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Colombian Open 2009
26-30 Aug, Bogota, Colombia, $30k

30-Aug, Final:
David Palmer (AUS) bt Borja Golan (ESP)
      12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 5-11,12-12 rtd (104m)

Palmer survived epic final in Bogota
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

With no doubt whatsoever, David Palmer and Borja Golan placed the best final of the 12 editions of the Colombian Open that unfortunately ended with the injury of Golan in the tie break of the fifth and final game.

It was 100 minutes of intense squash, deep, technical, thought and emotive. Four of the five games played were defined in a tie break demonstrating the parity of level of the players.

Although in the first game Golan forced the rhythm with his boasts, Palmer was more precise in the definitions and won the first game. In the second game the rhythm increased, more intense and permanent friction between the players. Golan forced his way through Palmer; he wouldn’t let him through. This caused many discussions between the players and the referee that disenchanted the match. In the end, Borja tied the game after an intense tie break.

Palmer conquered the third game alter a tight tie break playing continuous cross- courts that gave him the advantage,

By the fourth game Golan strained constant winning shots while Palmer committed several unforced errors. The game went to the Spanish player who forced a fifth and deciding game.

The final game was the best of all the games played in the tournament. Both players worked hard on displaying a variety of shots. It was a concert filled with attacks of each player accompanied of precision ad control, amazing shots and admiring endurance from both players; leaving the crowd stunned. For a moment, Golan seemed to be the winner with his back hand drop shots that left Palmer's legs torn but the Australian wouldn’t surrender, when he was more pressured the best shots he played.

The Spanish showed his recuperation capacity, after completing 10 games played in 2 days, yet, when he was working his way through the final tie break he flew across the floor to reach a drop shot and bent his knee. Sadly he had to retire.

It was truly an unexpected outcome for the final and sad for the crowd that cheered for Borja. Palmer became the champion.



29-Aug, Semis:
Top seeds reach Colombian
Open final
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

Borja Golán (ESP) bt Miguel Rodríguez (COL)
      9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-13, 15-13 (126m)

All the squash, time, shots, enthusiasm and all the cheering weren’t enough ... All seemed insufficient for the 130 minute battle between the Spanish Borja Golan and the Colombian Miguel Rodriguez. The points seemed endless; five games were needed, including a tie break in the final two games of 35 and 33 minutes respectively, as well as a 78 shot rally.

Golan was capable of keeping pressure at bay, managing to keep his cool against a hostile atmosphere, turning points around to his favour and managing to create wining shots.

The first game was endless, long, profound, calculated, where both players played cautiously yet with clarity and effectiveness; Rodriguez managed to take the lead, however Golan managed a comeback in the following games to put himself up, 2-1.

In the fourth game everything seemed to aim towards a fifth decisive game when Rodriguez led 10-4, however, several outstanding winning shots later Golan managed to force a tiebreak and even enjoyed a match point. Odds against, Rodriguez’s exceptional stamina allowed him to equalize and seize the fourth game, to the delirious spectators’ content and excitement.

Along came the fifth, final game; as tied and struggling as the previous ones. Once again, a tiebreak would decide the fate of the match. Golan required five match balls to finally end the game and take the win; Rodriguez also had a chance to grab the victory on an epic, technical, physical, nail-biting final game.

David Palmer (AUS) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN)
       11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (49m)

Palmer clearly demonstrated why he is the No.1 seed of the tournament. He initiated the match with firmness, defining long shots, anticipating with great speed and surprising his opponent with boasts from both sides of the court.

Although this rhythm was continued for the first two games, the Finnish Tuominen played his game; varied shots, speed and well worked points which granted him the third game that was both technical and emotional.

By the fourth game, Palmer was more aware of the conditions of the court, altitude and the oxygen that was running out. Therefore he changed his game from vertigo and speed to precision, adding the necessary points to finish the match.

Tomorrow he will be the protagonist of the highly anticipated final of the Colombian Open.

28-Aug, Quarters
Rodriguez flies Colombian
flag in Bogota

Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt Azlan Iskandar (MAS)
          11-6,10-12,11-7,12-10 (52m)

The winning conviction of the Colombian Rodriguez, summed with the impressive energy of the public, gave Rodriguez the victory over an exceptional player.

The Malaysian Iskandar played with concentration, clarity and recuperated his game in difficult times, but he faced an agile player, who made a minimum of 6 winning shots in every game that eventually awarded him the match.

Rodriguez played with confidence due to the training he engaged in before the tournament, and passed on to the semifinals of the Colombian Open.

Olli Tuominen (FIN) bt Eric Galvez (MEX)
          11-6,12-10, 11-3 (46m)

The exceptional way in which the Finnish player constructed every point pushed Galvez to the limit, and to every corner of the court leaving the Mexican completely wore out.

Tuominen has a lethal back hand cross court summed to a special condition to accelerate and slow down the rhythm of the game. This constant pressure and changes of speed filled Galvez with anxiety and committed several mistakes which defined the match in three consecutive games.

David Palmer (AUS) bt [Q] Cesar Salazar (MEX)
       11-4,11-2,9-11,11-3 (34m)

Palmer gave as another lesson of squash tonight. The variety of shots, the power to finish rallies, the number of winning shots and the knowledge of his rival gave Palmer the victory and pass to the semifinals.

Salazar played with his best shots, but Palmer was always alert, focused and concentrated.

Borja Golan (ESP) bt [7] Arturo Salazar (MEX)
     11-7,11-2,9-4 rtd (28m)

An unfortunate injury of the Mexican Arturo Salazar after bending his ankle finished the match earlier than expected for the Spanish Borja, who despite of having a 2-0 lead played with elasticity, constant anticipation and great precision.

Borja is very strong and fast, reaches unexpected shots and plays with exquisite confidence. These are some of the many reasons why this player is in the top ten players of the world.


Round One Reports

Palmer returns to South America after 15 years

Colombian Open 2009
26-30 Aug, Bogota, Colombia, $30k
Round One
[1] David Palmer (Aus)
11-4, 11-3, 11-4 (17m)
[Q] Erik Tepoz (Mex)
[1] David Palmer
11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3 (34m)
[Q] César Salazar
[1] David Palmer

11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (49m)

[4] Olli Tuominen

[1] David Palmer

12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 5-11,12-12 rtd (104m)

[2] Borja Golan

[8] Jorge Ferreira (Mex)
8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (68m)
[Q] César Salazar (Mex)
[4] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11-8, 13-11, 11-6 (31m)
Rob Sutherland (Wal)
[4] Olli Tuominen
11-6, 12-10, 11-3 (46m)
[6] Eric Galvez
[6] Eric Galvez (Mex)
11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (32m)
[Q] Robin Clarke (Can)
Liam Kenny (Irl)
11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (25m)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Mex)
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez
11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10 (52m)
[3] Azlan Iskandar
[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez

9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-13, 15-13 (126m)

[2] Borja Golan

[Q] Rafael Alarcon (Bra)
11-5, 14-12, 11-9 (39m
[3] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Gilly Lane (Usa)
11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (19m)
[7] Arturo Salazar (Mex)
[7] Arturo Salazar
11-7, 11-2, 9-4 rtd (28m)
[2] Borja Golan
Arturo Jaramillo (Col)
11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (19m)
[2] Borja Golan (Esp)
26-Aug, Qualifying Finals:

Rafael Alarcón bt Bernardo Samper 11-8,11-4,11-8 (23m)
César Salazar bt Regard Schomborg 11-4,11-4,11-6 (24m)
Robin Clarke bt Gonzalo Miranda 11-3,11-7,11-6 (21m)
Eric Tepoz bt Esteban Casarino 11-4,11-6,11-7 (25m)

25-Aug, Qualifying Round Two:

Rafael Alarcón vs Salvador Martínez 11/8,11/3,11/6 (24m)
Bernardo Samper vs Leandro Romiglio 11-8,11-6,11-6 (23m)
César Salazar vs Juan Pablo Roude 11-8,11-5,11-4 (22m)
Regard Schomborg vs Milled Zarazúa 11-7,6-11,11-4,11-8 (42m)
Gonzalo Miranda vs Jethro Binns 11-9,11-6,11-8 (25m)
Robin Clarke vs Armando Olguín 11-0,11-0,11-5 (13m)
Esteban Casarino vs Tyler Hamilton 6-11,12-10,11-4,11-4 (28m)
Eric Tepoz vs Chris Gordon 12-10,11-5,11-7 (58m)

24-Aug: Qualifying Round One:

Rafael Alarcon   bye
Salvador Martínez vs Eric Herrera 11-7/11-7/11-5 27m
Bernardo Samper vs Santiago Parra 11-1, 11-4,11-4 19m
Leando Romiglio VS. Jaime Pinto 10-12,11-5,9-11,14-12,11-6 (63m)

César Salazar vs Rodrigo Torres 11-7,11-9,11-5 (32m)
Juan Pablo Roude vs Nelson Amaya 11-4,11.4,11-8 (20m)
Regard Schonberg vd Mauricio Salinas 11-5, 12-10,11-4 (20m)
Milled Zarazúa vs Manuel Caro 13-11,11-4,11-6 (21m)

Gonzalo Miranda vs Miguel Vivas 11-4,11-9,11-7 29m
Jethro Binns vs Hernán Mariño 11-9,11-8,11-7 (21m)
Armando Olguín vs Marco Olguín 12-10,13-11,10-12,11-9 (42m)
Robin Clarke  bye

Esteban Casarino vs Jonathan Veloza 11/4,11/8,11/7 (25m)
Tyler Hamilton vs Alfonso Marroquín 11-5,11-4,11-9 (18m)
Eric Tepoz vs Javier Castilla 7-11,12-10,11-8,2-11-11-7 (98m)
Chris Gordon   bye

27-Aug, Round One:
Favourites though in Bogota
Reports from Juan Carlos Santacruz

Cesar Salazar became the only qualifier to progress beyond the first round of the XII Abierto Colombian Open when he upset fellow Mexican Jorge Ferreira, the No8 seed, at Club El Nogal in the Colombia capital Bogota.

GALVEZ – CLARKE 11-7,11-6,11-7 (32m)

The experience, consistency and precision exhibited by Galvez defeated the endurance of the Canadian Clarke, who despite  playing his best shots couldn't stop the Mexican who demonstrated a higher level of maturity and strength in his game.

RODRIGUEZ – KENNY 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (25m)

The solvency and knowledge of his surrounding allowed the Colombian Rodriguez to give with great satisfaction, his first victory to the crowd.

Only three games were necessary to defeat the Irish Liam Kenny who was powerless against the precision of the Colombian.

Nonetheless, Kenny kept up his game but couldn’t finish the points while Rodriguez knew exactly when to attack and win the rallies. This was the biggest asset of this match for Rodriguez.

ISKANDAR – ALARCÓN 11-5,14-12,11-9 (39m)

Both Alarcon and Iskandar played a deep game, with technical quality and with constant rhythm changes. The Malaysian player gained advantage playing with tranquility and taking control over difficult rallies.

When it seemed he was out of breath, he would change the rhythm, regain energy and finish the rally with potent length shots that died in the back of the court.

Alarcon played his best match and had crucial moments to gain advantage but Iskandar knew precisely how to bring himself back due to his concentration during the match.

TOUMINEN – SUTHERLAND 11-8,13-11,11-6 (31m)

The speed, control and precision of the veteran Finnish player who 10 years ago won the Colombian Open, were all requirements to win against the Welsh Sutherland, who was close to winning every single game but couldn’t due to the unforced errors he made in crucial points.

Touminen was more precise with his winning shots, changed the rhythm and imposed his speed in every single rally.

SALAZAR – LANE 11-6,11-8,11-4 (19m)

The Mexican Arturo Salazar won with three consecutive games due to his risk taking drop shots and endurance during the match against the American Lane, who despite playing constant winning shots couldn’t find the way to defeat the Mexican. Lane committed successive unforced errors that gave Salazar the advantage and finally the victory.

SALAZAR - FERREIRA 8-11,4-11,11-9,11-7,11-4 (68m)

The 2-0 lead of Ferreira seemed to be definite against César Salazar who couldn’t find his rhythm in the first two games. Amazingly, Salazar gained confidence, played his best shots with a varied game that was deep and filled with sensational drop shots that allowed him to tie the match.

The crowd was surprised by these two gladiators, who had to play a fifth game to finish this fantastic duel of long rallies, where both players waited patiently for the other to change the rhythm.

In the end, Salazar managed to overtake Ferreira with a victory that seemed far away.

GOLAN - JARAMILLO 11-6,11-4,11-2 (19m)

This was the tribute to the Colombian player who was benefited by the wild card, due to his discipline and dedication to Colombian squash. 38 year old Arturo Jaramillo is one of the best squash players of Colombia, and now on the verge of his retirement as a professional, was given the privilege of playing an excellent match against one of the best players in the world.

Golan was clear and precise, played his best shots and passed on to the next round with no problems. He’s one of the most favoured players to be in the final this Sunday.

PALMER – TEPOZ 11-4,11-3,11-4 (17m)

The presence of this global icon of squash created great expectations in the audience. Potent, strong, fast, agile and with an exquisite variety of shots the Australian Palmer awoke the public's admiration and was constantly rewarded with applause.

The Mexican Tepoz recovered from his anxiety in the verge of confronting his icon and played a few winning shots that were applauded by the spectators. Palmer’s great exhibition made every second of the game delightful for the audience.

Draw & Results



Palmer makes long-awaited
return to South America

More than fifteen years after making his debut on the PSA Tour in Brazil, Australia's world number six David Palmer is returning to South America for the first time to compete in this week's XII Abierto Colombian Open in the Colombia capital Bogotá.

Palmer, the 33-year-old from New South Wales who celebrated his 108th successive month in the world top 10 this month, is top seed in the $30k event in its 12th year since 1995.

The former world number one is making his first appearance on the Tour after a long break since March, when he won the ISS Canary Wharf Classic in London. In July, he and his wife Mel celebrated the birth of their second daughter Miley.

Palmer is expected to face second seed Borja Golan, the world No11 from Spain, in the final on Sunday. But the event has attracted a strong field, including Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Finn Olli Tuominen, ranked 16 and 20, respectively, in the world.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the world No25 from Bogotá and Colombia's highest-ranked player of all-time, is the event's fifth seed.

"I am happy to be playing back in South America again and look forward to playing in Bogotá again this week. I first went to Brazil when I was 17, for my first PSA tournament - and played in seven events across South America."

"The draw in Bogotá this week is very strong and I expect a tough time trying to win the title. I think Borja, Azlan and Olli will all be hard to beat down there, along with the top Colombia player Miguel as well.

"My summer has been good, but very busy! Our second child Miley was born four weeks ago, so it's been hard to train as much as I would like - but my family comes first now.

"But I still feel good and am looking forward to some good matches this week."

Palmer faces a qualifier in the first round on Thursday before a likely clash with Mexican Jorge Isaac Baltazar Ferreira in the quarter-finals. Victory in Bogotá would mark Palmer's 26th PSA Tour success – and extend his lead as the current player boasting the most title triumphs.

Qualifying complete in Bogota
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

The qualy draw has finally been defined, and the arrival of the biggest star of the tournament David Palmer followed by the official inauguration the Colombian Open has reached its climax, which also has the anticipation of the first 8 matches of the main draw.

The first qualifier is Cesar Salazar, who with a precise strategy, maximum control and fantastic endurance rescued impossible shots that eventually wore out the South African Schoborg who after consistent cross courts began to lose his focus. Salazar is certainly in his best moment and can definitely be a surprise in the main draw.

More adapted to the altitude and thanks to his stay for the past week in the city of Quito, the Canadian Robin Clarke achieved with great perseverance his victory over the Argentinean Gonzalo Miranda, who nevertheless showed he is Argentina’s future. Clarke was more consistent and precise, attacked with boasts and cross courts, had no unforced errors and passed on to the main draw.

The Mexican Erik Tepoz has become the greatest surprise of the tournament. He plays seriously, focused and with almost no unforced errors which has been his biggest asset so far in the PSA tour. Tepoz controlled the Paraguayan Esteban Casarino, without letting him take control over T due to his precise shots that forced the Paraguayan all around the court. Casarino played with his best shots, but Tepoz picked every shot up frustrating the Paraguayan. In the end, the Mexican played an outstanding match that won him a place in the main draw.

The anxiety and nervousness impeded Bernardo Samper from Colombia to reach the main draw, after playing against the Brazilian Rafael Alarcon who played with consistency and length and continuous rhythm changes. Samper played uncomfortable, couldn’t reach his traditional game style and made many unforced errors, which eventually lost him the match.

Draw & Results
round one results ...


Ecuador Open, 01-06 Sep

Qualifying Round Two:

The results of the second round of the qualy were logical and the most optioned players passed to next round of the qualy of the Colombian Open. Nevertheless the biggest surprises were the victories of the Argentinean Gonzalo Miranda and the Mexican Erick Tepoz who consecutively defeated the Welsh Binns and the American Gordon.

ALARCÓN-SAMPER. The Colombian Bernardo Samper and the Brazilian Rafael Alarcon will revive the South American classic, which up to now has had an even outcome for both players. Alarcon defeated Samper 3-0 in 2005, and Samper won 3-2 in 2006. These two players haven’t played against each other since 2006, but they know each other very well, have trained together and will have a fantastic match tomorrow.

SALAZAR-SCHOMBORG. The Mexican Salazar wants to jump on to the main draw and wishes to do so by playing with speed and endurance against the South African Schomborg who exhibits a classical squash style which is consistent and long. The match will be tight. Both players have never played against each other.

MIRANDA-CLARKE. The Argentinean Miranda and the Canadian Clarke will have another interesting match. The Argentinean will try to enter the main draw to continue his climb in the PSA ranking, meanwhile the 23 year old Canadian who is the youngest talented card of his country, will play with his traditional style and consistency in order to favor his position as a favorite player for the main draw.

CASARINO-TEPOZ. With a typically Mexican style that consists of consistency, length, rhythm changes and endurance, the Mexican Tepoz has proved he can become the greatest revelation of the Colombian Open. Nonetheless, tomorrow he will face the Paraguayan veteran, Estevan Casaraino, who wishes to consolidate his most important result in a PSA tournament. The outcome for tomorrows match is reserved: experience versus consistency.



Qualifying under way in Bogota
Juan Carlos Santacruz reports

There were no surprises today in the first qualy round that began with 29 players, all in search of the 4 places available for the main draw of the Colombian Open. This tournament has managed to obtain the attention of the country due to the outstanding players, which in the 2009 edition, has two of the best 10 players in the world.

The 17 years old Mexican Milled Zarazua was the greatest surprise of the first round; this young Mexican is part of a select group of rising stars under 18 that represent his country. He is faithful to the Mexican style, playing with discipline and clear objectives. Today, he proved he is Mexico’s future talent.

Nonetheless, three Argentineans also proved there great level in the first round: Miranda, Roude and Romiglio.

The favorite players advanced to the next round due to the byes they obtained and will pass on to the second round. On top of the draw are the Brazilian Rafael Alarcon and the Colombian Samper, also the South African Schonborg and the Mexican Salazar.

The bottom draw has the Welsh Binns and the Canadian Clarke followed by the American Gordon and the Paraguayan Cassarino and the Colombian player Castilla.

The altitude challenge of
Bogota and Quito ...

The best squash players will have to fight against the altitude of Bogota and Quito in the Colombian Squash Open at the El Nogal Club between August the 24th and 30th, and also the Ecuador Squash Open in the Quito Tenis and Golf Club between September the 1st and 6th.

The Nogal Club will inaugurate its 12th version of the Colombian Squash Open which belongs to the professional tour calendar of the PSA, with the best players in the world between August 24th and 30th in the city of Bogota.

At least 30 players from around the world will come to Colombia in search of a PSA title and the qualification points of a level 3 star tournament, which will give out prize money of $30,000.

The main draw will have 16 places, from which first 11 places will be delivered to the best ranked players in the PSA, the 12th spot is going to be given to the wild card and the remaining 4 places will have to be won by the top 4 qualifiers from the qualy draw that will have 32 players.


Ecuador Open,
01-06 Sep

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