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Grasshopper Cup 2012
23-28 Apr, Zurich, $25k
GC-Cup 2012 Zürich - zur Startseite

28-Apr, Final:

[1] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt [2] Nicolas Mueller (Sui)  12/10, 11/7, 8/11, 11/4 (70m)

Lucky 11 for Selby in Zurich

England's Daryl Selby collected his 11th PSA title as he dashed home homes with a 3/1 win over local favourite and second seed Nicolas Mueller in the final in Zurich.

Not even the first real warm summer day of the year could prevent the Zurich squash enthusiasts from traveling to the Grasshopper Club and watching their local favorite Nicolas "Nici" Müller play the final against the top seed Daryl Selby.

The grandstand at the club was fully packed when the two players got on court at 5 p.m., even Mark Meyer, the spokesman of the tournament who had suffered a severe motorcycle accident the day before and had spent the following night in hospital, had been able to persuade the doctors to let him go for the final of the first Grasshopper Cup for 11 years.

Nici and Daryl then started off with long, grueling rallies in the first, moving each other around the court and never letting the other player of the hook. The Englishman slowly increased the pressure and Nici let him get away to 8-3 before the Swiss Rocket came back with the full support of his home crowd to 9-all and then in to extra points.

Everybody in the club knew how important the outcome of the first game would be and so local hopes first sagged after Daryl was just about able to sneak away with 12/10 in the first and take the second relatively quickly with 11/7.

But Müller had not come into the final to lose in such a manner (both former encounters of the players had been close, the Swiss one time even leading 2:0 in games before faltering 3:2 in the end) and he really dug in in the third, powering at full speed and pushing him and his opponent to their physical limits.

 Nici was rewarded with a 11/8 win (after an even greater lead in the beginning), but it was Daryl who then was able to keep up the pressure and preciseness in the fourth, which in the end then broke the young Swiss, after a 70 minute fight, every moment fair and highly enjoyed by an enthralled Zurich crowd.

Good hard match and delighted with the win," tweeted Selby. "It's been a while! At last I get to 11 Psa titles my favourite number. Been getting the number 11 tram all week and staying in room 411!

"Great tournament, well done everybody at GC," concluded the new champion.

27-Apr, Semi-Finals:

[2] Nicolas Mueller (Sui) bt [4] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)  6/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/7 (70m)
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt  [3] Olli Tuominen (Fin)                         11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (44m)

27-Apr, Semis:
Top pair in the
Grasshopper Cup groove ...

Carsten Els reports

The long awaited first semi final between local favorite Nici Müller  and the young Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad started off semi-final night in Zurich.

During the first game the Swiss crowd had to admit that Karim enforced his game plan over Nici. Playing at a slow pace, but extremely precise, Karim took the first at 11/6.

Hence there was need for a talk during the break: “I had to change something and I am very happy, that I actually found a way to speed up the game,” admitted the home favourite after the match.

In fact Nici entered the Court for Game two and increased the pace and attacked the ball at every possible situation. And the match slowly started to turn.

The second was very close at 11/9 for Nici, but he had the momentum now and kept it going. During the next two games Karim made some easy mistakes, which in the end added up to a 3/1 win in 70 minutes for the Swiss second seed.

The second semi final saw top-seeded Englishman Daryl Selby up against third seed Olli Tuominen.

The seedings and rankings might have been close, but it turned out to be a quite clear verdict in the end, and in just 44 minutes Daryl went through in straight games.

Olli, hard working as always, just did not find a the answer to how to deal with Daryl’s flexible and smooth style. Daryl always had an answer though, and in the end hit more precisely and with less mistakes than Olli.

Needless to say, it was a very fair game, but with these players that’s not a big surprise, as both are well known for their great sportsmanship.

With that, tomorrow we will see the final of the top-seeded players between Daryl Selby and Nici Müller.

Draw & Results


Grasshopper Cup 2012
23-28 Apr, Zurich, $25k
Round One
25 Apr
26 Apr
27 Apr
28 Apr
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/4, 11/7, 11/9 (41m)
Kashif Shuja (Nzl)
[1] Daryl Selby
11/6, 11/4, 11/6 (34m)
Jan Koukal
[1] Daryl Selby

11/8, 11/5, 11/6 (44m)

[3] Olli Tuominen

[1] Daryl Selby


12/10, 11/7, 8/11, 11/4 (70m)


[2] Nicolas Mueller

Jan Koukal (Cze)
9/11, 13/11, 14/12, 6/11, 11/8 (89m)
[Q] Fabien Verseille (Fra)
Charles Sharpes (Eng)
11/8, 11/4, 14/16, 11/9 (58m)
[Q] Andre Haschker (Ger)
Charles Sharpes
11/8, 11/6, 11/7 (36m)
[3] Olli Tuominen
[LL] Steve Finitsis (Aus)
12/10, 15/17, 5/11, 12/10, 11/4 (95m)
[3] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy)
14/16, 6/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/8 (115m)
[Q] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad
11/5, 13/11, 11/5 (24m)
Kristian Frost
[4] Karim Abdel Gawad

6/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/7 (70m)

[2] Nicolas Mueller

Kristian Frost (Den)
6/11, 11/5, 11/9, 11/7 (40m)
[WC] Reiko Peter (Sui)
Yann Perrin (Fra)
11/5, 8/11, 11/5, 12/14, 11/6 (72m)
Omar Abdel Meguid (Egy)
Omar Abdel Meguid
11/5, 11/7, 11/3 (34m)
[2] Nicolas Mueller
[Q] Raphael Kandra (Ger)
11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (34m)
[2] Nicolas Mueller (Sui)

24-Apr, Qualifying Finals:

Fabien Verseille (Fra) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)                          11/5, 11/6 rtd (31m)
Davide Bianchetti
(Ita) bt Steve Finitsis (Aus)                    15/13, 11/4, 11/8 (60m)

Andre Haschker (Ger) bt Joan Lezaud (Fra)     16/14, 2/11, 11/7, 9/11, 13/11 (91m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Aqeel Rehman (Aut)  9/11, 11/6, 11/5, 10/12, 13/11 (65m)

23-Apr, Qualifying Round One:

Julien Balbo (Fra) bt Alejandro Garbi (Esp)               11/7, 9/11, 11/4, 11/3 (55m)
Fabien Verseille (Fra) bt Patrick Miescher (Sui)      9/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/8 (40m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Jonas Daehler (Sui)                  11/8, 11/7, 11/7 (23m)
Steve Finitsis (Aus) bt Lukas Burkhart (Sui)                     11/2, 11/2, 11/6 (23m)
Andre Haschker (Ger) bt
Eddie Charlton (Eng)           11/13, 11/6, 11/3 rtd (50m)
Joan Lezaud (Fra) bt Alex Ingham (Eng)        10/12, 9/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/6 (88m)
Aqeel Rehman (Aut) bt Bart Ravelli (Ned)                6/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/8 (63m)
Raphael Kandra (Ger) bt Cedric Kuchen (Sui)                 11/7, 11/9, 12/10 (28m)

26-Apr, Quarters:
Seeds sail into Semis
After a first round diet of marathon matches (average duration 68 minutes) the packed crowd in Zurich were treated to four quarter-final masterclasses by the top four Grasshopper Cup seeds (average, 32 minutes).

Match reports from:
Mark David Mayer, Steve Buchli and Carsten Els

In the first encounter of the quarter finals Karim Abdel Gawad  proved to be just a bit to strong for his Danish opponent, Kristian Frost.

Karim showed well crafted shot making in the first game and it seemed as Kristian was struggling from the hit to his knee he had received from his oponent in his last match yesterday.

But the strong Dane never gave up und dug out Karim's nick shots in the second game and leveled at 8, 9 and 10 all.

The talented Egyptian wasn’t prepared to let Kristian back in the game and kept up tough resistance and Kristian - after losing the second game very narrowly in the end - eventually faltered in three games, 11/5, 13/11, 11/5 in 24 minutes.

The second quarter final saw the rising unseeded Englishman Charles Sharpes up against the number 3 seeded Olli Tuominen.

Unlike yesterday Olli was able to put his game plan on the table, which gave him a straight 3/0 win in which the Finn was most of the time just a little bit faster, more precise and made less mistakes than Charles.

And at that level little things can make a huge difference. In the end he needed 39 Minutes to rush through to the semis.

The local hero Nici Müller gave the crowd what they hoped for, going into semis by winning against Omar Abdel Meguid.

The Egyptian is still recovering from an injury expressed at the beginning and had problems holding up the fast pace from Müller, losing the first game 11/5.

The local crowed also supported Meguid, who got inspired and was able to tie the second game until the business end, finally giving way in the end 11/7.

Not making any errors and killing almost every loose ball in “Müller”-Style at the front court, Nici raced through the last game in just 6 minutes, closing it out 11/3 for a clear 3/0 win in 34 minutes.

To finish the night Daryl Selby made clear why he is the no. 1 seed, not giving any chance to Jan Koukal in the whole of their match. Selby controlled the ball and sent his younger opponent exploring the corners.

Koukal tried to up the pace but Selby never got in trouble, whereas Koukal had to deal with the pressure of the returns and was forced play tighter when errors occurred.

Selby got through in three straight games in 34 minutes of squash. Until now Selby had not to prove his world class, but tomorrow he will face the flying Fin Olli Tuominen where he certainly must go a faster pace.

Draw & Results


25-Apr, Round One:

Top two cruise through on a day of marathons in Zurich ...

It was a day of marathon encounters in Zurich for the first round of the Grasshopper Cup, with only the top seeds Daryl Selby and Nicolas Mueller spared the ordeal of at least one of their games going to extra points.

Match reports from:
Mark David Mayer, Steve Buchli and Carsten Els

The first encounter of the first round saw local wildcard Reiko Peter enter the tournament, against Denmark's Kristian Frost. The first game showed some high quality attacking squash with the young Swiss taking an early lead and defending it to the end, which he took with a sublime shot to the nick for 11/6.

In the second the momentum swung around, Kristian taking control of the game and pressing the errors out of Reiko to level 11/5. The more experienced Dane kept pressing to take the third 11/9 and then withstood a ferocious fightback from the Swiss in the fourth game, taking the match in 11/7 40 minutes.

Next, Karim Abdel Gawad came from two games down to beat Davide Bianchetti 3-2 after a mammoth 115 minutes of squash. The young Egyptian moved Bianchetti well into the front corners, putting some hard work in his legs, but the Italian, completely unimpressed, slowed the pace down and trusted in his accurate game to win the first game 16/14. Gawad upped the pace in the second moving his opponent faster into the corners but lost accuracy and produced a few errors which in the end favoured Bianchetti to take it 11/6.

Gawad seemed to be struggling to find a game plan against the almost errorless Italian who always found an answer to Gawad's low drops. The match was on the edge as Gawad hit some straight winners to close the third 11/7, and then turned the momentum to his favor and hung in for the next hour to win the final two games 11/8 and 11/8. The game was interrupted by let ball situations throughout, but remained thrilling till the end.

At the same time a monumental battle took place on court 1: Steve Finitsis of Australia didn’t give any presents to the way higher ranked Olli Tuominen. Both hard hitting, high pace and classical style playing pros, the crowd knew they were going to see a long and hard fought match. Finn OIli just about squeezed the first game 12/10, then it was Steve’s turn to take the second 17/15, shortly before the first hour of play was over.

OLli made far to many mistakes in the third and Steve gladly took the opportunity and grabbed the third 11/5 in just seven minutes. Olli came back, but it was Steve who had a match ball at 10/9 after the pair had been trading points up to 8 all. Oli returned Steve’s serve into the nick, and the big Aussie went on to make an easy mistake which gave Olli a game ball which he placed with perfect length on the backhand side to level the match 12/10.

After 70 minutes of highly intensive play it was Olli who had more left in his tank and it was he who got the final game within 10 minutes,  11/4. Steve missed a huge opportunity in the fourth to win against the number 24 ranked player in the world, which maybe also influenced his game in the decider.

Another five-game marathon was played out as Yann Perrin and Omar Abdel Meguid went the distance in a very intense game. Yann suffered from a tough stretch in the first, and had to take an injury break after the second game. Omar won the first in 10 minutes 11/5, while Yann took the second home at 11/8.

The spectators saw Yann attacking, while Omar showed impressive skills in picking up amazing shots. That created a lot of traffic on the court and there were no long rallies as both hit the ball very hard. As a consequence of the injury Omar took the third 11/5 in just 7 minutes and everybody expected the match to finish here. But Yann came back and won the fourth 14/12. However, that took a lot of effort and finally Omar succeeded in the fifth, which he won 11/6 in 12 minutes.
After making it into the main draw, a feat which marked his personal best in his career, André Haschker faced Charles Sharpes, the English young gun in the draw. It was a tough fight from the first rally for the German against the fresher legs of Sharpes, who came out strong and with an obvious game plan to make his opponent do the running.

The long rallies took their toll on André who struggled in the first game, giving it away 11/8. The German needed another game to find the rhythm of his game and some winning shots, but Charles took the second 11/4 showing experience beyond his years. Fighting hard and digging deep, not letting one point go easily to his opponent, André found the better end in the third to win a very close game 17/15.

The German couldn’t keep the momentum from the third, and although he started the fourth slowly he came again back even stronger almost making it equal at the business end of the fourth, but again it was Charles who found the right answer to secure his ticket into the quarter-finals by winning it 3-1 in 62 minutes of squash.

It’s always a thrilling moment, when the local hero enters the court for the first appearance in a tournament, but it also creates a lot of pressure and expectation. How would second seed Nici Müller cope with that?

In fact he did it very well and very fast. It took him only 28 minutes to send the German qualifier Raphael Kandra back home in a straight 3/0 win. Nevertheless there were many spectacular rallies and Raphael gave an impressive display of his Squash skills. It’s not a surprise that the young gun walked easily through the qualifier draw, but Nici was too strong on the day and dominated the match completely, winning all three games 11/5.
Jan Koukal and Fabien Verseille gave the Zurich crowd a fine example of entertaining high standard squash, where especially Fabien was using all four corners of the court to move Jan around. The Frenchman took the first game 11/9 in 15 minutes, but Jan, well known for his counter pounching, clawed himself back in the next two games taking them 13/11 and 14/12.

Fifty minutes had been played and the appreciative Grasshopper crowd knew they were into another long and action filled five setter after Fabien pushed back in the fourth to level things up 11/6. In the last game it was Jan’s experience and steadiness which enabled him to win the decider 11/8, shortly before the 90 minute barrier was crossed.

In the final match of the day top seed Daryl Selby  proved too strong for Kashif Shuja, who faced the tightness and preciseness of the Englishman’s game. 11/4, 11/7 and 11/9 was a clear verdict after 33 minutes of a very fair and entertaining match which was played in good spirit, much to the appreciation of the spectators.

Draw & Results

photos by



24-Apr, Qualifying Finals:

Qualifying complete in Zurich

Qualifying finals for the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich promised main draw spots for five players (one lucky loser), and provided a couple of nailbiting finishes for the Zurich crowd to enjoy ...

The first qualification final of the day featured Davide Bianchetti  against Steve Finitsis. In a crucial first game where Steve kept the rallies long and aled 6/2, Davide managed to claw himself back to 8/10, Steven then missing three games balls whereupon Davide squeezed the game 15/13 after 30 minutes. In the second game Davide played very tight squash, ever so precise, which led to a string of mistakes from Finitsis, for 11/4 in 13 minutes. The tough Australian hung in in the third up to 6/8 but then had to let the experienced Italian go; 11/8 in 13 minutes. All in all 56 minutes of high paced, solid good squash.

The crowd, assuming the coming match would be hard fought and long, took their seats at 6 p.m. André Haschker and Joan Lezaud  lived up to the expectations, battling for 84 minutes on a fast court with a bouncy ball. Both very good movers on the court, André and Joan entertained the spectators with long and hard four games which they shared 16/14, 2/11, 11/7, 9/11.

André, who has been a league player for the Grasshopper Club in Switzerland for many years, just about grasped the last game in his favour 13/11, much to the excitement of the home crowd.

Parallel another very long encounter had begun: Aqeel Rehman faced in Raphael Kandra an opponent he had lost to a couple of times, each time very closely.

This time it turned to be even closer then ever before: Aqeel took the first in 9 minutes 11/9, dropped the second and third games 6/11 and 5/11 in 9 and 6 minutes. Then the Austrian got back in the game, taking the fourth 12/10 in 13 minutes and then even had a match ball in the fifth aet at 11/10. Raphael just didn’t let go and served his match ball right into the nick for a 3/2 win.

Last match of the day was an all French encounter between Julien Balbo and Fabien Verseille. Fabien took the better start took strong presence around the middle of the court and winning the first 11/6.

After a slow start Fabien got the momentum on his side and closed the second convincingly 11/5. Julien had to retire cause of an upper leg injury.

So, two upset results, four qualifiers, and despite two players losing 13/11 in the fifth the Lucky Loser spot went to 'lucky' Steve Finitsis ...

Draw & Results



23-Apr, Qualifying Round One:
The Grasshopper Cup is back !

After an 11 year absence from the PSA Tournament Calendar (the first event was in 1994 and the last one was in 2001), the prestigious 'Grasshopper Cup' in Zurich began today with the first round of qualifying.

The first encounter was Lukas Burkhart against Steve Finitsis.

In a clinical performance from the from Northern Queenslander Finitsis, the Swiss No.4 was beaten 3-0 in 17mins, a harsh introduction to PSA Squash at this level of tournament.

Next match on was Alex Ingham versus Joan Lezaud of France.

The Englishman grafted his way to a 2-0 lead after 36mins but then Lezaud seemed to find more confidence with his shots and managed to turn it around in games 3 & 4 with a 11/9 and 11/6 scoreline.

After 82 minutes it was the Frenchman who was able to secure his spot in the 2nd round qualifying with a 3-2 victory.

In the third match André Haschker managed to produce the first upset with a 3-1 win over the no. 3 seed Eddie Charlton. Charlton who seemed to be struggling with a back injury in game 3, retired with a 2-1 scoreline to Haschker.

Haschker was made to work very hard in game one but absorbed the pressure well, persisting in his determined manner, to take games 2 & 3 convincingly.

The fourth match was between the no. 5 seed Davide Bianchetti  and the second of the local Swiss hopes - Jonas Dähler. Again it was the more experienced Campaigner - Bianchetti - who controlled the match from start to finish.

Dähler fought valiantly but was not able to make any real impact on Bianchetti, whose well known resilience will be more tested tomorrow against the Aussie Finitsis.

Austria's Aqeel Rehmann and Dutchman Bart Ravelli entertained the local Zurich crowd with a similar high-paced style. The first two games lasted 30mins & with the match locked at one game apiece. From there it was Rehman who kept his error count lower than the Dutchman's, enabling him a chance tomorrow to qualify for the main draw.

Also through to the qualifying finals are two Frenchmen who will play each other for a place in the main draw, Julien Balbo who withstood a ferocious opening attack from Spain's Alejandro Garbi before taking a 3/1 win, and Fabien Verseille, who won in four close games against young Swiss Patrick Miescher, and young German Raphael Kandra who was tested by Switzerland's Cedric Kuchen but still managed to win in straight games.



Why is the Grasshopper Cup back?

"I guess I just got tired of travelling to good squash tournaments around the world (Cyprus, New York, Manchester, London etc.) and wanted something similar in our back garden

"Actually when I turned 47 last year I decided I just wanted to do something like that in my lifetime.

"Then Mark Meyer and Michael Bär came in and said they would enjoy that too and they would help.

"So, within a very short period of time the plan was on the table and the work began, lots of organising and lots of fun with the guys.

"We are so happy we took that decision and we would like to thank all our sponsors and helpers who made this dream come true.

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