Cronimet 2018

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Cronimet Open 2018
13-17 Mar, Skelleftea, Sweden, $5k

17-Mar, Final
Top seed Lopez lifts the title
John Milton reports

The final of the 2018 Cronimet Open was probably the most straightforward of the tournament. Number one seed from Spain, Edmon Lopez played qualifier Roshan Bharos from the Netherlands. Lopez was looking to extend his run in the tournament without dropping a game and Bharos was aiming to add another seed to his record in Skellefteå.

Lopez got off to a steady start pushing his opponent around court and not allowing to settle into any kind of rhythm. The score tightened up half way through when Bharos found a better width to his cross courts and used a couple of effective boasts to take his opponent by surprise. But he couldn’t maintain the pressure against the energetic Spaniard who closed the game out with a run of 5 consecutive points to take him to 11-5.

The Dutchman found himself behind again in the second game but held his nerve and edged ahead for the first time in the match when he went 5-4 up. Once again, Lopez responded strongly, taking the ball earlier to increase the pace and force his opponent into mistakes. Losing 6 points in a row proved costly to Bharos and after a two point brief fightback at 5-10 down, Lopez took a 2-0 lead by taking the game 11-7.

The third game saw the Spaniard dominate from the first rally, allowing Bharos just one point at 3-1 but then sprinting straight through to 11-1 to take the match and become Cronimet Open champion for 2018.

There’s no rest for a delighted Lopez as he flies to England tomorrow to play his next PSA tournament in London and Bharos, after an extremely satisfying tournament for him, returns to his training base with Hadrian Stiff in Bristol.

Patrick Degerman,

Cronimet Open 2018
13-17 Mar, Skelleftea, Sweden, $5k
Round One
14 Mar 
15 Mar
16 Mar
17 Mar
[1] Edmon Lopez (Esp)
11/3, 11/9, 11/2 (27m)
[Q] Ondrej Vorlicek (Cze)
[1] Edmon Lopez

11/5, 11/8, 11/6

[6] Kyle Finch
[1] Edmon Lopez

11/6, 12/10, 11/8 (38m)

[3] Martin Svec

[1] Edmon Lopez 


11/7, 11/5, 11/1 (34m)


[Q] Roshan Bharos

[6] Kyle Finch (Eng)
11/9, 12/10, 11/4 (44m)
[Q] Vini Rodrugues (Bra)
[8] Adrian Ostbyte (Nor)
11/6, 11/6, 10/12, 8/11, 11/5 (60m)
[wc] Filip Hultman (Swe)
[8] Adrian Ostbyte

8/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/7

[3] Martin Svec
[3] Martin Svec (Cze)
7/11, 12/10, 8/11, 11/1, 11/6 (52m)
[Q] Viktor Byrtus (Cze)
Claudio Pinto (Por)
7/11, 11/5, 15/13, 11/4 (65m)
[4] Alex Noakes (Eng)
Claudio Pinto

11/3, 11/7, 13/11

[Q] Roshan Bharos
[Q] Roshan Bharos

6/11, 11/3, 11/8, 11/6

Yannik Omlor

[Q] Roshan Bharos (Ned)
8/11, 11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (69m)
[5] Matias Tuomi (Fin)
Yannik Omlor (Ger)
11/7, 11/5, 11/8 (45m)
[7] Bradley Masters (Eng)
Yannik Omlor

6/11, 11/5, 11/3, 11/13, 11/8

[2] Adam Murrills
Jami Aijanen (Fin)
9/11, 11/5, 11/6, 11/4 (46m)
[2] Adam Murrills (Eng)

Roshan Bharos (Ned) 3-0 Viktor Hogberg (Nor)             11-5, 11-8, 11-5
Viktor Byrtus (Cze) 3-1 Michael Babra (Swe)       9-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4
Vini Rodriguez (Bra) 3-1 Carl Remle (Swe)           8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5
Ondrej Vorlicek (Cze) 3-0 David Zeman (Cze)             18-16, 11-6, 11-5

Round One:  
Roshan Bharos (Ned) 3-0 Nick Goth Errington (Swe)      11-4, 11-7, 11-6
Viktor Byrtus (Cze) 3-0 Tobias Weggen (Ger)               11-5, 11-9, 11-4
Michael Babra (Swe) 3-0 Erik Jakobsson                      11-8, 11-1, 11-7
Carl Remle (Swe) 3-2 Filip Krueger (Sui)     11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11- 6
Vini Rodriguez (Bra) 3-0 Albin Kaiding (Swe)                  11-1, 11-4, 11-6
Ondrej Vorlicek (Cze) 3-0 Emil Lundstrom (Swe)            11-1, 11-8, 11-4
David Zeman (Cze) 3-1 Charlie Cowie (Eng)          11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8
16-Mar, Semis
John Milton reports

With the temperature outside the Skellefteå Ice Hockey Arena dropping to -13C last night, it was left to the two semi-finals of the Cronimet Open to warm up a packed crowd.

First on were the two unseeded players, Roshan Bharos from the Netherlands and Yannick Omlor from Germany. Omlor started well, finding a better length than his opponent and sprinting into a 6-0 lead. Bharos finally began to get in front of the young German when he found his length and halved the deficit by taking three consecutive points. Jolted into a greater urgency, Omlor responded by increasing the pace and hunting his volleys earlier. He closed out the game 11-6 after just over 17 minutes.

The start of the second game was quite close with only a couple of points between them. Then Bharos took the initiative and opened up the front court to move Omlor out of position. Bharos opened up a 7 point lead at 9-2 up and only dropped one more point before taking the game 11-3.

Both players realised the importance of the third game and both went into a defensive mode. At times it looked as if they were playing a conditioned length game with neither playing willing to risk going to the front. Long rallies ensued with each player vying for a position from which to attack the other and it became like a game of chess with both players waiting for the other to make a mistake.

At 7-3 up, Omlor seemed to be in control but a run of 5 consecutive points gave Bharos a slender 1 point lead at 8-7. Omlor levelled but it was the last point he won in the game after Bharos wrestled back control to win 11-8.

The fourth game started the same way as the third finished. Both players cautiously only playing to the back, waiting for a short length or poor crosscourt before attacking, instead of really initiating an attack. Bharos held the upper hand all the way through the game, never allowing Omlor the chance to get within a couple of points. Bharos was consistently quicker onto the ball and began squeezing more and more errors from Omlor until, after 71 minutes, he closed out the game 11-6 for a deserved 3-1 victory.

The second semi-final between number 1 seed Edmon Lopez and number 3 seed Martin Svec was played at a higher pace than the first, right from the beginning. Showing greater imagination and an eagerness to bring the front court into player earlier in the rally, both players put on an exciting attacking display for the packed Skellefteå crowd. Lopez was just a bit sharper than his Czech opponent in the first game and had sufficient control to win 11-6 after 14 minutes.

The second became a much closer affair. With no more than one point between them, both players showed their speed and athleticism around the court, trying to create openings and retrieving each others shots. The tall Svec was having to work hard to match the Spaniards work rate and never-say-die attitude of chasing down every shot.

Lopez held a point advantage at 10-8 up which almost seemed like two match balls. However, Svec battled well to level at 10-10 but he never managed to hold a game point of his own. Lopez held game ball again at 11-10 and was handed a two game lead by referee John O’Donnel slightly controversially a no let when Svec decided not to play a shot deep in the middle of the rear court for fear of hitting his opponent.

Svec hit back well at the beginning of the third game and looked to be threatening to take the match into at least a fourth game at 6-4 up. He was dictating the pace of the game and showing a more imaginative attacking flair. But it came at a cost. The intensity of Lopez’s defence and retrieving finally began to wear the Czech player down, physically and mentally.

Mistakes began to creep into Svec’s game and he lost 6 points in a row to award the Spaniard four match balls at 10-6. He showed his frustration by hitting the side wall with his racket, inevitably receiving a conduct warning from the referee. A brief fight back gained him two more points but Lopez was too determined and disciplined to take his opportunity and he played a strong final rally to win 11-8 in a straight game victory after 37 mins of a fast and entertaining match.

The final will take place at 13:00 today.


Patrick Degerman,

15-Mar, Quarters:
More seeds tumble in Skelleftea

As the quarter-finals moved to the glass court at Skellefteå Ice Hockey Stadium, the upsets continued in the bottom half of the draw as qualifier Roshan Bharos and unseeded Yannik Omlor set up a surprise semi-final.

No upsets in the top half of the draw as Edmon Lopez and Martin Svec ensured that one of the top seeds will contest the final.

John Milton reports

Last nights’ quarter finals of the 2018 Cronimet Open in Skellefteå guaranteed that an unseeded player will eventually play in the final.

Qualifier Roshan Bharos continued his excellent progress with a 3-0 win against Portuguese Claudio Pinto. The first two games were reasonably comfortable for Bharos, 11-3,11-7, with Pinto struggling to adapt to the different pace of the glasscourt at the Skellefteå Ice Hockey Stadium. Finally, Pinto showed some resistance in the third.

Finding a better length with his hard hit drives he managed to push the Dutchman deeper into the rear corners than he had done in the first two games. Bharos started making a few more mistakes and Pinto was able to attack more and apply more pressure. However, Bharos managed to keep the score close enough to prevent Pinto from building too big a lead and eventually a couple of unforced errors from Pinto proved costly with Bharos just edging home to win the third game 13-11.

In the second match in the bottom half of the draw, unseeded German Yannik Omlor shocked the second seed Adam Murrills by going 2-1 up. Murrills took the first game 11-6 but Omlor hit back to level the score by taking the second 11-5. He then quickly closed out the third game 11-3 and looked as if he was cruising to an unexpected victory. Murrills showed his fighting qualities and kept his nerve, taking a closely fought and exciting fourth game 13-11 but eventually succumbed to the German 8-11 in the fifth.

If a football match is often seen as a game of two halves, then this year’s Cronimet Open is a squash tournament of two halves of the draw. Whilst all the seeded players were knocked out of the bottom half, the top two seeds in the top half managed to progress through to the semi-finals. Number three seed Martin Scev from the Czech Republic initially looked as if he might struggle against Norwegian Adrian Ostbyte, when he lost the first game 8-11.

Svec gradually began to impose his game on Ostbyte and took a close second game 11-9. Ostbyte looked to be struggling in the third with maybe a bit of tiredness creeping in from a tough five game first round match against local favourite Filip Hultman the previous night. Svec took the game 11-4. Pushing as hard as he could, Ostbyte managed to stay with the young Czech player at the beginning of the fourth game but Svec’s stronger game and fitness eventually told as he took the game 11-7 and the match 3-1.

The final match saw number 1 seed Edmon Lopez against Kyle Finch from England, the number 6 seed. This was fairly straightforward for the Spaniard with Finch only stretching him slightly in the second game. Making too many unforced errors and not really having a strong enough basic game to push Lopez, the Spaniard ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner in just over 30 minutes, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6.

The first semi-final between Roshan Bharos and Yannik Omlor starts this evening’s entertainment at 18:00, followed by Edmon Lopez and Martin Svec at 19:00.



Patrick Degerman,

14-Mar, Round One:
Seeds tumble in Skelleftea

John Milton reports

The first round of the Cronimet Open was played at the Skellefteå Squash Club yesterday evening with all the matches in the top half of the draw going by the seeding but with one or two upsets in the bottom half.

Number one seed Edmon Lopez from Spain started very confidently, taking the first game 11-3 against Czech qualifier, Ondrey Vorlicek. Vorlicek came back well in the second game and Lopez needed all his fighting qualities to take it 11-9 before returning to dominate again in the third, comfortably taking it 11-2.

Lopez’s next opponent will be Englishman Kyle Finch, the number six seed. Finch overcame the challenge from Brazilian Rodrigues in three games. The first two games were tight, 11-9 in the first and 12-10 in the second, before Rodrigues eventually succumbed in the third, 11-4.

Unseeded Claudio Pinto from Portugal gradually wore down Alex Noakes from England, the number 4 seed. Noakes started confidentally by taking the first game 11-7 but got drawn in to his opponents’ rear court hitting game in the second, losing out 11-5. Noakes imposed his more varied game early in the third, sprinting into a 5-0 lead. However, he couldn’t sustain it and the Portuguese gradually hauled him back.

This became a match defining game as both players battled to impose superiority over their opponent and from 5-5 on there was no more than a point between them. Each held game balls as the game progressed but an error proved costly to Noakes when it allowed Pinto to take the game 15-13. As suspected, this game proved to be the turning point and Pinto ran out a comfortable 11-4 winner in the fourth game to cause the first mini upset and become the first unseeded player through to the next round.

Matius Tuomi from Finland became the second seed to crash out when he lost to qualifier Roshan Bharos from the Netherlands. Like Noakes, Tuomi got off to a good start by taking the first game 11-8 but then Bharos came back in the second to take it by the same score. The Dutchman grew in confidence and was too quick and strong for the ailing Fin, taking the next two games 11-5, 11-4.

Yannick Omlor from Germany became the third player to knock out a seed in the bottom half of the draw when he defeated the number 7 seed Bradley Masters from England in straight games, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.

So, it was left to Englishman and number two seed Adam Murrills to become the only seed from the bottom half to reach the second round. It didn’t start well for Murrills who lost the first game 9-11 against another Fin Jami Aijanen. But once he settled into his game he became more confident and took the next three games reasonably comfortably 11-5, 11-6, 11-4.

For all the spectators at a packed Skellefteå Squash club, the main match of the evening was between local boy Filip Hultman who had been awarded a wildcard, and the number one Norwegian player Adrian Ostbye (number 8 seed).

The expectant crowd was soon hushed however as Ostbye imposed himself on the a tense Hultman, comfortably taking a 2-0 lead. The Swede battled well in the third game, pushing his opponent hard and earning increasing optimism from his home supporters. Having already been warned earlier in the match about foot faulting on his serve, the Norwegian was careless enough to be called fault by referee John O’Donnell twice at crucial times in a tight game. A determined Hultman took his opportunity to take the match into a fourth game, winning the third game after saving a match ball 12-10. Ostbye looked increasingly tired in the fourth game and Hultman enjoyed a lead all the way through, taking the game 11-8.

The more experienced Norwegian knew how important it was to start strongly in the fifth and drew on all his reserves to build a 6 point lead, which effectively diminished any chance of Hultman winning the match. Ostbye took the game 11-5 but there was praise for the young Swede’s efforts and fighting spirit.

Ostbye will now meet Czech Martin Svec who also had a 5 game battle against fellow Czech player Viktor Byrtus. At only 17 years old, the young Byrtus pushed his more experienced opponent hard, taking the first game 11-7 and only just losing the second 10-12.

He came back strongly in the third to take it 11-8 before Svec levelled the score by taking the fourth, also 11-8. Finally, Svec was able to draw on his experience in the fifth and he duly took his place in the second round by winning 11-6.

The tournament now moves to the Skellefteå Ice Hockey Stadium where all the matches will now be played on the glass court.

13-Mar, Qualifying:

John Milton reports

The Cronimet Open 2018 got under way yesterday in a very snowy Skellefteå in the north of Sweden. The home country was hopeful of a number of Swedish players taking their opportunities to work their way through the qualifying rounds and earn their places in the main draw. Seeding was to their advantage with Viktor Högberg at number 1 and Michael Babra and Carl Remle at 3 and 4 respectively.

Högberg had a bye in the first qualifying round and played Roshan Bharos of the Netherlands, who had beaten another young Swede, Nick Goth Errington 3-0 in his first match. Babra and Remle both won their matches and would play opponents seeded below them in the qualifying rounds. Unfortunately, the expectant Skellefteå crowd were disappointed that no Swedish player really battled sufficiently to worry their opponents.

Viktor Högberg was first up but never really looked confident against a determined Bharos who was comfortable in a 3-0 win (11-5, 11-8, 11-5). Michael Babra then took on 17 year old Viktor Byrtus from Czech Republic.

Winning the first game and leading 4-2 in the second, Babra looked as if he could make a real challenge, but losing 4 points in a row allowed Byrtus to get into his game, eventually winning 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-4). The final Swede, Carl Remle from Linköping was playing Vini Rodrigues from Brazil. Like Babra, Remle made a promising start, winning the first game and holding a lead in the second.

Again, allowing that lead to slip by losing 6 consecutive points proved costly and the Brazilian won 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5) to end Swedish hopes.

Joining these three players was Ondrej Vorlicek who, after a very tense first game, defeated fellow Czech David Zeman 3-0 (18-16, 11-6, 11-5).

Today sees the start of the main draw. All matches are at Skellefteå Squash Club before the quarter finals move to the all glass court at the Skellefteå Ice Hockey Stadium tomorrow.

Local boy Filip Hultman was given a wildcard entry so will play his first round match against the number 8 seed Adrian Ostbye from Norway in front of a packed and excited home crowd. Qualifier Ondrej Vorlicek was drawn against the number 1 seed, Edmon Lopez from Spain, whilst Viktor Byrtus drew fellow Czech Martin Svek, number 3 seed. Vini Rodrigues was drawn to play number 6 seed Kyle Finch from England and Roshan Bharos will play the experienced Fin, Matias Tuomi.

The remaining 1st round matches are Englishman Alex Noakes (no.4 seed) against Claudio Pinto from Portugal; Bradley Master (England) versus Yannick Omlor from Germany, and Jami Aijanen against number 2 seed Adam Murrills from England. Play gets under way at 5pm local time.

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