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Prague Open 2012
21-24 Nov, Prague, $5k
'Maharajah' Mahesh prevails in Prague
Adam Englund and Zuzana Oulehlova report

The ultimate contest between Indian Mahesh Mangaonkar and Frenchman Lucas Serme started at 5PM and lasted (hold on to something) almost two hours.

Both of the finalists reached the bottom of their strength reserves – the cramps got them during the third game. Nonetheless, they endured and provided the audience with a spectacle they are not like to forget.

Until last minute it was unclear who would win – but then there it was. Mahesh Mangaonkar won his first PSA tournament in an incredible fashion and can now be officially titled the ‘squash maharaja’.

“It was brutally hard and excruciatingly long. I’m totally dead. This was definitely number one match for me,” the exhausted Indian said after the match.

That’s all from Prague Open 2012! Adam Englund from Squash Club Praha gives many thanks to all our supporters. See you next year!

Seeds suffer in Prague semis

The semi-finals of the Prague Open saw two usdeeded players progress to the final ...

Greetings and good morning from smog-covered (yet still beautiful) Prague. The air is thick with tension here in HAMR SPORT hall as the cup is nearing its conclusion.

We’ve seen many amazing and breath-taking matches throughout the tournament – and now, only four titans remain. Three Frenchmen and one Indian are about to clash in a spectacle of sweat and glory. Which one of them shall bear the champion’s title? Let’s find out!

Both semifinal matches started at 11AM.

“I feel very confident. I was sick some time ago, but now I’m both psychically and technically at my best,” Joan Lezaud said before his match against Lucas Serme.

His opponent seemed pretty relaxed too: “I know Joan well; we used to train together back in France.” Although it was Lezaud who drew the first blood, Serme’s reach and ferocity overpowered Lezaud’s skillful play; and gained him the first two games.

During the third game, both players got visibly enraged and often went to argue with the referee. Nonetheless, Serme had succeeded and secured his place in the final.

In the meantime, Makesh Mangaonkor managed to end Julien Balbo’s spree and to take aback the Frenchman’s fans. “I did not expect this. I mean, the Indian is half his age and Julien looked so confident. I am dismayed,” one of them said.

Prague Open 2012
21-24 Nov, Prague, $5k
Round One
23 Nov
23 Nov
24 Nov
24 Nov
[1] Julien Balbo (Fra)
11/7, 11/8, 11/7
[Q] Carlos Cornes Esp)
[1] Julien Balbo
11/6, 11/8, 11/4
[Q] Chris Fuller
[1] Julien Balbo

11/2, 11/6, 9/11, 12/10

Mahesh Mangaonkar

Mahesh Mangaonkar


5/11, 11/5, 9/11, 11/9, 11/9


Lucas Serme

Omar Marei (Egy)
[Q] Chris Fuller (Eng)
Reiko Peter (Sui)
11/7, 8/11, 6/11, 11/7, 11/9
Nathan Lake (Eng)
Reiko Peter
16/14, 11/2, 11/3
Mahesh Mangaonkar
[3] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
10/12, 11/0, 11/4, 11/7
[Q] Matias Tuomi (Fin)
Ondrej Ertl (Cze)
11/9, 11/6, 5/11, 11/4
[4] Joan Lezaud (Fra)
[4] Joan Lezaud
11/9, 11/9, 11/9
[Q] Andre Haschker
[4] Joan Lezaud

12/10, 11/8, 11/9

Lucas Serme

Adam Murrills (Eng)
5/11, 12/10, 11/8, 12/14, 12/10
[Q] Andre Haschker (Ger)
Lucas Serme (Fra)
11/4, 11/5, 11/6
Alex Ingham (Eng)
Lucas Serme
11/7, 13/15, 8/11, 11/0, 11/5
[2] Davide Bianchetti
Abdulla Al Tamimi (Qat)
7/11, 11/8, 13/11, 11/7
[2] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
22-Nov, Qualifying Finals:

Carlos Cornes
3-0 Roman Švec                         11-7, 11-2, 11-9
Andre Haschker 3-0
Daniel Mekbib                        11-8, 11-8, 11-2
Chris Fuller 3-2
Bart Ravelli                  9/11, 11/5, 3/11, 11/4, 11/3
Matias Tuomi
3-2 Alex Phillips            5-11, 9-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7

22-Nov, Qualifying Round One:

Carlos Cornes (Esp) 3-1 Petr Martin (Cze)          11/5, 14/12, 9/11, 11/3
Roman Svec (Cze) 3-0 Jakub Solnicky (Cze)                 11/7, 11/2, 11/4

Danmiel Mekbib (Cze) 3-1 Tom de Mulder (Bel)     4/11, 11/7, 11/5, 11/4
Andre Ahschker (Ger) 3-0 Miroslav Celler (Svk)             11/8, 11/3, 11/4

Chris Fuller (Eng) 3-0 Richard Nadvornik (Cze)               11/8, 11/6, 11/6
Bart Ravelli (Ned) 3-1 Ondrej Uherka (Cze)           11/5, 9/11, 11/6, 11/3

Alex Phillips (Eng) 3-1 Martin Svec (Cze)               9/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/2
Matias Tuomi (Fin) 3-0 David Zeman (Cze)                    11/4, 11/0, 11/2

French advance in Prague
Adam Englund and Zuzana Oulehlova report

After two rounds of play in Prague, three Frenchman and an Indian won through to the semi-finals ...

Round One

Matias Tuomi gained first game in the battle against Mahesh Mangaonkar, but this time it was Tuomi who could not hold the pace and lost to the Indian.

Omar Mohie Elddin Marei of Egypt didn’t arrive for his match against Chris Fuller, so the Englishman passed with zero effort.

The last Czech in the tournament, Ondrej Ertl, was vanquished by Frenchman Joan Lezaud, crushing the dreams of victory for the hosting team.

The match between Abdulla Al Tamimi and Davide Bianchetti offered some really interesting moments.

“Abdulla is young, but very fast and skillful, and he put me under a lot of pressure," commented Bianchetti on his duel with the much younger Qatari.

Winning the third round was crucial, but even the rest of the match was tough,” concluded  the Italian second seed.
Perhaps the most anticipated showdown was between Carlos Cornes and Julien Balbo, the player with the highest rank in the tournament (93) and the top seed. The Frenchman’s skill and experience prevailed and gained him progression to the quarter-final.

The most eagerly watched battle took place at another court – it was a spectacle of sweat and steel nerves between Andre Haschker and Adam Murrills, It took an incredible 101 minutes and left both players all but exhausted, but in the end, it was the German who stood victorious. As soon as he finished, Haschker ran to the gym to ride on a stationary bicycle !!


In the evening, Reiko Peter seemed too tired to beat Mahesh Mangaonkar and suffered a bitter defeat. In the meantime, Balbo resumed in his lethal rampage and defeated Chris Fuller.

“Balbo is very strong and solid player. He was a little bit quicker and cleverer than me today,” Fuller said.

Haschker fought bravely with Joan Lezaud – the match was balanced for most time – but apparently, the 101-minutes-long match in the afternoon has taken its toll from the hardy German.

While Balbo was playing a friendly match with one of the reporters, his countryman Lucas Serme battled Bianchetti in a fierce combat. Though balanced for a long time, the younger Frenchman managed to overpower the Italian, securing his place in tomorrow’s semifinal.

Qualifying complete in Prague

The 2nd Annual PSA Tournament organized by Squash Club Praha started on Thursday 22nd, in the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. The tournament takes place in HAMR SPORT hall and is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the City Council of Prague 10.

The qualification had started at 10AM and offered several thrilling moments and well-balanced matches. “It was a tough match. No wonder – Petr is a talented guy and has been playing for so many years,” commented Carlos Cornes from Spain on his victorious match against Petr Martin (CZE).

The tournament resumed after an afternoon break at 7PM. Ribadas’ 35 minutes long match with Roman Svec (CZE) was perhaps even more exciting than the previous one, but victorious nonetheless. With Svec vanquished, the Czech team lost their last member in the qualification group, leaving them with just one final player in the tournament, Ondrej Ertl.

The match between Alex Phillips (ENG) and Matias Tuomi (FIN) provided a couple surprising twists. After Phillips had won the first two sets, the odds turned in Tuomi’s favor. “I started not so well, but then I managed to change it and I could feel that Alex was getting tired,” Tuomi says. Winning the three next sets, Tuomi gained victory as well as progression to higher rounds of the tournament.


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