Prague Open 2016

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Prague Open 2016
02-05 Jun, Prague, Czech Republic, $5k

05-Jun, Final:
Pajares claims Czech title
Tomas Forter reports

The Home crowd was dissapointed today in Hamr sports club in Prague when Iker Pajares beat home favourite Jan Koukal in four games to win the first PSA title of his young career.

Iker started the first game very well. He got a 5/2 lead but when Jan came back to 7/6 after series of tactically well constructed rallies that put Iker under a lot of pressure it looked well for the home favourite. Four rallies later it was 10/7 for Iker. Kouki was able to save one gameball but after next rally Iker got the first game 11/8 in 19 minutes.

Kouki started the second well. He led 6/3, 8/4 and 9/7 but after series of uncharacteristic mistakes Iker stole the second game 11/9 in 14 minutes. The third was very similar to second but this time Jan managed to hold on to his lead and won it 11/8 in 12 minutes.

Iker got to a great start to the fourth and when Jan started to go for the shots instead of his usual patient rallies it was obvious who is going to be a winner. Iker won the fourth 11/6 in 9 minutes and after 61 minutes long final could start to celebrate his maiden PSA title.

Iker Pajares: Finally my first PSA title after a lot of defeats and hard work. So I am very happy to end the season with the victory. It such an honour to beat Jan Koukal in his home town. He is a legend. Now time to rest and enjoy the holidays.

The enviroment here was amazing. I had a lot of support from my friends. I am very happy to win this title in this club because I played my first junior international tournament here. Thanks to Tomas for such a good job with the tournament. For sure I will come again.

Jan Koukal: Not my day today. Iker played well and wanted the win more than me and that made the difference.


Photos by Irena Vanisova (


 TAGS :   2015 Event | Prague | Czech Republic | Search

Prague Open 2016
02-05 Jun, Prague, Czech Republic, $5k
Round One
03 Jun 
03 Jun
04 Jun
05 Jun
[1] Joel Makin (Wal)
11/4, 11/5, 11/9 (31m)
[wc] Jan Ryba (Cze)
[1] Joel Makin

11/8, 11/9, 13/11 (40m)

Daniel Mekbib
[1] Joel Makin

11/7, 5/11, 12/10, 3/11, 11/7 (83m)

[3] Iker Pajares

[3] Iker Pajares


 11/8, 11/9, 8/11, 11/6 (61m)


[4] Jan Koukal

[5] Bernat Jaume (Esp)
13/11, 10/12, 11/4, 11/7 (48m)
Daniel Mekbib (Cze)
[6] Sam Gould (Usa)
11/7, 11/2, 11/2 (26m)
Richard William (Eng)
Richard William

 11/5, 11/7, 11/6 (39m)

[3] Iker Pajares
[3] Iker Pajares (Esp)
11/8, 11/6, 11/5 (48m)
[Q] Miles Jenkins (Eng)
[Q] Taminder Gata-Aura (Eng)
11/4, 11/9, 13/11 (34m)
[4] Jan Koukal (Cze)
[4] Jan Koukal

 6/11 14/12 11/3 11/7 (48

[8] Martin Svec
[4] Jan Koukal

7/11, 11/5, 11/8, 11/6 (40m)

[Q] Petr Martin

Ondrej Uherka (Cze)
14/12, 11/7, 14/12 (62m)
[8] Martin Svec (Cze)
[Q] Petr Martin (Cze)
11/7, 11/5, 10/12, 11/5 (45m)
[7] Sean Conroy (Irl)
[Q] Petr Martin

11/4, 11/8, 3/11, 11/9 (37m)

[2] Sebastiaan Weenink
[Q] David Haley (Wal)
11/7, 11/9, 11/8 (34m)
[2] Sebastiaan Weenink (Ned)

02-Jun, Finals:
Miles Jenkins (Eng) 3-0 Hendrik Vossing (Ger)           11/7, 11/2, 9/11, 11/4 (34m)
Petr Martin (Cze) 3-0 Mohammad Reza Sadeghpour (Iri)     11/4, 11/5, 11/4 (21m)
Taminder Gata-Aura (Eng) 3-1 Connor Sheen (Eng)  11/7, 11/7, 12/10, 11/8 (42m)
David Haley (Wal) 3-1 Dan Bergin (Wal)                   11/4, 8/11, 11/3, 11/9 (45m)

02-Jun, Round One:
Miles Jenkins (Eng) 3-0 Jakub Solnický (Cze)                       11/6 11/6 11/7 (35m)
Hendrik Vossing (Ger) 3-0 Petr Zatřepálek (Cze)                 16/14 11/4 11/4 (25m)
Petr Martin (Cze) 3-0  Ali Miski (Uae)                                 11/7 11/4 11/7 (19m)
Mohammad Reza Sadeghpour (Iri) 3-0  Ondřej Vorlíček (Cze) 11/7 12/10 11/6 (30m)
Connor Sheen (Eng) 3-1  Viktor Byrtus (Cze)                8/11 11/9 11/9 11/8 (43m)
Taminder Gata-Aura (Eng) 3-0  Marek Lapáček (Cze)            11/6 11/6 11/7 (21m)
Dan Bergin (Wal) 3-2 Vojtěch Ryba (Cze)              4/11 11/8 3/11 11/4 11/5 (48m)
David Haley (Wal) 3-1 David Zeman (Cze)                    11/5 11/5 5/11 11/5 (37m)
04-Jun, Semis:
Pajares and Koukal through to final

It will be the third and fourth seeds whowill contest tomorrow´s final of Prague open.

Iker Pajares from Spain beat top seeded Welshman Joel Makin in five very long and tough games in 83 minutes, the longest match of the tournament (by far).

Both players played very long and hard rallies from the start. Joel got to 7/5 in the first but Iker was able to win 6 points in a row to get a lead in 20 minutes. Joel came back strong in the second and after 12 minutes it was 1/1. The third was very close all the way but Iker got it at the end in 22 minutes. In the fourth Joel started well and Iker decided to save some energy for the decider. 2/2 in just 4 minutes.

The fifth was again very close at the beginning but from the middle it started to look that all the matches Joel played in last weeks took their toll and Iker made it to his third PSA final.

Iker Pajares: Over the moon with this victory. I am very very happy with my performance playing the best squash of my life. All credit to Joel because he had three massive weeks.

Joel Makin: Disappointed to end like that after two good weeks but well done to Iker. He played well and he was very solid.

He will face local Czech legend Jan Koukal. He beat qualifier and giant killer Petr Martin in four games in 40 minutes. Petr started to play his usual very fast pace and Jan struggled to get a good length in the first.

From the second Jan slowed the pace a bit and managed to get a control over the rallies. Petr tried hard but he got tired soon in his 5th match in 3 days. Jan won the rest of the match comfortably and is looking forward to tomorrow's final.

Jan Koukal: It took me game again before I found my length and started punishing the corners. Once I did that it was pretty comfortable. Petr played well and can be dangerous especially when he has nothing to lose like today. Happy to be in the final at the tournament in my home town.

Petr Martin: Happy to lose finally. One match too many for me. Happy to lose to Czech player. Good luck to him in the final.



Photos by Irena Vanisova (


03-Jun, Quarters:
Home finalist guaranteed in Prague
Tomas Forter reports

Three of the top four seeds and one qualifier made it to the semis of Prague open 2016. Top seed Joel Makin was more consistent than Daniel Mekbib. All three games were very close but at the crucial moments Joel was winning the points often after Daniel´s mistakes. Daniel will regret he missed his gameballs at 10/9 and 11/10 in the third.

Third seeded Spaniard Iker Pajares won a match full of long hard hitting rallies against his teammate from Barcelona Richard Williams. Iker got a very good starts to all the three games and managed to hold on to his lead in each of them.

Martin Švec started really well against Jan Koukal. He won the first and when he came back from 6/10 to 10/10 it looked like local favourite could be in trouble. But Jan managed to win the crucial end of the second and after that Martin was thinking more about the referee and his decisions than about his game and it was all Kouki needed to win.

Petr Martin continued his impressive run of wins with victory over second seed Sebastiaan Weenink. He started very well, played long and fast rallies and Seb looked like he did not like it. He looked to struggle with his movement and went for his shots too early. In the third Seb got to a good start, got a big lead and won easily.

The fourth was very close all the way but Petr managed to get a two point lead towards the end and won the match on his second matchball to make sure there will be a home interest in the final.

What they said:

Joel Makin: To get through in 3 tight games, its tough on such quick courts. Havent played Iker in over a year but it was 3-2 last time and looking forward to it!

Daniel Mekbib: Playing Joel is always tough. Today he made only one mistake in the whole match and I made at least three in each game and it made the difference. It was my last match of the season now I have a break and I am really looking forward to it.

Iker Pajares: Very happy with my performance and with another 3/0 win. It was a really tough match. Richard played very good squash. Now time to get ready for tomorrow´s match.

Richard Williams: Tough match. I gave my all but Iker is too strong. I enjoyed the match although I lost and I wish Iker luck in the rest of the tournament.

Jan Koukal: Martin had a great start and I was always behind in the first, after that I changed my tactics and I was in control most of the time. Good match and still lots left in me for next round.

Martin Švec: Very good 1st game but in the second I got involved with the ref and since than I could not hit the ball like at the beggining of the match. Now time to rest and enjoy some sun before next season.

Petr Martin: I am happy to win. He was not moving so well and that is why I won the match.


Photos by Irena Vanisova (


03-Jun, Round One:
Home quartet advances to Prague quarters ...

If yesterday started poorly with seven of eight Czech players losing in the first round of qualifiying, today started very well as four of the remaining six home players made it through to tonight's quarter-finals ...

What they said:

Joel Makin: Happy to get through in 3. Especially when it is 2 matches a day. Took a while to adjust to the court. It is good to be through to the quarters.

Daniel Mekbib: Really happy with my performance, except the tie break in the second game where I hit my serve 10 cm above the tin when I was 10/9, which should never happened. I was sick for past three weeks, so I did not train enough, but I managed to prepare for my last tournament, so I hope I can keep the good squash.

Richard Williams: Did not know what to expect today. I have never seen him play. I was prepared for a tough match which helped me start well. I attacked a lot today and all my shots came off. Very pleased to be through.

Iker Pajares: Happy to start a tournament with 3/0 win. Happy with my performance. Now I am playing my teammate Rich Williams. I will try my best and we will see if I can get another win.

Jan Koukal: i ve never seen my oponent before and didnt know what to expect, i started really well and he had a slow start. But he was getting better as the match went on and on the end it was close and there were some tough rallies and i think the level of squash was very good from both of us. Happy to win in 3 to be fresh for tonight.

Martin Švec: Happy to make it to quarters again here in Prague. Especially as it is my last tournament of the season. I hope tonight it will not be my last match.

Petr Martin: It was a very fair match. I was a bit stronger than him and I played more volleys. At the beginning of the third he hit some good shots, got a good lead and I could not come back. But in 4th I got in front of him again and I won a match.

Sebastiaan Weenink: Happy to get through in three games. When there are two matches on the day scheduled you just want to save your energy.

This is tricky, because you still need to get through the first match. I felt comfortable and uncomfortable today, I felt relaxed, but impatient which did not help building rallies.

At some stages it did feel like he had troubles sustaining the pace, which gave me confidence to push a bit harder in the end of each game.


Photos by Irena Vanisova (


02-Jun, Qualifying:
Martin adds to home interest in Prague

First round of qualifying in Prague wasn't a good one for the local players as seven of the eight home representatives bowed out, the only home winner being Petr Martin, who went on to win his qualifying final, making it six Czechs in the main draw.

Qualifiers are: Miles Jenkins, Petr Martin, Taminder Gata-Aura and David Haley.

What they said:


Miles Jenkins:
Happy to win and make it through to the main draw. Played well in 3 games but frustrated with the 3rd game as I lost my concentration. Looking forward to main draw tomorrow.

Petr Martin: I am happy to win again and qualify. I hope I will play Kouki tomorrow because he is the easiest draw [he got Sean Conroy!]

Taminder Gata-Aura: That was a tough one! Its always difficult playing a friend. I felt I was moving the ball around well and putting work into his legs. In the 3rd he was just too good so fair play. Looking forward to tomorrows match.

David Haley: Really not easy playing a mate. Dan played well tonight and caused me some problems. Glad to get through it and be into the main draw. Looking forward to playing tomorrow.

Round One:

Miles Jenkins: I think I played really well. Happy with how I constructed first two games.

I played some good patterns and made him do quite a lot of work. He had a good start to the third and made me work hard but I was happy with the way I came back and close out the match.

Hendrik Vossing: First game was very tight. We were both nervous. He did not make many mistakes and we had long rallies. I was happy I managed to win it at the end.

In second and third he was more tired, made a lot of mistakes and made it easier for me.

Petr Martin: I am glad I won and I hope I saved some energy for my second match today.

Mohammad Reza Sadeghpour: He was young and he was running too much. I tried my best in third game because I was sure if I lost the third game I would have lost the match. The best thing here is players do not have to referee.

Connor Sheen: It was a tricky match, I took a bit of time to get going and even when I did it wasn´t easy. I felt like my speeed got me out of a lot of situations but managed to hit some good lines and hold on well for the win.

Taminder Gata-Aura: Difficult to play someone you don´t know. As soon as I got into game I started to feel more relaxed and confident.

I felt I was in control. Always difficult to play locals here in Czech republic. They are all good.

Dan Bergin: Started slow but managed to play a good second game getting him a bit tired before switching off again in the third after getting several bad decisions.

It made me want to win more and managed to play better squash to close it out more convincingly in the fourth and fifth.

David Haley: I thought I played pretty well other than switching off in the third!

The courts don’t play exactly like Im used to back home but they are rewarding if you are playing well and are positive, so hopefully I can take that through to my next match…

Photos by Irena Vanisova (


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