Cuskelly falls at the final hurdle

RYAN CUSKELLY’S hopes of claiming his first squash title of the year were dashed by second-seeded Canadian Shahier Razik in the final of the National Capital Open in the US city of Bethesda on Monday night.

The 22-year-old Cuskelly, from Evans Head, was the tournament’s sixth seed.

He had upset top-seeded Miguel Angel Rodriguez and third-ranked Martin Knight on the way to the decider but couldn’t reproduce that form against Razik.

Cuskelly pushed the Canadian in the first game but lost touch after that as Razik eased to a 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 win to successfully defend his title.

The New York-based Cuskelly now heads to Richmond, Virginia, where he will try to qualify for the North American Open later this week, part of the elite Super Series that now also includes the Australian Open.

He will be joined in qualifying by fellow countrymen Scott Arnold, Zac Alexander, Steve Finitsis and Luke Forste.

They will all be hoping to join Lithgow’s David Palmer and Tasmanian Aaron Frankcomb in the main draw.

Final result – prefix denotes seeding:

2-Shahier Razik (CAN) d 6-Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 12-10, 11-5, 11-6



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