Scott & Cesar Celebrate Surprise Sudbury Successes

Australia's Scott Arnold and Mexican Cesar Salazar defied the world rankings on the opening day of main draw action in the Northern Ontario Championship in Canada to claim unexpected quarter-final berths in the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event in its fourth successive year at the Sudbury YMCA in Sudbury, Ontario.

Arnold upset speedy Mexican Alfredo Avila by controlling the pace and not engaging the world No60 in many wide-open rallies. From 8-5 down in the fifth, the Australian qualifier staged a comeback and won the match on two consecutive strokes in the front left corner.

Ranked 100 in the world, Sydney-born Arnold now faces world No29 Chris Simpson, the top seed from England who recovered from a game down to overcome local hope Dane Sharp, a qualifier from Toronto, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.

Cesar Salazar caused the only seeding upset, dismissing leading Canadian Shawn Delierre, the No4 seed from Montreal, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8.

"Cesar was ruthless and finished the match in under 40 minutes," said tournament spokesman Michael McCue. "Impressive, considering these two are notorious for marathon matches, particularly on bouncy panel courts like the ones here in Sudbury."

But there was no such luck for Cesar's twin brother Arturo Salazar who went down in four games to Marwan El Shorbagy, the second seed from Egypt.

"Marwan dropped the first game in rapid fashion and found himself 6-8 down in the second before levelling at one-all," explained McCue. "Arturo again threatened to take a commanding lead with two game balls in the third, but the Egyptian sensed the danger and played four brilliant rallies to take the ever-important 2/1 lead.

"The fourth was not as competitive at the other games, and Marwan successfully navigated a tricky opener."
Reigning world junior champion El Shorbagy, now 19 and the youngest player in the draw, moves on to face Christopher Gordon, the 26-year-old US number two. Recent winner of the US National Championship, Gordon despatched Calgary-based Canadian Andrew Schnell 11-8, 11-6, 11-6.

Gordon will be joined in the last eight by compatriot Julian Illingworth. In what was described as the 'match of the night' - and was certainly the longest - third seed Illingworth defeated Mexican qualifier Eric Galvez 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 13-11 in 72 minutes.

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 15 Northern Ontario Championship, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
1st round:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [Q] Dane Sharp (CAN) 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (62m)
[Q] Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Alfredo Avila (MEX) 11-7, 15-17, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9 (70m)
Charles Sharpes (ENG) bt [Q] Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (45m)
[3] Julian Illingworth (USA) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 13-11 (72m)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [4] Shawn Delierre (CAN) 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (38m)
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [WC] Michael McCue (CAN) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (38m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (35m)
[2] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Arturo Salazar (MEX) 5-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7 (47m)

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) v [Q] Scott Arnold (AUS)
[3] Julian Illingworth (USA) v Charles Sharpes (ENG)
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Jan Koukal (CZE)
[2] Marwan El Shorbagy (EGY) v Christopher Gordon (USA)

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