The first event on South American soil in 2021, takes place in Bogota this week, with the Challenger 5 level Squash Colombia Challenger starting on Thursday.
Like all events on the Challenger Tour at the moment, this tournament has been restricted to domestic-only entries, meaning all players in the draw represent Colombia.
Due to the way the draw has played out, the top three seeds will all receive byes and go straight through to the quarter-finals. They are World No.148 Edgar Ramirez Bautista, World No.199 Ronald Palomino and top seed, World No.76 Juan Camilo Vargas.
Vargas is the top seed for the tournament, and the Colombian No.2 behind 2018 British Open champion Miguel Rodriguez. He says that ahead of his first outing since September, he is “feeling good”.
“I’ve been working very hard after the holidays and doing fitness training in Bogota has a big advantage thanks to the altitude. Obviously I’m lacking the tournament match play and I’m sure I’ll have to make adjustments during the event but I feel strong at the moment and that gives me confidence for the tournament,” he explained.
“No doubt there is some pressure from both but I’m just happy to be able to compete and test myself. I would’ve loved for my friends and family to be able to watch the event since I quite enjoy and miss playing under pressure in front of a crowd.”
Vargas will be the favourite for this week’s Challenger 5 level tournament, but the Colombian admitted that he has found the last year tough, and that he has changed his mindset ahead of 2021.
“Winning this event would certainly boost my confidence and it would mean a lot as this past year I kept training hard even when I wasn’t motivated at all. I just knew I needed to be fit and ready for when it was time to compete again,” the World No.76 admitted.
“Now I feel like my motivation is back and I’m enjoying the training a lot more as I see it from a different perspective. I really hope I can compete in several events after this tournament and things will keep improving everywhere.”
The event takes place from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 at the Unidad Deportiva el Salitre in Bogota, where Juan Camilo Vargas is the top seed for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.
First Round Draw: Squash Colombia Challenger
(All players from COL)
 Juan Camilo Vargas – [Bye]
Federico Torres v  Juan Jose Torres
 Mateo Restrepo Pedroza v Sebastian Rodriguez
Erick Herrera v  Andres Herrera
 Ronald Palomino – [Bye]
Joaquin Fernandez v  Felipe Tovar
 Nicolas Serna v Juan Pablo Gomez
 Edgar Ramirez Bautista – [Bye]