Patrick Laplante cruised through to the final of the CHA Massachusetts Racket Masters where he will face surprise finalist Allen Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons recovered from a +25 deficit after badminton against Jeremy Easterbrook to book his place in the final on his FIR World Tour debut.
In the Women’s A, Katrin Maldre has won her first two box league matches and is favourite for the title heading into the second day.
Laplante on Form While Debutant Fitzsimmons Surprises
Patrick Laplante lived up to his billing as pre-tournament favourite as he comfortably advanced to the Men’s A final.
The former U21 World Champion dropped one singles set all day, losing badminton 21-4 to Hong Kong’s Kevin Ho-Ching Ng.
However, he recovered from that loss to comfortably defeat Ho-Ching Ng +33 overall.
His second match against American Patrick Moran was even more routine. The Canadian soared to a 21-7, 21-8, 21-8, 21-5 victory as he moved into the Massachusetts Racket Masters final for a third time.
Group B was where the drama happened. We mentioned in the pre-tournament build-up that Bryan Song had recently shocked Jeremy Easterbrook at National level.
It was Allen Fitzsimmons who dealt the first blow to Easterbrook’s final chances though. The experienced Easterbrook dominated the first two sports to lead +25 heading to squash.
Fitzsimmons was superb over the remaining two sports though, winning 21-9 and 21-4 to take a +4 victory on his debut.
Easterbrook took a similarly commanding lead against Song but once again came unstuck on the tennis court. Song won 21-5 to claim a +2 victory and knock Easterbrook out of the tournament.
That left Song against Fitzsimmons for a chance to reach a first FIR World Tour final. After losing the table-tennis 21-15, Fitzsimmons dominated the middle-two sports leaving him needing just seven in tennis. He lost the tennis but got the seven needed to advance to the final.
Fitzsimmons goes into the final as the underdog against the experienced Laplante. He’s already shocked one seeded Canadian at the Massachusetts Racket Masters though. Can he shock another?
Katrin Maldre Closing in on Women’s A title
In the Women’s A tournament, Katrin Maldre has one hand on the title after day one.
The current +55 World Champion won her two matches over Shona Kerr and Line Bellerose to top the table overnight.
She’ll face fellow American Dominique Canale in her final match, with a victory assuring her the title.
Canale lost both her matches on the opening day which means that, if Maldre defeats her on Sunday, Kerr and Bellerose are playing for second place while Maldre takes the title.
Elsewhere at the Massachusetts Racket Masters
One champion was crowned on day one as Eric Shear saw off the competition to win the First Timers category.
The doubles categories and the +45 singles are all in the early stages of the competition. However, we do know the Men’s B finalists.
It’s an all-Canadian final as the two seeds, Marc Fortin and Joey Genest, compete for the crown on Sunday.
The full results from day one of the Massachusetts Racket Masters are available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Andy Stenson