Our HSRA reporter filed this report from Dallas…..
The annual Texas Open amateur tournament was held in Dallas last week in conjunction with the PSA Women’s Tour event. HSRA had a strong presence not least with the only two women competitors in the 3.5 tournament being Jennifer McGeoch and Sylvie Desjardins. Three Houstonians reached finals: John Leavy was narrowly defeated in 5 sets in the final of the 50+ tournament (someone in the crowd was heard to say “I don’t think John is made for 5 set matches any more”), Abbas Maniar won the 5.5+ tournament in a great match to watch against tournament director Anil Singh, and Stuart McGeoch showed there’s life in the old dog yet by struggling past his 15 year old opponent from 2 sets down in the 3.5 tournament.
The propfessional tournament provided some surprises too with the early departure of 4th and 5th seeds Line Hansen and Heba El Torky in the first round, and Donna Urquhart’s defeat #1 seed Joelle King in the semi-final. The final was a cracker of a 5 setter between Australian Urquhart, whom we hope to see in Houston this summer with Mission Squash, and Hong Kong’s Annie Au. Annie prevailed 11-8 in the 5th and well deserved her slice of the $35,000 pot for the tournament.
One of the great joys of the PSA Women’s tour (previously WISPA) is the approachability of the players, and that was well in evidence in Dallas again, especially at Saturday night’s social dinner at the Blue Mesa Grill. With all the ladies in attendance including the qualifiers and well known names like Rachael Grinham and Coline Aumard, it was a great opportunity to learn a bit more about what life is like on tour. Jennie Duncalf spoke on behalf of the players to thank the organizers and once again Anil Singh and Sanjeeb Samanta, with of course the generous support of the likes of Roy Cisneros, had once again a fantastic job of this great weekend away for us Houstonians.
Now to get it back to Houston!