Gaultier claims first post-Covid PSA in Prague
The first tournament post-Covid is the $12k Nolan & Liam’s Tournament in Prague, with players from – or resident in – Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Poland and Austria allowed to compete.
FINAL :  Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 3-0  Raphael Kandra (Ger) 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (53m)
Former world number one Gregory Gaultier claimed the first PSA title since the Covid shutdown in his home town as he beat top seeded German Raphael Kandra in three games.
“Very happy with this week. Starting the season with a positive note. I trained so hard the last 6 months and was looking forward to compete again. I’m very thankful to my team in France and Czech Republic without all of them i wouldn’t come back, thanks to all my coaches, physios, doctors and sparring partners.
“Same to my club Annecy and all my sponsors who kept helping me during that tough time i had the last 2 years. So thankful to my close friend Abir Ray (Expression networks and Squashrevolution) who sponsors me for more than 10 years, he called me and said Greg lets make an event like 3 weeks ago, so he raised the prize money and decided to call the event on my kids name which was cute.
“Thanks to Squash club Strahov and David Tomanek for organising everything here and everyone involved at the Strahov academy with Joan Lezaud and Lukas Jelinek. Thanks Raphy for the final, it was hard, very hot on the court and tough rallies. Looking forward now for manchester.”
Raphael : “Tough one. All credit to Greg, he was on fire today. He deserved the win. I am still happy with my performance. Still room for improvement but a good start for the season.”
It’s a Franco-German final as top seed Raphael Kandra and former world champion Gregory Gaultier ease through the semis.
Both matches went as expected. Opponents of favourites were fighting as much as they could but the ‘big guys’ didn’t let them sniff a chance of the success. Great experience for the young guys.
“Happy to be in the final. Played solid squash, Valentin played well i thought, I know him for long time as we played many years together in same team in german league, rallies were hard but i managed to stay on top. Looking forward to tomorrow, very excited.“
“That was a good experience ‘:D He was just too good and too quick. I was always under a lot of pressure, but was still fun“
Another good win and ready for a big match tomorrow vs Greg. Can’t wait to play him. It won’t be easy to adapt as Greg is definitely a different caliber ;-)“
Home player Jakub Solnicky was the first player through to the semis as his opponent withdraw through injury, and he’ll face top seed Raphael Kandra for a place in the final after the German ended the run of Austria’s Aqeel Rehman.
Former world #1 Gregory Gaultier eased past Yannik Omlor to reach the final, and he’ll take on Germany’s Valentin Rapp, who ousted second seeded Czech champion Daniel Melbib in straight games.
Round One : Top seeds through as Aqeel survives a thriller
David Tomanek reports
 Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 3-1 Marek Panacek (CZE)
Daniel won first two games quite easily. In the 3rd Daniel lost concentration and Marek took advantage of that perfectly and won that one. In the 4th game Daniel managed to regain his concentration and won the 4th game with control.
Jakub Solnicky (CZE) 3-0  Martin Svec (CZE)
They’ve known each other since juniors, and hard to predict the result. This time looks like Jakob was more strong and focused. Rallies were tight but most of the time Martin was the one that made the mistake.
 Yannik Omlor (GER) 3-0 [WC] Heiko Schwarzer (GER)
Yannic in control all the time.
 Raphael Kandra (GER) 3-0 Viktor Byrtus (CZE)
Raphy was focused and did the job. Viktor was playing well but the quality just wasn’t good enough to beat no. 29 in the world.
 Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 3-0 Tobias Weggen (GER)
Greg seems to be on his mission. Looks sharp. Unfortunately for Tobias, no chance.
 Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 3-0 Marc Lopez (ESP)
Valentin Rapp (GER) 3-0  Ondrej Uherka (CZE)
 Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-2 David Zeman (CZE)
Match of the day. Very close match, right to the end. That is the action we all missed. 1st game was close one, but Aqeel was the one that made more mistakes so David took the lead.
In the second Aqeel steped up, started very actively and put rather passive David under lot of pressure. 1 all. 3rd was total oposit of the second one. In the 4th game players went with the points shoulder by shoulder. David managed to gain match ball. In a thrilling rally David didn’t take a chance to take a stroke and kept playing. Aqeel survived and finished the game in his favor.
The decider went better for Aqeel whoseemed to be stronger in the last one, but David managed to fight back to 10-all. Last two rally were long, full of great attack and defends. Aqeel managed to win both rallies and so the whole match.