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Prague Open 2009
10-13 Dec, Prague, $3k

Koukal takes another Prague title
Tomas Forter reports

Today's final between Jan Koukal and Ben Ford was quite onesided. Ben was able to keep the pace with Kouki only in few first rallies. After that it was obvious it is one match too far for him. Average length of his three matches so far was very similar to the amount of time Kouki spent on court in his three matches together. Ben tried to slow the pace down and hit some shots but Kouki got everything back. He was volleying a lot to keep the pace as high as possible and Ben was simply not able to cope with it.

Jan: I am happy I won. I have to thank Ben´s opponent s from previous rounds for tiring him down. I tried to use it as much as I could and it worked well.

Ben: I was tired from the whole tournament but Jan played really well. I saw him play a few times before and today was the best I ever saw him play. He was moving well and taking the ball very early. I was always one step off the pace.

Free Streaming
There is going to be free live streaming from two courts during the tournament on www.tvcom.cz  (there is a link Prince Prague Open on the right)

All matches also available
as free replays ...

French Corner

Prague Open 2009
10-13 Dec, Prague, $3k
Round One
11 Dec
11 Dec
12 Dec
13 Dec
[1] Jan Koukal (Cze)
11/5 11/0 11/4 21m
[Q] Daniel Mekbib (cze)
[1] Jan Koukal
11/3 11/3 11/9 26m
Peter Kviecinsky
[1] Jan Koukal

11/5 11/1 11/4 22m

Petr Martin

[1] Jan Koukal

11/4 11/3 11/6 29m

[2] Ben Ford

[8] Marek Manin (Svk)
11/9 11/4 4/11 12/14 11/6 9
Peter Kviecinsky (Cze)
[3] Colin Ramasra (Tri)
11/7 11/4 11/5 30m
[Q] Jaroslav Cech (cze)
[Q] Jaroslav Cech
11/6 11/9 11/7 31
Petr Martin
[7] Stefan Brauneis (Aut)
11/3 11/5 11/7 25m
Petr Martin (Cze)
[Q] Lucas Vauzelle (Fra)
10/12 8/11 11/4 10/12 11/1 53m
[6] Rene Mijs (Ned)
Ondrej Ertl
11/8 11/8 11/13 11/4 48
 [6] Rene Mijs
 [6] Rene Mijs

9/11 12/10 9/11 11/4 11/9 79

[2] Ben Ford

Ondrej Ertl (Cze)
11/5 7/11 11/3 11/6 54m
[4] Issa Kamara (Sle)
[Q] Jakub Stupka (cze)
11/6 6/11 11/3 8/11 11/6 45
[5] Lukas Jelinek (Cze)
[5] Lukas Jelinek
11/5 6/11 11/5 8/11 11/6 63
[2] Ben Ford
Tomas Toth (Svk)
10/12 11/3 11/9 11/6 37m
[2] Ben Ford (Eng)


Daniel Mekbib bt Neeraj Aggarwal        11/2 11/3 11/4
Jaroslav Cech bt Alexandre Benassi     11/8 11/4 11/9
Jakub Stupka bt Richard Birks             13/15 11/6 11/6 11/4
Lucas Vauzelle bt Zbynek Standera     11/5 11/9 8/11 6/11 11/6

Round One:
Daniel Mekbib bt Jan Filounek              11/6 11/5 11/5
Alexandre Benassi bt Lukas Levinsky   11/2 11/3 11/6
Jaroslav Cech bt Patrik Schneider        11/5 11/4 11/6
Jakub Stupka bt Adam Kilian               11/7 11/8 9/11 13/11
Zbynek Standera bt Roman Svec         5/11 16/14 11/1 11/7
Top two make Prague final
Tomas Forter reports

There was a big crowd in Squashclub Strahov today as there is a Czech national junior tournament in the club this weekend. Young players were looking forward to see the profesionals play and they were not dissapointed.

Jan Koukal – Petr Martin 11/5 11/1 11/4 22m

In the first semi Kouki was dominating the rallies from the beginning. Petr was much slower than he normally is. It was probably one match too far for him after three tournaments in three weeks. Kouki used it very smartly. He was controlling the T and forcing Petr deep into the corners. Petr was not able to keep the pace with him and ended up making too many easy mistakes. The match finished very quickly.

Jan: I am satisfied with my performance and result. I am glad it was so quick. I will be fresh for the final tomorrow.

Petr: He was just too good for me today. I was trying to slow the ball on the backhand to get more time but he was forcing me to higher tempo which I couldn´t keep. Good luck to him in the final.

Ben Ford – Rene Mijs 9/11 12/10 9/11 11/4 11/9 79m

Match started with a marathon rally which lasted more than two minutes.
The rest of the longest match of the tournament was more or less similar.

There were lots of long patient rallies when both players waited for their openings. Both of them also had lapses of concentration when they made easy mistakes during the match. There was not much between them in first three games. Ben looked a bit more tired of the two as he lost the third but he pushed hard to get a good lead which gave him the fourth.

In the fifth Ben was again a bit better at the beginning. He led all the time but Rene was always close behind denying Ben a comfortable lead. Ben was only able to get three points lead with lovely forehand nick to get to 8/5. After Rene made an easy mistake to 9/6 and got frustrated with himself it looked over for him. He did not think so and fought back to 9/9. Last couple of rallies were very long because none of the players wanted to make a mistake. Ben won both of them with his better accuracy at the front. The last one on a clinging backhand drop which Rene was not able to get off the wall.

Ben: I was surprised I felt not as tired as I thought after yesterday. I find the court quite difficult for me as it is difficult to hit winners. Normally when I am tired I can get some easy points with my shots but there are no easy points on this court. The fifth game could have gone either way. I was tired by then and probably experience worked for me again. Hello to my wife and my daughter.

Rene: Of course a bit disappointed but overall I was happy with the way I played today. I played Ben three times before and I only won one game in those three matches. I would have loved to play Jan in the final. Hopefully next year. Thanks to my pregnant girlfriend Julie for travelling with me and supporting me.

Free Streaming
There is going to be free live streaming from two courts during the tournament on www.tvcom.cz  (there is a link Prince Prague Open on the right)

All matches also available
as free replays ...

French Corner

Czechs impress in Prague
Tomas Forter reports

Round One:

Jan Koukal – Daniel Mekbib 11/5 11/0 11/4 21 min.

Jan: Thanks, Daniel.

Daniel: I was happy with my first game, we played some good rallies but he started to play faster after that and I had no chance. I was a bit angry after losing the second 11/0. I wanted to do better in the third but he was just too good.

Jaroslav Cech – Colin Ramasra 11/7 11/4 11/5 30 min.

Jaroslav: I started nervously but then I was able to play my game and managed to win. Now I am off to work but I am looking forward to tonight´s quarters against Petr Martin.

Colin: I just felt too tired from all the travel and I was not able to play very well. I am really looking forward to go back home to Carribean now.

Petr Martin – Stefan Brauneis 11/3 11/5 11/7 25 min.

Petr: I am glad I won quickly 3/0 and save the energy for next rounds.

Stefan: I arrived late for my match so I had to go on court straight from my car. I could not get used to the court. Petr took the ball early and played well. Hopefully next time I can arrive earlier. (Stefan arrived at 12:14 for his 12:00 match. Just one minute before the match would have been called No show.)

Peter Kviecinsky - Marek Manik 11/9 11/4 4/11 12/14 11/6 90 min.

Peter: I won first two games quite easily. I felt well. In the third game I lost my concentration and did some mistakes. I was down 0/6. I tried to come back but Marek played well. In the fourth I tried to play my game again. I was 10/9 up and I played stupid shot which caused stroke against me and I lost the game 12/14. In the fifth I tried to play faster but in the beginning of the game Marek played really well. He let 5/1 but after that I hit 3 nicks in the row and I found my shots and turned the game.

Marek: No comment.

Ben Ford – Tomas Toth 10/12 11/3 11/9 11/6 37 min.

Ben: The court took a bit to get used to it. After that I felt fine. Tomas surprised me how well he played. I did not expect him to be that good. I had to play better and better as the match progressed to win.

Tomas: It was my first PSA tournament in this season. It is a good result for me. I am glad I was able to win the first from 7/10 down. In the second Ben played very accurately and I was not able to get used to it. In the third I started to play more to the back. The game was close but I lost it 11/9. In the middle of the last game I ran out of steam and Ben controlled the rest of the match.

Lukas Jelinek – Jakub Stupka 11/6 6/11 11/3 8/11 11/6 45 min.

Lukas: My mistake was I played same shots from same positions all the time and he read it very well and volleyed a lot and put me under pressure. I knew he lacks a bit of fitness so I was confident I can win the fifth but it was pretty tough.

Jakub: I played really well till 6/7 in the fifth but after that Lukas proved he is a better player. Overall I am very happy with my result here.

Ondrej Ertl – Issa Kamara 11/5 7/11 11/3 11/6 54 min.

Ondrej: It was tough match. Issa played well and he run very well. Most of the match I was controlling the rallies and putting pressure on him. And when I did not make mistakes I was winning the rallies.

Issa: It was a tough match and I had a very slow start. He seemed focus from the start and he knew exactly what he was up to. I tried to come back with lot more consistency and focus but it was a bit late.

Rene Mijs – Lucas Vauzelle 10/12 8/11 11/4 10/12 11/1 53 min.

Rene: Obviously I am very happy I won after being 2 matchballs down at 8/10 in the fourth. I did not feel comfortable during the match. I know what I did wrong mentally (I was not able to keep my focus and right attitude during the match) and hopefully I can improve this in my next match.

Free Streaming
There is going to be free live streaming from two courts during the tournament on www.tvcom.cz  (there is a link Prince Prague Open on the right).

French Corner


Jan Koukal – Peter Kviecinsky 11/3 11/3 11/9 26 min.

Kouki was in total control for two games as Peter felt his marathon match in first round but he fought well in the third. Hit a few good shots, got to 9/6 but next five points in a row went Koukal´s way and the top favourite for the titles was first to get into the semis.

Jan: I was able to take advantage from his tiredness from the first round. I am looking forward to my next match.

Peter: In the first two games I was too tired from my previous match and he killed all my loose shots. In the third I found my game, he made some easy mistakes, I was 9/6 up and tried to win the game but after two long rallies Kouki was back in the game and he won it at the end.

Petr Martin – Jaroslav Cech 11/6 11/9 11/7 31 min.

Both players were always close in the first half of the games but Petr was stronger and was able to keep the pressure till the ends of all three games to win in three.

Petr: I am really happy with my third semi this month. I was pretty tired after two tournaments in two weeks but luckilly he was doing a lot of mistakes. I just kept the ball in play and he did all the work for me.

Jaroslav: Bit dissapointed with my performance. I couldn´t keep the pace I set at beginnings of the games.

Rene Mijs – Ondrej Ertl 11/8 11/8 11/13 11/4 48 min.

Both players have a bit similar game. They both like to hit the ball hard to the back and then drop it soft and tight to the front. Rene was just a bit better at it in all the crucial moments.

Rene: Happy to win because last time i lost to him. I felt much better than in my first match. I got more confident. The pace was higher so I did not have much chance to think about what should happen. I could have won in 3 as I was 10/8 up in the third but at the end I was glad to finish it the way I played in fourth. I look forward to the semis tomorrow.

Ondrej: I played good squash but I felt a bit sick from bad food and lost my fitness in the second game. He was better than me at the ends of the games.

Ben Ford - Lukas Jelinek 11/5 6/11 11/5 8/11 11/6 63 min.

The experience told at the end of the best match of the tournament so far. Lukas was maybe the fitter of the two but Ben was more accurate at the front and error free when it mattered. Both players shared the first four games. Lukas led 4/3 in the fifth but then Ben upped the pace, cut off the mistakes and won it 11/6 in 63 minutes.

Lukas: I think I played well. Much better than in the mening. It was a pity I was always behind. In the fifth it was close till the middle but he played two great rallies at 5/6 and I made one easy mistake.

Ben: I am tired. I thought he would be tired from his earlier match but he played really well. I started with fast pace, it worked but then he somehow got faster. I played well but it was hard to play a winning shot. Luckily he started to become tired in the fifth. Get well soon to my father and my father in law.


Czechs progress in Prague qualifying
Tomas Forter reports

Local Czech players almost made it a clean sweep in qualification finals
in Prague tonight.

It all started very well for them. One of the top Czech juniors as Daniel Mekbib beat surprisingly comfortably top seeded Australian Neeraj Aggarwal 11/2 11/3 11/4. Daniel´s pace was a bit too fast for Neeraj.

Jaroslav Cech caused another upset when he beat Alexandre Benassi from Belgium in straight games 11/8 11/4 11/9. The important first game was very close with Jaroslav getting the big points at the end and it proved crucial for the rest of the match. After that Jaroslav controlled the majority of rallies by taking the ball very early. After quick second game Alexandre fought back in the third but local player again was able to win important points at the end of the game.

Jakub Stupka started very nervously against Richard Birks from England but was able to come back to force the tie-break only to lose it 13/15. After Jakub realized he could win he calmed down, became more confident a won the next three games quite easily.

In the last match it looked like Czechs could make it 4 out of 4 when Zbynek Standera pulled back to 2/2 after being 0/2 down against Lucas Vauzelle from France. But unfortunately for Zbynek Lucas got off to a great start in the fifth, led 5/0 and although Zbynek tried hard to come back Lucas controlled his lead till the end.

Free Streaming
There is going to be free live streaming from two courts during the tournament on www.tvcom.cz  (there is a link Prince Prague Open on the right).

French Corner


French Corner:

10th December 2009

Salut fram, bon voilà je me qualifie en gagnant 3/2 j'ai fait un match...

Je suis completement malade, je sais pas trop ce que j'ai toujours est-il que heureusement que j'avais la raquette aujourd'hui vraiment...

Je vais me faire une bonne nuit sommeil, bien manger demain matin et advienne que pourra...En tout cas je ne lâcherais pour rien au monde...

Je te tiens au courant pour demain.

à plus bise

9th December 2009

voilà juste un petit coucou de prague où je suis dans les qualifs. Le premier tour commence demain matin, je suis encore tout seul hehe décidément...faut s'y faire...je te tiendrais au courant et si tu as besoin des tableaux et tout tu as juste à demander et je t'envoie ça...


Thanks Lucas who sent us the updated draw

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