US SQUASH

American Trio Progress in Motor City Open Qualifying

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Chris Hanson (front) against Farhan Zaman. (image: Motor City Open)

Team USA’s Todd Harrity, Chris Gordon and Chris Hanson are through to the qualifying finals of the $70, 000 Motor City Open at Birmingham Athletic Club in Detroit, Michigan.

All three Americans defeated higher-ranked opposition on the first night of qualifying for the sixteen-player main draw Wendesday evening.

Gordon, world No. 58, took out the top seed in qualifying and world No. 28 Omar Abdel Meguid 11-8, 11-3, 11-4. After reaching the qualifying finals last year, the 2013 U.S. champion hopes to reach the main draw for the first time against Malaysia’s world No. 46 Ivan Yuen Thursday evening.

“I’ve never qualified here, and I would love to get my name up on that main draw board that hangs up here, ” Gordon said. “I’m feeling pretty confident and fresh for tomorrow. Today definitely went the way I would have hoped.”

Hanson, world No. 87, came back from 2-1 down to upset Pakistan’s world No. 47 Farham Zaman 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7. The win comes after Hanson squandered a match ball and two-game lead in the first round of qualifying last year.

“I got off to a bit of a slow start, ” Hanson said. “But once I got my feet under me, I was really able to get into the game. The whole match was really dependent on what he was doing, ” Hanson said. “With his style of play, I had to get him to the point where he would error.”

The twenty-six-year-old will vie for a spot in the main draw against New Zealand’s world No. 40 Campbell Grayson.

“I’m happy to come back and get a come-from-behind win of my own, ” Hanson said. “This is such a great tournament and a great opportunity for me. I’ll be ready to fire it up again tomorrow.”

Harrity, two-time U.S. champion, joined his compatriots in the qualifying finals in unfortunate fashion after opponent Ollie Tuominen was forced to retire in the second game due to injury. The world No. 51 will play Qatar’s world No. 39 Abdeulla Mohd Al Tamimi Friday night.

Qualifying finals begin Thursday afternoon at 5:30pm ET.

For live scores and more information visit www.themotorcityopen.com.

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