European Individual Champs Finals
First Euro titles for Gilis and Kandra
The women’s final was a tough fight between top seed Nele Gilis and last years’ runner up Coline Aumard. Both players fought hard but finally Gilis had the better end in the fourth game narrowly winning 13-11 and her first Euro title.
In the men’s final titleholder Borja Golan met top seed Raphael Kandra. The German rushed to a 2-0 lead, but Golan fought back to level the match. The fifth game was a superb display of squash at highest level.
The crowd was treated to great attacking shots, beautiful lobs and incredible retrieving of both players. After 81 minutes Kandra manged to clinch the final game 12-10. It is not only his first title but also the first EICC title for Germany
he first medal match on final’s day was the encounter of Melissa Alves and Enora Villard, both from France, for the bronze medal. Alves controlled her team mate well throughout the match and won her first EICC medal in three straight games.
Balazs Farkas was aiming for the first Hungarian medal in EICC history. He started well into the game but after losing the first game 11-13 his opponent Nicolas Mueller took control of the match and secured the bronze medal for Switzerland.
Finalists decided in Romania
The first semifinal of the day featured top seed Nele Gilis against Melissa Alves from France. The Belgian took a comfortable 2-0 lead but had to work hard to win the third 11-9 to secure her place in the final.
The next match on the show court was a French duel. Experienced Coline Aumard dominated the match against her young compatriot Enora Villard and reached the final without dropping a game.
Top seed Raphael Kandra met Balazs Farkas in the first men’s semi. Farkas is the first Hungarian in an EICC semifinal since Mark Krajcsak 2010 in Saarbrucken.
The young Hungarian used the momentum of his surprise win in the quarters to treat the crowd to a superb display of squash finesse and racing to a 2-0 lead. Kandra needed all his experience to bring himself back into the match and a subtle change of tactics saw to begin to take control.
This proved to be more effective and enabled him to level the match. Four games of high level squash showed its effect – Farkas began to tire in the fifth whereas Kandra maintained the pressure, dominating the game and resulting in a deserved clear score of 11-3. The German will make his first EICC final appearance tomorrow.
The second final was a much shorter affair. Titleholder Borja Golan cruised to an uncontested 3-0 win against Nicolas Mueller.
Down to the semis in Romania
It was all France for the first three women’s matches with Enora Villard taking out second seed Tinne Gilis while Coline Aumard and Melissa Alves justified their 3/4 seedings. Top seed Nele Giles eased through to complete the last four.
There was an upset in the men’s draw too, although this went against the French as Hungary’s Farkas Balasz beat 3/4 seed Auguste Dussourd. Second deeded Swiss Nicolas Mueller won in four close games, as defending champion Borja Golan and top seed Raphael Kandra both eased through.
The men’s draw is topped by Germany’s Raphael Kandra, with Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller seeded two and Spain’s defending champion Borja Golan along with France’s Auguste Dussourd as 3/4 seeds.
The women’s final is predicted to be an all-Belgian affair between sisters Nele and Tinne Gilis – who both lost out in last year’s semifinals – with France’s Melissa Alves and Coline Aumard the 3/4 seeds.
First and second round matches will be played on Wednesday at the Infinity Club before on Thursday the action moves for the quarter finals to the glass court at the Park Lake shopping mall.