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Zenit Black Sea Open 2015

Zenit Black Sea Open 2015
Men's Draw
19-23 Aug, Odessa, Ukraine, $5k

Round One
20 Aug
21 Aug
22 Aug
23 Aug
[1] Sebastiaan Weenink (NED)
11-6, 11-8, 11-9
[Q] Stephane Galifi (ITA)
Stephane Galifi
11-2 11-6 11-3
Denis Podvorniy
Stephane Galifi
11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4
Manuel Wanner
Stephane Galifi
11:8, 11:9, 12:10
Ahmed Hussein
[7] Mike Lewis (USA)
11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7
[Q] Denis Podvorniy (Ukr)
[6] Manuel Wanner (SUI)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3
[Q] Viktor Kovalchuk (UKR)
Manuel Wanner
11-5 12-10 11-8
Jean-Pierre Brits
[4] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA)
8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 14-12
Joeri Hapers (BEL)
[wc] Ruslan Sorochinsky (UKR)
9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6
[3] Christo Potgeiter (RSA)
Christo Potgeiter
11-4 11-2 6-11 11-8
Ahmed Hussein
Ahmed Hussein
9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11
Jan Koukal
Nick Talbot (USA)
11-6, 11-4, 11-4
[8] Ahmed Hussein (EGY)
Valeriy Fedoruk (UKR)
11-7, 11-3, 11-5
[5] Ahmed Effat Ashoush (EGY)
Ahmed Effat Ashoush
8-11 11-9 9-11 11-4 11-5
Jan Koukal
Julian Tomlinson (ENG)
11-2, 11-5, 11-6
[2] Jan Koukal (CZE)

Live Streaming At

Qualification Draw
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Qualification Results
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The Zenit Black Sea Open is to be broadcast LIVE all the matches at http://squashonline.net to promote squash among Ukrainians and players all over the world.

Stephane Galifi In Odessa Shock Result

Qualifier Stephane Galifi produced another shock result to defeat Ahmed Hussein in the final of the Zenit Black Sea Open, PSA M5 tournament to lift his first PSA World Tour title for almost five years.

The Italian had stunned top seed Sebastiaan Weenink in the opening round before eliminating another seeded player, Manuel Wanner, in the semi-final. Hussein had also shown a penchant for causing big upsets as he saw off the second and third seeds Jan Koukal and Christo Potgieter, respectively en-route to the final.

Galifi started on the front foot and the Italian, who once boasted a career-high World No.40 ranking, rose to a one game lead.

He kept up his assault in the second game, with Husseinís five-game semi-final against Koukal perhaps having an effect on the Egyptian, and the 37-year-old doubled his advantage with an 11-9 triumph.

The third game was the closest of the lot as both players remained composed and played a measured game of squash with consistently accurate rallies. Galifi managed to outlast his opponent to secure an 11-8, 11-7, 12-10 and lift his 10th career PSA World Tour title.

Semi Finals

Qualifier Stephane Galifi Into Final

Experienced Stephane Galifi demonstrated great control and beat Manuel Wanner 3-1 (11-5 11-5 9-11 11-4)

zenit15_3-1Stephane Galifi:
3-1ďItís a pleasure for me at my age to play some more match with young guys, I like it.

And Iím very happy and very grateful that Iím playing one more match tomorrow and Iíll try to do my best. I think I started to slow down too much in the third, I put pressure down and he was trying to play very slowly and I had a problem a little bit to go through to the ball. I was too excited and started to be a little nervous in the third but I tried to relax in the forth. For me itís like one of my first tournaments after 3 years of PSA at this level but I need time to feel again the competition, manage how to see the match, to be consistent for three or even five games. Itís very hard for me, I lose sometimes concentration sometime but itís ok, but I still have experience. And I completed the match. So itís a happy end.Ē

Real fight and a five-game thriller with frequent stoppages around the mid-court area, which led to even more frequent discussions with the referee. Close till the end, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats Ahmed Hussein bt Jan Koukal 3-2 (9-11 9-11 13-11 11-9 13-11)

Ahmed Hussein:
newz-1-7ďIím very very happy to be in the final. I havenít been in a final since I was 11 years old so itís about 12 years ago. Iím happy with my performance today. It was a tough match, I was 10-8 up in the fifth, I had 3 match balls and Jan came back. But after all I won. I canít believe in that and Iím looking forward for tomorrowís match.Ē

Stephane Galifi bt Manuel Wanner 3-1 (11-5 11-5 9-11 11-4)
Ahmed Hussein bt Jan Koukal 3-2 (9-11 9-11 13-11 11-9 13-11)

Quarter Finals

Qualifier Stephane Galifi Through To Black Sea Semis

Stephane Galifi bt Denis Podvorniy 3-0 (11-2 11-6 11-3)

newz-1-3Stephane Galifi:
ďDenis is a good opponent, but before me he played Rybalchenko for five games and was really tired. Iíve played with Denis before and I know he can play better. So I saved all my power for tomorrow. I saw my opponent today, he played a lot of volley and have a good technique. What do I expect? I expect to play one more match on Sunday.Ē

Good technique and quality volleys from young Swiss Manuel Wanner and he booked a place in the tomorrow semis with Galifi.

Manuel Wanner bt Jean-Pierre Brits 3-0 (11-5 12-10 11-8)

newz-1-4Manuel Wanner:
newz-1-4ďHappy to got through obviously. Iíve never play Britis before either. I saw the chance to win this match, but I had to win it first thatís why I was nervous in the beginning. I started well, relaxed because I didnít feel any pressure on me. Iím number 6 seed and heís number 4. I want to win match easy and relaxed. I think it was a good match with some quality rallies, some scrappy ones as well. I was kind of on and off. In second we have a patch, it was kind of up and down but iím happy to be through.

My next opponent is Galifi and Iíve heard a lot about him, heís definitely one of the quality player on the tour. I can not know what to expect, letís see but Iíll give my everything.Ē
It was unbelievable squash: ferocious pace and brilliant shots entertained a packed crowd behind the glass-backed court in Odessa. Egyptian Ahmed Hussein closed out the match.

Ahmed Hussein bt Christo Potgieter 3-1 (11-4 11-2 6-11 11-8)

newz-1-5Ahmed Hussein:
ďIím very happy, because it will be my first time in a semis. Iím happy with my performance on the court, I played very well, I was focused I think itís the best match iíve ever played. I was two-love up and then lost the third game, but I sad myself ęI wonít loose and itís my chance to win today here in Ukraine!Ē

It was an incredible five-setter wich Odessa have witnessed!

Jan Koukal bt Ahmed Effat Ashoush 3-2 (8-11 11-9 9-11 11-4 11-5)

newz-1-6Jan Koukal:
newz-1-6ďIt was obviously tough match. 3-2, came back from 2:1 down but I was down in fourth as well. I knew that all this Egyptian guys are very dangerous and Ahmed proof that, took me a while to figure out this game. I started play little smarter. The last game was a quite comfortable and even in fourth when I was 6-1 down heís got so much potential. So if Iíd given him a chance heíd have taken it. And I was trying not to give him any opportunity in the end. And I did it.

Tomorrow I have another Egyptian. Iíll play the similar game like him. I need to play smart, need to play tight and shot to the angles, also not to give him an opening space for struggle from the racket and dicing ball in the front of the court. I need to keep him away and make it physicaly. Thats gonna be my plan for tomorrow.Ē


Round One

Black Sea First Round Sensation

Qualifier Stephane Galifi came up with a huge upset in the first round of the Zenit Black Sea Open, PSA M5 event after he defeated number one seed Sebastiaan Weenink in straight games.

The Italian, who defeated Tymofiy Zheludkov in the final round of qualifying, shot out of blocks to pull away from his Dutch opponent and move on to an 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 victory to secure his passage into the quarter-final.

ďIím happy about the way Iíve played, everything was so good,Ē said Galifi.

ďI feel great and Iím going to continue in this way until the end.Ē

Denys Podvornyi caused the day's other big surprise after coming back from 2-1 down to defeat Mike Lewis and he will be Galifi's opponent in the next round.

Jan Koukal has also advanced after a professional victory over Julian Tomlinson. The Czech No.2 seed claimed a 3-0 victory to ensure that the 33-time PSA World Tour title winner will go up against Ahmed Effat Ashoush in the next round thanks to the Egyptian's triumph over Valeriy Fedoruk.

South Africa's Christo Potgieter overcame Wildcard Ruslan Sorochinskiy in four and will face off with Ahmed Hussein who defeated Nicolas Talbot.

Jean-Pierre Brits and Manuel Wanner will also do battle for a place in the semi-final after the pair defeated Joeri Hapers and Viktor Kovalchuk, respectively with the former's match going all the way to five games.

What the players said ...

Qualifier Stephane Galifi beat the top seed of the tournament Sebastiaan Weenink 3-0 (11-6 11-8 11-9)
Stephane Galifi:
ďIím happy about the way Iíve played, everything so good. I feel great! And Iím going to continue in this way till the end.Ē


Denis Podvorniy after a hard-fought victory in a five-game match over American Mike Lewis 3-2 (11-4 9-11 9-11 11-8 11-7) passes to the next round of the prestigious PSA tournament in Odessa

zenit_news-1-2Denis Podvorniy:
ďAt first, it was unusual to play with left hander and in the process I switched to the right side. I played a good length, had the opportunity to attack and confidently won the first game. In the second I lose the initiative in a long rallies, made some mistakes and allowed Lewis to win two next sets. In the fourth, I started to play drops, forcing the opponent running longer and made errors. And in such way I took the fifth.Ē


Manuel Wanner completed a straightforward victory, winning 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-3) over Viktor Kovalchuk.

zenit_news-1-3Manuel Wanner:
ďItís my first time in Ukraine. Itís cute, Iíve never been in such country and itís different. I like the championship. I didnít know my opponent.. He is a local player,, it was cute and fun, he definitely pushed me a little bit which was good for the first round. Letís see who Iíll be play tomorrow, one between Joeri or Jean Pierre. Iíve got my girlfriend with so Iím all relaxed and itís so good.Ē

In a high-quality match between Jean-Pierre Brits and Joeri Hapers, full of intelligent rallies with an unpredictable end won Brits 3-2 (8-11 11-7 4-11 11-4 14-12)

zenit_news-1Jean-Pierre Brits:
ďVery happy to pull the back after being down. I struggled to keep concentration on the match. Iíve made a few errors but I kept fighting and won the match. And now I should focus for tomorrow.Ē


Сompetition in the creative and risky shots between Christo Potgieter and Ruslan Sorochinskiy was exciting! Potgieter won 3-1 (9-11 11-6 11-8 11-6)

zenit_news-1-2Christo Potgieter:
ďI didnít know what expect in a first game. Itís always difficult to play with a guy the first time so after that I  figured it out and started to play wider and my game plan worked till the end. It was a good experience and a good game.Ē

Ahmed Effat Ashoush produced squash in Egyptian style and took victory over Valery Fedoruk in 3 straight games 3-0 (11-7 11-3 11-5)

zenit_news-1-3Ahmed Effat Ashoush:
ďIt was a good match. And now Iím looking forward for tomorrow match. It will be a big fight with the number two seed Jan Koukal. I hope I can play well and it could be difficult with lot of pressure but Iím happy that I get trough it.Ē

Two victories from Egyptian in a row! Ahmed Hussein bt Nicolas Talbott 3-0 (11-6 11-4 11-4)

Confident victory from Jan Koukal over Julian Tomlinson 3-0 (11-2 11-5 11-6)

zenit_news-1-5Jan Koukal:
ďLast time I played with Julian in Ukraine at Business Open. It wasnít easy match at all, it was 3-1. I didnít play well at that tournament and I wanted to make sure that I started well today. I said to myself you should play excellent for the rest of the tournament or itís gonna be a disappointment. My next opponent is Egyptian guy and I only saw him for a few minutes and heís good and played so tricky so Iíll do my best.Ē


Zenit Black Sea Open

Zenit Black Sea Open tournaments have always been and still are without any doubt the best in Eastern Europe. Such conclusion can be reached based on great level of their organization, extraordinary skilfulness of players and what is the most important Ė these tournaments are well known and highly recommended to friends and acquaintances all around the world. The words Odessa and Zenit have already become a well recognized squash brand in Ukraine.

These tournaments have been visited by such world famous squash players as Peter Nicol, Olli Tuominen, Davide Bianchetti, Laurens Jan Anjema, Mark Krajcsak, Jan Koukal, Amr Swelim, Omar Abdel Meguid, Simon Rosner, Henrik Mustonen, Stephane Galifi, Chris Ryder and many other well known masters of racket and ball.

This year the tournament will be once again held under the auspices of the PSA in categories of both men and women. The Europeans Jan Koukal (CZE) and Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) are favourites of the competition among men however the list of players contains representatives of American and Egyptian squash schools such as Mike Lewis (USA) and Ahmed Effat Ashoush (EGY). Thus, all the players and spectators will experience various styles of squash. In the category of women one may expect repeat of last yearís competition between Ukrainian junior Nadezhda Usenko who will be defending her championship of this year against her major opponent Yekaterina Marusan from Russia.

Dmitriy Shcherbakov, director of the tournament: ďEver since the first Zenit tournament that was held 11 years ago, we have been trying to make each one of our championships a holiday, make an atmosphere in which everyone would feel comfortable. And finally today in 2015, the whole month before beginning of the tournament all the registration lists in all categories are closed. 190 players from 24 countries. Absolute record among squash championships that have been ever held in Ukraine. This shows that Zenit Black Sea Open is fully alive and awaits its visitors. Here you can once again experience not only hospitality and friendliness of hosts but also enjoy endless pleasures of the resort city in general. Every single time Zenit Black Sea Open tournament will be more and more interesting and presentable.Ē

2014 Final. Stephane Galifi (ITA)  Matias Tuomi (FIN)

Spectators At The 2014 Final

2014 After Party

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Previous Winners