Bankers Hall Club Pro Am Final

Final :

The final of the 2020 Linear Logistics Bankers Hall Club Pro Am was a dominant win by #2 seed Dimitri Steinmann of Switzerland as he took down #8 seed Emyr Evans of Wales in straight games 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 in 47 minutes.

This was the first time we have had a Swiss winner in this the 19th version of the tournament here in downtown Calgary. Steinmann was just a bit too consistent overall on the points that really mattered today.

Evans had his chances especially in a close third game and had game points on a few occasions but could not push it into a fourth game. Again a packed crowd here were treated to great squash by these two youngsters…..ages 22 and 23 only!

One of the strongest overall fields we have had here for many years as all matches from round one through to the final were well contested no matter what the score line was.

So onto the 20th version of this event in 2021……we are looking forward to that already!

Semis :

Semi Final Saturday of the Linear Logistics Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in downtown Calgary produced two high quality matches and as a result we have two first time finalists here at the 19th version of this event.

First up was Emyr Evans of Wales up against Rui Soares of Portugal. Both were coming off of five game victories the day before to get into the semis. On this day the quickness of Evans movements and his pace of play were just a bit too much for the talented world #74 Soares. Evans won this one in three straight games.

Next up was second seeded Dimitri Steinmann and sixth seeded Christopher Gordon.

A wonderful match to watch for the packed house at Bankers Hall Club. Both players showing off a full array of shots and retrieving…..any interference between the two was irrelevant as each of them cleanly played through it.

The young Swiss star was up 2-1 in games but found himself in a big hole in the fourth game going down 6-2. Some taxing rallies started to slow Gordon a bit and slowly but surely Steinmann was able to come back to win that game 11-7 and secure his spot in the finals on Sunday!

Should be a great match with the #2 seed Steinmann and the #8 seed Evans. Neither have made it this far here at the Pro Am…..both will be pushing hard to break through here!

Bob Ballinger

Quarter-Finals : Emyr downs defending champ Cardenas

Bob Ballinger reports

The quarter finals of the Linear Logistics Bankers Hall Club Pro Am once again provided an amazing level of squash combined with some high drama squash as well here at the 19th version of this event.

First match of the lunch time session had one of the giant killers of round one Joeri Hapers take a two game lead over Rui Soares the #3 seed only to see his hopes of a second big win here go down in five long games. Kudos to both players here as Soares overcame an early injury in the first game to then take that two to zero lead and same back to the big Portuguese player to climb out of that deficit.

Next up the stylist second seed Dimitri Steinmann took to the court against another day one giant killer Curtis Malik. Steinmann was able to stay steady despite a strong push from the Englishman Malik to win in four games.

Onto the evening session where the defending champion and top seed from Mexico, Leonel Cardenas took on the eighth seeded Welsh player Emyr Evans. These two seem to draw one another often it seems in PSA events….one year ago here at this same event they battled for five games in the semis; in November they also had a five game match in the finals of an event in Kelowna, BC; and next week they have a possible match up in Portland.

In the recent match ups it has been the 19 yr old (turning 20 here this weekend) prevailing in five games! This time was similar in that they went five games but it was Evans who turned it his way in a long tight match.

The final match of the night had USA veteran player Chris Gordon go up against the impressive Abhay Singh of India. Gordon took the first somewhat handily; then a long second game also went to Gordon 15-13; but an unfortunate injury slowed Singh and he had to retire in the third game giving Gordon a spot in Saturday’s semi finals.

So two great looking semi finals with #3 Rui Soares vs #8 Emy Evans followed up by #2 Dimitri Steinmann vs #6 Christopher Gordon. Should be another great day here in downtown Calgary!!

Round ONE :

Bob Ballinger reports

It was quite the start to the lunch time session of the first round two matches went the distance and the other two matches went four games….and two of our seeded players have been eliminated!

Second seed Dimitri Steinmann overcame a great effort from Matias Tuomi to win in four games while third seed Rui Soares held off an impressive challenge by Tristan Eysele. Meanwhile seeded Czech players Daniel Mekbib (#5 seed) and Martin Svec (#7 seed) both went out in five games.

English player Curtis Malik beat Svec in one hour while Joeri Hapers of Belgium took Mekbib in 65 minutes.

The evening session matches may not have been overall as tight as earlier in the day but there was still one long battle, the loss of the local star, and loss of another seed.

Eighth seed Emyr Evans held off Rory Stewart in a long five gamer; fourth seed and Canadian veteran player Shawn DeLierre went down in three straight games to the impressive Abhay Singh from India; local star and past champion Andrew Schnell could not exact his revenge from last year’s loss to Leonel Cardenas going down in three great games; and USA veteran player Chris Gordon managed to keep his seeded position going in a straight game victory over Robert Downer of England.

Quarter Final Friday has some great looking matchups here in Calgary. Lunchtime will see unseeded Joeri Hapers go up against number three Rui Soares and then second seeded Dimitri Steinmann take on Curtis Malik who is unseeded. Later on in the evening session it will be a second rematch from last year as top seed/defending champion Leonel Cardenas goes against number eight seed Emyr Evans one year after they had a great semi final match here. That will be followed by American star Chris Gordon against the relative unknown here Abhay Singh of India.

Number 19 coming up in Calgary

The 19th version of the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am is set to begin here in downtown Calgary, Alberta with amateur play beginning February 5th and the always highly anticipated PSA event starting up the next day.

Top seed this year is defending champion Leonel Cardenas of Mexico. Last year his run at this tournament saw him fend off match point in his first round match at 10-9 in the fifth game; then in the semis another five game battle; to then finish it off with a four game final round victory to secure the title. Leonel sits at #62 in the world rankings which is his highest ever ranking … not bad for a 19 yr old!

His first round opponent is Canadian and local Calgarian Andrew Schnell … this will be a rematch of that first round battle last year mentioned above! Andrew has a long history of playing this tournament and was the Pro Am champion in 2017. This is likely to be his final PSA event of his career as Andrew is a full time law student now as he makes the shift to the next phase of his life … locals will be hoping the two time Canadian champ has a bit of magic left in him!

Second seed is world number 63 Dimitri Steinmann from Switzerland. This is his second appearance at the Pro Am and he is poised to do well here based on his recent form. He will be playing Matias Tuomi of Finland who sits at #115 in the world.

The only other Canadian in the field is Canadian veteran and the tournament’s fourth seed Shawn DeLierre. At 37 yrs of age Shawn will be looking for his first ever title here in Calgary at this tournament despite many appearances. Shawn had a career high ranking of #35 back in 2013 and currently sits at #80. He will play young 22 yrs old Abhay Singh of India.

Once again the tournament is a full sell out with a full compliment of amateur divisions as well as a provincial pro event making it again the biggest event in Alberta. Should be a great week of squash here in downtown Calgary!

Bob Ballinger