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28/02/2011
AUSTRIAN OPEN 2011
 

Finitsis Celebrates Salzburg Success

PSA Challenger 5 Austrian Open, Salzburg, Austria

Finitsis Celebrates Salzburg Success

Australia's Steve Finitsis celebrated unexpected success in the Austrian Open in Salzburg when he upset top-seeded Frenchman Julien Balbo in the final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 5 squash event at the Tenniscenter Sued in Gneis.

The 28-year-old Queenslander had the better start and took the first two games before building up a commanding 6-2 lead in the third.

But Balbo fought back and had two game balls from 10-7 before finally clinching his third to reduce the deficit.

The fourth game went point for point until five-all when the second-seeded Australian moved ahead 7-5 and later 9-6. Once again the Frenchman, ranked 61 in the world, fought back to draw level at nine-all.

But after an error from Balbo which gave Finitsis match-ball, the Netherlands-based Australian took full advantage with an un-retrievable crosscourt nick to clinch the title 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 after 70 minutes.

The win marks Finitsis's eighth Tour title - and extends his lifetime unbeaten record over Balbo to four wins.

1st round:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Jakob Dirnberger (AUT) 11-3, 17-15, 11-5 (34m)
[Q] Rene Mijs (NED) bt Alex Ingham (ENG) 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6 (55m)
Johan Bouquet (FRA) bt [Q] Ondrej Ertl (CZE) 9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 11-6 (102m)
[4] Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt Chris Fuller (ENG) 13-11, 11-9, 11-8
[3] Jens Schoor (GER) bt Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-5
Reiko Peter (SUI) bt [Q] Andrea Bianchetti (ITA) 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8 (55m)
[2] Steve Finitsis (AUS) bt [Q] Andre Haschker (GER) 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [Q] Rene Mijs (NED) 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (34m)
[4] Piedro Schweertman (NED) bt Johan Bouquet (FRA) 15-13, 11-8, 11-6 (42m)
[3] Jens Schoor (GER) bt Reiko Peter (SUI) 11-1, 11-8, 12-10
[2] Steve Finitsis (AUS) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 (50m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Julien Balbo (FRA) bt [4] Piedro Schweertman (NED) 11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7 (66m)
[2] Steve Finitsis (AUS) bt [3] Jens Schoor (GER) 14-12, 11-8, 11-3 (49m)

Final:
[2] Steve Finitsis (AUS) bt [1] Julien Balbo (FRA) 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 (70m)