Former European Junior Champion Nathan Lake, from Gloucestershire, was top seed for a World ranking squash tournament in South Wales this weekend.
Cheltenham-born Lake, a 26-year-old who plays out of the East Glos club, has been drawn against Liam Eason in the first round.
Eason, aged 21 and from the Rhondda, is intent on working to cause an early upset in at the fifth annual Llantrisant Open PSA tournament, which starts on Friday evening with the finals scheduled for Sunday.
Dan Christopher (Wales), Joel Makin (Wales), Emyr Evans (Wales) and Luke Bishop (England) were Llantrisant champions over the last four years, while Lake and Rhiwbina SRC’s Peter Creed are favourites are favourites meet in the 2019 final.
Lake is ranked 61st in the World rankings, while Caerphilly-born Creed, who plays Kieran Hillman in the first round, is at 66.
Patrick Rooney, aged 21 and from St Helens in Merseyside, has been drawn against Joel Preece from Cowbridge in the 16-player men’s A draw. Rooney won silver at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa during 2015 and gold in the European Junior under-19 Championship.
Professional players competing in the Llantrisant Open are Lake (World ranking 61), Creed (66), Tom Ford (England, highest WT 60), Rooney (England, 78), Lewis Doughty (England, 187), Michael Craig (Ireland, 190), James Peach (England, 224), Jack Turney (England, 288) and Stephen Hearst (Northern Ireland, 425).
Sam Weeds, Mark Toseland, James Powell and Gareth Pitt are the top four seeds in the B event, while Fern Church and Justin Nemeth are favourites to clash in the C final.
Ollie McCann is rated number one for the D title ahead of Jack Penberthy.
Llantrisant Open men’s A first round draw: Nathan Lake (1st seed) v Liam Eason, Stephen Hearst v James Peach, Emyr Evans v Michael Craig, Joel Preece v Patrick Rooney (3), Tom Ford (4) v Lewis Poole, Luke Bishop v Jack Turney, Lewis Doughty v Matthew Williams, Kieran Hillman v Peter Creed (2).
— Llantrisant Squash (@LlanSquashClub) June 20, 2019