Jan Koukal
bt  Andy Whipp 11/6, 11/6, 11/3
Koukal Claims Prague Hat-Trick
Tomas Forter reports from Prague
The final of the Hi-Tec and Dunlop Prague Squash Open featured two top
seeds - local favourite Jan Koukal and Andy Whipp from
England. Both players were quite fresh as they both had easy semis
yesterday. So the fans expected them to battle hard in the final.
The first game started with high pace and both players traded points to
3/3. 3 winners from Koukal and 2 tins from Whipp and local star was 8/3
up. He was able to control the lead and won 11/7 in 12 minutes.
Whipp started the second very well and soon he was 3/0 up after two
winners and 1 tin from Koukal (the only mistake he made in the whole match
- see the statistics). From then on Whipp tinned 3 consecutive backhand
drops. No let decision and 2 more tins from Whipp and Koukal was 6/3 up.
Whipp was the player who wanted to attack but Koukal's great movement and
retrieving forced him to take too much risks and the mistakes were the
outcome. Koukal won the second 11/6 in 11 minutes and Whipp was quite
frustrated with the number of mistakes he made. (It is very difficult to
win a game with 11 PAR scoring when you hit 8 tins.)
The final game was even easier than the previous two. Whipp again started
well and went 2/0 up with tight backhand length and deceptive backhand
drive which sent Koukal the other way. Koukal levelled with an easy
penalty stroke and forehand drop. Whipp won his last point of the match
with nice little forehand drop and continued in a way he played in the
second. His tins and also a couple of winners from Koukal brought him soon
to 10/3 matchball. He used the first opportunity to win the match as he
pushed Whipp deep in the forehand corner and put the loose drive in the
front corner with an easy dropshot. The final was over in 35 minutes.
Koukal won his third PSA title in the club where he used to play for many
years. The fans enjoyed the show even when the match was not as long and
as close they maybe expected. But it is very difficult to play someone
moving so well as Koukal does on such a bouncy court. When you add the
fact that he made just one mistake in the whole match the result is pretty
Jan Koukal won the Prague & Czech Opens in 2004
Prague is an absolutely fantastic place, but as for the squash,
my personal performances were very contrasting ...
The Final stats:
Whipp 7 winners, 4 mistakes
Koukal 7 winners, 0 mistakes
Whipp 5 winners, 8 mistakes
Koukal 3 winners, 1 mistake
Whipp 3 winners, 7 mistakes
Koukal 4 winners, 0 mistakes
& Dunlop Prague
Prague, Czech Republic, 12-14 Apr, $3k
| Jan Koukal (Cze)
14/12, 11/7, 11/6
[Q] Simon Rosner (Ger)
11/5, 6/11, 11/2, 12/10 (48m)
Bader Abdel Aziz
11/7, 11/7, 9/11, 9/11, 11/5
Ondrej Ertl (Cze)
11/8, 11/2, 11/6
Duncan Walsh (Eng)
11/7, 12/10, 11/8 (40m)
Bader Abdel Aziz
11/9, 11/8, 11/7
[Q] Bader Abdel Aziz (Swe)
7/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/4
 Stefan Leifels (Ger)
11/7, 11/5, 5/11, 11/6 (45m)
Seestaller (Ger) (Ger)
13/11, 11/4, 11/6
 Christian Drakenberg (Swe)
[Q] Luca Mastrostefano (Ita)
11/8, 8/11, 11/3, 11/5
 James Stout (Ber)
11/2, 11/4, 11/5 (25m)
Andreas Fuchs (Aut)
11/9, 11/9, 10/12, 11/7
 Andy Whipp (Eng)
Qualifying (Mon 11th)
Andreas Fuchs AUT bt Dennis Drenjovski GER
11/4, 11/5, 11/2
Simon Rosner GER bt Peter Billson ENG
11/5, 6/11, 7/11, 11/4, 11/8
Luca Mastrostefano ITA bt Sandor Fulop HUN
11/8, 11/8, 11/8
Bader Abdel Aziz SWE bt Karamatullah Khan PAK
12/10, 11/6, 11/9
Andreas Fuchs AUT - bye
Dennis Drenjovski GER bt David Vlasak CZE
11/4, 10/12, 12/14, 11/6, 11/9
Peter Billson ENG bt Andre Haschker GER
11/9, 11/4, 11/5
Simon Rosner GER bt Lukas Jelinek CZE
11/4, 11/4, 11/2
Sandor Fulop HUN bt Jakub Stupka CZE
10/12, 12/10, 11/8, 7/11, 12/10
Luca Mastrostefano ITA bt Jaroslav Cech CZE
11/7, 3/11, 3/11, 11/1, 11/7
Karamatullah Khan PAK bt Matthias Heinmann GER 4/11, 11/8,
12/10, 10/12, 11/7
Bader Abdel Aziz SWE - bye
from Andy Whipp
Prague is an absolutely fantastic place. The city centre is filled
with attractive buildings, a funky bridge with a statue which
everyone stops to stroke even if they've got no idea why they were
doing so (of which I was one of hoping it would bring me good luck,
boy I couldn't have been more wrong!) and then a museum containing
instruments of torture and the "biggest spiders and scorpions in the
a claim. All very nice and impressive, but all drift into
insignificance once me and Dave Barnett found the holy grail of
Prague, the castle/cathedral. Along with The Acropolis in Athens
this is the most impressive sight I've ever seen. Not only was this
cathedral massive but the intricate details, carvings, stain-glass
windows were all something pretty special. After many photos had
been snapped up we bought a ticket (costing a quite extortionate
30p!) so we could go to the top of the cathedral, up the tallest
spiral staircase in the world containing just the 287 steps.
The views from up there were second to none and well worth the very
long, arduous trek to the top which actually nearly killed us (in
fact I'm sure we had the grim reaper on our tail at one point, maybe
his scythe got stuck in the thin passage way!).
So, then onto the squash. My personal performances were very
my way to the final I played some good, error free squash but that
all changed once I stepped on court for the final. I'm not quite
sure why this happened, maybe the steps had taken it out of me or
maybe my lack of sleep all week due to Duncan talking till 2am every
morning played a factor, maybe it was just a bad day or maybe Kouki
just played well, who knows.
Things could have been worse, I could have had an 8 hour drive home
like Andrea Fuchs had, cramped up in a tiny car smaller than Pete
Barker's little yellow number. Andrea's a big chap and with his
roundish coach squeezed in there too for good measure it can't have
OK, I'm off to Holland in a few hours. Duncan's meant to be playing
can resume our conversations about sharks and nazis!
 Jan Koukal bt [Q] Bader Abdel Aziz
 Andy Whipp bt  Christian Drakenberg 11/7,11/7,11/3
Koukal on course for
Prague Hat-Trick ...
Tomas Forter reports from Prague
The first semifinal between second seed Andy Whipp and fourth seed
Christian Drakenberg was a very short and easy match. From the very
beginning Whipp was always in front. Drakenberg managed to even the score
at 5/5 but then Whipp moved 8/5 ahead and kept his lead - 11/7
in 12 minutes.
The same happened in second game. Whipp made a string of four points from
2/2 and controlled his lead - 11/7 in 11 minutes. The third game was even
easier for Whipp. He hit some nice winners and in a few minutes it was
11/3 and the match was over in 30 minutes.
The second semifinal between local hero Jan Koukal and giant
killing Bader Abdel Aziz started quite surprisingly when Aziz took
the lead 3/1 and then 7/3. He hit some very nice winners especially
forehand kills. From this point Koukal got into his rhythm, moved very
well and started to control the game. As a result of this Aziz made some
easy tins and the score was soon 7/7.
Aziz then managed to get a 9/7 lead. Koukal levelled the score after some
very long rallies. But another forehand kill from Aziz brought him to 10/9
gameball. Koukal saved it with perfect forehand length. Forehand drop shot
and gameball for Koukal. An Aziz backhand crosscourt drop in the tin and
first game goes to Koukal - 12/10 in 15 minutes.
Koukal got off to flying start in the second. Soon he was 4/1 and 9/4 up.
But from this moment he started to go for shots too soon and gave Aziz
some openings in the front. Aziz used them very well and after his four
winners and two tins from Koukal Aziz was 10/9 up and had another gameball.
Koukal saved it with a nice forehand drop, Aziz was able to get the ball
back but slipped and fell on the floor so Koukal had an easy volley to
stay in the game - 10/10. Two tins from Aziz - 12/10 and 2/0 lead
for Koukal in 12
In the third Aziz hit three consecutive backhand dropshots into the tin so
Koukal moved from 2/2 to 5/2 and controlled the lead till the end - 11/6.
semi finals of the Prague Open consist of three players according to the
seedings and giant killer Bader Abdel Aziz from Sweden who had to
qualify for the main draw.
He was the only winner against the seedings in the
first round, beating sixth seed Tony James, and he repeated the feat in
the quarters as wellwith another straight games victory over third sed
Tomorrow Aziz will face local star and top seed Jan Koukal, with
the other semi-final between Andrew Whipp from England and
Christian Drakenberg from Sweden.
Local favourite Koukal is aiming for a third consecutive PSA title
in Prague, having won the Prague and Czech Opens last year.
yesterday in time to see second round of qualifying, watched the
only close match of the round between Peter Billson and Simon Rosner,
probably the best two players in qualifying. Billson led 2-1 playing
some good squash before Rosner fought back to win a close fifth
First round today was for me a tougher draw than previously expected
due to a last minute draw change. I had to play Stefan Leiffels of
Germany. Started well, winning the first but he then improved, I
lost the next two closely before he closed out the fourth.
The only seeding upset was qualifier Bader El Aziz beating
seeded Aussie Tony James 3-0, Andy Whipp was the only English
survivor after Duncan Walsh lost to three seed Mark Krajscak.
Quarter finals start tonight with top four seeds favourites to
Speak to you soon ...