Dan Grant has won the 2016 Spanish Open! The no.2 ranked European player stormed through the group stages in a return to previous form. Things weren’t so easy in the quarter finals however, and he narrowly scraped past Paudi Quish from Ireland, one of the top up and coming 1-wall players. Paudi was on form and it was nip-and-tuck until the final few points where the Irishman missed a couple of kills by millimetres, leaving the door open for Grant.
In the semis he played new kid on the Spanish block Jose Marti. Marti’s resilience held him in good sted, but he couldn’t hang as Grant moved him left and right around the court.
Unfortunately top seed and home favourite Sacha Kruithof has been injured in the quarter-finals and was forced to retire. This left the path wide-open for veteran of the tour and Belgian Captain, “Lefty” Seb Potiez. The final was like a match from a few years ago. Seb’s powerful left spiking Dan far off the right of the court. But Dan has since learnt to defend and then counter-punch well and he accrued an unassailable lead, eventually winning comfortably.
This is turning into quite the successful year for Team GBR following Dan Tristao’s win at the UK Open back in February.
In the doubles Dan paired with Paudi but unfortunately they narrowly lost out in the group stages to the two teams who went on to contest the final. Seb (again) with Correntin got so close and so far again, undone by the quite fantastic Pasqual & Pablo from Spain.
The women’s draw also threw up a placeholder to the future as Mar Giminez, the 16 year old Spanish wonderkid, dispatched No.1 seed Scheffer in the final. The Spanish Open is still one of the only titles which eludes the Dutchlady. However, all was not lost, she went on to win the doubles with Siegersma.
Many thanks indeed to the wonderful organisation from Tavernes Blanques for hosting such a splendid tournament. We hope to return there next year for bigger and better things. Thanks also to the President of the European Wallball ProTour, Geert Vandervelden for ensuring a legacy in Spain and assisting with the logistics of such a big tournament. Brilliant work by everybody.