Lincou & Duncalf Win European Titles
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finals in the 10th European Individual
Squash Championships saw the men's title retained by Thierry Lincou –
extending French 'ownership' of the trophy to seven years - and the women's
crown regained by England's Jenny Duncalf at the Tennis & Squash
Centre in Saarbrucken, Germany.
Top seed Duncalf, the European Individual
champion in 2006 and 2007, arrived in Germany following three confidence-shaking
defeats to lower-ranked opponents in the European Team Championships
the world No2 from Harrogate immediately took a two-game lead against one of
those victors, Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson, the 34-year-old former world
number one now in the twilight of her career and ranked 11 places lower than
But Atkinson, a 3/4 seed who reached the final
for the second year in a row after despatching second seed Camille Serme,
battled back to win the third game and survive a tie-break fourth to level the
However, 27-year-old Duncalf reclaimed the
advantage and closed out the match 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5 to win her
third tile – and extend her unbeaten run in the event to 12 matches.
was clear that the men's final may not be the all-French classic which the
Saarbrucken crowd were hoping for. Defending champion Thierry Lincou, the No2
seed, faced national rival Gregory Gaultier, the top seed who was
appearing in the climax for the seventh year in a row, after winning the title
on five of those occasions.
The Gallic duo have been fierce rivals
throughout their careers – and their tournament head-to-head tally was
delicately poised on 11 wins apiece on the eve of the match.
Gaultier, the 27-year-old world No6 from Aix-en-Provence, suffered a twisted
ankle during his semi-final victory over Hungarian Mark Krajcsak – and
despite a hospital examination which showed no serious damage, but just
bruising, it was never likely that the former champion would be 100% for the
The favourite matched Lincou until midway
through the first game – but the title-holder pressed home his advantage
thereafter. Gaultier conceded after the second game, leaving Lincou the 11-5,
11-2 (ret.) winner.
It was the third time the two Frenchman had
battled for the title in the final – and the second title triumph for Lincou,
the 34-year-old world No8 from Marseille.
Dutch champion Vanessa
Atkinson dashed Camille Serme's hopes of reaching the women's
European Individual Squash Championship final for the first time when she
upset the second seed in the semi-finals of the 10th staging of the European
Squash Federation event at the Tennis & Squash Centre in
Former champion Atkinson,
a 3/4 seed but a finalist in both her previous appearances in the championships,
recovered from a game down to overcome the fast-rising French star 6-11, 11-8,
Atkinson, the world
champion in 2004 and European champion the following year, lost to Serme in the
qualifying rounds in last month's European Team Championships in France –
but came back to beat the 21-year-old world No10 in the final to lead
Netherlands to a first-time title triumph in the event.
The 34-year-old from The
Hague, but now based in the UK, will face Jenny Duncalf, the top seed who
is also celebrating her third successive appearance in the final.
Duncalf, the world No2
from Harrogate and champion in 2006 and 2007, prevailed in an all-English clash
with Tania Bailey, beating the 5/8 seed 11-2, 11-9, 12-10.
The men's climax promises
a mouth-watering all-French clash – and a repeat of the last two years' finals –
between top seed Gregory Gaultier and defending champion Thierry
The Gallic duo have
been fierce rivals throughout their careers – and their tournament head-to-head
tally is delicately poised on 11 wins apiece as they prepare to do battle for
the 2010 European crown!
Gaultier, the five-time
champion from Aix-en-Provence, reached the final for the seventh successive year
when he beat Hungary's 9/16 seed Mark Krajcsak 11-5, 11-5, 11-7.
Lincou, the former world
champion from Marseille who is looking for his second European title, fought off
'Flying Finn' Olli Tuominen, defeating the 5/8 seed from Helsinki 12-10,
Krajcsak Crashes Into European Semis In Saarbrucken
a 9/16 seed, became the first ever Hungarian to reach the semi-finals of the
European Individual Squash Championships when he beat France's Gregoire
Marche in the men's quarter-finals in the 10th staging of the European
Squash Federation event at the Tennis & Squash Centre in
The 26-year-old from Budapest made his
breakthrough in the last 16 round, upsetting experienced Frenchman Renan
Lavigne, a 5/8 seed ranked 31 in the world, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7.
Later in the day, world No46 Krajcsak had enough
in reserve to defeat fellow 9/16 seed Gregoire Marche 11-9, 11-4, 11-7.
Marche, the 20-year-old world No83 from
Aix-en-Provence, had earlier pulled off the biggest upset in the men's event by
beating England's 3/4 seed Jonathan Kemp – ranked 21 in the world - 11-7, 3-11,
11-5, 7-11, 11-5.
Krajcsak now faces top seed Gregory Gaultier,
the five times winner of the title who is expected to reach the final for the
seventh year in a row. Gaultier despatched Swiss star Nicolas Mueller
11-7, 11-3, 11-6.
Defending champion Thierry Lincou will
contest the other semi against surprise opponent Olli Tuominen.
Second-seeded Frenchman Lincou ended domestic interest in the event by
overcoming Germany's 5/8 seed Simon Rosner 11-5, 14-12, 11-9, while
flying Finn Tuominen, a 5/8 seed, upset Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema, a
3/4 seed and a semi-finalist the last two years, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.
England's Tania Bailey claimed an
unexpected place in the last four of the women's event after upsetting France's
3/4 seed Isabelle Stoehr, the 2008 champion, 11-8, 11-7, 11-0.
Bailey, a former world No4 who has now slipped
to 33 in the rankings after a series of injury woes, will now face England
team-mate Jenny Duncalf, the top seed.
Duncalf, winner of the title in 2006 and 2007,
crushed Dutch opponent Orla Noom 11-0, 11-2, 11-2.
A fierce battle can be expected in the other
semi-final between former world champion Vanessa Atkinson and rising
French star Camille Serme – who have already faced each other three times
before in ESF competitions, with Atkinson 2/1 ahead.
Second seed Serme, the 21-year-old world No10
from Paris who is expected to reach the final for the first time, beat
Annelize Naude, a 5/8 seed from the Netherlands, 13-11, 11-4, 11-4, while
3/4 seed Atkinson, also from the Netherlands, downed England's Dominique
Lloyd-Walter 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.
Hennes Boosts Local Hopes In European Championships In Germany
doubled domestic interest in the women's event in the European Individual
Squash Championships in Germany after claiming an unexpected place in the
last 16 at the Tennis & Squash Centre in Saarbrucken.
Players from 22 European nations are competing
in the 10th staging of the leading individual European Squash Federation
event being held in Germany for the first time this millennium.
Unseeded Hennes, an 18-year-old German junior
international making her debut in the championship, beat Austrian Birgit
Coufal, a 9/16 seed, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8 and will now face
England's Tania Bailey for a place in the quarter-finals. Bailey, a 5/8
seed, despatched Sandra Denis of Luxembourg 11-1, 11-6, 11-9.
Hennes will join compatriot Sina Wall in
the second round after the Munich-born 9/16 seed beat Latvian Ineta Mackevica
11-4, 11-4, 11-4.
Another German/Austrian clash in the men's event
also produced an upset – but this time in favour of the visitor! Aqeel
Rehman, an unseeded 24-year-old from Salzburg, battled for five games to
overcome Germany's 9/16 seed Jens Schoor 11-13, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8.
It was a disappointing day for the Schoor family
after Jens' younger brother Carsten – a qualifier who celebrates his 21st
birthday today – also went down 11-2, 11-3, 11-9 to Dutchman Laurens Jan