Aqeel Rehman reports
Third seeded German Yannik Omlor (WRL 107) won the final of the Austrian Open 2021 at EUROPARK shopping mall againstsixth seeded Swiss seed Yannick Wilhelmi (WRL 127) in a five game battle after 67minutes, 11/8, 5/11, 11/8, 4/11, 11/3.
It was expected to be a very close match, both players have beaten each other in previous occasions and it ended up an even-leveled match this time again. The opening game lasted nearly 20 minutes, with long rallies and both players showing great retreiving skills. The guest from the VIP-tournament that took place just before the final were astonished by the accuracy and athleticism.
The german Yannik was able to win this important first game, even though he was not able to keep up the rhythm in the second game. His swiss opponent had a great start and was more active and clinical.
The third game was very similar to the first one. Longer and more even out rallies were going on again. It was obvious, that winning this game can be a crucial moment, so the focus of Yannik and Yannick were spot on.
Again the 24-years old German had the better end in this physical dominated game and again the 20-year old swiss came back impressively after that again by winning the fourth game clearly.
The decision in the fifth game eventually was a clear one for Omlor, who earned a comfortable 5/0 lead and never let his opponent back in the match and celebrated his victory in front of his family who came to Salzburg to support.
Both players showed one of the best finals ever played in Salzburg on the glasscourt at EUROPARK and both played a great tournamant and the specators were amazed by their performances.
The champion’s and runner’s up trophy were handed over by vice-mayor of Salzburg Mr.Bernhard Auinger who offered the city’s support in the future again!
We are all very thankful to all our supporters and sponsors and of course our host the EUROPARK shopping mall offering such a great venue. Many thanks also to all volunteers and people that helped organising and running Austrias biggest Squash event!
It was another amazing two weeks of Squash and great advertising for this beautiful game and hopefully there will be many people picking up Squash in the near future! There was great coverage in different media channels, TV, Radio, Newspaper, online etc. There will be a summary coming up soon!
Semis : It’s an all-Yannik final in Salzburg
Yannik Omlor (GER, WRL 107) and Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI, WRL 127) reached the final of the Austrian Squash Open at the Europark Shopping Mall in Salzburg,
Both players showed great retrieving skills and every rally was a close affair. After losing the first game world number 76 Juan Camilo Vargas turned the match and took a 2/1 lead. It then looked as he was in more control and has found his rhythm.
But his German opponent kept fighting hard and cut down the errors and was more accurate in his shots. This seemed to cost the south american a lot of energy and Yannik equalized after winning the fourth game. He was also able to keep the momentum and stayed ahead in the fifth game.
Juan could save two matchballs at 7/10 and there was a chance of a ncomeback, but eventually Yannik closed the match by winning this game 11/9.
The second semifinal was an all-swiss affair between Yannick Wilhelmi (WRL 127) and Robin Gadola (WRL 124). It was obvious that their ranking is very similar and that they know each other’s game well.
The first two games were split between both players. It was then the younger player Yannick who stayed ahead and was 10/9 match ball up in the fourth game. Robin was able to save it though, won the tiebreak and forced a decision in the fifth game.
In the deciding game Yannick kept his nerves and won 11/8 and reached the final.
Photos by Jasmin Walter
Quarters : Wilhelmi ends home hopes in Salzburg
Swiss upcoming youngster Yannick Wilhelmi (WRL 127) ended the dreams of another home victory of local hero Aqeel Rehman (WRL 87) after beating the Austrian number one 3/0 in the quarterfinal of the Austrian Open.
After coming back from 7/10 in the opening game and saving another game ball in the tiebreak, Yannick stayed in control from this moment on. After 33min of play the Swiss reached the semifinal where he will meet a swiss compatriot.
His opponent Robin Gadola (SUI, WRL 124) caused an upset by elimination number 4 seed Roshan Bharos (NED, WRL 109) in three games as well.
In the bottom half of the draw the two favourites reached the semifinal in contrasting styles. While top seeded Juan Camilo Vargas (COL, WRL 76) showed no mercy against Marek Panacek (CZE, WRL 194) to win 3/0 in just 24min, his opponent tomorrow Yannik Omlor (GER , WRL 107) had to survive a 72min 5-game battle against Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP, WRL 171), which ended up to be the longest match of the tournament so far.
Round One : Aqeel carries home hopes into quarters
One out of six Austrian players survived the first round of the Austrian Open on the all-glasscourt at the EUROPARK shopping mall despite great fan support. Of course it was local hero and National Champion Aqeel Rehman who will still represent the home interests in the tournament as the top eight seeds reached the quarter-finals.
To be fair, apart from Aqeel, all other home-players were the underdogsand the higher seeded players were too good for all of them. However Jakob Dirnberger (WRL 205) had his chances against number 7 seed Sergio Garcia Pollan (ESP, WRL 171). Unfortunately he could not benefit from a 9/5 lead in the opening game. After equalizing after the second game the 41-year old Salzburg-born had no more energy left in the tank and
eventually lost 1/3.
All other seeded players celebrated quite clear wins, including Aqeel Rehman (WRL 87) against Tobias Weggen (GER, WRL 267). The number two of the tournament will face Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI, WRL 127) who won the all-swiss affair against Miguel Mathis (WRL 227) 3/0.
Last second entries Mathias Ebenberger and Mihaly Androczky showed great efforts but could not cause any upsets against top-seed Juan Camilo Vargas (COL, WRL 76) and number 3 seed Yannik Omlor (GER ,WRL 107).
For the 17th time in a row this PSA world ranking tournament will take place in Salzburg. This year an incredible number of six Austrian players will be featured in the main draw. Some of them moved into the draw at the last second after a few withdrawals of players suffering from Corona.
Despite all challenges around the Covid-19 pandemic, this mega 2-week event – the Austrian Squash Challenge – can take place again on the all-glasscourt in the beautiful EUROPARK shopping mall and will be hosted in the 4-Start arte Hotel Salzburg.
Besides the Austrian League final there are many visitor’s programmes offered, such as the Kids & School Days where about 550 kids enjoyed a free training session with Austrian Champion Aqeel Rehman. A VIP tournament with olympic and world champions such will take place on the final day of the event.
Mihaly Androzcky, Mathias Ebenberger, Georg Stoisser, Lukas Windischberger, Jakob Dirnberger and Aqeel Rehman will represent the Austrian flag in the Austrian Open. Most of them will face higher seeded players, only Rehman will be the favourite in the opening round as the Salzburg-Boy is seeded #2 for of the tournament.
Matches start at 12:45 on Wednesday, and entry is free. Additionally there is live scoring and live streaming available on Facebook (we’ll put links here).