| || |
The 32-year-old Jaymie Haycocks is the Kiva Club Open PSA champion. He defeated 22-year-old Dylan Cunningham in three games at the Kiva Club Open final Sunday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The match lasted 35 minutes.
Haycocks, who is English, was the tournament’s No. 1 seed and is ranked No. 88 in world. He did not lose a game in his four matches in the tournament.
Cunningham, an American, was the No. 5 seed and is ranked No. 179 in the world. It was his first trip to a PSA tournament final.
The first game took 14 minutes. Haycocks took the first point, then Cunningham took three straight. Haycocks countered with five of his own. Haycocks was more patient than Cunningham in the early going, varying his pace, hitting deep rails and cross-courts until he spotted an opening. Eight minutes into the game, the score was tied at 6-6 and a minute later at 7-7. With 13 minutes gone, it was tied 10-10. Then Haycocks ended a rally with a shot of perfect length that died in Cunningham’s forehand corner, and Cunningham tinned the final shot to end the game.
The second game mirrored the first at the start. Eight minutes in, the game was tied 7-7, but Haycocks rattled off four straight in the next three minutes to take it, 11-7. Again, it was Haycocks' experience and patience that won the game. When it mattered most, he always made the right shot and never rushed or tried to force a winner.
Haycocks dominated the third game, which lasted just six minutes. Cunningham won the first point, but Haycocks ran off the next eight. He seemed to have Cunningham off balance throughout. Haycocks even won two service points when Cunningham mishit the ball. As he fell further behind, Cunningham seemed to tire, while Haycocks appeared fresh, as if the match had just started. Cunningham managed just two more points, losing 11-3.
Both players were gracious on the court, displaying fine sportsmanship. In the final game, Cunningham declined a let when Haycocks hit a cross-court that died in the back forehand corner. The players collided near mid-court and the referee called a let, but Cunningham said, “no let.”
Haycocks had cruised through his first three matches in the tournament.
In his opening round match, he beat Mexico’s Heralio Salaiz Estrada in three quick games, giving up only 12 points in the match.
In his quarterfinals match, Haycocks had to work a little harder to defeat Nigeria’s Babatunde Ajagbe in three games. He gave up up 23 points in that match.
In his semifinal match, Haycocks beat fellow Englishman Reuben Phillips in three games, giving up 23 points.
Haycocks was the oldest player in the tournament to reach the quarterfinals.
To win his way to the final match, Cunningham beat Scotland’s Jon Geekie in three games, giving up 18 points. He next beat No. 2 seed Adam Murrills of England in four games, giving up 30 points. Cunningham got a bye in the semifinals because No. 4 seed Edgar Zayas of Mexico injured his knee and was unable to play.
In getting to the finals, Haycocks had not lost a game and had given up just 58 points while scoring 106 of his own.
By contrast, Cunningham had lost one game and given up 54 points to his own total of 75.
This was the second annual Kiva Club Open, which was played at a private squash club in Santa Fe. The 16 players competed for ranking points and for $5,000 in prize money.
Got squash news?
Send it to Walter Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 24-27, 2022