Top seeds Shahier Razik and Ryan Cuskelly will contest the final of the Toronto Cup after marathon semi-final wins. Razik’s four-game win over third-seeded Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan took 84 minutes, 60 seconds longer than it took Cuskelly to overcome unseeded Campbell Grayson, also in four games.
After touring nine venues, the final two players will converge on Toronto Lawn Tennis Club for the final.
Razik v Adnad
Uncharacteristically, Shahier Razik got off to a great start, jumping to an early 4-1 lead in the opening game. Mohd Nafiizwan adnan wouldn’t let it go easily though and battled back to take a 7-6 lead. Razik dug in as he is known to do, keeping the ball tight and wide and was able to take the 23 minute first game in extra points 12-10.
Adnan seemed to up the tempo in the second with some key holds from the front court that caught Razik flat footed on numerous occasions. He held steady and took it in half the time of the first game, 11-5.
The third game was critical for both players, they traded points all the way up to 7 all. Adnan seemed to get sucked into Razik’s slower pace game and was no longer forcing the tempo higher which would have worked in his favour. A stroke and a deft forehand volley drop put Razik ahead 10-8. A long rally saw both players covering all four quarters and an attempt short by Adnan found the tin, game to Razik 11-8, he was up 2 games to 1.
The fourth was even closer, point for point all the way up 6-6, Adnan knew his back was against the wall and surged ahead with three quick points to reach 9-6. It looked like a 5th game was in the cards.
The look on his face suggested Razik could sense his opportunity to close out the match was slipping away. He dug deep, made some amazing gets, and fought back to take the game 11-9. Adnan’s disappointment was palpable as he realized he let the opportunity go without as much resistance as he had been hoping for. Razik through to the final after 84 minutes of hard fought squash.”-
Andrew Thompson (Toronto Lawn)
Cuskelly v Grayson
Grayson was coming off two tough matches in the opening rounds, while Cuskelly had made the last four playing the minimum six games. It didn’t seem to factor heavily in the opening rallies, but there were hints that Campbell wasn’t in optimal condition.
Cuskelly hit with more severity and purpose to take a 20+ minute first game. Grayson finally hit his stride midway through the second as the ball slowed down slightly, allowing him to attack short more often. He eventually reached game ball at 11-10 and left the Aussie diving in vain at a forehand drive, equalizing the affair after nearly 50 minutes of play.
In the third Cuskelly was able to maintain the pace of the first two games while Grayson began to show the effects of Monday and Tuesday’s exertions. Ryan was still getting on the ball very quickly, holding, then punching the ball deep to put even more miles in Campbell’s legs.
Errors and loose balls became more frequent, and from 7-all in the third Cuskelly was able to comfortably navigate the final four points, and the entire fourth game. It was never easy, but he finished with increasing authority.”-
Mike McCue (Mayfair Lakeshore)