Farkas and Fuller secure World Championship spots with Odense Open wins
Hungary’s Balazs Farkas and South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller were victorious at the Odense Open, claiming the Challenger 10 level prizes, and guaranteeing their places at the sport’s premiere event, the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships.
Farkas made the final of last year’s event at Odense Squash Club, but lost out to Aly Hussein, and therefore missed out on a place at the World Championships. He came into this year’s Challenger 10 level tournament unseeded, and proceeded to go on a run, beating No.5 seed Ben Coleman and No.2 seed Faraz Khan en route to the final.
He came up against England’s Sam Todd, the tournament’s No.6 seed in the final on Saturday evening. Todd, also a previous runner-up in Odense, having made the final in 2020, started slowly, allowing the Hungarian No.1 to get away in the first game, one he would take to hold the advantage in the match.
The Hungarian then took a tight second game, one that was crucial in determining the winner of the match, as he held on for a 12-10 victory. Todd then ran away with the third, with Farkas keeping some energy back in reserve. That tactic worked, as he then won the fourth game, letting out a big roar of celebration at the end of the match, as the realisation of making the World Championships hit him.
“Before the tournament, I was thinking that there were a lot of good players playing here and maybe it was just a dream that I could play the final and to win the tournament,” Farkas admitted.
“Firstly, I would like to say thanks to the organisers because I know in this situation, it is so hard to organise a tournament, but this one in Odense is always getting better and better. In the future, I will come back and enjoy everything here!
“The crowd was unbelievably good, and Sam, congrats to you because you played amazing from the first round to the end. You are just 18-years-old, so I think in the future we will play some really good matches. Finally, to everyone who was supporting me, thank you!”
South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller guaranteed her spot at the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships in Cairo with a commanding performance against young Englishwoman Katie Malliff, one of the surprise packages of the tournament.
Malliff came into the final having beaten four higher-ranked Egyptians, including three of the top six seeds, but it was Fuller, the top seed, was able to control the majority of the contest, making the 18-year-old move around the court into all four corners.
The Englishwoman’s resistance was broken by the end of the second game, and with the World No.40 holding a 2-0 advantage, she was able to run away with the third game and secure the victory in straight games. Fuller claimed the title, her ninth on Tour and her first since 2018, and with it, guaranteed her spot at the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships.
“It is always nerve-racking playing in a final, but it was really amazing playing here on the glass court with a packed crowd, it really did make a difference so thanks to everyone for coming out to watch!” Fuller said.
“Firstly, thanks to Katie, she wiped out all the Egyptian players on the way, and it was a really enjoyable final!
“I was lucky enough that my ranking allows me to get into the tournament [World Championships]. It is the big one, the million-dollar event, so it is massive for squash and it is really great that we can have this event on the calendar!”
The second qualifying event for the 2021-2022 PSA World Championships in Cairo will be the Val de Reuil Normandie, which will take place between March 17-20 at the Val de Reuil Tennis Squash in France.