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Savcor Finnish Open 2014
18-23 Feb, Mikkeli, Finland $15k

23-Feb, Final:
Mueller the new champion in Mikkeli
Poku Salo reports

Nicolas Müller of Switzerland was crowned the Finnish Open Champion 2014 in Mikkeli on Sunday.

Müller, who seemed to get better on each day of the tournament, ended Olli Tuominen’s winning streak in the Finnish Open which has earned him five victories in previous years.

Tuominen started in a promising way and took a 5-3 lead but Müller came back with 5 consecutive points to turn the score to 8-5. Then Tuominen Tuominen took three point and equalled the score at 8 all. At 10-9 Tuominen saved one game ball but Müller took the game 12-10. in 18 minutes.

The second game was all about Müller who went from 8-2 to take the game 11-5. In the third game Tuominen got a slight control and came trough 11-9 and was back in the match.

The fourth game started with Müller taking an early lead but Tuominen came back to equal the score at 7 all and continued to two game balls at 10-8. After a few let-balls Müller got match ball at 11-10 and took the match and the Finnish Open title with a stroke on his first match ball.

The Finnish Open was once again much appreciated by the players for the excellent venue at the shopping center just 500 meters from the tournament hotel. Alll matches starting from the qualification was played on the glass court.

And to conclude the reports from Mikkeli I would like to point out that it is not always that cold. This time the daytime temperatures were above the freezing point the whole week!

Savcor Finnish Open 2014
18-23 Feb, Mikkeli, Finland $15k
Round One
[1] Nicolas Mueller (Sui)
9/11, 7/11, 9/11, 11/3, 11/6 (53m)
[Q] Paul Coll (Nzl)
[1] Nicolas Mueller
11/5, 11/3, 11/9 (35m)
[8] Raphael Kandra
[1] Nicolas Mueller

11/3, 3/11, 11/6, 11/9 (58m)

[6] Fares Dessouki

8th PSA title for Mueller

[1] Nicolas Mueller


12/10, 11/5, 9/11, 12/10 (63m)


 [2] Olli Tuominen

Jens Schoor (Ger)
11/8, 11/5, 11/9 (44m)
[8] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
[6] Fares Dessouki (Egy)
11/9, 11/6, 11/6 (34m)
[Q] Declan James (Eng)
[6] Fares Dessouki
11/4, 11/3, 11/3 (32m)
[3] Zahed Mohamed
[WC] Matias Tuomi (Fin)
11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (20m)
[3] Zahed Mohamed (Egy)
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 13/11 (52m)
[Q] Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz
11/6, 11/9, 11/5 (54m)
 Jan Koukal
[4] Omar Abdel Aziz

11/6, 11/8, 11/5 (37m)

 [2] Olli Tuominen

[Q] Sebastiaan Weenink (Ned)
11/9, 8/11, 11/8, 14/12 (50m)
Jan Koukal (Cze)
[7] Rex Hedrick (Aus)
5/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/4 (69m)
Greg Lobban (Sco)
[7] Rex Hedrick
11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (35m)
[2] Olli Tuominen
Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
10/12, 11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (54m)
[2] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
19-Feb, Qualifying Finals: 

Sebastiaan Weenink (Ned) 3-0 Ammar Altamimi (Kuw )        11-7, 12-10, 14-12 (44m)
Declan James (Eng) 3-0 Ben Coleman (Eng)                              11-9,11-8, 11-4 (56m)
Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Joan Lezaud (Fra)                                         11-7, 11-7, 11-1 (34m)
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-2 Alejandro Garbi (Esp) 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, (68m)

18-Feb, Qualifying Round One:

Ammar Altamimi (Kuw) 3-2 Jaakko Vahamaa (Fin)  11/9, 7/11, 11/13, 11/8, 11/5 (49m)
Sebastiaan Weenink (Ned) 3-0 Markus Vanhanen (Fin)               11/2, 11/4, 11/2 (21m)
Declan James (Eng) 3-1 Johan Bouquet (Fra)                13/11, 11/8, 10/12, 11/8 (63m)
Ben Coleman (Eng) 3-0 Tatu Knuutila (Fin)                               11/7, 11/7, 11/8 (29m)
Paul Coll (Nzl) 3-0 Jami Aijanen (Fin)                                       11/8, 11/5, 11/2 (23m)
Joan Lezaud (Fra) 3-0 Erno Teitti (Fin)                                     11/8, 11/3, 11/6 (25m)
Alejandro Garbi (Esp) 3-0 Kristian Rautiainen (Fin)                   11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (35m)
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat) 3-1 Miko Aijanen (Fin)              11/5, 11/7, 11/13, 11/4 (36m)
22-Feb, Semis:
Tuominen to defend title against top seed
Poku Salo reports

Olli Tuominen, defending Finnish Open champion, has improved his game in every match so far and tonight's semi-final against Egypt's Omar Abdel Aziz was no exception.

Olli started well in the first game and didn’t give Aziz many chances of getting into the game. A slight lapse in concentration gave Aziz a 7-2 lead in the second before Olli got back to his normal rhythm. Eight points in a row and game ball.

Aziz got one more point but Olli closed the game in the next rally. The third game was all Olli and the game 11-5 and match to the five time champion.

Top seed Nicolas Müller, who struggled a bit in the earlier rounds, got a quick start and cruised to take the first game easily 11-3 against Fares Dessouki.

That didn't seem to bother the Egyptian too much and he put up his best game to take the second by the same score.

The third started evenly and it progressed to 6 all before Müller again managed to take domination and four points in a row to take a 2-1 lead. Müller continued where the third game ended and the match seemed go Müller's way. Dessouki had not given up and came from 3-6 to equal the score at 9 all.

That was as far as he could get and Müller closed the game 11-9 and meets Tuominen in Sunday's final.

21-Feb, Quarters: 
Top seeds on form in Mikkeli
Poku Salo reports

Nicolas Müller and Olli Tuominen came back strongly after their first round matches, where both players had to work harder than expected.

Müller took on Germany’s Raphael Kandra and showed what the difference is between 1st and 7th seeds. Müller dominated the match and only in the third game Kandra came close getting to 9 all, but close is not enough and Müller through to the semifinals.

The only upset came in the second match where 5th seed Fares Dessouki took a convincing 3-0 victory over 4th seed Zahed Mohamed.

Omar Abdel Aziz, who is in Mikkeli for the fourth time, went through in a quite evenly fought three games match against Jan Koukal. Koukal had his moments in the 2nd and 3rd games but Aziz was just that much stronger in the deciding moments.

Home hero Tuominen, who also struggled a bit in the first round was like newborn today. Olli was concentrated and played accurate shots to which Rex Hedrick didn’t find any solutions.

The weather in Mikkeli has been quite ”human” with only a couple of degrees below zero. This has been much appreciated among players who have been here in the past, when it has normally been closer to 20 degrees below.

20-Feb, Round One: 
Seed through to quarters
Poku Salo reports

All seeded players made it to Fridays quarters in the Savcor Finnish Open in Mikkeli, where each and every match is played on the glass court in the Stella shopping centre.

This has been much appreciated by the qualifiers, who don’t have to change court after the qualification, and perhaps this was one of the reasons why some of the qualifier made their seeded opponents work hard already in the first round.

Top seeded Nicolas Müller came back from 1-2 to win his match against New Zealand’s Paul Coll. Third seed Omar Abdel Aziz also had to work hard to overcome Qatar’s Abdulla Al Tamimi in four games.

Second seed and five times Finnish Open champion Olli Tuominen got a bad start to the tournament. India’s Mahesh Mangaonkar took the first game and had a 5-1 lead in the second before the local hero got his game going. After that there was little doubt about the winner and Olli made it to the quarters in four games.

Raphael Kandra came through with a 3-0 victory over German team mate Jens Schoor and Egypt’s Fares Dessouki also got through in three game against England’s qualifier Declan James. The second Finn in the draw, wild card Matias Tuomi clearly has not fully recovered from his foot injury and could not put a good fight against fourth seed Egyptian Zahed Monamed.

Jan Koukal was also tested by qualifier Sebastiaan Weenink and got through by a tie brake win in the fourth. In the last and longest match of the night Aussie Rex Hedrick got through after a slow start against Scotsman Greg Lobban.

Squash’s popularity in Finland will be tested in the quarters, as Finland plays Sweden in the Olympic ice-hockey semifinal on Friday afternoon!

Draw & Results

Live Streaming

Twitter: @SFOsquash

19-Feb, Qualifying Finals:
Top seed tumbles out in Mikkeli
Poku Salu reports

Top seed Ammar Altamimi’s defeat in the qualifying finals of the Savcor Finnish Open was the biggest upset of Wednesday night’s matches. Dutch national player Sebastiaan Weenink put up a good fight and managed to win three very closely fought games match. The first game was tight and the two next ones went to the tie-break. Weenink through to the main round and was draw to play Jan Koukal in the first round.

In the second match of the night there also was a surprise outcome when 5th seed Declan James beat 3rd seed Ben Coleman in in three games. James comes up against Fares Dessouki.

Fourth seed Paul Coll proved the seedings correct by beating Joan Lezaud in straight game, but was perhaps a bit unlucky to be drawn against top seed Nicolas Müller.

The last match of the night was the longest and closest. Second seed Abdulla Al Tamimi, with the support of coach, and squash legend, Geoff Hunt came back against Alejandro Garbi from 1-2 down to win the fourth after being 1-5 down in the fifth. Al Tamimi plays Omar Abdel Aziz in the first round.

The court going up

18-Feb, Qualifying Round One:
No luck for Finns in Finnish Open
Poku Salo reports

The Savcor Finnish Open started today in Mikkeli. For the first time all matches are played on the glass court in the Stella shopping centre.

Due to a few withdrawals Finland got seven players to the qualification.

The honour to hit off the championship was given to Declan James and Johan Bouquet , who played the longest match of the day with just over an hour. An interesting and well fought match which James took in four games.

Then it was on to the Finnish matches, Alejandro Garbi , Ben Coleman , Sebastiaan Weenick , Joan Lezaud and Paul Coll were not tested in their straight games victories.

The youngest of the Finns Miko Äijänen put up a good fight with Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi losing in four and the closest of todays matches was between Ammar Altamimi and Jaakko Vähämaa which was the only five game match.

Twitter: @SFOsquash

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