surprise all-French climax of theWomen's
Montreal Openin Canada
went the full distance as compatriotsMarie
Alvesbattled to secure
success in their first everWSA
But after a tie-break in the
decider, it was eighth seed Stephan who prevailed over unseeded Alves to
win theWSA Challenger 5squash
event in its fifth year atClub
US-based Stephan, a student at the
University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, made her breakthrough in the
semi-finals where the 19-year-old from Nimes toppled top seedHollie
It was in the previous round that
Alves upset the form book. Playing in her first WSA Tour event for more
than two years - and currently ranked 216 in the world - the 21-year-old
from Paris defeated second-seeded compatriotCyrielle
Peltierin a five-game
marathon before taking out Mexico's No.5 seedNayelly
Hernandezin the semis.
"Smaller pro events
can often be interesting,"commented
Provencal(pictured above with Stephan, centre, and Alves)."Players
in the draw range from veterans with a ranking that is slipping, to
players trying to get valuable ranking points to younger players just
starting their career.
"The Montreal Open had all of those
and the final had two unexpected players in the final. Unseeded Melissa
upset the 6th, 5th and second seed. She has played less than 10 WSA
events and this is her first event in the last two years.
"Eighth seed Marie upset the 3rd and
1st seed en-route to the final. After a successful junior career, was in
her first WSA."
Stephan twice came from behind to
win the final 10-12, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10 in 62 minutes in a maiden
WSA Tour title triumph which is sure to see the French teenager make a
dramatic jump from her current world ranking of 214.