Sixteen-year-old American Marina Stefanoni claimed her first career PSA World Tour Title, the $5,000 Bermuda Open, March 8 at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association in Devonshire.
Stefanoni, currently ranked world No. 88, entered the tournament as the two seed in her thirteenth career PSA tournament appearance. The Darien, Connecticut-native progressed to the final with a 3-0 first round win, four-game quarterfinal win over six seed Marina de Juan Gallach and a four-game semifinal win against Trinity graduate and three seed Catalina Pelaez.
The final saw Stefanoni take on Trinity graduate and English international Anna Kimberley, world No. 81 and the tournament’s four seed. It was Stefanoni who came out on top in the final, with an impressive three-game victory 11-8, 11-8, 12-10.
“It was a great match, the whole tournament was really tough and so I’m delighted to have won it,” Stefanoni said. “I won 3-0 but all the games were really tight. Anna is a really strong player and I had to fight hard for every point.”
Stefanoni has already been ranked as high as world No. 69 in January 2019.
“I’ve played in four or five professional tournaments but this is my first title, which is really exciting,” Stefanoni said. “When I first became a professional, matches were really tough to just to beat anybody. The seniors are so much faster, fitter, stronger and sharper, it was a real challenge.”
Stefanoni will be aiming for her fourth-consecutive U19 national title this weekend at the 2019 National Juniors in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“In the future my ultimate goal is to be world No 1,” Stefanoni said. “Right now, I have to pick and choose which tournaments I can play in because it can conflict with school. For the immediate future, I think I can get into the top fifty, that would a good realistic aim for right now.”