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Challenger Tour Weekly Preview: Five Countries Host Events

It’s another busy week on the Challenger Tour this week, with five tournaments beginning in the next seven days, and action coming from three continents across the globe.

Last week’s action saw England’s Tom Walsh secure his second Tour title with a victory at the Kinetic 3k Challenger Presented by Sundip Murthy, while Rex Hedrick and Rachael Grinham rolled back the years to win on home soil at the Roberts & Morrow North Coast Open in Coffs Harbour, Australia.

The 3rd Silvester Trophy comes to a conclusion today, with Italy’s Yuri Farneti facing off against England’s Simon Herbert for the men’s title, while the English duo of Anna Kimberley and Lily Taylor will battle it out for the women’s crown in Uster, Switzerland.

This week sees five events in five countries, with three continents hosting Challenger Tour events over the next seven days. The Tour starts in Guatemala, with the 1st Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament, before the first of three events in Asia begins on Thursday.

The PSNS President’s Trophy takes place in Malaysia, with the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Iranian Navy Army and PSF Squash Circuit 1 both commencing on Saturday. The sole event on European soil this week will be the Doncaster Cup, which gets underway on Friday.

Here is what is taking place on the Challenger Tour this week…

1st Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament
The first of five tournaments this week will be the 1st Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament, which will take place from Tuesday, February 22 to Saturday, February 26 at the Asociación Deportiva Nacional de Squash.

Mexico’s Alfredo Avila will be the top seed for the tournament, with Colombia’s Ronald Palomino and Switzerland’s Yannick Wilhelmi, both also members of the world’s top 100, in action at the Challenger 5 level tournament.

Tom Walsh with the Kinetic 3k Challenger trophy

England’s Tom Walsh, who claimed victory in Boynton Beach, Florida on Saturday, will be the No.4 seed, and will be joined by compatriot Charlie Lee in the draw. Argentina’s Jeremias Azana, who made the final of the same event despite being unseeded, will be one of three wildcards.

PSNS President’s Trophy
The first tournament on Asian soil this week will be the PSNS President’s Trophy, which will take place from Thursday, February 24 to Saturday, February 27 at the Royal Seri Menanti Golf & Country Club in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

The Challenger 5 level tournament, which features both a men’s and women’s draw, will be restricted to only those currently living in Malaysia, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Chan Yiwen will be the top seed for the women’s event, with Ooi Kah Yan as her nearest competitor, while Addeen Idrakie will lead the men’s draw, with the likes of Darren Rahul Pragasam and Ong Sai Hung as the closest challengers.

Doncaster Cup
The Doncaster Townfields Squash Club and Accelerate Coaching hosts the Doncaster Cup this week, with the tournament taking place from Friday, February 25 to Sunday, February 27.

There will be a 16-strong field for the men’s Challenger 3 level event, with the English duo of Nick Wall and Sam Todd as the top two seeds. They are joined by compatriots Joe Lee, Curtis Malik and Ben Smith among the top eight seeds.

Nick Wall

The Chileshe brothers, Lwamba and Temwa, will also be joined by Mason Smales as the New Zealand representative, with the latter being the wildcard for the tournament. Welshman Emyr Evans will be the other member of the top eight seeding bracket for the tournament.

Commemoration Of The Martyrs Of The Iranian Navy Army
The firs of two events in Iran in the space of two weeks will be the Commemoration Of The Martyrs Of The Iranian Navy Army, which will be played from Saturday, February 26 to Tuesday, March 1.

Alireza Shameli and Sajad Zareian Jahromi, who both won twice on home soil on the Challenger Tour in 2021, will be the top two seeds for the tournament, in a field full of Iranians.

Navid Maleksabet and Mohammad Kashani will be their nearest challengers, while India’s Navaneeth Prabhu and Jamal Sakib, along with Egypt’s Mohammad Ragab, are also in the 16-man draw.

PSF Squash Circuit 1
The last event of the week will be the PSF Squash Circuit 1, with action coming from the Mushaf Squash Complex in Islamabad, Pakistan, from Saturday, February 26 to Tuesday, March 1.

The Challenger 5 level men’s tournament is domestically restricted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, allowing only those currently residing in Pakistan to participate.

World No.90 Israr Ahmed will be the top seed for the event, with Farhan Zaman as his nearest challenger for the title. Hamza Sharif, Muhammad Farhan hash, Hamza Khan and Muhammad Ashab Irfan, all juniors, will also be in action.

This Week’s Schedule
1st Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament: Tuesday, February 22 – Saturday, February 26
PSNS President’s Trophy: Thursday, February 24 – Sunday, February 27
Doncaster Cup: Friday, February 25 – Sunday, February 27
Commemoration Of The Martyrs Of The Iranian Navy Army: Saturday, February 26 – Tuesday, March 1
PSF Squash Circuit 1: Saturday, February 26 – Tuesday, March 1

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