Mozart Open 2024

Final : Nghiem wins all-British Final

the first week of the Austrian Squash Challenge has come to an end with a huge crowd at EUROPARK shopping mall witnessing a entertaining final of the Mozart Open ladies PSA world ranking tournament. Congratulations to the winner Saran Nghiem (ENG, WRL 66) and runner-up Alison Thomson (SCO, WRL 82) who also played an amazing tournament.

The match started very even out with Alison Thomson having had chances to take to first game. But the top seed Saran Nghiem could turn the game and win it 13/11.

With the lead the Englishwoman had more confidence and therefore didn’t let her opponent taking much control of the game. Alison Thomson of course tried everything to stay in the rallies but couldn’t manage tom equalize and Saran Nghiem won the second game 11/5.

Eventually Alison Thomson’s effort paid off. She could lift her quality of shots and put more pressure on her rival and won the third game 11/6. The full crowd was happy to see a continuation of a great final.

However the 20-year old youngster from England had other plans and found her concentration again to avoid a fifth game. Saran Nghiem proved why she had not dropped a single game in the tournament up to the final and finished the match in a clinical way.

She very much deserved to win the final to become Mozart Open 2024 ladies Champion!

There will be a rest day on Sunday before Austria’s biggest Squash event will start into it’s second week.

On Monday there are more than 100 Kids attending free clinics with 18-times Austrian National Champion Aqeel Rehman. From Tuesday on the Mozart Open men kicks off with 24 international players fighting for the title.

One of them will be the local favorite and tournament organiser Aqeel Rehman himself. He can count on a big home support but will be challenged by a strong group of players of course.

Towards the end of the week the big raffle and VIP-tournament with Olympic Champions is scheduled as well as the final of the Mozart Open on Saturday of course.

Attendance will be free of charge during the whole week!

Semis : Dream Final set up in Salzburg

Today was the first day of action on the glasscourt at EUROPARK Salzburg shopping mall with many spectators ready to watch world class squash. It was semifnal day of the Mozart Open ladies PSA world ranking tournament.

The first semifinal of the evening was between second seed Alison Thomson (SCO, WRL 82) and fourth seed Kiera Marshall (ENG, WRL 89), which was an absolute nail-biter and went to five games.

The first three games were very even and close. Both players showed amazing retrieval skills and played high quality squash.  Thomson was able the take a 2/1 lead after saving three gameballs in the third game.

However in the fourth game the second seed lost her concentration while  Marshall could race to a 9/0 lead and eventually win the game 11/3 to level games 2/2.

The deciding game was real thriller. It went point by point towards the end of that game.  Thomson was again able to save two matchballs to reach a tiebreak. In return  Marshall saved herself a couple of matchballs but was not able to convert any of her further matchballs.

In the end it was  Thomson who won the game 17/15 after 69 minutes of play. Both players deserved to reach the final tomorrow, but of course there could be only one.

The second semifinal was contested by the tournament favorite Saran Nghiem (ENG, WRL 66) and underdog Michaela Cepová (CZE, WRL 205). It was a contrasting match to the previous semifinal where the English player was just too solid and. Cepová showed a great fight but wasn’t
able to push her opponent enough.

This means that  Nghiem won 3/0 and will face Thomson tomorrow at 16:30 in the final of the Mozart Open!

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Quarters :

All the remaining top seeded players of the ladies Mozart Open in Salzburg made it into the semifinal, all of them with 3/0 victories. It means they will have the opportunity to play their semifinal matches on the glasscourt at EUROPARK Salzburg shopping mall on Friday evening. It will be Britain against Czech Republic.

The closest match was between second seed Alison Thomson (SCO, WRL 82) and Ambre Allinckx (SUI, WRL 130). The Swiss and former world number 68 Ambre was able to push her opponent in the first two games but lost both of them closely in the tie-break and was not able to turn the match
after that.

Top seed Saran Nghiem (ENG, WRL 66) and fourth seed Kiera Marshall (ENG, WRL 89) showed a solid performance and didnt let their opponents get too close to them and won 3/0.

Michaela Cepová (CZE, WRL 205) will be the only seeded player in the semifinal after winning the all-czech match against Karolína Šrámková (CZE, WRL 161). She proved to be in good shape after already beating third seed Jacqueline Peychär (AUT, WRL 91) yesterday. She completed the
3/0-victories-series of the day.

Day Two : more upsets in round two

It was another good day for the lower seeded players. Only half of the top eight players won their matches, after a bye in the first round yesterday. No Austrian player is left in the draw.

Fifteen-year-old Mariam Eissa (ENG, WRL 444) showed another great performance. After taking out a higher seeded player yesterday the youngster took out sixth seed Colette Sultana (MLT, WRL 131) in straight games.

The top two seeded players Saran Nghiem (ENG, WRL 66) and Alison Thomson (SCO, WRL 82)  got through to the quarterfinals in impressive ways, as well as fourth seed Kiera Marshall (ENG, WRL 89). They all won their matches 3/0.

Unfortunately for the home interest the only left Austrian player Jacqueline Peychär (AUT, WRL 91) lost 0/3 against Michaela Cepová (CZE, WRL 205).

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Day ONE :

Today Austria’s only women’s PSA world ranking tournament – the Mozart Open – with a total prize money of 6,000 USD kicked off at Tenniscourts Süd in Salzburg.

There were eight matches scheduled, with the top eight players having a bye to the second round.

Most matches were mostly one sided. However there were some upsets as well and unfortunately for the home interests both Austrian players Gioia D’Alonzo and Jasmin Walter lost their matches. But with Jacqueline Peychär there is one Austrian player left in the second round.

There are some close matches expected at Tenniscourts Süd again tomorrow, and on Friday the action moves to the glasscourt at EUROPARK shopping mall for the quarter-finals onward.

Report from Aqeel Rehman, Photos by Jasmin Walter