Skip to content

Nathan Lake (blue) in action in Houston

Lake Ends Home Hopes At Houston Open To Reach Maiden Quarter Final

England’s Nathan Lake is into a maiden PSA World Tour Gold level quarter final, after defeating USA’s Shahjahan Khan in the last match of the third day’s play at the Houston Open in Texas.

The pair were meeting on Tour for the fourth time, with neither man having reached the last eight of a Gold level tournament before in their career. Lake had won their previous three meetings, which included a victory in the final of the Wakefield PSA, a Challenger 10 level tournament, just prior to Christmas last year.

The Englishman was only featuring in the second round of the tournament due to the late withdrawal of World No.3 Mohamed ElShorbagy. After losing in the first round to Youssef Soliman, Lake was given the ‘Lucky Loser’ spot to fill the gap left by the ‘Beast from Alexandria’s’ withdrawal.

He used it to his advantage to produce a great display of squash, and after he won the first game on a tie-break, he carried that momentum through the rest of the contest to win it in straight games, to move into the quarter finals of a Gold level event for the first time.

“Absolute rollercoaster. I didn’t know how to feel, obviously very disappointed to lose to [Youssef] Soliman so close,” Lake said after the match.

“Then yesterday, I didn’t know whether to feel pressure that I was back in the tournament, guilty that I was back in, whether I should feel upset that I lost the day before. It’s weird, but I am really happy to have taken advantage of it and won in three.

“Looking forward to it. England v France is always good fun, but of rivalry there from over the years. Just looking forward to playing on this court again, loving the club, great to see a new facility. Looking forward to the battle, he [Greg Marche] played really well today so it will be a good challenge, a good chance to hopefully play some good squash.”

The closest match of the day’s play saw Egypt’s Mazen Hesham get the better of Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller in a fifth game tie-break, after both players had their chances to move through to the last eight.

Mazen Hesham

It was a slow start from the Egyptian, as he quickly lost the first game, but he rallied to win the next two games and hold the advantage in the tie, but the Swiss No.1 would not give up.

Mueller secured the fourth to send the match into a decider, where eventually, after several match balls, Hesham was finally able to get over the line, with the No.6 seed making it into the quarter finals in Houston.

“It was really tough today and I had to work until the end,” Hesham explained.

“To be honest, I’m not happy with the way I performed today, I can perform much better than this. All credit to Nicky, he pushed me really hard and he played the right game plan. Not to take anything away from him, but I expected more from myself. 

“But a win is a win and I’m happy to win in a tournament like this, it’s very close to my heart. I know everybody here, it’s like a second home here, so it’s really good to win in front of them. I’ll focus on the next round now and see how it goes.”

Hesham will now face World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy in the quarter finals in Houston, after his fellow countryman defeated Mexico’s Cesar Salazar in straight games. Frenchman Gregoire Marche is the other man into the last eight after the third day’s play, where he defeated Egyptian Omar Mosaad in three games.

The quarter finals take place tomorrow, Friday, January 7, at 17:00 (GMT-6) with live action being shown on SQUASHTV.

For more information on the Houston Open, visit the PSA World Tour's website or follow the PSA World Tour on Twitter and Facebook.

Second Round Results (Bottom Half): Houston Open
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (34m)
[6] Mazen Hesham (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 3-2: 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10 (62m)
[7] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-0: 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (45m)
Nathan Lake (ENG) bt Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-4, 12-10 (54m)

Quarter Final Draw: Houston Open (To Be Played Friday, January 7th)
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v Youssef Soliman (EGY)
[5] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [3] Mostafa Asal (EGY)
[4] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) v [6] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[7] Gregoire Marche (FRA) v Nathan Lake (ENG)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour