It’s Vikram in Portland
We had an amazing final at the Multnomah Athletic Club. The stands behind court one were at full capacity with fans excited to see Vikram Malhotra and Leonel Cardenas play.
The young Mexican star was certainly ready to put up a good fight. He started strongly playing tight drives and craftily finishing up rallies. He took and early really but the experienced Malhotra was able to equalize at 10-10. But Leonel regained his composure and was able to take the first game 12-10.
The second game was crucial for Vikram’s trek to victory. Leonel was able to take an early lead again but the experienced Malhotra was starting to force Leonel to cover all the court. In a very tight game and with some signs of fatigue from Leonel, Vikram took the second game 11-9.
The third game and fourth games had a similar pattern. Leonel was putting his best effort to stay in the rallies but Vikram was finding exquisite attacks. At the end, Vikram’s precision was too much for Leonel and he closed the match 11-8, 11-4. The number one seed Vikram was finally crowned Oregon Open 2020 champion!
We had two very exciting matches at the Multnomah athletic club tonight. Both featuring two up-and-coming young Mexican players that have gained several Portland fans.
In the first match, Jesus Camacho started at a furious pace and took the first game comfortably 11-3. Jesus was also able to take the lead early in the second game but the experienced Vikram Malhotra was able to use precise attacks to level the match 12-10. After that point, Jesus was not able to decipher Vikram’s game. The former Trinity player was able to impose his attacking brand of Squash and finally took the last two games 11-6, 11-4.
The second semifinal was one of the closest matches of the tournament. Leonel Cardenas started strongly and took the first game 11-8. Nonetheless, the momentum shifted towards Daniel Mekbib in the second game 11-7. Both players were fighting for every point and were being very vocal with the referee. Leonel took the third game 11-5 but Daniel quickly took the fourth one 11-8. Leonel was able to take an early lead in the fifth and with the aid of some uncharacteristic mistakes from Daniel he was able to close the match 11-6 in the fifth game.
Quarters : Americans bow out
We had four exciting quarter final matches tonight at the Multnomah Athletic Club.
In the first match Vikram Malhotra, the number one seed, seems to have found his stride in the tournament and decisively overcame Peter Creed 11-6, 12-10, 11-6.
The second match was a fast-paced encounter between Jesus Camacho and Dimitri Steinman.
Dimitri is used to playing at a high pace. But the Mexican youngster is extremely fast and was able to handle the demanding pace and adapt accordingly to overcome his Swiss opponent 11-8, 13-11, 11-13, 11-7.
Leonel Cardenas vs Spencer Lovejoy was a highly anticipated match since both youngsters had demonstrated exceptional abilities in their previous matches.
Spencer can endure long matches and force mistakes from his opponents. While Leonel is powerful and precise with his shots. Tonight Leonel got the 11-6, 13-11, 11-7 win by combining highly intelligent tactics and executing extremely accurate attacks.
In the final match, Christopher Gordon put up a good fight against his stylish Czech opponent but Daniel Mekbib prevailed 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.
Round TWO :
Another exciting day of Squash in Portland. With several close encounters going the distance.
The first match was a clear example of what was about to come when Vikram Malhotra overcame the young American superstar Andrew Douglas 14-12 in the fifth game.
The young Mexican contingent in the tournament is also making some decisive moves through the draw. The fast and furious Jesus Camacho decisively overcame Pakistan’s Asim Khan in three games (11-8, 11-5, 11-7).
While Leonel Cardenas, coached by world renowned Marcos Méndez, was able to avenge his 3-2 loss to Emyr Evans last week in the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in Calgary, Canada. This time Leonel showed great composure and with precise shots overcame Emyr in a three games to one victory (13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-3)
There is still plenty of American interest in the tournament. Spencer Lovejoy, Yale’s #1 player, was able to defeat his higher-ranked American compatriot Chris Hanson in five games. While Chris Gordon overcame second seed Todd Harrity in three closely contested games.
Round ONE :
It was a packed house at the Multnomah Athletic Club for the Oregon Open 2020. The club had not been able to host the event for the last three years so there was a great buzz at the courts on the first day back.
It was a successful day for the top American players as Andrew Douglas, Christopher Gordon, and Spencer Lovejoy made it safely through the first round.
There was plenty of support for both local wildcards Gordon Lam and Mauricio Sánchez de la Paz but despite their great efforts, they were not able to decipher the game of their higher ranked opponents.
Pro staff Werner Hergeth and Julian Illingworth were excited to receive the broader Portland community for an exciting week of squash.