The 10th staging of the GoodLife Open in Canada produced the first
German champion when Raphael Kandra defeated England's Declan James in
the final of the PSA Challenger 10 squash event at GoodLife Queensview
Left-hander Kandra, the No.2 seed, coasted through to the final – his
fifth of the year - without dropping a game. The World No.58 from Essen
ended domestic interest in the event with a semi-final defeat of Dane
Sharp, the fourth seed from Toronto.
James, the third seed from Nottingham, made his breakthrough in the
other semi-final where he deposed reigning champion Martin Knight, the
top seed from New Zealand.
Describing the final, GoodLife Squash Professional Heather Wallace said:
"Declan was forced to play a lot more forehand shots playing the leftie
which did not seem as comfortable for him, making errors on the forehand
side which we had not seen in the previous rounds.
"When Declan did open up the court on his backhand, he did finish, but
this was not often enough. To Raphael's credit the pressure he put on
Declan was relentless, forcing many errors on Declan's forehand. Kudos
to both players for their incredible shot-making and coverage of the
court. When it was all over, with Raphael as the Champ, they left the
court to a standing ovation!"
Kandra's 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 triumph in 36 minutes marks the German's
seventh PSA Tour title.
"7th PSA titel!!! Very happy with the way I played the whole week
through,” said the 24-year-old who celebrated a career-high World No.58
ranking this month.
James was gracious in defeat: "Raphael played ridiculously well the
whole tournament winning the title without dropping a game," said the
21-year-old after his second successive PSA Tour final appearance in
North America this month.