Arturo Salazars Set Up Surprise Manitoba Final

A five-game semi-final upset over No2 seed Jan Koukal in the Qualico Developments Canada Ltd Manitoba Open in Canada has led to a surprise final of the PSA World Tour Challenger 10 squash event at Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club in Winnipeg between Mexican twins Arturo Salazar and Cesar Salazar.

"Arturo came out flying," said tournament promoter Gene Turk of the fourth seed. "He took the ball quickly, kept the pace high and attacked short every chance he got. It looked like he was going to be too strong today for Koukal.

"Jan, in typical 'kouki' fashion, started clawing back. His counters became tighter and he got his concentration zoned in. He survived one match ball and pulled out the third 13-11.

"In the fourth, Arturo looked like he was getting a little tired and Jan was getting stronger. Jan took him out 11-4. The fans were amazed at the turn of events.

"In the fifth, Jan came out shooting too soon, made a few mistakes and got down 5-0. It was too much of a lead to recover and Arturo sailed to a 11-5 victory."

The 52-minute 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5 win takes Arturo into the ninth PSA Tour final of his career - and the second final against his 25-year-old twin Cesar.

Top seed Cesar ended the run of the new US national champion Christopher Gordon, beating the third seed 13-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6 in 45 minutes to reach his seventh Tour final.

The final will be the fifth PSA meeting between the siblings from San Luis Potosi. For most of their careers, Arturo has led Cesar in the rankings - and boasts a 3/1 head-to-head lead.

But world No52 Cesar is currently 20 places higher in the PSA world list - and claimed his first victory in their most recent clash, in the climax of the Internacional Sporta Open in Guatemala in May last year.

"The final should prove to be an exciting match," added Turk.

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 10 Qualico Developments Canada Ltd Manitoba Open, Winnipeg, Canada
[4] Arturo Salazar (MEX) bt [2] Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 4-11, 11-5 (52m)
[1] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt [3] Christopher Gordon (USA) 13-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6 (45m)

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