Our final weekly preview of the year takes us right up to the New Year, with ten events taking place across the next twelve days, with tournaments from Canada to Hong Kong in that period.
There are five tournaments taking place before Christmas, with then a further five events in the week between Christmas and the New Year, with the action coming to a conclusion in Pakistan on New Year’s Eve.
Here’s what is coming up on the Challenger Tour over the next twelve days.
Hong Kong Football Club Christmas PSA
The first of four tournaments beginning on Monday 20 December will be a domestically restricted Challenger 5 level tournament, the Hong Kong Football Club Christmas PSA.
Chi Him Wong and Cheng Nga Ching will be the top seeds for the event, which runs for four days at the Hong Kong Football Club. Harley Lam who secured his maiden Tour title last month, will also be in action.
The first of two events to be held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex over the coming twelve days will be the QSF 3, which begins on Monday 20 December.
The Challenger 10 level men’s tournament will feature players from nine nations, the majority of which are in the Middle East, Egypt and India. Egypt’s Yahya Elnawasany and Mazen Gamal will be the top two seeds, with Qatari No.2 Syed Azlan Amjad as the leading home hope.
RFES Spanish Open Ciudad de Palencia
One of three European events taking place over the Christmas period will be the Challenger 10 level RFES Spanish Open Ciudad de Palencia, which also begins on Monday 20, and runs through to Thursday 23 December.
Spanish No.1 Iker Pajares Bernabeu will be the top seed for the regionally restricted event on home soil, with France’s Benjamin Aubert and Scotland’s Rory Stewart, also members of the world’s top 100, in action.
Cricket Club 10k
The last of those four events starting on Monday 20 December will be the Cricket Club 10k, with the Challenger 10 level tournament taking place at Toronto Cricket Club in Canada.
The event is regionally restricted, but all bar three players in the draw hail from Canada. The Canadian big four, in David Baillargeon, Shawn DeLierre, Michael McCue and Nick Sachvie, will be the top four seeds.
Punjab International Open
The Punjab International Open will be the first of two tournaments to take place at the Punjab Squash Complex in Lahore over the next two weeks, and the Challenger 10 level event will be domestically restricted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tayyab Aslam will be the tournament’s top seed, with Asim Khan and Nasir Iqbal, both members of the top 100, also in action. UAE’s Muhammad Sami Ullah will be on the only non-Pakistani in the field.
MST Dubai Squash Series II
For the second time in December, the Challenger Tour will see a tournament played in the United Arab Emirates, with the MST Dubai Squash Series II beginning on Thursday 23 December.
The Challenger 5 level tournament will see India’s Sandeep Ramachandran as the top seed, as he aims to win in Dubai for a second time this month. Abdelaziz Hegazy, Seifeldin Shams and Ali Miski will be the nearest competitors.
Women’s PSA Squash Tour IV
Like Dubai, Moscow will host its second Challenger Tour event this month, with the Women’s Squash Tour IV taking place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 December at Squash Club Moscow.
The event will be domestically restricted, with Varvara Esina, who claimed her maiden title in the III event earlier this month, as the top seed. Varya Kliueva, Ekaternia Marusan and Kseniya Borkova will be the nearest contenders.
The second of those events taking place in Doha over the Christmas period will be the QSF 4, which like the QSF 3 a week earlier, will be held at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
Yahya Elnwasany will be the top seed for the Challenger 10 tournament, as he is for the QSF 3, but there will be a big Hong Kong presence, with five players from the nation in the top eight seeds.
3rd Silvester Trophy
For the fourth and final time in 2021, the Challenger Tour visits Switzerland, with the 3rd Silvester Trophy running from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December at Squash Arena Uster.
Austrian No.1 Aqeel Rehman will be the top seed for the regionally restricted Challenger 5 level event, with home hope Robin Gadola as his nearest competitor. In total, nine European nations will be represented in the event.
CM Punjab International Open
The last event of the calendar year will be held in Lahore, Pakistan, with the CM Punjab International Open running through to Friday 31 December, the last day of 2021.
Like the tournament a week previous, Tayyab Aslam and Asim Khan will be the top two seeds for the domestically restricted Challenger 10 level tournament.
Schedule Up To New Year
Hong Kong Football Club Christmas PSA: Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December
QSF 3: Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December
RFES Spanish Open Ciudad de Palencia: Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December
Cricket Club 10k: Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December
Punjab International Open: Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 December
MST Dubai Squash Series II: Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 December
Women’s PSA Squash Tour IV: Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 December
QSF 4: Sunday 26 – Wednesday 29 December
3rd Silvester Trophy: Monday 27 – Thursday 30 December
CM Punjab International Open: Monday 27 – Friday 31 December