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Paraguay Open 2009
15-20 Jun, Asuncion, Paraguay, $6k

Alarcon Pockets PSA Paraguay Prize

There was unexpected South American success in the "Tour de las Americas" Paraguay Open when Brazilian Rafael  Alarcon upset US favourite Gilly Lane in the final at Club Internacional de Tenis in the Paraguay capital Asuncion.

It was a popular climax to the first Professional Squash Association event in Paraguay for the first time for 18 years – which attracted players from Italy, Holland, USA, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina and spectators from as far away as Córboba, Buenos Aires and La Plata, all more than 1,000 kilometres away!

Alarcon, the 32-year-old second seed from Sao Paulo, took control of the first two games and looked to be romping to a straight games upset. But Lane, nine years younger than the Brazilian, started lengthening the rallies in the third and reached game-ball at 10-7

The underdog clawed back the next two points – but the US favourite took the game, then sped to a 6/1 lead in the fourth. Again 'Rafa' fought back – but again Lane maintained his advantage to draw level.

Alarcon forced his opponent into errors in the decider and led 5-1 and 7-2 before finally closing out the match 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5 in just over an hour to claim the tenth PSA Tour title of his career.

"Congratulations to Rafa for the great victory, but also congratulations to Gilly for the great effort and commitment," said event spokesman Mario Dominguez.

Dominguez also paid tribute to Paraguay's top player Esteban Casarino, who reached the semi-finals before losing in four games to Lane. "He was the engine of this event, with great enthusiasm he covered all the details for this tournament to emerge this way. Obviously, besides a great player, we have a great host, that, he contagious all of us with his optimism in advance and managed to host an event that seemed impossible for the economic conditions facing the country and the world at large."

Paraguay Open 2009 Final Report
from Mario Dominguez

As always, good things have to end, so did yesterday the PARAGUAY OPEN. With a fantastic final, not only for the great match that gave us and Rafa Gilly, but for the work performed by the organizing committee and its members and the great atmosphere of the tournament, which can be summarized as follows:

• Players from around the world - Players came from Italy, Holland, United States, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina.

• Very good audience - Domestic and foreign, as we were visited by friends from Argentina, from as far away as Córboba, Buenos Aires and La Plata (all more than 1,000 kilometers away), and other nearby towns as Resistencia and Posadas.

• Good media coverage - All the major newspapers, three television channels and several radio stations joined the tournament from the start.

• Presence of authorities - Most of the main matches, the final and the awards were accompanied by the highest authorities linked to the event: the president of the Paraguayan Association of Squash, Mr. Marcos Vaisembrut and members of the Board , the president of the International Tennis Club, Mr. Ruben Ovelar and Board members, plus members of Cub’s Squash Committee.

• Good weather - Even the weather followed the event with sunny but not hot days a temperature more than pleasant, especially in the final (20 º C).

• Good atmosphere among the players - There was much camaraderie among the players and although many foreigners did not known each other, ended up being friends in a week; also the good attitude of foreign players towards local kids or players.

• Esteban Casarino, incredible work - The engine of this event, with great enthusiasm he covered all the details for this tournament to emerge this way. Obviously, besides a great player, we have a great host, that, he contagious all of us with his optimism in advance and managed to host an event that seemed impossible for the economic conditions facing the country and the world at large.

• The Venue – The Club Internacional de tenis, a fantastic club that surprised all the first timers in Asunción.



A match with previous predictions sharply divided, perhaps because the playing style of both players has some similarities. And since the first game was very even game with Gilly  attacking and being on the front, while Rafa was trying to punish the US. Player’s weakest point, the backhand corner, where he had no opportunity to attack, then pressing with deep balls and forcing Gilly to make mistakes. Finally the security of Rafa in the decisive shots and pressure at the key moments, gave him the advantage of the first two games that seemed to be a sure 3 gamer.

But from the beginning of the third, Gilly began to lengthen the points, to make the Brazilian moving and getting him tired and a 10/7 lead. But Rafa knew he had to close the match in that game and regained his strength by taking advantage of some arguments of American with the referees, getting to 9/10. At that point Gilly took a ball in the front and set a low cross that left no chance to the Brazilian. In the fourth game was the American going fast 6/1 up, but Rafa responded with several winners to 5/6. Two deep shots deep forced a mistake from Rafa  that gave the advantage to Gilly at 8/5, but the Brazilian began to increase the pace of the game forcing mistakes from the American getting to 9/8. But at this point was Rafa who  struggled to close the match giving the openings on two occasions which were very well used by Gilly, who eventually won the game by 11/9.

Already in the fifth game, and when many thought that Rafa would not have to endure the keep the rhythm, he imposed speed to the game, forcing the American to make mistakes and taking advantage of a initial 5/1 and then 7/2. From there, Gilly tried to get closer but rafa was too sure and the experienced Brazilian took the game and the by 11/5.

A bit more than an hour, with great moments for the enjoyment of the crowd that appreciated the professionalism and preparation of these two players. Congratulations to Rafa for the great victory, but also congratulations to Gilly for the great effort and commitment!.

Paraguay Open 2009
15-20 Jun, Asuncion, Paraguay, $6k
Round One
17 Jun
18 Jun
19 Jun
20 Jun
[1] Gilly Lane (Usa)
11/5, 11/6, 4/11, 11/6
Gonzalo Seminario (Per)
[1] Gilly Lane
10/12, 11/5, 12/10, 11/-4
[8] Miled Zarazua
[1] Gilly Lane

11/8, 11/7, 10/12, 11/6

[4] Esteban Casarino

[1] Gilly Lane 

11/8, 11/6, 9/11, 9/11, 11/5

[2] Rafael Alarcon

[8] Miled Zarazua (Mex)
11/6, 11/8, 11/9
Andre L'Heureux (Per)
[4] Esteban Casarino (Par)
12/10, 11/4, 12/10
Andres Duany (Per)
[4] Esteban Casarino
 5/11, 11/5, 11/6, 11/8
[5] Manoel Pereira
[5] Manoel Pereira (Bra)
11/8, 11/5, 11/8
Nahuel Ramos (Arg)
Bruno Alvarenga (Par)
11/7, 11/4, 11/9
[7] Paul Mathieson (Ita)
[7] Paul Mathieson
11/5, 11/2, 11/4
[3] Bart Ravelli
[3] Bart Ravelli

11/9, 11/6, 11/4

[2] Rafael Alarcon

Nicolas Caballero (Par)
11/5, 11/5, 11/5
[3] Bart Ravelli (Ned)
Mario Dominguez (Par)
11/5, 11/4, 11/5
[8] Leandro Romiglio (Arg)
[8] Leandro Romiglio
11/8, 11/4, 11/0
[2] Rafael Alarcon
Edilson Nunes (Bra)
11/3, 11/3, 11/6
[2] Rafael Alarcon (Bra)

Five Paraguayan players in the main draw

After several casualties in the list of qualifiers from the Paraguay Open like Paul Bragard of Uruguay, Matías Valenzuela and Federico Usandizaga of Argentina, Julio Caseiro and Vinicius Costa from Brazil, we have the four classified for the main draw: Andres Duany and Gonzalo Seminario from Peru and the local players Nicolas Caballero and Mario Dominguez. This evening will take place the draw that determines at which place of the main draw go these players.

With these results Paraguay has five players in the tournament: Esteban Casarino, Andre L'Heureux, Bruno Alvarenga, Caballero and Dominguez.

17-Jun, Round One:
Seeds safely through in Asuncion
Mario Dominguez reports

The first round of the Paraguay Open, back on the circuit after an absence of 18 years, saw the eight seeded players - but only one Paraguayan - through to the quarter-finals ...

• Match 1 - Paul Mathieson (Italy) beat Bruno Alvarenga (Paraguay) 3/0. Paul, although not displaying his best pace because he arrived in the country only hours before, managed to dominate the game from the start, pushing Bruno to make the big effort.

• Match 2 - Manuel Pereira (Brazil) beat Nahuel Ramos (Argentina) 3/0. A fairly even match, despite the result, where Manuel's deep shots kept Nahuel in the back of the court, who could not attack and he had problems to get the short ball because of a back problem.

• Match 3 - Esteban Casarino (Paraguay) beat Andres Duany (Peru) 3/0. The result reflects the parity that was the game primarily for two reasons - one for the positive evolution that has taken in Andres' game Andres and two in the number of unforced errors committed by Esteban in all games, perhaps the product of anxiety and the pressure is on to perform a dual role: been the local player with chances to win the tournament and the host and leader, who steal concentration when entering into the court. Nevertheless, the experience and control of Esteban in the decisive moments, allowed him to close the match 3/0.

• Match 4 - Bart Ravelli (Netherlands) beat Nicolas Caballero (Paraguay) 3/0. The Dutchman made a great game, where despite the obvious superiority of this, he allowed the young Paraguayan player (14 years) to deploy his game. An example of how to manage a match and make it fun without losing the goal of victory.

• Match 5 - Miled Zarazua (Mexico) beat Andre L'Heureux (Paraguay) 3/0. An excellent match by the Mexican youth who demonstrated the high level that has, through a varied set, with many changes of pace that made sure André was kept on the defensive most of the time.

• Match 6 - Leandro Romiglio (Argentina) beat Mario Dominguez (Paraguay) 3/0. A smooth result for Argentina's player, who dominated the game throughout the match, based on his higher speed and control of the ball.

• Match 7 - Gilly Lane (USA) beat Gonzalo Seminario (Peru) 3/1. Good game by the Peruvian guy, which indicates a positive evolution of their game in relation to last year, but still lacks concentration in crucial moments, which leads to mistakes when he is not forced to shoot winners. The American, with some physical problems, brought his experience and pace to rise with a victory that initially looked easier than it turned out to be.

• Match 8 - Rafael Alarcon (Brazil) beat Nunez Edilson Ribeiro (Brazil) 3/0. The big Rafa showed that his game is still intact, printing speed and a lot of pressure, forcing Edilson to defend and run most of the game.

Back to Paraguay

After an absence of 18 years, the Paraguay Open is back on the men's tour calendar, as a $6k Super Satellite event.

A strong field, including Paraguay's own Esteban Casarino, head for Asuncion from the middle of June ..

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