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Steven 'up for the challenge' at Grange Open in Edinburgh

By Alan Hendry

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Thurso squash player Fraser Steven says he is "up for the challenge" ahead of this week's Commercial Water Solutions Grange Open.

The 21-year-old is a wildcard entry at the Grange Club in Edinburgh and will meet England's James Peach in the first round.

Steven is ranked 651 on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour and has competed at only one Scottish circuit event in Edinburgh this year when he was beaten 3-1 in the first round by Fergus Richards.

“I’m happy to be selected as one of four wildcards for the Grange Open," Steven said. "This has been a quiet year for me so I’m grateful to have the chance to compete at the end of the year and really kick on in 2022.

"James has had a strong year, with a win at the David Lloyd Open in November and a quarter-final place at the Sutton Coldfield International, but I’m up for the challenge.”

The Grange Open is a men and women’s tournament that runs from Wednesday until Sunday.

Alasdair Prott of Inverness will be among the Scottish contingent at the Grange Club.
Alasdair Prott of Inverness will be among the Scottish contingent at the Grange Club.

Other Scottish entrants include Alasdair Prott (Inverness), John Meehan (Paisley) and Martin Ross (Inverness). Steven is among four wildcards from Scotland, the others being Chris Leiper (Aberdeen), James Singh (Glasgow) and Andrew Glen (Glasgow).

It is followed by the Lockerbie Challenger (December 8-12) where Prott and Leiper step up again, with wildcard entrants consisting of Meehan, Ross and Glen.

Nine-times junior champion Prott (20) faces Spain's Pablo Quintana Estevez in the first round at the Grange Open, then Meehan in the opening round of the Lockerbie Challenger.

Prott is ranked 206 on the PSA tour. He narrowly missed out on Scotland selection for the world team championships in Kuala Lumpur after being beaten 3-2 by Fergus Richards in the quarter-finals of the David Lloyd Men’s Open in November.

Prott said: “My rankings show I’ve had a decent year and I’m looking forward to getting back to winning ways at the Grange Open and Lockerbie Challenger. It’s always great to compete back in Scotland.

"It was awesome playing in my home town at the Springfield Scottish Squash Open in Inverness in September, and these two events will have a similar feel.”

Meehan (19), who is ranked 290 on the PSA tour, is drawn against Seif Shenawy from Egypt in round one of the Grange Open.

Ross (26) meets England's Sam Todd in the opening round of the Grange Open before facing Hasnaat Farooqi (also England) in the opening round of the Lockerbie Challenger. Ross has jumped from 634 to 311 in rankings this year.

He said: “It's always special to have PSA tournaments in Scotland, so I'm really looking forward to the Grange Open and Lockerbie Challenger. I've never played either of my first-round opponents before – I think it’s always good to play someone new."

Leiper (28) takes on Farooqi in the first round at the Grange Open, followed by a match against Ben Hetherington from England at the Lockerbie Challenger. He is ranked 357 on the tour.

Singh (27), ranked 537, faces Paul Gonzalez from France in the first round at the Grange Club.

Nineteen-year-old Glen, whose tour ranking is 590, will take on England’s Ben Smith at the Grange and then Gonzalez at Lockerbie.

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