Breakthrough Fortnight – Rory Stewart wins maiden PSA title after Euro success

Scotland’s Rory Stewart (4) has won his first PSA Tour title after victory in the final of the $5.5k Mar del Plata PSA Open in Argentina on Saturday.

The 22-year beat Columbian Edgar Ramirez 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (45m) to cap off a memorable fortnight having performed brilliantly at last week’s European Team Championships, beating French duo Baptiste Masotti (WR61) and Victor Crouin (WR73) which helped Scotland secure a bronze medal.

It begins a back-to-back four tournament stretch for Rory in South America and he takes on Columbia’s Ronald Palomino on Tuesday in the $11k Colon Squash Open, Colon, Argentina.

At the Casal Squash Club in Mar del Plata, Rory had a bye into round two where he played Juan Pablo Roude who was competing at his home club, the Scot winning 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4 in 50 minutes.

Rory faced another Argentinian in the quarter-finals and got through in three games, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (40m).

That set-up a last four clash against Japan’s Ryosei Kobayashi and the Crieff ace displayed his new-found belief surviving a titanic 75 minute battle, winning 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 1-11, 11-9.

And despite the 24 hour turnaround, Rory produced an outstanding performance in his first PSA Tour final, defeating third seed Edgar Ramirez (COL) 11-6, 11-3, 11-8 in 45 minutes.

Speaking from Argentina, he said: “I’ve been to the latter stages of a PSA event in the past but always came up short.

“But after how I performed at the Europeans I knew I was playing well enough to win a PSA event soon.

“The first two games against Victor Crouin (at the Europeans) were probably the best two games I’ve played in my life so I went to Argentina with confidence. It’s a great opportunity to gets some wins and push my ranking up.”

He continued: “This year has been a bit of turning point in the way I’ve approached training and the game altogether.

“I’ve done a lot of work with my coach Paul Bell and I’ve made a few changes off court which will hopefully benefit me on the court. Things are starting to come together.

“Because of this fresh approach I felt confident throughout the tournament and when it came to the latter stages here in Mar del Plata I knew I had put the work in to get the outcome I wanted.”