Sharon Alguetti was the man in form as he took on the Westchester July Open this weekend just gone by. The top level facility located in Pleasantville, New York, and owned by New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz, puts on the toughest monthly tournament in the US. Drawing the very best players from the east coast, as well as visiting professionals from overseas, the Westchester Open consistently puts up rewarding prize money and offers a high standard of competition.
With $2000 on the line for the Open Singles winner, the Alguetti brothers were back and gunning for the top spot. The trio of Adar, Gal and Sharon are regular contenders in the tournament and are among the top competitors in the nation. With other top contestants, the likes of Li Jian, Liang Jishan and Akifumi Hamakawa, the draw would be a true challenge.
Sharon Alguetti proved to be the man to rise to the occasion, as he had twice previously. Indeed Hamakawa was the sharpest looking obstacle, having just a week before won the first Swan Warriors TTC tournament in California, beating three over 2600 opponents. The Japanese player, travelling out of Samson Dubina Academy to compete, found himself cruising to victory over Adar Alguetti in the quarterfinal, after the oldest of the three brothers had defeated Li Jian in straight games the previous round.
Sharon Alguetti stepped up to the plate in the semifinal and took on the challenge.
"He's been beating almost everyone in the US, I knew I had to attack at every opportunity or he would outplay me," Sharon said of Hamakawa. The match would prove to be a spectator favorite, with many local players getting in behind Alguetti, showcasing his freshly bleached hair at the venue for the first time and drawing a lot of support.
The real character of the brothers showed as Sharon went after every ball, combining speed, power and immaculate placement to find his way past Hamakawa. The two fought back and forth but Alguetti would prevail and head into the final.
There he would meet Liang Jishan, who had beaten twin brother Gal 3-1 in the opposite semifinal. The left handed National College Champion flaunts a dangerously powerful forehand among many other skills.
With all the motivation and confidence riding behind him from his previous win, and with a potential $2000 prize hanging in front of him, Alguetti pushed forward. It was the 7th encounter between Liang and Alguetti, thus far Liang had a dominant 6-0 record.
The most recent match at the previous month's tournament at Westchester had seen Liang scrape by with a 3-2 win. On this occasion, Alguetti was determined to make a breathrough.
The result was a satisfying moment for Sharon and for the family as he clutched his third title at Westchester, having won in January and April this year already.
"It feels really great to have won my third title here at Westchester, especially since all of them have been this year. The raised prize money of $2000 was a great motivation for me to fight harder to try and win the title again, I also just switched my rubber to Joola Rhyzer 48 on both sides a few days ago and felt very confident the way I was playing with that, so having more confidence and determination was a big factor in coming through with the result" Sharon Alguetti, Westchester July Open Champion.