RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 COURTWALL Romanian Open, Bucharest,
Koukal Makes History In Bucharest
Czech number one Jan Koukal made squash history this weekend
when he upset top seed Chris Ryder in the final of the
COURTWALL Romanian Open in Bucharest to become the first
ever winner of an international Tour event to be held in Romania.
The PSA World Tour Challenger 5 event final, featuring the
event's top two seeds, brought to a climax the championship which
attracted players from 12 countries to the new five-court AERO
Squash Club in the Romanian capital city.
Both players had testing semis - English favourite Ryder needing 52
minutes to get the better of Dutch qualifier Sebastiaan Weenink
and second seed Koukal taken to four games in his encounter with
fourth-seeded Frenchman Yann Perrin.
The final marked Ryder and Koukal's third Tour meeting of all-time,
but their first for more than five years.
But despite being ranked eight places below Ryder, world No80 Koukal
(pictured above, foreground, in action with Ryder) maintained
his unbeaten record over the 33-year-old from Leamington Spa with
his 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 title triumph in 42 minutes.
The win marks the latest milestone in Koulal's distinguished 14-year
memberships of the PSA. The final was the 44th of his career and the
victory marked his 24th Tour title.
And the indefatigable 30-year-old from Prague is one of the Tour's
most active members, having already competed in 18 events in 13
countries this year!
Tour Expands Into Romania
The Professional Squash Association is marking a notable
double this month with Romania not only hosting its first
ever Tour event, but also providing its first members of the
The COURTWALL Romanian Open, a PSA Challenger 5 event,
takes place this week at the new AERO Squash Club in the
Romanian capital Bucharest.
Meanwhile, Bucharest players George Alexandru Constantinescu
and Horia Naumescu have both joined the PSA and made their
Tour debuts in the Romanian Open.
Interest in Squash in Romania has grown rapidly since the first
squash courts were built in 2001. The European country which borders
the Black Sea now boasts 20 squash clubs with over 40 courts. The
latest is the five-court AERO Squash Club, near the international
Airport in Bucharest, which is the largest squash centre in the
"The AERO Squash club owners are operating a helicopter rental
service from the heliport in Bucharest - the squash club is built in
a helicopter hangar," explained tournament sponsor Wolfgang Denk,
CEO of court manufacturer Courtwall. "The winner of the PSA
Courtwall Romanian Open will be taken on a helicopter flight around
Bucharest after the price ceremony."
PSA CEO Alex Gough is delighted that Romania has become the
latest country to be added to the Tour calendar which boasts more
than 100 events in more than 40 nations spread across all five
"It is always a pleasure to welcome a nation to our circuit - and
the fact that the new event in Bucharest has attracted players from
12 countries is testament to the appeal of a country like Romania,"
said the former world No5.
"We also welcome George and Horia to our membership and hope that
their success will inspire more Romanians to join the Tour."
Top seeds Chris Ryder, of England, and Jan Koukal from
the Czech Republic, are on course to meet in Sunday's Romanian Open
final after first round wins. World No72 Ryder defeated France's
Johan Bouquet 11-1, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 while second seed Koukal
was taken the full distance before overcoming Spaniard Alejandro
Garbi Caro 5-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8.
Qualifiers will be in action in the quarter-finals after two
impressive upsets. Dutch qualifier Sebastiaan Weenink, the
world No173 and lowest-ranked player in the main draw, despatched
England's Alex Ingham 11-4, 11-7, 11-5, while England's
blushes were spared when Portsmouth-based 21-year-old Robert
Downer beat experienced Pakistani Karamatullah Khan 11-8,