws, with Dutchman Roshan Bharos and Tarek Shehata once again as the only foreign players in the men’s event, the pair in the top four seeds with Germans Yannik Omlor and Valentin Rapp.

The women’s event has a somewhat more international feel, with four countries represented. Dutch World No.34 Milou van der Heijden will be the top seed, with compatriot Naomi Gohar, Frenchwoman Ella Galova and Austria’s Jacqueline Peychar also in action.

Play will be streamed throughout the event from Sportwerk Hamburg, which action starting on Saturday 22 and running through to Monday 24 May. It will be shown on the Challenger Tour’s YouTube channel.

This Week’s Schedule
Czech Pro Series 3: Wednesday 19 – Friday 21 May
Assurance Financial Austin South Squash Open: Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 May
AS Insurance Services Ltd Pontefract Ladies Challenger: Friday 21 – Sunday 23 May
DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup: Saturday 22 – Monday 24 May

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