Iker Pajares Bernabeu comes close to beating World Champion at PSA Manchester Open

May 16 2023

Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu continued the impressive form that saw him beat Gregoire Marche on the opening day to mount a determined challenge against Ali Farag before the top seed & recently crowned World Champion was able to eventually progress to the quarter-fianls of the PSA Manchester Open with a closely-fought 50-minute victory.

The four-time World Champion was forced to come from behind to overcome the Spaniards’ challenge, battling back after losing the opening game to eventually win 5-11 11-6 12-10 11-9.

Iker took control of the opening game to win it 11-5 against his Egyptian rival who won his fourth World Championships title in Chicago just seven days ago.

Farag however fought back to win the second game 11-6, but the Spaniard again dominated large periods of the third game, forcing the top seed to save four match balls before eventually taking the game 12-10.

The fourth game again proved close, with the four-time World Champion eventually advancing to the quarter finals after winning another tie-break.

“Iker played well & started really well, “ said Farag after his victory. “Iker is very solid & gets a lot of balls back. He never gives you any errors, you must earn every point & that is not easy because of how quick he is. His length game is also very good, so it is not easy to get in front of him & impose your own game.”

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Professional Squash Association (PSA) Manchester Open 2023
National Squash Centre, Manchester, England
2nd Round Results:
[1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 5-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 (50m)
[8] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (35m)

Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu & four-time USA Champion Todd Harrity produced the only upsets on the opening day of the PSA Manchester Open being staged at the National Squash Centre in England.

Iker Pajares Bernabeu produced a stunning performance to defeat Gregoire Marche of France 3-11 13-11 11-6 11-8 in 59 minutes. The Spaniard recovered superbly from losing the opening game of his 1st round match by showing his trademark fighting spirit to level the tie with a second game tiebreak which proved crucial in changing the momentum of the encounter. Iker began to dictate the tempo of the rallies to claim the next two games & close-out a major four-game upset & earn a place in the 2nd round where he will play recently crowned PSA World Champion Ali Farag.

A near faultless performance from Todd Harrity saw the American beat Ramit Tandon of India 11-4 11-5 11-4 in just 28 minutes.

Despite battling performances from Lucas Serme & George Parker, neither were able to Iker Pajares Bernabeu or Todd Harrity in the 2nd round.

Lucas Serme fought to the very end against Greg Lobban but couldn’t find a way past the Scottish No.1 who progressed with a 41-minute 11-7 11-5 11-6 victory, whilst Patrick Rooney came out on top in the all-English battle against George Parker.

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Professional Squash Association (PSA) Manchester Open 2023
National Squash Centre, Manchester, England
1st Round Results:
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8 (59m)
Todd Harrity (USA) bt Ramit Tandon (IND) 11-4, 11-5, 11-4 (28m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt George Parker (ENG) 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (40m)

This year’s PSA Manchester Open gets underway today & features UNSQUASHABLE players George Parker, Iker Pajares Bernabeu, Todd Harrity & Lucas Serme.

George Parker will take on fellow Englishman Patrick Rooney in arguably the standout match of the opening day. Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu will face Gregoire Marche of France, whilst 4-time US Champion Todd Harrity & 2-time French Champion Lucas Serme will face Ramit Tandon of India & Greg Lobban of Scotland in their respective 1st round matches.

The 2023 Manchester Open takes place at the National Squash Centre from the 17th to 21st May & will feature not one, but two all-glass courts.

FREE coverage of the opening day matches will be shown live on www.manchesteropensquash.com with the later rounds & finals streamed live on SQUASHTV.

Iker Pajares Bernabeu, George Parker, Todd Harrity & Lucas Serme will all compete in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Manchester Squash Open to be staged at the National Squash Centre in Manchester, England from the 17th to 21st May.

Iker Pajares Bernabeu vs Gregoire Marche
George Parker vs Patrick Rooney
Todd Harrity vs Ramit Tandon
Lucas Serme vs Greg Lobban