THE FIRST Russian Open played out this weekend, as just under 200 players headed to St. Petersburg to participate.
Two tournaments, the Russian Open and the St Peterburg Open took place over two days, with Romania's Gabriel Pascaru featuring in both Men's finals. Saturday's Russian Open saw Pascaru take a narrow 6-5 win over the Czech Republic's Jiri Brejcha in the final.
Pascaru also had a close 5-4 win over Cyprus's Ermos Korradou in the semi-finals, whilst Brejcha overcame a strong challenge from home favourite, Russia's Boris Koltsov, winning through to the final 5-3.
Pascaru also progressed into Sunday's St Petersburg Open final, once again beating Brejcha, before meeting Belarusian Andrey Pontus in the semi-final, winning 5-3 to move into his second final of the weekend. Pascaru faced Koltsov in the final, who knocked out Romania's Adrian Frim in the quarter-finals, and number two seed, fellow Russian Aleksey Kadochnikov in the semis, denying either player a leg.
The final went the way of the Russian as Koltsov took a decisive 6-1 win over Pascuru to take the St Petersburg Open title.
It was Russia's Elena Shulgina who dominated the ladies events, winning both the Russian and St. Petersburg Open. Shulgina beat 2019 Kiev Master, Russian youth star Ksenia Klochek 5-1 in the final of the Russian Open, following wins over number 1 seed Andreea Brad and Alisa Burykina. Klochek took a 5-2 win over Liza Pugina in the semi-finals.
Shulgina faced fellow Russian Alisa Burykina in Sunday's final, winning 5-3 to complete a double weekend victory. Burykina beat Ekaterina Cherkasova 4-2 in the semi-finals, whilst Shulgina beat Ekaterina Zasypkina 4-1 to reach the final.