Joey Applebaum reports Photos by Jeffrey Fehn
The start of the final begins with 3 rare errors from Bonmalais. Then, in traditional Bonmalais style, he holds his own for a 100-shot rally until Yow makes an error. Bonmalais would not remain flawless though and hits two more unforced errors thereafter; Yow leads 5-1. The name of the game stays strong with errors as Yow gets most of his points from errors until the tide turns and Yow begins to hit unforced errors and loose shots turning into strokes. From a 7-2 lead, Bonmalais comes back to tie it up at 8-8. Back to back crosscourt nicks off serve plus an error gives Yow game ball at 10-9. He takes it first time without asking, 11-9.
Bonmalais quickly goes up 2-0. At 3-1, Yow slips himself up and Bonmalais punches a volley straight. Bonmalais sticks to his game plan to out-wait Yow to win three points straight. One patient rally later and Bonmalais just stretches Yow too far and Bonmalais leads 8-1. Yow then changes up his gameplan to try to capitalize on opportunities rather than to extend the rallies. Yow would win 4 points straight like this, before making an error. Bonmalais’ shots at the end of this game simply proved too good as Yow would win one more point before Bonmalais takes the game 11-6.
Despite Yows’ efforts, Bonmalais’ swift movement is too good and the first four points of the third game are lengthy exchanges ending in errors; tied at 3-3. With an extremely lengthy rally at 5-5, Yow then outplays Bonmalais to force a loose shot and a stroke plus a winner to lead 8-5. The two go 2 points back and forth giving Yow gameball at 10-7. Bonmalais pulls out some incredible gets to end one point with a crosscourt nick and the other with a perfect straight drop. Yow had enough, though, and nails a nick off the serve to take the third game 11-9.
A handful of drops start Yow off the fourth game with a 4-0 lead. A nick off serve gives Bonmalais his first point of the game. From here, loose shots resulting in strokes and multiple errors start to come up from Bonmalais and Yow quickly gains a substantial lead of 8-2. Yow simply remained too consistent for Bonmalais to come up with any fight and Bonmalais sneaks one more winner in before Yow takes the fourth game 11-3 and the championship along with it.
Semis : Joey Applebaum reports Photos by Jeffrey Fehn
 Eain Yow Ng (MAS) 3-0  Leonel Cardenas (MEX)
Using a combination of deep and short volleys, Yow sets up his opportunities in the first game to take a 4-1 lead early. Yow then rips in a volley blast catching Cardenas totally flat on his feet. Quick fire points allow Yow to remain ahead at 6-2. Cardenas then tightens up and sets up 2 opportunities of his own to lower his deficit to just 2 points. Yow fights back though and gets 2 points to add to his lead once again.
Cardenas sends a tight volley drive down the forehand side wall to make it 8-5. Yow puts the pace into a new gear at the end of the game leaving no chance for Cardenas to come back. Yow wins the first 11-5.
The start of the second provided 3 volley short winners from the back of the court for Yow to set up a 4-1 lead. Paired with a volley Nick, Yow continued the attacks from the back and increased his lead to 6-1. More dominant volleys off of loose shots allow for an 8-2 lead for Yow. Shot selection on point, Yow brings himself a 9-3 lead and a mistimed lob from Cardenas gives a gameball to Yow. Similar to the rest of the game, Yow sets up a volley and takes the game 11-3.
Yow seems to have picked up on a weakness of Cardenas and begins to exploit the front of the court. This front court would have many points won and lost, almost always in Yow’s favor. A few points later as Yow leads 5-2, Yow places nonstop drives that are glued to the side wall and when he gets an opportunity on the bounce at mid-court, he flips a boast in catching Cardenas flat on his heels. Yow continues to exploit the front court and wins 3 points straight there to give himself a lead of 9-2. Cardenas would use his own drop from deep in the court to get his last point game before Yow takes it 11-3 and the match along with it 3-0.
 Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-1 Rory Stewart (SCO)
Unlike Bonmalais’ favored style, the beginning of the first game flies by. Numerous winners and errors from both players make the score 4-3 Stewart ahead at just 2 minutes in. More errors would follow and Stewart continues his lead to 7-5. Consistent play and a walloped volley drive keeps Stewart ahead at 9-7. Bonmalais gets one point before making an error giving Stewart gameball at 10-8. Bonmalais again makes an error and Stewart takes the first 11-9.
Once again the start of the game provides rapid-fire play and Bonmalais goes up 3-2. Bonmalais begins to twist and turn the giant that is Stewart to really make him hurt, and Bonmalais goes up 6-4. The fatigue sets in for Stewart and Bonmalais wins 4 points straight allowing him six game balls. Stewart made little attempt to come back and a quick error in the front gives Bonmalais the second game 11-4 and a tied match score.
Some scrappy play starts the third game off and Bonmalais takes charge at 5-2. Bonmalais sticks to his traditional game plan of patient and long rallies and starts to have tidy finishes; he leads 7-3. At the business end of the game, 9-6, Bonmalais puts on a crowd-pleaser backhand crosscourt nick to erupt the crowd and give himself gameball at 10-6. Stewart sticks a short straight drop in before Bonmalais does the same to take the second game 11-7 and now leads 2-1.
Bonmalais starts off the way he wants at 3-0. He then patiently waits the next two rallies and puts some work into the lungs of Stewart. Bonmalais leads 4-1. Despite the patience, Stewart is still able to pick up the pace and ties it up at 4-4. Simple always wins in squash, though, and Bonmalais goes up 8-6 after some incredible gets. More of Stewarts’ shots would come back again and again and he seemed to eventually get fed up. Soon enough Bonmalais is serving at 10-7 with matchball. Stewart is up for the task and turns the tide to reverse the pressure. Two drops from the back and a quick punch volley brings Stewart and Bonmalais to a tie break in the blink of an eye. Stewart plays patiently and sets up a drop in the middle of court, but the pressure got to him and he clips the tin. Bonmalais would outpower him at 11-10 giving Bonmalais the fourth game 12-10 and the match 3-1.
Matches at both USC and CSC will be streamed live on the PSA Challenger Tour YouTube page.
Quarters : Rory joins remaining to three
Scotland’s Rory Stewart followed up hi win over the second seed in round two to reach the semi-finals, alongside the remaining top seeds Eain Yow Ng, Leonel Cardenas and Sebastien Bonmalais/.
Round One :
The 2022 edition of the Cleveland Skating Club Open – the 7th – features a split of the matches between Urban Squash Cleveland’s glass court and the panel court of the Cleveland Skating Club.
All but one of the higher seeds won on the first night of the tournament. The lone upset saw Andrew Douglas defeating Ben Coleman in a hotly contested 3-2. Many of the other matches were tight with the first three matches at Urban Squash Cleveland going to five games.
The two wild cards, Maxwell Orr and Dillon Huang, both making their first PSA Challenger Tour appearances, acquitted themselves well. Huang took world #69 Charlie Lee to four games.
Round Two will again be split between Urban Squash Cleveland and Cleveland Skating Club with top seeds Eain Yow Ng, Sebastien Bonmalais, Leonel Cardenas, and 2021 CSC Open Champion Adrian Waller in action.
Photos by Jeffrey Fehn