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Clarke Clinches New Costa Rica Open Crown

Canadian Robin Clarke made his mark in squash history by becoming the first player to win a Tour event in Costa Rica when he beat Frenchman Fabien Verseille in the final of the ‘Tour De Las Americas’ Costa Rica Open, the $6,750PSA World Tour Super Satellite championship at the Costa Rica Tennis Club in the Central America country’s capital San Jose.

Top seed Clarke, the 24-year-old world No80 from Ottawa, reached the final without dropping a game.

His sixth-seeded opponent made his breakthrough in the quarter-finals where he defeated Mexico’s No2 seed Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 14-12 in a 90-minute marathon.

The 24-year-old from Aix-en-Provence then upset fourth-seeded Englishman Tom Pashley to make the fourth Tour final of his career against expectations.

A record crowd for a squash match in Costa Rica witnessed the final – and were delighted with the first game which went to a tie-break before the Canadian moved ahead.

An accidental collision in the second game led to Verseille receiving a cut lip – which caused the match to be halted for 30 minutes while the tournament doctor stemmed the bleeding.

It was Clarke’s concentration which suffered most, however, as the Frenchman returned to take the game for the loss of just three points.

Clarke regained control to take the third – but Verseille built up a 9-5 lead in the fourth as the crowd anticipated a fifth game decider.

But it was not to be as the Canadian struck back to claim the historic 12-10, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9 win which marks the second PSA Tour title of his career.

“We are delighted to have another Pan American country venue on the PSA Tour,” said Professional Squash Association Tour Executive Sheila Cooksley. “The PSA is very keen to get PSA players into as many countries as we can to showcase the PSA World Tour.

“We look forward to helping the organisers build the tournament over the years to come.”

1st round:
[1] Robin Clarke (CAN) bt Andres Echeverria (CRC) 11-9, 11-3, 11-4
[8] Juan Pablo Roude (ARG) bt Salvador Martinez (MEX) 6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3
[3] Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) bt Lucas Restrepo (CRC) 11-5, 12-10, 11-8
[Q] Jonathan Uriel Ramos Islas (MEX) bt [7] Lekgotla Mosope (BOT) 11-8, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7
[5] Manoel Pereira (BRA) bt [Q] Byron Garcia (ESA) 12-10, 12-10, 11-3
[4] Tom Pashley (ENG) bt Sergio Lopez (MEX) 11-5, 11-0, 11-8
[6] Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt [Q] Jamie MacAulay (SCO) 11-4, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8
[2] Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX) bt [Q] Bryan Bonilla (GUA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-8
Quarter-finals:
[1] Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [8] Juan Pablo Roude (ARG) 11-6, 11-7, 11-6
[3] Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) bt [Q] Jonathan Uriel Ramos Islas (MEX) 7-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-8 (69m)
[4] Tom Pashley (ENG) bt [5] Manoel Pereira (BRA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-7
[6] Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt [2] Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira (MEX) 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 14-12 (90m)
Semi-finals:
[1] Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [3] Gonzalo Miranda (ARG) 11-9, 11-4, 11-5
[6] Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt [4] Tom Pashley (ENG) 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4
Final:
[1] Robin Clarke (CAN) bt [6] Fabien Verseille (FRA) 12-10, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9

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