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Prague Open 2017


  • $5,000 Men's Prague Open 2017, Sportovni Areal Hamr, Prague, Czech Republic

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Prague Open 2017
12 - 17 Dec
Prague, Czech Republic, $5k
Round ONE
14 dec
15 dec
16 dec
177 dec
[1] Mohammad Al Sarraj (JOR)
12-10, 13-11, 6-11, 13-11 (51m)
[WC] Viktor Byrtus (CZE)
Mohammad Al Sarraj
8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 (56m)
Miko Äijänen
Mohammad Al Sarraj
Lyell Fuller
Mohammad Al Sarraj
9/11 11/8 11/3 11/9
Emyr Evans
[8] Miko Äijänen (FIN)
11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (38m)
Nick Mulvey (ENG)
[5] Charlie Lee (ENG)
11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8 (49m)
[Q] Taminder Gata-Aura (ENG)
Charlie Lee
Lyell Fuller
[3] Lyell Fuller (ENG)
11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (20m)
[LL] Carl Remle (SWE)
[4] Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
11-7, 11-8, 3-11, 11-8 (57m)
[Q] Balázs Farkas (HUN)
Daniel Mekbib
11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (25m)
Stuart MacGregor
Daniel Mekbib
11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (32m)
Emyr Evans
[Q] Stuart MacGregor (ENG)
11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
[6] Jami Äijänen (FIN)
[7] Emyr Evans (WAL)
13-11, 11-5, 11-7 (30m)
Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR)
Emyr Evans
2-11, 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5 (58m)
Faraz Khan
[Q] David Zeman (CZE)
12-10, 11-5, 13-11 (36m)
Faraz Khan (USA)

Qualifying finals:
Taminder Gata-Aura (ENG) bt Michael Babra (SWE) 11/5 11/4 11/8 (19 min.)
Balázs Farkas (HUN) bt
Chris Leiper (SCO) 10/12 11/9 11/6 9/11 11/5 (67 min.)
Stuart MacGregor (ENG) bt Jakub Solnicky (CZE) 11/7 6/11 11/9 2/11 11/8 (68 min)
David Zeman (CZE) bt Carl Remle (SWE) 11/6 11/2 11/3 (21 min.)

1st qualifying round:
Taminder Gata-Aura (ENG) bt Marek Panacek (CZE) 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 (17m)
Michael Babra (SWE) bt Matous Sochurek (CZE) 1-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7 (41m)
Balázs Farkas (HUN) bt Vojtech Ryba (CZE) 11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (18m)
Chris Leiper (SCO) bt Ondrej Vorlicek (CZE) 11-4, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8 (47m)
Stuart MacGregor (ENG) bt Filip Strouhal (CZE) 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)
Jakub Solnicky (CZE) bt Petr Nohel (CZE) 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (23m)
Carl Remle (SWE) bt Matyas Dufek (CZE) 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 (17m)
David Zeman (CZE) bt Benjamin Bergel (CZE) 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (24m)

Click on Images for larger view
Photos Irena Vanišová

Final Report

Today´s final was played between top seed and tournament´s favourite Mohammad Alsarraj and tournament surprise Emyr Evans who managed to beat two higher ranked players to reach his first PSA final.

Mohammad started the match better and he was soon 4/1 up. He managed to keep his lead at 7/4, 8/5 and 9/7 only to get a bit nervous at the end which Emyr used very well. He won next 4 points to get the first game and 1/0 lead. Second game started exactly the same way as the first.

Mohammad raced to 4/1 lead but this time he managed to keep the lead not only to 7/3 but to 10/5, gameball.

Emyr played three briliant rallies which saved three gameballs only to serve out at 8/10 to give the last point to his opponent. After winning the second Mohammad got more confident and dominated the third. He kept Emyr behind him and punished anything loose with nice nicks in the front.

The fourth game was close all the way to 6/6. Emyr won next two points to 8/6. Mohammad came back with three points of his own to get the lead back at 9/8. Emyr levelled, 9/9. Mohammad chased what looked like Emyr´s winning drop in front left.

He flicked it crosscourt and Emyr was just watching the ball rolling out of the nick. This time Mohammad used his first chance and after Emyr´s shot hit the tin he started celebrating his 5th PSA title.

Players Comments

Mohammad Alsarraj: Very happy with my performance in this tournament. It is a great way to finish this year. And also it was great to win this tournament which makes it a perfect start to be living in Prague. I hope the crowd enjoyed it as much as me and Emyr did. Really enjoyed the match.

Emyr Evans: Not the result I wanted today but I have had a great week and credit to Mohammad winning. He played the big points really well.
Hopefully I will be back soon. It was a very enjoyable tournament. I came last year and enjoyed it then as well.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter

Click on Images for larger view
Photos Irena Vanišová

Mohammad Alsarraj
Lyell Fuller

Daniel Mekbib
Emyr Evans

Semi Finals Report

First of the two semifinals was played between top seed Jordanian Mohammad Alsarraj who lives and trains in Prague and Lyell Fuller from England. Mohammad started better and got 1/0 lead but Lyell came back strong in the second to level. Lyell made too many mistakes in the third and gave the game to Mohammad.

The fourth was close and tense from the beginning. Lyell was able to get a 9/6 lead towards the end but Mohammad scored 4 points in a row to get his first matchball. Lyell save it but he was not able to return a rolling forehand volley crosscourt nick from Mohammad when he had his second chance at 11/10.

Home crowd was much more interested in the second semifinal where Czech no. 1 Daniel Mekbib met Emyr Evans from Wales.

Emyr started the match with two great nicks and from the beginning it was obvious this is not going to be Daniel´s day. He wasn´t able to keep his usual high pace and made too many mistakes. Emyr played well, was very solid, didn´t give Daniel anything easy and it was enough today to earn him a place in his first PSA final tomorrow. I am sure Daniel will try to forget about today´s match as quickly as possible.

Players Comments

Mohammad Alsarraj: Very happy to be through and very excited to play the final tomorrow and I hope me and Emyr will play a good final tomorrow so the crowd can enjoy.

Lyell Fuller: Dissapointed.

Emyr Evans: So happy to make my first final. I knew before the match that I had to play well for any chance of winning, looking forward to playing Mohammad tommorow, last time we played was in juniors.

Daniel Mekbib: Worst match of my season so far. Dissapointed with everything. The only good thing now is that I won´t play any more this year.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter

Click on Images for larger view
Photos Irena Vanišová

Mohammad Alsarraj

Lyell Fuller

Daniel Mekbib

Emyr Evans

Quarter Finals Report

First match between top seed Mohammad Alsarraj and Miko Äijänen took 5 games. Mohammad was in control for most of it but his concentration was up and down and he made lots of mistakes at times. Miko used them well and got to 2/1 lead. Mohammad managed to keep his concentration for the rest of the match and won final two games.

He will play Lyell Fuller who did not have to step on court today because his opponent Charlie Lee injured his shoulder during his yesterdays match and was not able to play today. The last Czech player in the tournament Daniel Mekbib beat qualifier Stuart Macgregor easily 3/0 when Stuart was struggling with his movement from the first rallies of the match.

Daniel just kept the pace high and did not give Stuart any chance to get into the match. Last match between second seed Faraz Khan and Emyr Evans was very entertaining and full of attacking shots to the front. Faraz´s drops were really tight in the first and he got a 1/0 lead. Emyr came back strong.

He was hitting the ball very hard and also attacked the front a lot and started to control most of the rallies. He got to 2/1 lead but Faraz fought hard and managed to turn the score in the fourth to level.

His efforts in the fourth took a lot out of him and Emyr started the fifth very well and got a good a good lead and although Faraz managed to save three match balls Emyr got a final point he needed with a hard backhand crosscourt.

Players Comments

Mohammad Alsarraj: Today was another great match I have played and Miko was playing in a good quality which made me struggle, but eventually I managed to close the match.

Daniel Mekbib: Happy with my performance today, I tried to make it hard for him, because he had a couple of matches in his legs already and it worked perfectly for me. Sadly he was either cramping or injured after the first game, so I hope he gets well soon.

Emyr Evans: Happy to get the win today. It wasn´t my best performance but he has got a lot of good shots so he makes it tough for you. Looking forward to semis against Daniel.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter

Click on Images for larger view
Photos Irena Vanišová

Mohammad Alsarraj

Faraz Khan

Lyell Fuller

Daniel Mekbib

First Round Report

Top seed Mohammad Alsarraj was put under a lot of pressure by 16 years old wild card Viktor Byrtus. Viktor was able to keep Mohammad´s high pace in the rallies but at the crucial moments in tie-breaks Mohammad´s experience prevailed over local hope. Czech no. 1 Daniel Mekbib was the only succesful of the 3 home players. He faced probably the most difficult of the 4 qualifiers Hungarian Balasz Farkas. They played a good game with lots of attacking shots but Daniel was more solid towards the end of the games which proved decisive as Balasz usually made a couple of mistakes which cost him those games.

Players Comments

Mohammad Alsarraj: First of all I enjoyed the match so much. Viktor played well which made the crowd excited and I hope that they enjoyed the match as much as us inside the court.

Viktor Byrtus: It was my first real test in a PSA event and I took it quite well. Iam happy with my performance and I hope that I can play more of these matches soon. I hope the crowd enjoyed it.

Miko Äijänen: I think I played quite well. Too much errors in the first two games probably because I was a bit nervous but I think my game opened up a bit in last two games.

Charlie Lee: Nice to win when not playing as well as I’d like.

Lyell Fuller: Happy to win in 3 against Carl who had nothing to lose as coming in as the lucky loser. Enjoyed the match and looking forward to tomorrow.

Daniel Mekbib: Happy to win against Balasz, he is a very good and dangereous player. Lost focus a little bit in the third game, but pushed really hard in the fourth. Looking forward to tomorrow´s quaterfinals.

Stuart Macgregor: Very happy to win this match 3/0. I had nothing to lose in this match as I was not the expected player to win. I played my best squash, and now I´m through to my first quarter final. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Emyr Evans: Happy to get through in 3 today, he’s a dangerous play so you can´t afford to lose any concentration. Looking forward to playing Faraz tomorrow.

Faraz Khan: Good to get thru against a fit young player, who was a bit unlucky not to get a game. Looking forward to the next round.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter
Click on Images for larger view
Photos Irena Vanišová

Taminder Gata-Aura

Balasz Farkas

Stuart Macregor

David Zeman
Qualifying finals:
Top two seeds Taminder Gata-Aura and David Zeman both won easily today against Swedish oponents but the other two matches were marathons.

Balasz Farkas managed to beat Chris Leiper in five games lasting 67 minutes and Stuart Macregor beat his time by one minute to also win 3/2 against local hope Jakub Solnicky.

Matthew Broadberry pulled out of the tournament because of illness and we draw a lucky looser to play against Lyell Fuller. We initially draw Michael Babra as no.

1 lucky looser and Carl Remle as no. 2. Michael unfortunately couldn't stay for tomorrow's match because of the test he needs to take at school at home on Friday. He was not able to get a flight which would enable him to play tomorrow evening and get home on time so he gave a nice Christmas present to his fellow countryman Carl who was more than happy to take lucky loser's spot.

Players Comments

Taminder Gata-Aura: Happy to get through. Felt like I was finding my range well. I was controlling the game. Happy to play anyone tomorrow.

Balasz Farkas: My opponent played very well every game and put me under pressure. I need to attack the ball and thats why I made four and sometimes more mistakes. The last game was very good and I played good shots. I think thats why I could win the match and I really enjoyed it.
I can´t wait to play again tomorrow.

Stuart Macgregor: very happy with how mentally strong i stayd in that match. I thought we both played quality squash throughtout the whole match. I am very pleased to come out on top. Hopefully i can recover well for another tough match tomorrow

David Zeman: I am satisfied with my game. I am happy to win both matches
3/0 and save energy for tomorrow. I think I am ready to play a good match.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter

1st qualifying round:
Two of 10 Czech players who took part in today´s qualification 1st round of Prague open 2017 made it to tomorrow´s finals. And we hope they will continue their winning ways tomorrow as well and make it to the main draw.

Jakub Solnický managed to beat fellow countryman Petr Nohel in three games and second seed David Zeman won also 3/0 against Benjamin Bergel.

All the seeded players got through but some of them had to work a little harder than they probably thought.

All the local players are still juniors and although they all lost I am sure it was a good experience for them and hopefully it will help them in their future development.

Report Courtesy of
Tomas Forter