Juan Vargas and Kenzy Ayman clinch Bermuda Open titles – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Juan Vargas and Kenzy Ayman clinch Bermuda Open titles

Title delight: Colombia’s Juan Camilo Vargas and Egypt’s Kenzy Ayman won the men’s and women’s titles at the Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships. (Photograph Colin Thompson)

Juan Camilo Vargas and Kenzy Ayman basked in the spotlight after capturing the men’s and women’s titles at the Chubb Bermuda Open Squash Championships on Saturday night.

Colombian Vargas defeated Scotland’s Rory Stewart 14-12, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3 in a thrilling men’s final that went the entire distance on court No 2 at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association.

Egypt’s Ayman also had her work cut out in an equally exciting and entertaining women’s final having come from behind to defeat top-seed Georgia Adderley, of Scotland, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9.

Sixth seed Vargas came from behind to win the opening game against fourth seed Stewart and take early control in what was the second between the pair in a month.

The 28-year-old South American led 5-3 in the second game before Stewart rallied, reeling off four successive points to win the game and even the best-of-five-series at one apiece.

With his confidence restored, Stewart jumped out to a commanding 6-1 lead and never looked back as he won the third game convincingly to take a 2-1 lead.

The Scot appeared to be in control up 5-2 in a pulsating fourth game which saw the lead swap hands on five occasions as both players fought tooth and nail for every point.

The title hung in the balance with the scored tied at 9-9 before Vargas won the next two crucial points to level the series and force a fifth and deciding game five with the crowd on the edge of their seats.

With the momentum on his side and his opponent clearly fatigued, Vargas ruthlessly moved in for the kill and finished the job off in a hurry with minimum resistance to clinch his seventh Professional Squash Association World Tour title.

“It was so tough; he [Stewart] is such a solid player,” Vargas told The Royal Gazette. “I was 2-1 down struggling and I just pushed through.

“I was not in a good place mentally. But you have to block those negative thoughts and push on with some courage. I just had to dig deep and find strength from within; keep fighting and never give up.”

“I am so happy that in the fifth game I stuck in there and pulled off the win.”

Vargas earned $10,000 in prize money and also secured qualification to the upcoming PSA World Open in Cairo, Egypt.

“This means a lot and I am emotional because being able to play in the World Open is a dream for any pro player,” he added.

Meanwhile, it also proved to be a memorable night for 18-year-old Ayman, who captured a maiden PSA World Tour title after upsetting top seed Adderley in the women’s final.

Adderley seized early control after winning the opening game, which saw the lead change hands four times.

The Scot was cruising along up 8-4 in the second game before her opponent rallied and won seven of the next eight points to level the series.

Fifth seed Ayman then won the third game convincingly to take a 2-1 series lead as frustration began to take its toll on Adderley.

With the title dangling in the balance, the two players gave everything they had in an exciting fourth game which featured seven lead changes.

Adderley held a 9-8 advantage before Ayman won the next three vital points to claim a maiden title at this level along with $10,000 in prize money and PSA World Open qualification.

“I am so happy to win,” Ayman said. “It is my first time winning and I am so excited to play at the World Championships.

“Hopefully this is the start for me in my career and I am really so happy.”

Reflecting on the match, Ayman added: “First game I was so confused and thinking about how I am doing and my coach told me play for fun and enjoy ― and that’s what I did.

“Second game I stayed focused on the game and played basic and that helped me really a lot.

“I won the second game which gave me confidence and then did the same thing in the third and fourth games.”

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Published May 09, 2022 at 8:07 am (Updated May 10, 2022 at 8:01 am)

Juan Vargas and Kenzy Ayman clinch Bermuda Open titles

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