Egyptian teenager Hana Moataz captured her first ever PSA World Tour
title after a stunning upset of number one seed Milou van der
Heijden in the final of the Grand Sport Armenia 1st Challenger 5,
PSA W5 tournament in Yerevan.
Moataz, 16, was appearing in her maiden PSA World Tour final, with
victories over Zuzana Kubanova, Ekaterina Marusan and Enora Villard
enabling her to go within touching distance of the title.
Van der Heijden, on the other hand, had to navigate a tough
five-game affair against France’s Laura Pomportes in the
quarter-final, before sweeping past Ineta Mackevica to ensure that
she would line up against Moataz in the final.
What followed were four tightly-contested games as both players
looked to assert themselves on proceedings. Moataz prevailed in a
first-game tie-break, before World No.48 van der Heijden clawed the
second game back to leave the match delicately poised at 1-1.
The third and fourth games saw neither player able to build up any
sustained pressure as points were traded in an entertaining period
of play. Moataz, playing with a maturity that belied her youth, just
managed to edge ahead at the crucial times and the World No.130
closed out a hard-fought 12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10 victory to settle
the match and open her PSA World Tour title account.
French qualifier Laura Pomportes continued her return to fitness
after a ten-month injury lay off as she cruised to victory over
eighth seed Eva Fertekova in the first round of the Grand Sport
Armenia 1st Challenger 5, PSA W5 tournament.
Pomportes, who reached the semi-final of the Jersey Squash Classic
earlier this month, was in fine form through her opening round
fixture and surged to an 11-8, 11-3, 11-4 triumph to book her
Top seed Milou van der Heijden will be looking to avoid a similar
fate to Fertekova when she takes on Pomportes in the next round
after she showed her class to defeat Elise Romba of France.
Second seed Enora Villard secured her passage to the quarter final
stage with a routine win over Ailee Nayeri and she will line up
against seventh seed Jenny Haley, who saw off Arezoosadat
Mousavizadeh to progress.
The solitary Armenian representative in the main draw, Inessa
Kardapolova, was unable to prolong home expectations into the next
round after she fell in defeat to fifth seed Ekaterina Marusan, who
will clash with Egypt’s Hana Moataz in the next round after she
dispatched Zuzana Kubanova.
There were also wins for Ineta Mackevica and Lotte Eriksen thanks to
respective wins over Jelena Dutina and Taba Taghavi Rafsanjani, and
Mackevica and Eriksen will now face off for a place in the
The final qualifying round of the Grand Sport Armenia 1st Challenger
5, PSA W5 tournament saw Jelena Dutina, Laura Pomportes, Inessa
Kardapolova and Elise Romba all secure their main draw berths.
Dutina, the Serbian No.1, overcame local player Mari Ghazaryan in
her fixture with a routine straight games victory that saw her take
it 11-2, 11-5, 11-1 to reach her maiden PSA World Tour main draw.
The World No.210 will aim to get her main draw debut off to a good
start when she takes on number three seed Ineta Mackevica.
France’s Pomportes, meanwhile, is appearing at only her second PSA
World Tour event of 2016 after a semi-final finish in the Jersey
Squash Classic earlier this month. The 27-year-old, who has slumped
to 214th in the world after a ten-month injury layoff, downed Olga
Saverinova 3-0 to advance to the main draw, where she will face Eva
Inessa Kardapolova was the sole Armenian to make it through to the
main draw courtesy of a hard-fought 3-1 win over Ayuna Khantaeva,
and she will lock horns with Ekaterina Marusan for a place in the
Top qualifying seed Elise Romba was the other qualifier to progress
after receiving a bye, and she will clash with the main draw’s
number one seed, Milou van der Heijden, in what looks set to be a