STEFANONI AND DUSSOURD EARN SPOTS IN WORLD OPEN DRAW
The limited, but full seating was witness to the first women’s Aspin Cup professional division. In fact it is believed to be the first professional sporting event of any kind to be witnessed on Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province.
It was a draw with a great deal of parity as half of the women were within 40 ranking spots of each other. But at the end it had two finalists who were both teenagers and who had not dropped more than one game in each of their three matches. As juniors they both have had tremendous success. The senior, Hana Moataz of Egypt has already completed her junior career and is second year of university.
Her ranking has dropped to 138 because of inactivity and injury but her wins this week against players all ranked between 60 and 74 demonstrated that she is back. Marina at 16 is definitely a potential top 10 player who wasn’t threatened at all this week and has stood in the winner’s circle in three similar size PSA events; BVI, Bermuda and Chatanooga.
This match had everything….. shifts in momentum, tremendous court coverage, exciting attacking squash and the drama of a 17-15 fourth game which went in favour of Hannah to level the match. The fifth had what you would expect from two excellent players: stupendous gets, attacking nicks, long, attritional rallies and a close score throughout, but at the end it was the American Stefanoni who stood standing proud after 70 minutes of terrific squash by two future stars in this game.
This final featured Sean de Lierre, the Canadian veteran who had been as high as #35 in the world and who has maintained his fitness, speed and deceptive method of playing for over 15 years on the tour.
The # 3 seed’s draw was a dream. His first round opponent failed to show for his match and his second round adversary #234 and much improved fellow Canadian, Thomas King, couldn’t provide much resistance.
Last evening Shawn was able to defeat the #5 seed Jaymie Haycocks in a tough 3, so he fortunately came into today’s match with rested legs. Now he had to do battle with the #1 seed and Nash Cup Champion Auguste Dussord who had a 0-2 escape over Juan Camacho in the quarters, and last night, a very tough three game victory of Caribbean champ Chris Binnie.
However, today Auguste was definitely the quicker and more consistent player on the court. He surely wanted that invite to the Worlds in Doha this November. There was nothing that Shawn could hand out that Auguste couldn’t gather up and reply with interest and imagination.
Though the rallies were thrilling for the crowd it soon become obvious that the younger man was in control and wouldn’t let go. Two tournaments, two championships, it was a very rewarding Canadian stop in the Frenchman’s early season schedule