Josh Masters and Todd Harrity ensured an all-UNSQUASHABLE final at the Madeira International Squash Open being staged the Hotel Galo Sol, Santa Cruz in Madeira, Portugal with contrasting victories over Valentin Rapp and Mahesh Mangaonkar respectively.
In addition to a share of the $11,000 prize fund, the winner of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Challenger Tour event will also secure themselves a place at the prestigious PSA World Championships, which will be held in Chicago next year and will become the first professional squash tournament to offer a prize purse of $1 million.
US No.1 Todd Harrity came through a gruelling five-game encounter against Mahesh Mangaonkar after the Indian repeatedly battled back to force the game to a tense decider. The American top seed took the first game, before Mangaonkar dominated the second game to level the scores, as the momentum swung in his favour to cause Harrity problems.
However, Harrity regained his composure to come back and take the third, only to be halted once again by a resilient Mangaonkar who kept forcing his way back into the match with a place in the final and at next year’s PSA World Championships in Chicago at stake.
The fifth game saw some lengthy rallies take place between the exhausted pair with both players holding the lead at one point until, with the scores locked at 5-5, Harrity went on to edge his way ahead and eventually book his place in the final by an 11-6 3-11 11-7 3-11 11-8 score line in 69 minutes.
“Mahesh is a really great player and I think we were both a bit edgy,” said 28-year-old Harrity following his 69-minute victory. “There were big momentum swings. He won a game easily and I won a game easily, I’m not sure why that happened but I just tried to stay calm and keep fighting. I tried not to worry about what happens, just try and focus on the next point, and it worked out. It’s going to be a tough match in the final but I’m looking forward to it.”
Harrity will face fellow UNSQUASHABLE player Josh Masters after the recently crowned World University Champion defeated Germany’s Valentin Rapp in straight-games to reach the final in Madeira for the second successive year.
Masters, who lost out to Egypt’s Youssef Soliman in last year’s final, continued his good form to win 11-5 11-7 11-3 in 37 minutes against Rapp who had upset the seedings earlier in the week by knocking out Belgium’s No.1 Jan Van Den Herrewegen.
“I got to the final last year and I really like coming here,” said 23-year-old Masters. “They look after us really well and the courts and the hotel are really nice. Valentin has had an amazing tournament and he put a bit of pressure on me today, but I was very happy to get off in three. I know Todd really well, we used to train together a lot. I’ve only played him once on the Tour and I won, so hopefully I can repeat that. He played really well today and came through a tough match but hopefully I can go one better this year.”
Madeira International Open 2018, Hotel Galo Sol, Santa Cruz, Madeira, Portugal
Semi-Finals: Todd Harrity (USA) bt  Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 11-6, 3-11, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8 (69m)  Joshua Masters (ENG) bt [9/16] Valentin Rapp (GER) 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (37m)
Quarter-Finals: Todd Harrity (USA) bt  Abhay Singh (IND) 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)  Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt  Rui Soares (POR) 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (51m) [9/16] Valentin Rapp (GER) bt [WC] Claudio Pinto (POR) 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (58m)  Joshua Masters (ENG) bt [9/16] Emyr Evans (WAL) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (29m)
UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.
Todd Harrity uses the UNSQUASHABLE TODD HARRITY AUTOGRAPH racket which scheduled for launch later this year.
Josh Masters uses the UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO which is available from www.unsquashable.com
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