Czech Open 2021

Czech OPen 2021 : FINALS

[1] Emily Whitlock 3-2 [2] Melissa Alves (Fra)  11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 1-2 rtd (57m)

[1] Nicolas Mueller (Sui) 3-0 [3] Dimitri Steinmann (Sui)     11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (42m)

Top seeds Whitlock and Mueller take the titles in Brna

Top seeds Emily Whitlock and Nicolas Mueller claimed the Czech Open titles in Brna with contrasting victories in the finals.

Whitlock let a two game lead slip against second seeded  Melissa Alves, but Alves was forced to retire early in the fifth, while Mueller defeated compatriot Steinmann in straight games.

Whitlock – Not the ending anyone would want, but I felt like it was a good match for the crowd and totally what I expected from playing Melissa today, she is such a great player. Hope she recovers soon.  I am happy with how I battled with my mind when I was not feeling my best. I have worked hard to be able to keep fighting and just trying to play well.

Alves – I started the match a little tense and Emily played really well tactically and she managed to
get the lead quickly. I fought back and tried to stay in and fight as much as possible so I could tie the
game. I am happy with the way I fought, unfortunately I didn’t end well for me since I injured my
foot. Time for me to get some treatment and get healthy again

Mueller – Extremely happy to win the Czech open 2021, beating my compatriot Dimitri Steinmann in the final 3-0. I know he is a very dangerous player, very strong physically and the fact he has beenb  training a lot with Greg Gaultier lately made him extra tough. All the games were very close in the mid stage, towards the end of the games i managed to step it up and close out the games.

The fact that he has spent more time on court also played a big role in the back of my mind I knew the longer the games go the better for me… Thanks a lot to Roman and his team, made us feel very welcome here!

Steinmann –
Tough one today. Struggled to get my accuracy and also felt a bit slow out there today.
All credits to Nici who played really well the whole tournament and brought his A-Game to the table
today. Well done. Really enjoyed my time here in Brno. Made my biggest final to date and achieved
some good results. Wished I could have taken it all the way, but Nici was too good. Proud of the all-
swiss final and lots of positives to take from it.


Semi-Finals :

Emily Whitlock 3-0 Marie Stephan
Whitlock – I played well today, very happy with how I recovered from yesterday and I am looking forward to tomorrow ☺
Stephan – Good first game for me. Emily was solid in the last two game and I lost my focus a little… Happy with my week here in Brno, looking forward to getting back to work and keep improving!

Dimitri Steinmann 3-1 Lucas Serme
Steinmann – Felt good out there today. Found my targets early on in the match and was able to control most of the rallies. Physically it is always tough against Lucas. We had a 100 minute match back in August at the British Open which I ended loosing 11:9 in the fifth. Beating him for the first time makes me very proud, as I looked up to him in Juniors. Looking forward to play in the final tomorrow and it will hopefully be an all swiss afaire. Cheers and hopp Schwiiz, DJ
Serme – I think my opponent was in good form today. He made it very hard for me and did not make many mistakes. I felt like I controlled a few rallies but too often ended up with an unforced error. I did not play badly but he was more solid today.

Melissa Alves 3-1 Cristina Gomez
Alves – Very happy with the win today. Few moments where I was a little off but all credit to Cristina who played great and seized the opportunity. I am satisfied with the way I handled the situation after the 2nd game to close it in 4. Looking forward to a great battle tomorrow against Emily.
Gomez – It´s been a great experience playing with a top 20 in the world. There are still many things to learn. Melissa is a very tough player and I have not been able to handle the pressure of the game. So proud of my game and my attitude this week. Hope to be back stronger next year.

Nicolas Mueller 3-0 Sebastien Bonmalais
Mueller – Crucial first game, that was the big one winning it 14-12, after that the momentum was definitely on my side. Was hitting my targets very well, stretched him to the 4 corners and made him do a lot of work. Entertaining game, with an amazing rally with 3 dives. Very pleased with that performance, looking forward to the final against my compatriot Dimitri Steinmann.
Bonmalais – Disappointed to lose today, first game was crucial and I didn´t take my chance at 10-9 up for me. After this I tried to game back but I wasn´t accurate enough and I was a bit tired of my match yesterday. Need to do more tournaments and get more and more experience. It was a great tournament after all. Thank you

Quarter-Finals :

Emily Whitlock 3-2 Lily Taylor
Whitlock – Lily came out a lot stronger than I thought she would, so credit to her. I am lucky to get through and hopefully I play better tomorrow!
Taylor – Really enjoyed today.s match with Emily, and really happy to push a top twenty player to five. Her experience showed in the fifth but overall think I played well and happy to see improvements in my game. Looking forward to coming back to Brno next year it´s been a great tournament.

Marie Stephan 3-0 Anna Kimberley
Stephan – Very happy to be through in 3. Anna is a tough opponent and I played her a lot in juniors and in college in the US so we know each other quite well. Excited to be in the semis tomorrow against Emily and ready for a good match! Overall a great week in Brno for me!!!
Kimberley – Quite disappointed I couldn’t find my footing in the match today, but all credit to Marie who was hitting her corners well and didn’t let me settle. Overall I’ve had a good week in Brno, hope to be back next year.

Lucas Serme 3-1 Robbie Downer
Downer – Well what can I say, that was certainly an enjoyable game of squash. Learned a lot and found areas in my game coming out which usually only appear in training. Needed to stay consistent with the balance of attacking and basic today if I wanted to take that win, confident that soon I can find the key, but overall positive feeling after today.

Respect to Lucas for the great challenge today and I wish him well in the rest of the event! Enjoyed a lot my visit in Brno and now will get to enjoy the sights with my girlfriend who made it across from Prague to watch me play today, first time she tell me she enjoyed to watch me so that says a lot! Haha. Thanks to the organization team I hope this becomes a regular event on the calendar, dekuji!!!
Serme – Again very happy to be through today´s match. We train together almost everyday so we both knew what to expect and it makes the match quite tricky. I pushed hard mentally and I am extremely pleased with the result.

Nicolas Mueller 3-0 Daniel Mekbib
Mekbib – Nicky played great game in terms of his game plan and I made too many mistakes in crucial points, all credit to him, I am not at my best right now, so I need to be healthy again and next time I get my revenge ☺ ☺
Mueller – Very happy to beat the local hero 3-0 , he is a very dangerous opponent as he beat me the last time we played, so revenge was sweet… it was a very fair game, hardly any decisions, that´s just how the game should be played..

Melissa Alves 3-1 Lucy Beecroft
Alves – I knew it was going to be a good battle against Lucy as she has a very good attacking game. She played very well the first game and I had to fight really hard to come back in the game and get the win. I had to keep the rally long and get her tired a little bit so the shot would be less accurate. Happy with the way I pushed and stayed focus until the end.
Beecroft – I was very happy with my performance in the first game, but Melissa was too strong and I wasn’t able to sustain the pace and level for the whole match. It felt good to play a high quality match against a player of Melissa´s standard and I am hungry for more!

Dimitri Steinmann 3-1 Bernat Jaume
Steinmann – I’m very happy to win today. It is the first time for me to beat Bernat. He is a very talented player and tricky to play. For tomorrow I hope to bring some more consistency to the game and have fun out there. Cheers, DJ
Jaume – tough day today, Dimi played well and deserved the win. I ‘ll get him next time. Or maybe not. Anyway, great event here in Brno. Enjoyed the atmosphere at the club and wish them success for the rest of the event. Peace

Cristina Gomez 3-0 Grace Gear
Gear – Cristina played really well today and happy to have made it to my first 20k quarter final
Gomez – Happy to have achieved my best results in the professional tour (semis in a 20k). I don’t know how to describe my feelings right now. It has been a difficult few months and I have not been able to train as I would have liked. Ready to do my best morning in the semifinal.

Sebastien Bonmalais 3-1 Juan Camilo Vargas
Vargas – I’m quite disappointed to gas out in the 5th game but Seb is a very tough fighter. Happy with some improvements in my game and looking forward to the last few tournaments of the season.
Bonmalais – Happy to be in the semi tomorrow. Juan played very well it was a good fight. Well managed the fifth game with a good start. I will try to play better tomorrow.



Day TWO at the Czech Open

Down to the quarter-finals in Brno, with six unseeded players – Lucy Beecroft, Lily Taylor, Grace Gear, Marie Stephan, Cristina Gomez and Anna Kimberley – joining top two seeds Emily Whitlock and Melissa Alves in the women’s quarters.

In the men’s draw Robert Downer and Juan Camilo Vargas are the only unseeded players in the last eight.

Marie Stephan 3-0 Elilia Soini
Soini – Obviously Marie is a great player and played well and has been improving but I´m pretty bummed I wasn’t able to try harder and perform better against her due to my medical condition.
Stephan – Happy to get through to the quarters. Good match today I felt good on court and I hope to do the same tomorrow.

Nicolas Mueller 3-0 Aqeel Rehman
Mueller – I`m very happy to win in 3 games I start of the first game. I was always leading in the beginning of the games which gave me extra confidence. I really like it here, Roman and his team make a really welcome. Always like to be in the Czech I wanna stay as long as I can in the tournament and make the most out of it.
Rehman – I am disappointed that I was not able to challenge Nici way more. Though he is such a good player and if I don’t play a good quality he finished the rallies very quickly. Only in the last game there were some moments that I felt getting more into a rhythm but it was way too late.

Juan Camilo Vargas 3-2 Ryosi Kobayashi
Kobayashi – I started very well, I was finding my length, I was putting a lot of work on him but on the third I lost a bit of concentration and was too passive. After I lost fifth game I was a little bit panicking, my shot weren’t as I wanted to.
Vargas – It was a really tough match but I enjoyed every second of it. I´ve played against my pal Ryo since we were 15 and it´s always a tough math, he´s a good competitor. I´m enjoying my squash and cannot wait to play again tomorrow.

Lily Taylor 3-1 Tessa Ter Sluis 
Ter Sluis – It was a close match. I feel like I already played better than my previous matches. There were some good tough rallies and it was a tough match- still made too many silly mistakes at the end of the games. At the end I am not super happy the wax I played. Hopefully it will get better soon. All credit to my opponent though; she had the better focus on the important points-
Taylor – A tough battle today and very happy to get the win. She is a very tricky opponent and I did well to scrape the close games. Our rankings are quite close together so I knew there was an opportunity to get a good win against a higher ranked opponent. Really looking forward to tomorrows match, me and Emily have trained a lot together but never played a professional match.

Anna Kimberley 3-1 Nadia Pfister
Pfister – very tough loss to deal with. Not the fact that I lost but the way I lost feels really hard for me to learn from. Tried to adapt my game to the circumstances I was put in but didn’t manage to put the ball away good enough. As I felt whenever I didn’t hit perfectly well, I got put into trouble. I´m happy that I could fight back a few times during several situations but gutted to not be lucky enough to win one or two games more.
Kimberley – Tough match. Very happy to get through in four games as it was a close tie breaker in the fourth. I was quite up and down but I felt that I upped my game at the crucial moments. I am very pleased to get through the quarter final and looking forward to tomorrow.

Lucas Serme 3-0 Ivan Perez
Serme – Very happy to make it through this match in three games. He is a very physical and mobile player and it was hard for me to finish the rallies. I felt good physically and I managed to stay in control most of the time, but I will need to be more aggressive at the front of the court in the next match.
Perez – it wasn’t a bad performance I think, but I couldn’t be accurate enough on the front and that paid off. Right now I´m not at the best moment but still happy having shared the court with a top player like Lucas.

Robbie Downer 3-1 Martin Svec 
Svec – Quite happy with my performance today as I was struggling with some infection for past 3 weeks and missed Czech nationals because of it. So great to be back on court competing especially in my home club where I´ve been training for almost 21 years!! I really enjoyed it I think it was a good fair match and I didn’t give Rob anything for free. Unfortunately for me I run out of legs at the end of 3rd and Rob just did good job today. HUGE thanks to promoters from SQUASH VIKORIA, definitely the best event in Czech I´ve ever play and I really hope we will be back next year.
Downer – I was pleased with my overall basic game today which I think served me well to find a win in the end. Always tough to play Martin with his attacking style on the forehand. This time at his home club which gave me some extra challenge! Knew he would go all out attack at some point so I´m happy I could contain I stay strong till the finish line. Over the moon to be in my first quarters of this size event against an old competitor from junior day Lucas Serme, now a training partner too. Good couple of days work and not done yet!

Emily Whitlock 3-0 Saskia Beinhard
Whitlock – I thought Saskia played really well! I am happy to get through and play Lily tomorrow on the show court ☺
Beinhard – It was my first time to play such a high ranked player and I´m happy with my performance. It´s still a long way to go to get there but I´m happy about the experience and looking forward to my next tournaments.

Lucy Beecroft 3-1 Ineta Mackevica
Mackevica – Happy to be here in Brno for the first time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to show my best performance no matter how hard I tried. Lucy played well and good luck to her in the next round!
Beecroft – I am really pleased to get through a tough match against Ineta. We have played each other a couple of times recently so I knew it was going to be tough. I am happy with how I played and looking forward to the quarter finals tomorrow!

Sebastien Bonmalais 3-0 Yannick Wilhelmi
Bonmalais – Very happy to be here in Brno. It’s a nice club, my first match was good and I´m happy to manage the first round in three game
Wilhelmi – It´s my first time here in Brno and I really like it here. Good tournament organisation and a nice club to play. Unfortunately lost to Sebastien who played well. Couldn´t perform like I wanted to, but I hope next time again

Daniel Mekbib 3-0 w/o Manek Panacek
Mekbib – I am very sad that Marek had to pull out, we had a great match couple of weeks ago at the nationals, so I was looking forward to this match, when I heard he cant play I felt sorry for him, but I know he will get better and come stronger. I wish him a happy recovery and I am looking forward for tomorrow and playing in front of a home crowd ☺

Melissa Alves 3-0 Celine Walser
Alves – Good first match to get into the tournament. I played well and managed to get the win 3-0 which is important for the confidence. Feels very good to play in a club with crowd and atmosphere is great here in Brno. Looking forward to tomorrow´s match.
Walser – Melissa is a very strong player so I knew it would be a tough match for me. I´m happy with the way I played, especially in the second game. I had a great time here at the Czech Open. A big thank you to everyone that organised and helped out at this event!

Grace Gear 3-0 Enora Villard
Villard – I was away from tournaments for 2 months because of issues with my body so I was happy to be back playing but I didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning of the match, I couldn’t find my targets and she was very accurate. It got much better in the end of the first and in the second but I fell badly on my foot and couldn’t really keep going so I´m really disappointed but I hope it´s not too serious. Very nice club and organisation anyways, I hope I will be back
Gear – I’m very happy to win in three today, Enora unfortunately got injured during the match so I wish her a quick recovery but I’m pleased with how I managed to stay focused. Looking forward to my quarter final match tomorrow!

Dimitri Steinmann 3-0 Valentin Rapp
Steinmann – I´m glad with how I played today. Valentin can be tricky at times and I´m happy with how I was able to handle it. It is my first time here in Brno which is actually where my ancestors from my mother´s side are from. So far I can only say positives things about my experience here and I would like to keep it that way. Cheers, DJ
Rapp – I enjoyed playing today. Couldn’t handle the pace and loose shots got punished. There was quite a big difference today. I loved the time here in Brno and how my Squash is going. Looking forward to next time ☺

Bernat Jaume 3-0 Yuri Farnetti
Jaume – very happy to sneak through in 3 today, Yuri and I been playing since junior days and I knew how tough it was gonna be no matter what. It was a big battle since the beginning and even it was a 3-0 it was very tough all the way, looking forward for tomorrow another challenge and hope for another positive outcome.
Farnetti – He started very well, it was very accurate and very high pace. I did too any mistakes in the first because probably I was in the pressure. In the second I found better length and found some good shots and then Bernat ain´t do mistakes anymore. I did couple mistakes and whether couple of difficult rallies. He won the game and the third was too good and unfortunately I lost the match. Anyway the organization was perfect, thanks to everyone. I enjoyed a lot the tournament.

Cristina Gomez 3-0 Anna Serme 
Serme – Cristina is in a really good form lately, I knew it was going to be a very physical match and she was the fitter player today. I didn’t manage to stay patient in the rallies and attacked a bit too early which resulted in quite a few mistakes, but otherwise I gave it all today, all credit to her.
Gomez – Today I felt much better than yesterday on the track because on Monday I came straight from another tournament and I was very tired. I am happy with the courts in this club and with my game for the last two weeks. Tomorrow will be another great day to enjoy playing squash again.

Day ONE at the Czech Open

Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Jacqueline Peychär
Lucy: I am really pleased to get through my first round 3-0 against a tricky opponent. I felt like I settled more into the match after the first game and was happy with how I played. I am looking forward to round 2 tomorrow!
Jacqueline: Since I’m quite new to the PSA tour I was quite happy to get into this size of tournament and obviously had got a tough first round. Lucy was just too good and I never gave met the chance to really find my way into the much. But I really enjoyed the experience!

Celine Walser 3-2 Katrina Tycova
Celine:  I’m happy with my match, Kaci played really well so I’m extremely pleased to be through to the next round. I had a tough start to the match, it took me a while to find my length but winning the second game was crucial for me, so I’m happy I fought hard for that one. Looking forward to my match tomorrow against Melissa, she’s a really strong player so I will see what I can do.
Katrina:  It hurts a lot to lose 10/12 in he fifth. I played very well in first two games but once I was 9/6 up in the second I lost my head and therefore lost the game 10/12. That s tough. Other than that this was my first 20k tourney so I was a bit nervous. But it is nice to play in Czechia as a German with Czech roots. I m super happy to be given this opportunity to play here in Brno and hope that organisors will be able to do such tournament again next year! Organisation, courts and hotel are great here!☺

Ivan Perez 3-1 Vladislav Titov 
Ivan:  it’s the first time here in Brno, and I really like this city. Today I felt really good on court, I knew how tough my opponent is, but I could control the tempo of the match in the way I wanted. The third game my length wasn’t good enough and he took advantage of that. But overall good performance and really happy to be in the second round of a 20k for the first time in my career.

Marek Panacek 3-2 Viktor Byrtus
Marek:  Since the beginning of the match we played in high tempo and had many tough rallies. Tiebreaks of the games were deciding and Viki played well in those. Felt very song physically and believed I would manage to stay in shape until the end of the match. Unfortunately, Viki got injured during game four and could not continue in good match. Hope he will recover soon.
Viktor: Match was played in a good high tempo and we both played some good squash. Unfortunately I did a bad move in fourth game and knew immediately something is wrong. Congratz to Marek and I wish him good luck in the next round.

Lily Taylor 3-0 Sofie Hausknotzova
Lily: Really happy to be through to the second round here in Czech. My draw changed last minute and I ended up playing a local so I didn’t know what to expect. First round matches are always pretty nerve racking so it was good to get the nerves out the way and get used to the court. I feel like I improved as the match went on and was finding my length towards the end. Looking forward to tomorrow’s match, I have never played Tessa so will be fun to play someone new. It’s my first time in Brno and Czech Republic, I am looking forward to exploring the city.
Sofie: I did not expect to play in this tourney. I m 16 years old and I have never played a single PSA tournament. I was super happy and excited to be given chance to compete today. I was aware of Lily’s level of the game and tried to enjoy the game and gain some experience. It was great to play here and I hope I will be able to play such tournament soon.

Saskia Beinhard 3-0 Eva Fertekova
Eva: Happy I had a chance to play this tournament at ‘home‘ in front of our fans. Wished for a better performance, but Saskia played well and I didn’t find my targets during the match and confidence on court, made too many mistakes.
Saskia: I’m really happy to be part of this tournament as it is the biggest tournament I have ever participated in. I especially happy to get a win today and I m looking forward to the tomorrow´s match against very experienced player Emily Whitlock!

Aqeel Rehman 3-1 Joeri Hapers 
Aqeel:  I am very happy to have won my match. Joeri is a difficult player with an unorthodox style. So I could hardly find a rhythm and settle. But I kept fighting and in the end it was worth it. Tomorrow there is no pressure and I am sure to improve my game.
Joeri: I started well, I nearly took the first game. The first game was a big fight but in the end he managed to sneak in the game ball. In the second game I had the wrong shot selection and he read me well. The third game I played freely without any pressure, played a lot of shots and manage to surprise him many times and eventually I took that game. The fourth game I tried o continue the gameplan of the third game, but he adapted well and eventually he won the match 3/1. I’m happy to go back home now and have my well deserved rest and getting ready for the next tournament in Hamburg in December

Yuri Farnetti  3-1 Sean Conroy
Yuri: Sean is solid player and is very accurate, so I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. I started to push a little bit at the beginning and then I 2 low up and lost a bit accuracy and started to play better and won the third. Then I tried to find my length and accuracy I won the 4th. I was happy for my win. I try to be ready for tomorrow. I think is well organized this tournament, good organization, very nice people, is very good, easy to reach the squash club because of the shuttle every hour. So I‘m enjoying a lot the tournament. Happy to be here.
Sean: I enjoyed my time in Brno. Unfortunately I lost 3-1 to Yuri today. He played well and he has had good results recently. The first game I hit too many errors and it got better after that. I got a bad start in the 4th set but came back well towards the middle part but lost 11-8. The tournament hotel is very nice here. The courts are also nice. It’s my first time in Brno. Tomorrow morning I’ll go and see the city centre. Hopefully the tournament is on again next year, I would like to come back.

Anna Kimberley 3-0 Tereza Siroka
Anna: It’s great to be here in Brno, and I’m very happy to get the first round under my belt. Definitely have felt a friendly supportive atmosphere in the club so am looking forward to the rest of week!
Tereza: This was my first PSA match ever and I am more than just happy that this was a 20k challenger tournament. I m happy could play someone from abroad after a very long time and that it was Anna, world n.87. I am satisfied with the both game and the result. This was a great experience and I look forward next one on PSA.

Marie Stephan 3-0 Sofia Mateos 

Juan Camilo Vargas 3-0 Ondrej Uherka
Juan: I’m happy with how I played, Ondřej knows my game well as he’s one of our coaches at Strahov so I’m glad I won 3-0. I’m excited to play tomorrow and the whole set up of the tournament is really good!
Ondrej: I was really looking forward to play my good amigo J C Vargas but unfortunately I couldn’t train well coming into the event and the result shows it. So I can’t really say anything positive about the match. I will definitely be cheering on Juan tomorrow. It’s nice to see guys from Brno doing a great work organizing biggest ever tournament in Czech Republic. Thank you and good luck.

Yannick Wilhemli 3-1 David Zeman 
David: I was feeling quite good on court I like this specific court where I played many times and I felt we had really good and tight rallies where we both played well. My best game was second game where I played my best squash in last months I think and won the game quite persuasively. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep on my early lees in third game and Yanick started controlling more the T and with good attacks he started controlling the match and won third and fourth game
Yannick: David played well today. Felt alright on the court but always tough to play against him. It was fun!

Grace Gear 3-0 Elise Romba
Grace: Good to win in a three game match. Elise is really strong in the middle so I m glad I managed to keep her of the T and control the game.

Cristina Gomez 3-0 Tamara Holzbauerova
Tamara: Match was a great experience for me. My opponent played very high tempo and put me under lot of pressure. This lead to many opportunities for her which she was able to finish rallies with. My every point was nothing but hard work as Cristina did practically no mistakes.

Robert Downer 3-0 Miles Jenkins
Robert: Well that went differently to how I expected for today. Certainly a better performance and outcome. Was happy with my preparation and few changes I made going into today. Miles has put a lot of work in and made some big improvements this past year. To get him off in three has to be my best result this season I would say. Excited to be on showcourt against Martin tomorrow should be great atmosphere!

Valentin Rapp 3-0 Roshan Bharos
Roshan: Disappointed with the loss, however it is for the first time I managed to move without pain since my last PSA in Gibraltar which is the biggest win now for me. Congrats to my friend Valentin and thank you for the organizers who have done an amazing job for the players!
Valentin: I m glad to win 3/0 against Roshan. Today I was very happy with my squash and I m looking forward to my match with Dimi.