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Montpellier champion Gregoire Marche (left), along with runner-up James Willstrop (Photo Credit: Nicolas Barbeau)

Weekend Round-Up: Marche Wins On Home Soil, Tsukue Causes Shock in Australia

There was plenty of action on the Challenger Tour this week, with tournaments in four different continents, across all parts of the world.

Gregoire Marche took victory on home soil, and at the club that he plays for in the French leagues, as he won the 5R Montpellier Metropole Open.

The World No.18 overcame former World No.1 James Willstrop in straight games in the final to claim the title, the ninth PSA World Tour crown of his career.

To reach the final, the Frenchman had to get past three other Europeans, in Bernat Jaume, Olli Tuominen and compatriot Sebastian Bonmalais.

After taking the crown, Marche spoke of his recent form, and his feelings after beating Willstrop.

“I am happy to finish the season on a high, that’s why I came here for. I’ve been feeling good for a few months and it’s showing on court. I had a clear game plan in my mind, but I lost a bit of accuracy in the second but I am happy I managed to stay mentally strong at the end of this game,” Marche said.

In Tel Aviv, the final was a battle of the Spaniards, as No.1 seed Iker Pajares Bernabeu overcame countryman, and No.2 seed, Edmon Lopez.

Despite lasting 51 minutes, Pajares took a comfortable victory over his fellow Spaniard, dropping just five points in the last two games to win his ninth PSA World Tour title.

On the Tour de las Americas, the Paraguay Open took place this week. The final was a clash of the Americas, as Argentina faced Mexico in the big match.

Robertino Pezzota with the Paraguay Open trophy

Once again, it was a battle of the two two seeds, and the No.1 seed came out on top once more as Argentina’s Robertino Pezzota beat Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas.

The match lasted almost 70 minutes, as it swung to and fro. Cardenas led twice, after winning both the first and third games. However, Pezzota fought back to win the fourth and fifth, taking the title in Paraguay.

In North America, it was a No.1 seed who took victory once again, as Egypt’s Shehab Essam took the Life Time Philadelphia Open title this week.

He faced India’s Aditya Jagtap in the final, and took less than half an hour to win out, beating his opponent in straight games.

The only female tournament of the week took place in Australia at the City of Kalgoorlie Golden Open. Once again, it would be a No.1 seed that took victory.

Hong Kong’s Vanessa Chu got the better of home favourite, and No.2 seed, Jessica Turnbull in the final, beating the Australian in four games, coming back from 1-0 down.

The men’s event in Kalgoorlie saw the biggest shock of the week, as unseeded Japanese player, and World No.263 Ryunosuke Tsukue took the title.

He had already beaten both the No.1 and No.3 seeds on his way to the final, where he then overcame No.2 seed Mohd Syafiq Kamal to win the first PSA World Tour title of his career.

Result – Final: 5R Montpellier Metropole Open
[1] Gregoire Marche (FRA) bt [2] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-2 (36m)

Result – Final: Migdal Insurance PSA 11K Tel Aviv
[1] Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [2] Edmon Lopez (ESP) 3-0: 11-9, 11-2, 11-3 (51m)

Result – Final: Tour de las Americas – Paraguay Open
[1] Robertino Pezzota (ARG) v [2] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-2: 8-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (69m)

Result – Final: Life Time Philadelphia Open
[1] Shehab Essam (EGY) v [4] Aditya Jagtap (IND) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)

Result – Women’s Final: City of Kalgoorlie Golden Open
[1] Vanessa Chu (HKG) bt [2] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5 (39m)

Result – Men’s Final: City of Kalgoorlie Golden Open
Ryunosuke Tsukue (JPN) bt [2] Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5 (42m)

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