Squash: Eden Island Open tournament | 03 July 2019
Pragassen, Noël and Alphonse triumph
Klaus Pragassen, Mickey Noel and Eva Alphonse are the grand winners in the annual Eden Island-sponsored Open tournament which was held throughout last week at the Mont Fleuri squash courts.
The three finals were watched by National Sports Council (NSC) chief executive Jean Larue alongside the main sponsor’s representative Corrie Opperman who is the enterprise and finance manager at Eden Island, as well as the squash family eager to see the outcome of the matches.
The finals were played on Friday afternoon after almost 20 players had registered for this second competition for the year.
Alphonse overcomes Mondon in plate final
Eva Alphonse defeated Paul Mondon in straight sets – 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-5) to win the plate competition.
After losing in the first round of the main competition to Charles Morel in five sets which made her very disappointed, Alphonse went on to beat Paris Searles and Michael Landon to qualify for the plate final. She was still bitter about her loss to Morel when she spoke to Sports NATION.
“I really wanted to play in the main competition and I was very unhappy to lose to Charles Morel and even if I have won this title it does not make up for my disappointment and I’m also nursing a back injury which has been bothering me for some time now,” the veteran lady player explained to Sports NATION.
Noël sees off Adela in Shield final
Mickey Noël qualified for the shield competition after losing to Klaus Pragassen in the main competition at the quarterfinal stage. He went on the beat Arnaldo Antao and James Landon to reach the shield final. As for losing finalist Marcus Adel, he lost to Rod Thorington in the main competition then defeated Jaco West and Charles Morel to set up a meeting with Noël.
However, Noël easily dispatched Adela in straight sets 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-8) to lift the shield competition trophy and he was happy to win a title in this tournament.
“The competition went on fine and it was a nice feeling to win though my opponent did not play to his usual level, so I capitalised on his mistakes to claim this title,” Noël said.
Pragassen wins fourth Eden Island title
Klaus Pragassen had a new opponent in the final in the shape of Frenchman Frederic Canale, the former tennis national team coach who is now sharing his expertise in China but is here on a short holiday.
Canale had stunned Rod Thorington in the semifinal with a straight sets victory of 11-9, 11-7 and 11-9 to reach the final.
On the other hand, Pragassen had just managed to hold off a strong challenge by Rene Durup in the semis where he won the first two sets 11-8 and 11-9 but Durup fought back to level the score at 2-2 with an 11-6 and 11-7 triumph in the third and fourth sets respectively.
The experienced Pragassen though held his nerve to wrap up this match with an 11-3 victory in the fifth and decisive set to progress to the final and a chance to defend his title.
As a result, Pragassen played very tactically in this main final against a very fit Canale and his tactics helped him to win this title and retain his crown in straight sets on a score of 11-6, 11-7 and 11-2.
Pragassen told Sports NATION that he had to play with a lot of caution but it paid off as he controlled the match and won easily in the end.
“I had a tough encounter in the semis so I had to play very tactically to wear out my opponent with low shots in the corners and also avoid high balls as he is extremely fit. My plan worked out and I’m happy to win though I want to face stiffer challenge in local competitions,” revealed Pragassen.
As for Canale, he admitted that he had met a stronger opponent but was pleased to reach the final of this competition.
“The final was quite difficult against a great player though I tried my best but it was not good enough but I’m just happy to be competing here among friends during this short break,” Canale said.
Mr Opperman and Mr Larue presented the shields and cups to the winners after which the players enjoyed themselves in a happy hour event.