Gordon Keeps Home Hopes Alive In New York

US national champion Christopher Gordon kept home hopes alive in the Oliver NY Metro Open - Squash Revolution after upsetting third seed Shawn Delierre to reach the semi-finals of the inaugural PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event being staged across four venues in Metropolitan New York in the USA.

The unseeded New York-born 26-year-old, who won the country's national title for the first time last month, despatched Canadian Delierre, ranked 37 in the world, 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 in 50 minutes at Street Squash in New York.
But there was domestic disappointment at Pyramid Squash in Tuckahoe where No2 seed Julian Illingworth crashed out of the tournament. The eight-time US champion survived a tie-break opening game against Shaun le Roux before going down 12-14, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 to the unseeded South African in 80 minutes.

UK-based Le Roux, ranked 59 in the world, now faces Australian Matthew Karwalski, the world No60 who defeated fellow non-seed Campbell Grayson 11-7, 11-6, 11-5. New Zealander Grayson had reached the quarter-finals after upsetting event promoter Shahier Razik, the No4 seed, in the first round.

"It was a fast paced and entertaining match - however, the 3/0 score does not reflect the intensity of the match nor the amount of work put in by the two players," said the New York Sports Clubs' spokesman Alwyn Callender. "The rallies were long and hard fought with Karwalski playing like a man on fire. He hunted volley opportunities with devastating consistency and accuracy.

"Grayson was under constant pressure having to traverse the entire court several times during most rallies and as such could not play enough attacking squash to be a real threat to the winner. He put up a good fight but the relentless volleying took its toll and he progressively faded during the match.

"Karwalski maintained a constant lead by winning blocks of three to five points throughout the entire match. After losing the first point in the first game, he went on a five point rampage to set up the first game.
"The second game had a similar pattern as Karwalski lost the first point but then went on to win the next four points to run up a 4-1 lead.

"The third game got off to a familiar start with Grayson winning the first point and Karwalski winning the second. At 2-1, it appeared that Grayson might something left in the tank and try to turn things around. However, it was not to be as Karwalski won the next three points. Karwalski went on another four point streak moving the score to 8-3. Grayson made a gallant effort to close the gap but the hole was too deep and he finally succumbed 5-11."

There will also be Australian interest in the top half of the draw where Ryan Cuskelly became the only seed to make the semis after beating fellow countryman Zac Alexander 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 in 45 minutes.

The New York-based top seed from New South Wales will face local hero Gordon for a place in the final.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v Christopher Gordon (USA)
Shaun le Roux (RSA) v Matthew Karwalski (AUS)

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 15 Oliver NY Metro Open, Metropolitan New York, USA
[1] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Zac Alexander (AUS) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (45m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt [3] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-8, 11-3, 11-7 (50m)
Matthew Karwalski (AUS) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5
Shaun le Roux (RSA) bt [2] Julian Illingworth (USA) 12-14, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7 (80m)

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