It’s Lobban in three
Details to follow …
Semis : Top seeds through to Cleveland final
Match Reports by Chase Greppin; Photos by Jeffrey Fehn
Lobban reaches his first Cleveland Skating Club Open Final in a comfortable fashion.
 Greg Lobban (SCO) 30-  Lyell Fuller (ENG)
In their first meeting on the PSA World Tour, Greg Lobban took down Lyell Fuller 3-0 in thirty-eight minutes.
The first few rallies were rather lengthy but the score stayed close at 3-3. After two straight nicks, Lobban took his first lead of the match at 5-4. Lobban manages to tie the score a 6-6 but Lobban then takes the next two points to make it 8-6. Fuller quickly tied the score back up at 8-8. After a few errors and winners, Lobban took the next three points and the game 11-8 in 16 minutes.
Lobban started out the next game strong pulling out to a quick 5-0 lead. Fuller managed to win three of the next four points and brung it within three at 3-6. Lobban then hit two quick winners and extended his lead to 8-3. Fuller was able to rally for a bit, but errors crept in for Fuller and Lobban managed to clinch the second game 11-6.
Lobban started the third game similar to the second taking a quick 4-1 lead. Fuller managed to get one more point but Lobbans lead quickly extended to 8-2. Lobban’s lead was too big though as he took 3 of the next five points and secured his place in the Finals tomorrow night winning the game 11-4.
Lobban later reflected on his performance: “I think it was all about who could keep it in the corners more consistently…Usually when you’re winning matches you normally keep your game plan the same.”
Crouin completes comeback to reach the Cleveland Skating Club Open Final.
 Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-2  Christopher Binnie (JAM)
In their third meeting on the PSA World Tour, Victor Crouin defeated Christopher Binnie in a fantastic 3-2 affair.
Binnie started out strong with a quick 6-2 lead. He got one more point before Crouin ended his winning streak making the score 3-7. Crouin then makes up his own winning streak taking the next few points to make it 5-7. But Binnie took his lead and used it to take the first game 11-6 in only eight minutes.
Binnie starts out strong again taking a quick 6-1 lead. Binnie quickly extends that lead to bring it to 10-2. Crouin manages to win four points straight, but it is not enough as Binnie takes the game 11-6 again.
Binnie yet again opened out strong taking an early 4-0 lead. Crouin quickly countered to make it 4-4 . Crouin uses his momentum and gave himself an 8-5 lead. That lead then extended into a 10-6 lead. Binnie takes the next point, but Crouin converted on his second opportunity to take the game 11-7.
Chris started out strong again in the third game taking a 3-1 lead. After a few errors, Crouin managed to tie it up at 3-3. Crouin then after an amazing rally, extended his lead to 5-3. In the next few points, the score stays within two as Crouin took a 7-5 lead. The pattern continues to 8-6 Crouin. Crouin then extended his lead to 10-6. Crouin converted on his first opportunity to take the game 11-6.
Lyell Fuller and Chris Binnie upset the seedings to set up semis against top seeds Greg Lobban and Victor Crouin …
Match Reports by Chase Greppin
 Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-0  Shawn DeLierre (CAN)
DeLierre started the first game out strong taking a quick 4-0 lead. Lobban was equal to it though as he rattled off the next 6 points straight taking a 6-4 lead. They traded off the next few points resulting in an 8-7 Lobban lead. After a few errors and winners, Lobban managed to clinch the first game 11-7 in thirteen minutes.
Errors plagued DeLierre in the first part of the game giving him a disadvantage of 1-4. He managed to take a few of the next points bringing to 3-5. DeLierre managed to squeeze himself three of the next four points tying it a 6-6. A few errors and strokes gave Lobban a 9-6 lead. Lobban then took the next point to present himself with 4 game balls. DeLierre managed to save 3 game balls but Lobban took his last opportunity to clinch the game 11-9.
Lobban began with a rapid start taking a very quick 6-2 lead. With a few winners and errors Lobban manages to take the game and the match 11-2.
After the match, Lobban reflected on the upcoming matches and the court.
“I feel comfortable on this court, very lively… For the next matches, you can expect longer first games and more attacking third games.”
 Victor Crouin (FRA) 3-0  Nick Sachvie (CAN)
Sachvie opened up the game with a quick 2-0 lead. Crouin wins 4 straight points to give him a two-point lead at 4-2. They then traded off the next few points bringing it to 6-4 Crouin. Sachvie manages to rally for a bit, but Crouins lead was too large as he took the first game 11-6.
Crouin opened up strong taking a 3-1 lead. Sachvie then snagged 4 out of the next 5 points to give himself a lead of 5-4. A few errors from Sachvie lets Crouin back on the hook to take a 7-5 lead. Sachvie quickly countered to bring it back to 7-7. Both players then drew level at 8-8. Crouin then pulled ahead to a 10-8 lead to have Sachvie bring it within one. A slight mishit handed Crouin the game 11-9.
Crouin began strongly in the third game as he took an easy 4-0 lead. Sachvie rallied off a few points bringing him within 1 point of Crouin at 3-4. Crouin then accelerated to a 9-5 lead. Crouin than took the next two points off of errors to take the match in three.
Crouin later reflected on the match and adjusting to the CSC panel court after playing on the glass court of Urban Squash Cleveland’s Youth Development Center in Round 2.
“It’s never easy to play on another court. You just have to get used to conditions. He was reading my game pretty well so I had to run to get a lot of balls back, which I do pretty well… but I don’t really like it.”
 Christopher Binnie (JAM) 3-1  Auguste Dussourd (FRA)
In their third appearance playing together, Christopher Binnie gained his first win off of Auguste Dussourd in 64 minutes.
The first few rallies are rather lengthy. They work in favor of Dussourd as he took the advantage of 6-4. After a few errors, Dussourd increases his lead to 8-4. Binnie managed to battle back and give himself three points to make it 7-8. After a barrage of winners, Dussourd takes the 1-0 advantage winning the game 11-7.
The second game begins much like the first. Lengthy rallies, and trading off winners as well as errors. Dussourd takes a 5-4 lead through all of this. Binnie then goes on a winning run taking three of the next four points giving him a 7-6 lead. Binnie then extends that lead to 10-7. Dussourd is able to get one more point before Binnie takes the game 11-8.
Binnie started the third game off strong taking an early 4-0 lead. Dussourd was able to come back to 4-5 but Binnie kept his lead extending it to 7-4. Dussourd was able to rally a bit but Binnie soon took a 10-6 lead and took the game the next point.
Dussourd took a three-minute injury break in-between the third and fourth game.
The foot injury took a toll on Dussourd’s movement, but Binnie quickly took a 5-0 lead. Dussourd was then able to rattle off a few winners bringing him to within two points at 3-5. He kept up this pattern bringing him to within one point at 5-6. The score stayed tight for the next few points up to 7-8. That continued on to a score of 9-8 Binnie. Dussourd was able to tie it at 9-9 when Binnie pulled ahead to 10-9. After a no-let Dussourd was able to tie it up at 10-10. Binnie then took the next two points to take the match.
Round TWO : seeds through to quarters
All eight seeds won through to the quarter-finals, with second round matches split between Cleveland Skating Club and Urban Squash Cleveland.
Match Reports Joey Applebaum and Chase Greppin, Photos by Jeffrey Fehn
 Shawn Delierre (CAN) 2-1 Curtis Malik (ENG)
Delierre Defeats Malik to make third straight Cleveland Skating Club Open quarter-final. In their first PSA meeting, Shawn Delierre proved better taking down Curtis Malik in 55 minutes.
After a close start to the first game with both players level at 4-4, Delierre pulled ahead to 7-4 but Malik leveled it and took the next point to make it 9-8. Both players traded off the next few points to make it 10-10. The next few points were quite contentious but Malik managed to save three game balls and take the game 14-12.
Delierre came in strong after the first game taking a quick 6-1 lead. Malik was able to rally for a few points but Delierre proved stronger taking the second game 11-52 leveling it 1-1. Malik took a fast 6-3 lead. Unlike the second game, Delierre was able to recover and took an 8-7 lead. That lead accelerated him to take the third game 11-8 after a rolling nick off of the serve.
After a few classic cheeky shots from Delierre and a few errors from Malik, Delierre took the advantage at 5-2. The score remained fairly close bringing it to 7-5. That lead carried him to a 9-6 lead. After taking a 10-7 lead, Malik came back to 9-10 but after a rolling nick in the front, the match was taken by DlLierre.
After the match, Delierre reflected on the match: “Cracking a smile on court helps me digest this grueling sport… It’s all about hitting one nice shot. One after the other.”
Local favorite Mark Broekman had a tough ask against world #29 Greg Lobban in the second round. After a tight start to the first game, Lobban pulled ahead. Game three proved close with Lobban coming out ahead after the score was tied 10-10. Lobban pulled ahead early in game two and never looked back.
 Auguste Dussourd (FRA) 3-0 [WC] Abdul Malik Khan (PAK)
After a few quick rallies, Dussourd takes a strong 4-1 lead. Some back and forth rallies but Dussourd still takes the lead 7-3. A few errors from both players cause Dussourd to take the first game 11-5.
After a few amazing rallies and retrievals, the score is just 2-2 at around four minutes into play. Dussourd pulls out ahead though with many winners, leading 8-3. Three more quick rallies and Dussourd has 6 game balls. In the last rally, Dussourd really entertains the audience by hitting a between the legs off the back wall and some amazing retrievals and ends up winning it off of a stroke, 11-4
The first six points of the third game are all played within about a minute. Khan hits a few amazing shots and leads 4-2. Dussourd gains some momentum though and gains his lead back, winning 7-5. , Dussourd then goes up 9-6, but Khan is not done yet. He ties it up at 9-9 with some back and forth squash. Unfortunately, his comeback ends there and faces two strokes losing the third game 11-9.
 Alfredo Avila (MEX) 3-0 Mustafa Nawar (EGY)
Avila takes a strong start, forcing errors from Nawar and a couple of winners, but he puts up a quick 6-1 lead. More points similar to this follow and he gets himself an even bigger lead of 9-1. Nawar only gets 2 more points before Avila takes the first game 11-2.
Avila starts strong and goes up 5-1 off of many winners and errors from Nawar. Some ‘ping-pong’ squash happens and Nawar gets a small comeback now only down two at 5-7. Before Nawar could do anything else, Avila gets a quick 3 points, and ends the second game 11-6 off of an unforced error from Nawar.
Avila goes up a quick 4-0 but an amazing rally with some incredible gets and a couple of winners bring the score to a three-point deficit at 5-2. Three strokes later in favor in Avila, he is leading 8-2. Another stroke and a winner gives Avila eight match balls. He takes it one point later taking the third game 11-3.
 Lyell Fuller (ENG) 3-0 Harry Falconer (ENG)
After a few long rallies, Fuller hits a couple of great winners and takes a quick 5-0 lead. A similar pattern follows and Fuller extends his lead to 8-0. Falconer takes his first point off of a stroke to prove his worth. Fuller gets a couple of cheeky points as well as Falconer but Fuller ends up pulling it out 11-6 in the first game.
Some back and forth squash leads to both players with some errors and winners here and there, but Fuller still ends up with one more point, 4-3. The mental side of things then get to Falconer and he loses three straight, making his deficit four points. Falconer isn’t done yet though, he gets, four more, but is faced against a stroke, and is only one point down, 7-8. Another questionable stroke is awarded to Fuller, and another questionable no let against Falconer. Fuller gets three game balls but loses one taking the second game 11-8.
At just 2-2, the third game has already been going on for seven minutes and both players are really feeling it physically. The back and forth pattern continues and Fuller leads by just one point at 4-3. This game has really picked up the quality and both players are mentally and physically feeling it. Many decisions have had to be made and every time the players have argued. The time has passed, while the points have not. The score is tied up again at 6-6. Fuller finally pulls ahead off of two questionable decisions and a winner at 9-6. Falconer gives one last push but can’t hold giving the third game to Fuller 11-6, and the match.
Round ONE in Cleveland
The 2019 edition of the Cleveland Skating Club Open – the 5th annual Cleveland Skating Club Open – features a split of the matches between Urban Squash Cleveland’s glass court and the panel court of the Cleveland Skating Club.
Subverting convention, the tournament will move from the early rounds on the glass court to later rounds on the panel court.
The tournament opened with an unfortunate late withdrawal from 2018 CSC Open Champion Richie Fallows.
Richie worked through a tough draw in 2018 to win his first 20K PSA tournament. He survived a sneaker blowout in the 2016 CSC Open quarterfinals before falling to Raphael Kandra 3-2 in the semifinals. We’ll miss him this year on and off the court.
Round One action at Urban Squash Cleveland featured several close matches. The match of the day was between Curtis Malik and Edgar Ramirez Bautista, who both deserved to move through to round two with a spirited 49 minute affair ending 12-10 in fourth in favour of Malik.
Round two will be split between Urban Squash Cleveland and Cleveland Skating Club with top seeds Greg Lobban, Victor Crouin, Auguste Dussourd, and Alfredo Avila in action.