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Challenger Tour Weekly Preview: Five Events On Four Continents

The Challenger Tour goes fully worldwide this week. There will be five tournaments taking place on four different continents, with action coming from North and South America, Asia and Europe.

There were four winners on Tour last week, with Mexico’s Alfredo Avila taking the title at the 1st Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament, while Nick Wall secured his fifth win of the season on home soil at the Doncaster Cup. Top seeds Chan Yiwen and Darren Rahul Pragasam were victorious in their native Malaysia, winning the PSNS President’s Trophy, with the fourth event, the PSF Squash Circuit 1, continuing, with the winner being crowned on Tuesday, March 1.

This week’s action begins on Tuesday, with the biggest event of the four, the Odense Open. Once again, the event will be a qualifying event for the PSA World Championships, with the winners securing their spots in Cairo for the sport’s premiere event in May.

Also beginning on Tuesday is the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Iranian Navy Army and the 2nd Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament, with the former running through to Friday, March 4. The second Guatemalan event in as many weeks will run through to Saturday, March 5.

The final women’s competition of the week will be the Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week, with the Challenger 20 level tournament starting on Wednesday, March 2. The last men’s event will be another on Iranian soil, with the Zahra Dental Clinic getting underway on Sunday, March 6.

Here is what is coming up on the Challenger Tour this week…

Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Iranian Navy Army
The first 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 Tuesday, Marche 1 to Friday, March 4.

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 the Iraqi duo of Hasnain Dakheel and Abdullah Hashim, are also in the 16-man draw.

2nd Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament
The second event to be held in Guatemala in the space of as many weeks will be the 2nd Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament, with this week’s event also featuring a women’s draw as well.

Last week’s winner, Mexico’s Alfredo Avila, will be the No.3 seed for this week’s event, behind only compatriot Arturo Salazar and USA’s Timothy Brownell. Colombia’s Ronald Palomino, who made the semis last week, will be the No.4 seed, while finalist Alejandro Enriquez will be aiming to replicate last week’s result.

Australia’s Alex Haydon will be the top seed in the women’s Challenger 5 level draw, with Colombia’s Laura Tovar, India’s Akanksha Salunkhe and Mexico’s Diana Gasca as the nearest challengers for the title.

Odense Open
The first qualifying event for the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships takes place this week, with the Challenger 10 level Odense Open taking place from Tuesday, March 1 to Saturday, March 5.

The winners of the tournament will receive automatic qualification into the PSA World Championships, and India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar and South Africa’s Alexander Fuller will be the top seeds for the tournament.

13 members of the world’s top 100 will be in action in the men’s draw, with USA’s Faraz Khan, Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany and Portugal’s Rui Soares, along with the English trio of Richie Fallows, Ben Coleman and Sam Todd all in action.

England’s Julianne Courtice will be the No.2 seed behind Fuller in the women’s draw, with Switzerland’s Nadia Pfister and the Egyptian quintet of Menna Hamed, Nour Aboulmakarim, Salma Eltayeb, Malak Khafagy and Nadeen Kotb rounding out the top eight seeds.

Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week
The biggest event of the week in terms of prize money will be the Challenger 20 level Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week, which will take place from Wednesday, March 2 to Sunday, March 6.

World No.21 Danielle Letourneau will be the tournament’s top seed, playing on home soil, with Australia’s Donna Lobban and the Hong Kong duo of Tze Lok Ho and Liu Tsz-Ling amaking the rest of the top four seeds.

Zahra Dental Clinic
The final event of the week will be the second on Iranian soil, with the Zahra Dental Clinic beginning just two days after the Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Iranian Navy Army concludes.

The event will take place at the same venue, the Heydarnia Squash Complex, with a purely Iranian field for the Challenger 3 level prize. Alireza Shameli will once again be the top seed, with challenges from Mohammad Kashani, Sepehr Etemadpoor and Sami Ghasedabadi.

This Week’s Schedule
Commemoration of the Martyrs of the Iranian Navy Army: Tuesday, March 1 – Friday, March 4
2nd Guatemala Open Squash PSA Tournament: Tuesday, March 1 – Saturday, March 5
Odense Open: Tuesday, March 1 – Saturday, March 5
Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week: Wednesday, March 2 – Sunday, March 6
Zahra Dental Clinic: Sunday, March 6 – Wednesday, March 9

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