The first of two events to take place in the United States this week is the Challenger 20 level South State Bank Marietta Open, which begins on Wednesday 8 September.
The tournament is one of the first to be fully international on the Challenger Tour since March 2020, when the Tour was suspended for six months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to that, a plethora of nationalities are involved in the tournament, with 12 countries represented across the 24-strong draw, including England, France, Scotland and the United States.
Frenchman Victor Crouin is the top seed for the tournament, with Scotland’s Alan Clyne, England’s Nathan Lake and Mexican Leonel Cardenas as his nearest competitors for the title.
There will be five Americans in action on home soil in Marietta, with Christopher Gordon and Spencer Lovejoy inside the top eight seeds. World No.117 Timothy Brownell is also in action this week, and we spoke to the American ahead of the event starting.
“I’m hammering away in a few areas technically and physically, but my overall level is the highest it’s ever been,” he explained.
“Since moving to Philadelphia to train at the US Squash Center I’ve been able to cement some improvements in my game and push forward in other areas. We’ve got a great group here and it’s only getting better. Still have a ways to go but needless to say these are exciting times!
“In Marietta I’m hoping to continue my form and take some of my improvements from the summer into a competitive setting – it’s important that I stay true to my game and don’t limit my options, I know I can belong at this level and higher!”
Brownell will be featuring on Tour for the sixth time this year, following appearances in Plano, Austin and Atlanta. The American made the final of the Assurance Financial Austin South Open, and he believes those experiences have helped him to grow this year.
The World No.117 also spoke about his ranking, one he is hoping to move into the top 100 with hard work and results.
“I was very fortunate to play a few events during the past year. For my own development it was extremely helpful to get tested in competitive environments against more experienced players and feel where my relative strengths and deficiencies are. It’s almost impossible to replicate those environments in training,” he admitted.
“In terms of ranking, I’m more focused on continuing to put in work to raise my level both physically and technically. I believe I’m on the right track, and if I stay attentive and keep up the work the results will follow!”
The event takes place from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 September at the Old School Brewery & Squash Club in Marietta. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.
Action from the Old School Brewery & Squash Club will be streamed throughout the week on the PSA Challenger Tour YouTube channel, where you can watch Challenger Tour action, and interviews with rising stars.
First Round Draw: South State Bank Marietta Open
 Victor Crouin (FRA) – [Bye]
Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) v [9/16] Timothy Brownell (USA)
[9/16] Lyell Fuller (ENG) v Mark Broekman (ENG)
 Daniel Mekbib (CZE) – [Bye]
 Spencer Lovejoy (USA) – [Bye]
Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) v [9/16] Michael McCue (CAN)
[9/16] Nick Sachvie (CAN) v [WC] Aaron Luque (USA)
 Nathan Lake (ENG) – [Bye]
 Leonel Cardenas (MEX) – [Bye]
Aly Abou Eleinen (EGY) v [9/16] Aly Hussein (EGY)
[9/16] Addeen Idrakie (MAS) v Abdul Malik Khan (PAK)
 Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (MAS) – [Bye]
 Christopher Gordon (USA) – [Bye]
Jamie Ruggiero (USA) v [9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)
[9/16] Victor Byrtus (CZE) v Edgar Ramirez Bautista (COL)
 Alan Clyne (SCO) – [Bye]