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Gordon Upsets Harrity to Secure First Appearance in Grand Central Since 2009

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January 8, 2020
by Chris McClintick

[Above: Chris Gordon (l) and Todd Harrity]

Queens native Chris Gordon upset U.S. teammate and world No. 55 Todd Harrity in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions men’s wild card playoff final to secure his first appearance on the glass court in Grand Central since 2009 Tuesday evening, January 7, at the Yale Club of New York.

Last month, Gordon—world No. 91—and Harrity represented Team USA together at the WSF Men’s World Team Championship in Washington, DC. The two Americans had never faced each other on the PSA World Tour before entering the wild card playoff, and Harrity had won their last three match ups in the U.S. Men’s Championship since 2014.

Gordon, a thirty-three-year-old veteran, took an early 7-4 lead in the first game, but Harrity rebounded to win seven of the next eight points and take the first 11-8. The twenty-nine-year-old Princeton graduate appeared to have full momentum in the second, speeding to a 6-1 lead. It was Gordon who then put together a streak and come back to take the second 11-9. After Gordon earned a 2-1 advantage, Harrity was on the verge of forcing a fifth game with four game balls up 10-6 in the fourth. Gordon then pulled off another remarkable streak, fighting off four game balls and clinching the wild card spot 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 13-11 after fifty-four minutes.

Gordon, who grew up in Manhattan and reached a career high ranking of world No. 44 in May 2013, last appeared on the glass court in Vanderbilt Hall came against Ramy Ashour in 2009.

“I’m so happy to get through,” Gordon said. “One of the main reasons I’m a professional squash player is because of this event. Growing up and watching it was such a huge motivation for me. It was always my dream to play on the court in Grand Central, and I honestly thought I might not get another chance in my career. So to manage to win against a player who I don’t have a very good record against is really nice.”

Gordon will close out the Thursday evening session on the glass court against Australia’s world No. 24 Ryan Cuskelly at 8:30pm local time. Gordon and Cuskelly have faced each other seven times on the PSA World Tour and leads the head-to-head 5-2.

“I’m just happy to be playing next in Grand Central on the glass,” Gordon said. “Every match now on tour is tough. You have to be super prepared and it’s one of the moments that I want to enjoy every part of it.”