Babatunde Ajagbe makes history, becomes first Nigerian to play PSA Final


Top-ranked Nigeria squash player, Babatunde Ajagbe on Sunday become the first-ever Nigerian (male or female) to play a Professional Squash Association (PSA) Open final.

Ajagbe, who lost his mother 20 minute before the match, was beaten by Canada Michael McCue in the Kiva Club Squash Open title in Sante Fe, Mexico.

Ajagbe, who gave a good account of himself in the tournament was beaten by McCue 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 in 34 minute.

The 32-year-old advanced to the final after overcoming Mexcio’s Allan Nunez 7-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, and 11-7 in a thrilling five sets battle in the semi-final.

Ajagbe had a winning start in the first round, beating Egypt, Mustafa Nawar 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 and marched into the quarter-final.

In the qurter-final, Ajagbe dismissed Ronald Palomino of Colombia 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 before staging a comeback against the Mexican in the semi-final.

The 26-year-old Canadian, was the tournament’s No. 1 seed, while Ajagbe was unseeded.

In the first game, McCue, jumped to a 4-0 lead. The players traded a few points, but Ajagbe never found his rhythm.

McCue was in control and moved Ajagbe around the court. When the game ended after nine minutes, it was McCue 11-5.

In the second game, Ajagbe made an early run, building a 5-2 lead, but then started making errors and hitting tin. 

Ten minutes into the game, the players were tied 8-8, but McCue ended a long rally with a winning drop shot to the left corner, making it 9-8.

He got a stroke call to get it to 10-8. Then Ajagbe hit a winner to get within a point at 10-9. 

But McCue ended the game by hitting a winner off of Ajagbe’s serve. It was 11-9 in 17 minutes.

The third game was all McCue. He jumped to a 7-0 lead, helped along by Ajagbe hitting the tin twice. 

Ajagbe fought back for a while, winning two points for each of McCue’s one, but given McCue’s lead, the match was against Ajagbe. The game was over in seven minutes, with McCue taking it 11-5.