Pockets PSA Paraguay Prize
There was unexpected South American success in
the "Tour de las Americas" Paraguay Open when Brazilian Rafael F
Alarcon upset US favourite Gilly Lane in the final of the $6,000
PSA Tour Satellite squash event at Club Internacional de Tenis
in the Paraguay capital Asuncion.
It was a popular climax to the first
Professional Squash Association event in Paraguay for 18 years - which
attracted players from Italy, Holland, USA, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina
and spectators from as far away as Córboba, Buenos Aires and La Plata, all more
than 1,000 kilometres away!
Alarcon, the 32-year-old second seed from Sao
Paulo, took control of the first two games and looked to be romping to a
straight games upset. But Lane, nine years younger than the Brazilian, started
lengthening the rallies in the third and reached game-ball at 10-7
The underdog clawed back the next two points -
but the US favourite took the game, then sped to a 6/1 lead in the fourth. Again
'Rafa' fought back - but again Lane maintained his advantage to draw level.
Alarcon forced his opponent into errors in the
decider and led 5-1 and 7-2 before finally closing out the match 11-8, 11-6,
9-11, 9-11, 11-5 in just over an hour to claim the tenth PSA Tour title
of his career.
"Congratulations to Rafa for the great victory,
but also congratulations to Gilly for the great effort and commitment," said
event spokesman Mario Dominguez.
Dominguez also paid tribute to Paraguay's top
player Esteban Casarino, who reached the semi-finals before losing in
four games to Lane. "He was the engine of this event, with great enthusiasm he
covered all the details for this tournament to emerge this way. Obviously,
besides a great player, we have a great host, that, he contagious all of us with
his optimism in advance and managed to host an event that seemed impossible for
the economic conditions facing the country and the world at large."
PSA World Tour Celebrates
Return To Paraguay
Professional Squash Association World Tour returns to Paraguay for
the first time for 18 years with the staging of the "Tour de las Americas"
Paraguay Open this week in the South American country's capital
Super Satellite championship will take place at the Club Internacional de
Tenis from 17-20 June, following qualifying from 15 June.
Open was a popular event on the South American professional circuit from 1987 to
1991, boasting champions from Sweden, Canada and England.
US number two
Gilly Lane is named as top seed in the 2009 championship. The
23-year-old from Philadelphia is expected to meet number one Brazilian Rafael
F Alarcon in the final.
in the event will be led by Esteban Casarino, the Paraguayan number one
since 1992 and a bronze medallist in the recent South American Championship.
Casarino first became the Paraguay National champion in 1992, aged 16, and first
joined the PSA in 1999 - but has never before played in a PSA Tour event on home
CEO of the PSA, commented: "We are proud to be announcing that Paraguay is back
on the PSA World Tour. I know how hard Esteban has been working over the past
12 months to make this a reality. Esteban has been in constant contact with Gus
Cook, PSA's North American Representative, and was a volunteer in this year's
North American Open in Richmond.
therefore had first hand experience of how an event can grow from a $5,000 event
to a $90,000 major. The result of him being able to compete in front of home
support will be a great reward for all of his efforts so far."
The event has
attracted many of the leading players from the region, including Argentineans
Romiglio Leandro, Matias Valenzuela and former top 20 player
Federico Usandizaga, a two-time South American Champion and three-time Pan
American champion; top Mexican junior Miled Zarazua; and Uruguayan
champion Jean Paul Bragard.