Moustafa Elsirty, Iker Pajares Bernabeu & Todd Harrity compete at PSA Houston Open

January 12 2023

The PSA Houston Squash Open, the first PSA World Tour event of the year, was staged at the Houston Squash Club in Texas, USA from the 11th to 15th January & featured #teamunsquashable players Iker Pajares Bernabeu, Todd Harrity & Moustafa Elsirty.

Despite determined challenges, neither Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu or Todd Harrity of the USA were able to progress beyond the opening round following losses to Egyptians Mohamed ElSherbini & Omar Mosaad.

Spain’s Iker Pajares Bernabeu was eventually denied 11-7 11-13 11-6 11-4 in 65 minutes, whilst Todd Harrity, who battled back against his tall opponent to take the fourth game 11-9 & breathe more life into the contest, was eventually beaten 11-7 11-5 9-11 11-6 in 54 minutes.

Moustafa Elsirty produced a trademark battling performance in his opening match to defeat England’s Nathan Lake 9-11 11-9 11-8 11-7 in in a tight 57-minute encounter on the opening day of the championship.

Moustafa battled back after losing a tight opening game, maintaining his composure throughout the match which featured many interruptions as both players sought to exert their authority by holding their ground in the middle of the court to minimise opportunities for the other player to attack.

Having established a decisive 2-1 lead, Moustafa used his straight kill to great effect in the fourth game & converted the match at the first time of asking at 10-7 to win in just under an hour & move into the 2nd round where he will face compatriot & World No.2 Mostafa Asal.

“I’m really happy to be through,” said Moustafa. “Nathan had such a good tournament last year so I knew today wouldn’t be easy at all, he’s such a good squash player & yeah it was physical because we are both big & it wasn’t my best day so I’m really happy to be through.

“In 2021 I took it tournament by tournament, so I’ll do the same this year, it will be hard to do the same but I’m looking forward to making this season better than the last.

“Mostafa [Asal] doesn’t need anyone to talk about him, he’s World No.2 & nearly World No.1 so there’s no pressure on me, it’s all on him & hopefully we’ll see a good one & I can win.”

In the 2nd round, Moustafa Elsirty battled hard against fellow Egyptian Mostafa Asal but was eventually denied a place in the quarter-finals by the top seed who advanced with an 11-4 11-6 11-5 victory.

The two Egyptians both hold a big presence on the court which resulted in refereeing decisions deciding many of crucial points of the match. Asal, who will be crowned World No.1 if he wins the event being staged at the Houston Squash Club in Texas, handled the interruptions better & did well to maintain his focus & concentration to take a 2-0 lead.

Moustafa battled hard to find a way back into the contest, but the quality of Asal proved decisive on the night. The World No.2 took the third game 11-5 to book his place in the last eight with a 40-minute win.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Houston Open, Houston Squash Club, Texas, USA
2nd Round:
[1] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt Moustafa Elsirty (EGY)  11-4 11-6 11-5

1st Round:
Moustafa El Sirty (EGY) bt Nathan Lake (ENG) 9-11 11-9 11-8 11-7
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) bt Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) 11-7 11-13 11-6 11-4
Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 11-7 11-5 9-11 11-6