Local pre-qualifying for the 2015 Delaware Investments U.S. Open is underway at local clubs throughout Philadelphia.
Sixteen men and six women are in the midst of vying for two spots in U.S. Open qualifying per draw, which culminates in a pre-qualifying finals night at Drexel University, September 17. Admission to the pre-qualifying finals night is free and open to the public at Drexel’s Kline & Specter Squash Courts.
Due to the women’s qualifying draw expanding from sixteen to thirty-two, 2015 marks the first year in which two women’s qualifying spots are at stake in local pre-qualifying.
Two-time pre-qualifier Georgina Stoker returns as the women’s top seed in hopes of a third consecutive U.S. Open qualifying appearance. The English international will take on either Baldwin School’s Morgan Steelman, who is making her first pre-qualifying bid, or Niki Clement the finals.
University of Pennsylvania graduate and Philadelphia-based Nabilla Arrifin enters the draw as the two seed and will face either Isabel Hirshberg or Trinity graduate Alicia Rodriguez Acosta in the final.
The sixteen-player men’s draw is down to the quarterfinals with two first-time pre-qualifiers guaranteed. Top-seeded Gavin Jones, who qualified locally for the past two years, was seeded first, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Avenging his 2013 pre-qualifying final loss against two seed Imran Khan, Trinity graduate Parth Sharma upset khan in their round of sixteen match opening up both ends of the draw. Sharma is the only player to clinch a spot in September’s finals with all other quarterfinals yet to be played. Seven other talented locals will hit the court in the coming weeks to decide the three remaining final spots.
Stay tuned to www.usopensquash.com for more information on the pre-qualifying finals night.