Gordon and Illingworth boost US interest in Richmond!

US interest in the main draw of the North American Open will be doubled after Christopher Gordon and Julian Illingworth (pic) set up an all-American qualifying finals clash in the 2nd PSA World Series event of the year in Richmond, Virginia. New York-born Gordon despatched Pakistan’s Arshad Iqbal Burki in straight games in the 1st qualifying round. But US No1 Julian Illingworth was taken the full distance by Kamran Khan before beating the Malaysian son of the legendary Jansher Khan. Khan, the 20-year-old world No80, twice led in the 89-minute marathon – but Illingworth, the New York-based 27-year-old ranked 40 in the world, maintained his focus to close out the match 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 in the longest battle of the day. Qualifying finals line-up: Aaron Frankcomb (AUS) v Joel Hinds (ENG); Cesar Salazar (MEX) v Mark Krajcsak (HUN); Martin Knight (NZL) v Dylan Bennett (NED); Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS); Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY); Stephane Galifi (ITA) v Siddharth Suchde (IND); Yann Perrin (FRA) v Zac Alexander (AUS); Julian Illingworth (USA) v Christopher Gordon (USA).