clinched the biggest PSA World Tour
squash title of his career when he defeated rising Indian star Mahesh Mangaonkar
in the final of the Be Personnel Loch Ness Challenger,
the inaugural PSA Challenger 15
event at Inverness Tennis & Squash Club
"The tournament’s culmination before a packed Inverness Court No.1 was a
predictably feisty affair, with both men squeezing one another’s
shot-making and testing muscle recovery after some tough matches this
week," commented event spokesman Mike Gregson.
The two finalists denied the crowd an all-Scottish climax after dramatic
semi-finals – eighth seed Mangaonkar ousting the event favourite Alan Clyne,
the Scottish No.1 ranked 35 in the world, and third seed Finitsis
recovering from 2/1 down to beat Inverness-born giant-killer Greg Lobban
in a 116-minute five-game marathon.
Unseeded Lobban, the 21-year-old World No.71, had reached the last four
after upsets over No.2 seed Omar Abdel Aziz
and seventh seed Joel Hinds.
Finitsis, the Netherlands-based 31-year-old boasting a career-high World
No.50 ranking, took a 2/0 lead in the final before Mangaonkar, a
20-year-old from Mumbai marking his third Tour final of the year,
regained the upper hand to take the third game.
But the experienced Australian, celebrating his 24th final appearance,
upped the pace again in the fourth before closing out the match 11-9,
11-2, 2-11, 11-5 after 61 minutes to claim the 12th – and biggest – Tour
title of his career.
“I congratulate Mahesh on a great match, and look forward to his
undoubted future success," said Finitsis afterwards. "I can speak on
behalf of the PSA players in thanking organisers, sponsors, referees and
everyone involved here in Inverness – including Nessie – for a great
"I hope we are able to come back and enjoy your hospitality again.”
of the organising committee added: “We really appreciate the pros who
have given a superb exhibition. It’s been a feast of squash, and Be
Personnel and our other sponsors deserve our huge thanks.
"We wish all the best for Glasgow 2014 to Steve and Mahesh, and all the
Scots players involved.”