March 3rd-7th 2019
The Canada Cup is the premier PROFESSIONAL squash event in Canada. The event is dedicated to creating a high value experience for Squash club members and squash fans across Toronto.
Canada Cup 2018
March 3rd-7th 2019
The Canada Cup is the premier PROFESSIONAL squash event in Canada. The event is dedicated to creating a high value experience for Squash club members and squash fans across Toronto.
Sixth-seeded Max Lee squared off against the two-seed Ryan Cuskelly. It was a tight but aggressive 4 games that saw control ebb and flow but in the end it would be the world Number #29 from Hong Kong upsetting the higher-seeded Australian 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 14-12 in 65 minutes.
Cuskelly raced out to 4-0 lead in Game One only to give it back immediately to 4-point run by Lee. Max oscillated between retrieval and attacking, offence and defence on his way to 11-7 wins in both Games One and Two.
Cuskelly stepped up the accuracy and aggression in the Third, chopping a number of close-quarter crosscourt winners from up front, much to the delight of the crowd. His assertiveness was rewarded to the tune of a run-away 11-5 win.
The tournament in its ninth year, this is the first year that it was played for PSA ranking points. It showed in the fourth with the players fighting tooth and nail, upping the pace, both covering a ton of ground. Lee went down 7-2 and would later comment that he simply “tried not be negative, just stay positive.”
It seemed to work for the 30 year-old as he clawed his way back from 7-2 and 9-5 to earn a match ball at 10-9. The Aussie wasn’t just ready to go quietly into the night and won a mammoth rally, fending off the first of three match balls he faced.
Though putting in a valiant effort, Cuskelly fell on the third match ball 14-12. Match, Championship, lifetime Cambridge Club membership and the honorary tournament winner’s white robe to the victor! Congratulations on your 13th PSA Tour title and adding the Canada Cup to your list of conquests Mr. Lee!
The 2018 Workforce Canada Cup Final night had earlier kicked off with an entertaining undercard of host venue Cambridge Club 6x Club Champion Rob Nigro versus 2x reigning Canadian Women’s Champion Hollie McNaughton in a Battle of the Sexes showdown. A relieved Nigro prevailed in straight-sets and it was time for the Final.
Thank you to the title sponsor Workforce and presenting sponsors Sheraton Centre, Cambridge Group of Clubs and Cooper Mediation. And thanks to all the Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors without whom this tournament would not be possible: RBC Wealth Management, Polar Asset Management, Bristol Gate Captial Partners, Sulliden Mining Capital, Corpa Investigation, Bar Mecurio, Torkin Manes, Macquarie, Superior Masterbuilt and TD.
Max tops Al Tamimi to secure a place in the Workforce Canada Cup Final (3-1: 11-9,11-7,9-11,11-7 - 64 mins)
Al Tamimi was the first to strike in the opening semi-final match of the day finding the nick early. Lee needed 7 points to find the pace and start to get a feel for Abdo’s shot selection. Max turns around Abdo strong start and the players find themselves jockeying for control of this match. Max takes the first and carries the momentum into the second.
Lee’s experience on tour becoming apparent as Al Tamimi engages in some color commentary with the ref. Max’s composure gets him the second game and a strong start to the third. Abdo isn’t ready to let this match go just yet, he re-focuses plays a tight ball and does well to not put himself in vulnerable situations. Abdo takes game 3, but Max’s consistency and toughness seals his birth into Thursday’s final.
Cuskelly Wins the Aussie vs Kiwi Semi-Final Battle in Convincing Fashion (3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 - 52 minutes)
Clear from the beginning that Cuskelly has his eye on the Workforce Canada Cup title and came to play. On the ball early, applying pressure, keeping the ball beyond tight left Grayson impatiently waiting for his opportunity to get into the match.
The opportunities were few and far between with the Aussie’s precise play early. Campbel works hard to claw back his deficit early in the second and manages to force a couple errors out of Cuskelly after grueling 40+ shot rallies. Campbel gets a conduct warning after a no let decision to which he strongly disagreed and grew frustrated. Ryan capitalizes and finishes off the 2nd game.
Grayson comes into the 3rd like a new man, dictating play getting a couple stroke calls, which seems to boost his morale and get him off to a quick 6-1 start. The anticipated answer from Cuskelly comes right on time and increased pressure forces errors out of Campbel and the score is now even at 7-7 with momentum in Ryan’s favour.
Ryan snipes a straight volley nick to the applause of the crowd and secures the 3-0 result.
Three upsets in FourQuarter-finals of the Workforce Canada Cup witness three seeding upsets out of four as Abdulla Al Tamimi, Max Lee, Campbell Grayson and Ryan Cuskelly advanced to the semi-finals …
Abdulla Punches Above his Weight vs Top Ten Diego Elias (11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-3: 3-1 Abdo)
The Qatar #34 came out to a strong start wrong footing Diego and not letting him settle in early in the match resulting in a quick early game too El Tamimi, also known as “Abdo”. Diego responds early in game two and shows the maturity beyond his years, hitting a quality ball and not giving Abdo an inch.
Abdo pushes back in the 3rd forcing Diego to hit 5 winners a rally and somehow sneaking out the tough points and making Diego work. Glimpses of flaring pain from Diego and the Peruvian plays through it like a warrior, but Abdo proves to strong and closes the door in the 4th 11-3. 3-1 match to Abdo.
Cuskelly Proves Too Strong for Arturo (8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4: 3-1 Cuskelly)
Arturo comes out of the gates hitting a crisp ball and leaving Cuskelly scratching his head early. Salazar jumps to a quick 8-3 lead with lot’s of pressure and limiting Cuskelly’s sniping options. Cuskelly begins to find his groove late in the first, but is too late to salvage it. The second brought out some real fight in the players both vying to advace in the Canadian Workforce Cup.
Ryan’s variety and experience begins to take over and Arturo quickly runs out of answers although his quality defense was not making it easy for the Aussie. Cuskelly executing volley lobs, tight angle nicks and Aussie boast had him running away with the rest of the match with his sights set on the semis. Cuskelly took a step out of Arturo and found him booking his ticket to the next round, 3-1 Cuskelly
Alan Clyne vs Campbell Grayson (Score: Campbell wins 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, Time: 60 min)
Campbell gets out to a great start and a 3-0 lead with a few signature volley drop winners. The match started with some long rallies and I expect the rallies to stay that way throughout the match with these two. Campbell continues his run and wins 3 more successive points to go up 6-0. Alan get his first point on the board with his own signature backhand counter drop. The following rally has some ridiculous gets and Campbell wins it to go up 7-1. The first error from Campbell give Alan a point back 2-7. Campbell wins the backhand drop battle in the next rally to go up 8-2. They each trade unforced error to advance the score to 9-3. Campbell takes it to 10-4 game ball with a cross court nick winner. He finishes it with style with a forehand drop winner.
Alan obviously will fight back after losing the first and take a 4-1 lead with solid some consistent pressure. Campbell may be starting to feel the legs a bit. An unforced error from Alan brings Campbell one point closer to 2-4. Clyne is definitely taking the T more than Campbell in this game and being rewarded. He wins the next rally to go up 5-2. Clyne is continuing his run of pressure and goes up 7-3. Campbell keeps the lead within three though with a nice forehand winner. But Clyne is having nothing of it and take a 4 point lead again with a stroke. Campbell with a beautiful hold in the front backhand wins the next point 5-8. Campbell is doing anything he can to slow the pace but the bull dog is relentless and takes the next point to go up 9-5. An tired error from Campbell give Alan game ball. Alan finishes the game one the first attempt to win it 11-5.
A long rally to start game 3. Campbell takes it with a nice volley drop winner followed by a tin by Alan to go up 2-0. A few great rallies and Campbell extends his lead to 4-1. Three sharp and dynamic rallies follow and Clyne take all three of them to tie the match. Campbell is starting to show his fatigue but still playing great squash. He takes the next rally to go up 5-4. Alan’s constant pressure is starting to take its toll as Campbell gives Alan 3 errors in a row to go up 7-5. Campbell is tenaciously staying in there and claws back to 7-7. Two great rallies from Campbell takes him to 9-7. A tough rally to follow is won by Alan to bring it to 8-9. An impressive backhand volley kill gives Campbell game ball at 10-8. Campbell takes is on the next point and wins it 11-8.
Alan takes the first point with a classic backhand drop. A very long second rally finishes with a tin by Alan. 1-1. Some very accurate squash Campbell takes him to 3-1. Beautiful hold in the front right from Campbell and hits a winning drop to go 4-1. One error and a terrible loose crosscourt from Campbell gives Alan two points back. 3-4. After a let, Alan wins a quick one to tie it up. Campbell follows it up well though with two great rallies to take the lead to 6-4. Backhand drop winner from Alan keeps the lead to one point. A great cross drop flick fools Alan and Campbell is back up by two points. 7-5.
Campbell squeezes an error out of Alan to go up 8-5. Campbell is smelling the finish line and hits a backhand drop winner follow by a perfect lob to go to 10-5 match ball. A tin from Campbell gives Alan one more back. 6-10. And a ridiculous backhand cross flick from Alan takes him one point closer. Campbell takes the next point though to finish off the match. This was a superb tactical showcase by Campbell tonight.
Max Lee v Cesar Salazar
Max was able to get out to early leads in each of the first two games. Max was having success hitting quality length, short and long then taking advantage of any of Caesar’s short balls forcing him to retrieve quality attacking shots, winning both games 1 and 2.
Going into the 3rd Caesar went out to a 4-0 lead only to have Max scrabble, making some terrific digs and options with lose balls to tie the match up. Once Max was able to catch Caesar he continued to punish the ball deep and short, attacking off of the volley given the opportunity.
Max wins 3-0. 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (47min)
Round One of the Workforce Canada Cup saw action take place at four Toronto venues.
At Toronto Athletic top seed Diego Elias was taken to five games before seeing off Canada’s Mike McCue, at Toronto Lawn Arturo Salazar upset Adrian Waller to join twin brother Cesar - who won at Ontario Racquet Club - in the last eight, while at the Cambridge Club Campbell Grayson took out fourth seed Leo Au.
Chris Hollow reports from the Cambridge Club
Grayson Grinds Out the Upset Campbell Grayson of New Zealand staged a first-round upset of Hong Kong’s Leo Au in the first round of the Workforce Canada Cup, taking down his higher-ranked counterpart 3-0 in 57m. Each game remained knotted until the middle section when, despite appearing to be working harder, the Kiwi pulled away during the business end.
A valiant comeback in Game Two fell just short and the former Asian Individual Champion dropped a hotly-contested Game Three in extra points, sending Grayson through to the Quarters.
Grayson 3-0 over Au (11-6, 11-9, 14-12) 57m
Clyne Holds Off YuenNumber 5 seed Alan Clyne used his patient brand of squash to hold off unseeded Ivan Yuen in the second match of the night at the host venue, the Cambridge Club. The Scot won a tight 21m Game One in extra points only to drop Game Two to the shot-making of the Malaysian.
Steady & patient through the balance of the match, Clyne came back from 6-9 down in Game Four to punch his ticket to next round with an exciting 15-13 win.
Clyne over Yeun 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 15-13) 69m
Top seed Diego takes fiveGame 1
Mike gets out to a strong 4-0 lead. Diego is looking a little slow off the mark. His injury may still be bothering him. Mike is playing positive squash. A few errors from Diego puts Mike to 7-2. Diego is warming up and comes back to 6-8. Mike wins a tough rally after a tin from Diego going 9-6 up. Couple controversial call brings Diego back to 8-9. Mikes get a stroke on the next point followed by a tin by Diego to win the first game.
Things start a little chippy at the start of the second. Each player is arguing with the ref. They exchange the few point but Mike edges out a 4-2 lead. The rallies are starting to get longer at this point. Diego brings it back to 4-4 with some nice length and a couple of errors from Mike. Diego is getting on a role but Mike is sticking in there and brings it back to 6-6 from being 4-6 down. A brutally long rally ensues and Mike wins it with a perfect forehand counter drop to go up 7-6. Diego wins the next rally on a stroke to bring it back to 7-7. Mike is starting to show some fatigue but again he’s keeping the score close as they exchange points. 8-8. Mike hits a forehand drop winner from the back to go up 9-8. A tin from Mike brings it back to 9-9. Mike hits another forehand winner to go up 10-9 game ball. The rally ends with a let but Diego is not happy. He wanted a stroke and Mike thought the ball was down so the ref played a let. Another let on the next rally. Mike hits a winner to take the second game.
Game 3Diego ups the pace to start the third game and takes the first point. Mike comes back and wins the next two points to go up 2-1. Diego is changing his tactics and is putting the ball in the front right with more frequency and chipping it in on the back hand and takes the next points to tie is 2-2. Mike is not letting Diego get his movement or his groove and takes the next point 3-2. Diego takes the three points to go up 5-3. Mike claws back to 5-5. Mike works Diego the next rally and finishes with a nice backhand drop to go up 6-5. Diego gets a stroke to tie it at 6-6. Diego hits a forehand winner to go up 7-6. Diego puts together a beautiful string of points to take the game 11-6. Mike is showing his fatigue and Diego is warm and absorbing well.
Mike win the two rallies with one length winner and a great backhand volley drop. Diego is controlling the pace and the game now and gets out to a 7-3 lead. Mike comes back with a nice winner to bring it to 4-7. A couple of exchanged points and Diego goes up 8-5. Mike narrowly hits the tin to put Diego up 9-5. Diego takes 2 quick points to take the 4th 11-5.
Diego starts well with pin point length accuracy and takes the first rally with a stroke. Let on the next rally and Mike is vehemently wanting a stroke as he believes Diego is blocking. The chippiness from the second game has continued through the match. Mike is really showing the fatigue and Diego goes to 6-0. Mike hits a nice backhand drop to get his first point of the board. Another great point by Mike takes him to 2-6. Two quick points from Diego takes him to 8-2. Tin by Diego gives Mike some hope at 3-8. Mike is working hard to stay in it but Diego is keeping up the pressure and goes up 9-3. Good boast from Diego give him match ball. Mike gets one more back from a tin by Diego.
Diego Elias vs Mike McCue (Score: Diego wins 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4, Time: 71min)
Ontario Racquet ClubReported by Michael Bertin
The Ontario Racquet Club was happy to host two opening round matches on their show court, newly fitted with a professional tin, of the 2018 Workforce Canada Cup, a $50,000 world ranking event; organized by Shahier Razik (Tournament Director), with the Cambridge Club of Toronto.
Max Lee(6) beat David Baillargeon(qualifier, currently Canadian #7)—60 minutes, 11-9 / 11-7 / 8-11 / 11-6
Cesar Salazar(3) beat Shawn Delierre(qualifier, currently Canadian #1)—25 minutes, 11-6 / 11-5 / 11-5
Lee v Baillargeon
Game 1 saw Lee establish his pattern for the match, grabbing an early lead with a series of quick one steps off the “T” to volley consistent tight balls down the walls, especially with his forehand, which kept David constantly going to the back to dig balls out of the corners. Lee showed a good mix of squash strokes, hitting tight length and crosscourts, and then feathering drops tight to the front corners. Baillargeon seemed to be in scramble mode, but he stayed relaxed and deliberate as he kept retrieving balls until his opportunity to go of the offensive arrived. From 4-6, David hit a beautiful backhand fake drop, a good cross court to length followed by a volley nick and suddenly he was up 8-7. Lee was seemingly helping David’s cause by hitting 3 unforced tins on attempted drop shots, but momentum kept switching in this game, with Lee again finding his rhythm with steady length, great racquet holds that kept Baillargeon scrambling, and two “slap” forehands to the right front corner for winners, game won 11-9.
Game 2 saw Lee more in control from start to finish. His racquet holds and volley drop were particularly effective as Max seemed to increase the pace of the game, controlling the game from the “T”. Again, Max made a couple of unforced errors on attempted drops, hitting the tin, and the crowd were wondering if a repeat of Game #1 was going to happen. This time, Lee quickly got control of the game again, serving out at 11-7.
Game 3 saw the match continue on the same pattern, but then David made a change in his strategy, deciding to change tactics, varying his play, mixing his shots more—hitting a few boasts and striking some of his own volley nics to get Max off the “T”. Again, Lee hit a few unforced errors, and David pulled to 10-8, and served out to win, 11-7. Match on!
The sold out crowd was shifting in their seats as Game 4 started, some sensing that an upset may be in the brewing. Lee also seemed to sense he needed to pick up his play, and he was relentless in playing the way he began the match. Points were hard to come by for either player and long rallies ensued before any point was scored. But at 4-3, Lee’s consistent volleying to length and feather drops to the front corners seemed to take its toll on Baillargeon as Lee started to string points together, ending the match with an 11-6 win.
Salazar v Delierre
After the 60 minute first match, the ORC crowd was ready for another high level match as ORC host Al Cook announced the players, Cesar Salazar(known for his relentless play) and Shawn Delierre who is part of 3 of the 5 longest matches in PSA history.
Game 1 – Much of the talk during the knock up was the “short shorts” that Shawn was wearing for the match. The crowd thought Shawn might have just come from a warm-up run as the shorts resembled more or a runner’s shorts rather than traditional squash wear, but the shorts ended up being a metaphor for how the match rallies would go and the outcome of all the games. Both players seemed to be ready to end points quickly, whether it be for a winner or tin, and unfortunately for Shawn’s sake he was on the “short” end of most of the points.
To Salazar’s compliment, he played top level squash, hitting solid length down the walls and crosscourts, delaying his racquet swing which had Shawn moving to where he guessed the ball was going only to see the ball go whizzing by in the opposite direction. The game ended with Shawn hitting a tin from the back of the court, emblematic of how the whole match would go, Salazar winning 11-6.
Game 2 began as the crowd was expecting when the match first started, entertaining shot making and gets by both players, although there were still a few unforced errors into the tin. The score was going up by 1s with each player showing solid squash until Salazar broke through the pattern and went to 6-4; then with Shawn doing a lot of guessing, Cesar ran the game out 11-5.
Game 3 was much the same as the later part of Game 2. Salazar controlling rallies, Shawn visiting corner to corner, mixed in with a few good shots for points. However, Salazar was in control of the match from beginning to end, showing why he is currently ranked #21 on the PSA tour, and he closed out the match with an easy 11-5 win.
Reported by Michael Bertin
Canada and USA share qualifying spoilsMatch Points, by Jacob Altenburg
The first match of the afternoon featured fourth seeded Chris Hanson of the USA again Tristan Eysele of South Africa. It was a spirited start with both players putting on a show for the crowd with some amazing squash. In the end the match went to Hanson 3-0.
The second match was the match of the weekend between Canada’s Shawn Delierre and Columbia’s Juan Camilo Vargas. Juan jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see Delierre battle back with outstanding resilience to take, in a 93 minute marathon, the match 3-2.
The third match of the night was another great battle between Christopher Gordon of the USA and Dimitri Steinmann of Switzerland. The two players exchanged blows and made each other stretch to the limit. The final score did not due the match justice, but in the end Gordon took the match 3-0.
The final match of the night feature Canada’s own David Baillargeon against England’s Ben Coates. Baillargeon came out firing on all cylinders and never let Coates settle into the match. The Canadian came out on top with a convincing victory 3-0.
Moving into the main draw, Gordon Qualifier plays Abdulla Al Tamimim,
Baillargeon faces Max Lee, Delierre goes up against Caesar Salazar and
Hanson faces. Ryan Cuskelly
Chris Hanson (Usa) 3-0 Tristan Eysele (Rsa) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9
Shawn Delierre (Can) 3-2 Juan Camilo Vargas (Col) 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3
Chris Gordon (Usa) 3-0 Dimitri Steinmann (Sui) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9
David Baillargeon (Can) 3-0 Ben Coates (Eng) 11-3, 11-5, 11-4
The 2018 Workforce Canada Cup kicked off with qualifying at Barrie Athletic Club. Sahwn Delierre and David Baillargeon carry Canadian hopes in Sunday’s finals, with American pair Chris Hanson and Chris Gordon also favoured to progress.
MATCH POINTS … by Jacob Altenburg
The first match of the day showed two Canadians match up. It was a high pace, hard hitting match that got the crowd into the event early. It had David Baillargeon defeating Ahad Raza 3-1
The second match of the day has Canadian Cameron Seth face off again the fourth seeding Chris Hanson of the USA. The two had a great battle with some long rallies which in the end favour the American who won 3-0.
Match three had top ranked Canadian Shawn Delierre face off again Switzerland’s Reiko Peter. The two had a gritty match with both players giving it their all and really giving the crowd some amazing squash to cheer about. Shawn came out on top with the victory 3-1.
The fourth match had the young Swiss player Dimitri Steinmann face off against Canada’s Thomas King. The players came out firing on all cylinders and got the crowd into it right away. Both players played a clean match but the young Swiss player came out on top 3-0.
The fifth match featured two players from outside Canada, Kale Wilson (Trinidad) and Juan Camilo Vargas (Columbia). The two had a spirited match putting a lot of pressure on each other but had Vargas come out on top 3-0.
Match six showed Canadian Albert Shoihet match up again South Africa’s Tristan Eysele. The two played a very similar game, making each other go to all four corners but Eysele’s fitness came out on top with the victory 3-1.