Germany’s Raphael Kandra celebrated his third successive appearance in a PSA World Tour final this year at the Gas City Open in Canada by clinching his first title of 2013 at the inaugural PSA Challenger 5 event at Medicine Hat Family YMCA in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
The German number two is enjoying a sensational run this year – following his appearance in last month’s Rocafort Open final in Spain by making the climax of the Bankers Hall Club Pro Am in Calgary unseeded.
Kandra, the third seed in Medicine Hat, made his breakthrough in the semi-finals where he toppled local hope Andrew Schnell, the No2 seed, in four games.
The 22-year-old from Essen’s opponent in the final – the sixth of his career – was Jan Koukal, the top seed from the Czech Republic who was celebrating his 39th Tour final!
Koukal, the world No55 from Prague, twice led – but left-hander Kandra, ranked 20 places lower, twice fought back to draw level.
“With a string of high pressure rallies, Kandra collected seven consecutive points early in the fifth game,” reported tournament organiser Taylor Martin. “After some fantastic pushes from Koukal, the young German was able to put the game away at 11-4.”
The 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 triumph in 66 minutes earned Kandra his second PSA Tour title.
“Those of us from the Gas City Pro-Am committee would like to thank all the players for attending and making this such a great event,” added Martin. “With the excitement that boiled up during the tournament we will have little trouble continuing to host such an event in upcoming years.”
Kandra (right) pictured receiving his trophy
3 Raphael Kandra (GER) bt  Jan Koukal (CZE) 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 (66m)
1 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Farhan Zaman (PAK) 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 (44m)
3 Raphael Kandra (GER) bt  Andrew Schnell (CAN) 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (58m)
1 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Richard Birks (ENG) 12-10, 11-13, 11-5, 12-10 (52m)
Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt  Dane Sharp (CAN) 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 (55m)
3 Raphael Kandra (GER) bt Reuben Phillips (ENG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 (58m)
2 Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 (35m)
1 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Michael McCue (CAN) 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5 (41m)
Richard Birks (ENG) bt Jonathan Geekie (SCO) 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (45m)
Farhan Zaman (PAK) bt Gavin Lee Perrett (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (34m)
4 Dane Sharp (CAN) bt Christopher Binnie (JAM) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (46m)
3 Raphael Kandra (GER) bt David Letourneau (CAN) 8-11, 11-1, 12-10, 11-6 (53m)
Reuben Phillips (ENG) bt Tyler Hamilton (CAN) 13-11, 11-5, 12-10 (40m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 11-13, 11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6 (62m)
2 Andrew Schnell (CAN) bt Matthew Serediak (CAN) 12-14, 11-1, 11-6, 11-9 (40m)