Americans Todd Harrity and Chris Hanson will begin their 2015 Professional Squash Association (PSA) campaigns with their highest career world rankings this month—world No. 68 and world No. 162 respectively.
Both Harrity and Hanson have risen significantly in their first full calendar years on the PSA world tour.
Harrity, supported by the Elite Athlete Program, began 2014 ranked world No. 129 having competed in two PSA tournaments in 2013. The twenty-four-year-old Wayne, Pennsylvania native competed in nineteen PSA tournaments throughout the year including two titles—the $5, 000 New York Pro Open in March and $10, 000 Madison Open in November. Boosted by the rankings points earned from competing in his first PSA World Championship last month, Harrity capped off the year as world No. 68 in January’s rankings.
“2014 has been a terrific year for me, ” Harrity reflected. “I feel I have solidified Philadelphia as my base for now, and all of my training with Mohamed Reda, Scott Devoy, and my trainer, “D” began to pay off. It was great to win my first 10k in November, and I still have a long way to go, but with all of the support from US Squash and a great team around me, I think I am on the right track.”
Now ranked just eighteen places away, Harrity has set his sights on cracking the top 50 in 2015.
“I would love to be a top 50 player sometime in 2015, ” Harrity continued. “My main goal is just to always keep improving, so I try not to dwell too much on numbers and rankings. I think it can take a while to start to see big jumps in your game and it requires a lot of hard training and patience. But l am definitely a much better player now then I was a year ago. So if I feel the same way a year from now then 2015 will have been a great year!”
Harrity’s first PSA match of 2015 will be against world No. 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy as the Wild Card in the 2015 Tournament of Champions.
Hanson, who turned twenty-four last month, started 2014 with an injury setback after making his PSA debut in the 2013 U.S. Open Championships, which kept the Dartmouth graduate out off the tour for January and February. Hanson placed fifth in March’s U.S. nationals, which was his first competition of 2014 while he was ranked world No. 380. The Bedford, NY-native went on to compete in twelve PSA events over the calendar year.
“It was a tough year at the start, ” Hanson said. “Physically, coming back from an injury I felt like I was starting over because I hadn’t been able to do any proper training or anything for almost eight months. I did play in the 2013 U.S. Open, but wasn’t completely fit, and before that, the last tournament where I felt completely in-shape was the 2013 Nationals in March.”
Hanson has been working closely his trainer, Jeremy Mayer, in 2014 to regain full fitness, which has complemented guidance from his coach and former world No. 2 Rodney Martin.
“I think taking a step back, taking my time and doing the right things helped, ” Hanson continued. “Seeing my trainer, Jeremy, every week to get the proper treatment, and slowly getting back into tournaments was a building process. I didn’t expect much going into the tournaments because I knew it was my first year playing, and obviously I wanted to do well, but I didn’t want to rush into things, expect to do well, or injure myself again.”
In addition to his PSA appearances, Hanson had a breakthrough 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival with Team USA, where he earned silver in the Mixed Doubles competition, and recorded his highest-ranked upset against Mexican world No. 78 Eric Galvez. Hanson begins 2015 as world No. 162, and with the goals of cracking the PSA top 100 and representing the United States in this summer’s Pan American Games.
“My first goal this year is to make the PSA top 100, ” Hanson said. “I think it’s really doable. I’m very lucky to have the chance to play as the Windy City Open Wild Card so I think that will help my ranking a lot. On top of that, to then go and hopefully be in the position in tournaments throughout the year where I can be in the main draw, make some good pushes into the quarters, semis, finals and even winning some of the $5, 000 and $10, 000 tournaments.
“My second goal is make the U.S. team going to Toronto for the Pan American Games in July. I had such a great experience going with the team to Toluca in September. I would essentially give anything to represent the U.S. in Toronto. I’m making a big push in training for nationals in March, to do as well as possible there, and to do well in whatever form of trial comes after.”
Hanson joins American world No. 57 Chris Gordon, world No. 217 Faraz Khan, and world No. 227 Mike Lewis in Tournament of Champions qualifying next week.