Taylor and Romiglio triumph in Ostrava
An unusual pair of finals for PSA event, one non-PSA member and two unseeded players, was played today in Sport Centre Fajne in Ostrava.
Women´s final was played between second seed Lily Taylor from England and tournament surprise non-PSA member Natalie Babjukova from Czech republic. The fairy tale ending for Natalie did not happen today. Lily was just too good for her and deservedly took her fourth PSA title. From the beginning it was obvious Lily´s game plan was to take the middle of the court away from Naty and it worked well. Naty was struggling to get a point on the scoreboard at the beginning.
When Lily got a lead she probably relaxed a bit too much, made a few mistakes and let Naty into the match. She hit some nice winners but wasn´t able to create opportunities to hit them often enough thanks to a good lenght hitting by Lily. 11/7 for Lily. The second looked similar at the beginning but this time Lily didn´t let her focus drop and finished it off quickly 11/3. She got a good lead in the third too.
But Naty was fighting, got to 6/7 but it was all she could manage today. Last 4 points belonged to Lily and she could start to celebrate her title.
Lily : Thrilled to win my 4th PSA title today, didn´t know what to expect with Natalie as she hasnt played much PSA. She had beaten some good players going into the final so I had to be on my game. There was a lot of pressure on me today so I´m super happy to come through with the win. Want to thank the organisers for a great tournament. This time last year there were no events and I was in lockdown so feeling super grateful to have the opportunity to play these events and to win the title is a bonus.
Natalie : All credit to Lily today! I felt really tired after all my matches here and the pace was fast. She definitely deserved to win. What a ride though! I am very happy with my result as I totally didn´t expect to get that far as an unseeded wild card player. Thanks to Czech squash to organize so many PSA events, to FAJNE for such a great atmosphere and to my home club Squashclub Strahov for all the support! Hoping to get another wild card sometime soon 😊.
Peter Creed played Leandro Romiglio in the men´s final. Both of them had one marathon (80 minutes) match on their way to the final and it was interesting to watch who is going to be stronger today. During the first few rallies it seemed obvious that Leandro will probably be physically stronger today.
Peter didn´t move very quickly for some of Leandro´s boasts and kills. Leandro was hitting a better length and kept control of the T area for most rallies. He played his usual simple but very effective squash with hardly any mistakes and he just kept pushing and pushing Peter all the time. And the game scores started to show it. All credit to Peter who never gave up.
Even when he was 2/0 and 10/3 down and looked physically spent after series of long and hard rallies he still gave it a big push and managed to save three matchballs. But after the next rally Leandro could shout his very loud „Vamooooooos!“ and he was the champion.
Leandro : I am extremely happy with the way I played during the week. I want to say congrats to Peter who had a great tournament also, we both had long matches but he had it tougher yesterday so I knew maybe he could feel it a little bit..
But again really pleased how I managed to keep focus and stick to my game plan , couldnt ask for a better end of the year..
Thanks SCS … Joan and David who stayed with us during the tournament and were a huge help during the matches , my new training partners who push hard every day in Prague.. Czech squash association thank you for another great event and thanks to Naty for correcting my English in this post 😃 .
Muchas gracias a todos,, vamos Argentina papaaa
Peter : Hard pill to swallow, but like Jaycocks said, 6 months ago I would of taken this year end. Emptied the tank this week and unfortunatley today was just a step to far. Leo played well today, nice fair player so no complaints. I´m proud of my efforts, and looking forward to getting home for Christmas now. Both events I´ve played here have been very accomadating and well organised, so many thanks. Big thanks to the people behind me supporting and sponsoring me. Thank you from the heart. Life in the old dog yet.
I would like to thank Czech national sports agency for their financial support and Sport Centre Fajne for being a perfect host for the tournament. I would also like to thank David Tomanek for his help with the streaming and mainly to Eva Fertekova who did a tremendous amount of work before and during the event.
Day THREE : Quarters
Both top seeds beaten today and only one Czech man and one Czech woman are through to the semis in Ostrava.
First women’s quarter was surprisingly easily won by Emilia Korhonen who managed to beat higher seeded Jacqueline Peychär in three. Top seeded Daniel Mekbib didn´t play his best squash today and the experienced Peter Creed was able to use it today to win in four games. The end of the third where Daniel had gameballs but wasn´t able to use them was crucial for the outcome of the match.
Lily Taylor won comfortably 3/0 against Ella Galova. Juan Vargas beat home club player Viktor Byrtus also in three games when only the second one was closely contested.
Top seeded Anna Serme seemed surprised by the quality squash produced by Au Yeong Wai Yhann in the first two games.Wai Yhann always managed to pull away with a series of shots to get a big lead and was soon 2/0 up in less than 20 minutes.
Anna fought back to win the third. Wai Yhann started the fourth better and was always one or two points ahead. When she got to 10/7 Anna saved two matchballs with two good rallies but low forehand volley kill from Wai Yhann finished the match.
In the first two games between another home club player Jakub Solnicky and Leandro Romiglio it was impossible to see who actually spent 80 minutes on court yesterday. Leandro played superb squash and he totally dominated to go 2/0 up. Jakub managed to get into the match and won the third. But Leandro pushed hard in the fourth and closed the match with 11/6 game.
Next match brought two good friends and teammates against each other. Natalie Babjukova continued her good form from yesterday and beat Eva Fertekova in four games with two tie-breaks. She remains unbeaten in PSA events on European soil as this is her first.
Second seed Martin Svec made sure there will be Czech player in men´s semis as well. He beat Balazs Farkas 3/0. His tactics of lots of slower and accurate balls deep into Balazs´s backhand corner worker really well. Balazs was always threatening with his shotmaking but Martin deservedly closed the match in three games
Day TWO :
The Men were joined by the women from today and we saw 8 men’s second round matches and 8 women’s first round matches – some upsets in both events as four Czech men and three women progressed to quarters.
Top seeds Anna Serme and Daniel Mekbib got through safely in the first two matches. Both seeded players lost in the second pair of matches where Peter Creed and Au Yeong Wai Yhann created upsets against the seedings by beating 7th seeded Aqeel Rehman and 8th seeded Tayla Mounter in three games. Big battles happened on both courts in the third matches.
Local boy from Ostrava Victor Byrtus playing in his home club needed five games to beat Yuri Farneti. And Natalie Babjukova who is not PSA member and got into the tournament as a local managed to beat no. 5 seed Katriona Allen in four close games of very entertaining squash. Fourth pair of matches brought wins to both Eva Fertekova and Juan Vargas in three games.
Leandro Romiglio managed to beat his training partner from Strahov academy Rob Downer in gruelling five games and 80 minutes. By far the longest match of the tournament so far. He will play another home club player Jakub Solnicky who beat David Zeman in four and spent almost half the time on court. Jaqueline Peychär and Emilia Korhonen both won in 3 against Czech junior girls.
Hungarian Balazs Farkas was too good for Miles Jenkins today and so was Ella Galova for Karolina Sramkova. Karolina played her first PSA event at 14 years and deservedly managed to get a game of Ella who is much more experienced.
Last pair of matches brought an easy win for no. 2 seed Lily Taylor and 3/1 win for men´s no. 2 seed Martin Svec.
Day ONE :
Fajne sport centre in Ostrava, one of the newest and most modern sport centres with squash courts in Czech republic welcomed PSA tournament for the first time in it´s short history.
Eight men´s first round matches were on today´s programme. First 6 of them were fairly one-sided and seeded players all won comfortably and none of the matches were longer than 25 minutes. Last two matches were closer.
Miles Jenkins had to work for 37 minutes to beat Alasdair Prott in four games 14/12 in the fourth and he had to save 4 gameballs in the last game. And the last match of the day was the longest and brought the only upset against the seedings.
Ondrej Vorlicek managed to beat Filip Jarota in four games after he lost the first and won the next three games in 60 minutes.