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Tournament Director Kim Clearkin reports:
A busy weekend of squash concluded in San Francisco with an intense, entertaining and extremely partisan match between Bay Club Pro Charlie Johnson and young Mexican phenom, Jesus Camacho.
In conjunction with a Junior Gold tournament, which attracted over 175 players from all over the country, the $1,000 Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tatleaux De Pera Solar Group Bay Club Open served as icing on the cake to the Juniors and spectators at the Bay Club San Francisco.
Smaller prize money PSA events provide opportunities for young players to gain valuable ranking points as well as experience that will help them ultimately move into larger $5K tournaments rather than having to rely on local and wildcard spots. Another advantage is that they give high-level junior players a chance to gauge their own ability by allowing them to enter the professional events as amateur players.
Juniors dominated the weekend at all levels. American Gabriel Morgan and Camacho, both sixteen years old, stole the show. Morgan and Camacho breezed through their first rounds. Morgan upset his second round opponent to face off in the semifinals against his coach, Johnson.
Camacho also had no trouble advancing to the semis where he would face top seed Adam Perkiomaki from Portland. While Johnson prevailed against his student, who put up a great fight, Camacho overturned the seedings and came through against all odds to beat Perkiomaki 3-1.
The final was nip-and-tuck all the way. Camacho was clearly ready to win. Johnson needed to remain precise and effective. At 2-1 to Johnson, it seemed like it was all over, but Camacho managed to fight his way back to take the fourth game 12-10.
The fifth was extremely close. Camacho pulled away to a 10-7 lead, but Johnson clawed it back to 10-9 before putting a seemingly easy drop shot in the tin. The partisan Mexican crowd went wild and celebrated Camacho’s first PSA win.
Although disappointing for Johnson, it sets up a great event at Bay Club Redwood Shores in July where the three winners of the Bay Club tournaments will face off in the second of the series sponsored by Tatleaux De Pera Solar Group.
Thanks to NorCal Squash who are also supporting their local squash community in these tournaments.
In July, the second of the three Challenger tournaments will take place at the Bay Club Redwood Shores, along with a Junior Silver tournament, and plans are in the works for the third tournament in August which will likely be in Southern California.