Kristian writes the first chapter in Israel’s squash genesis
Denmark’s Kristian Frost Olesen became the first player to win a PSA World Tour title in Israel when he beat Frenchman Christophe Andre in the final of the Global Relocations Israel Open, a PSA Challenger 5 event at the Ra’anana Squash Centre.
Frost, the event’s top seed, reached the final after surviving a tough semi-final test against England’s number four seed Tom Ford, winning in four games after 82 minutes to make his 12th Tour final.
Sixth seed Andre made his breakthrough in the quarter-finals, ousting second-seeded Austrian Aqeel Rehman before overcoming higher-ranked compatriot Geoffrey Demont in the next round to reach the second Tour final of his career.
Frost, the world number 57 from Odense, needed 68 minutes to get the better of Andre before securing his 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 victory over the Reunion Island-born 26-year-old ranked more than 100 places lower.
The nation’s inaugural international circuit event was greeted with delight by the Israeli number one Daniel Poleshchuk, who was seeded five in the event. He said: “By hosting the first ever PSA tournament in Israel, local players – both junior and senior – had a unique opportunity to see squash played at a hitherto unseen level.
“As far as juniors are concerned, they saw that not only must they hone their skills but also their level of fitness.”
The 18-year-old Maccabi Games gold medallist, who studies at Millfield School in England and is ranked 155 in the world, added: “Furthermore it will give a much needed boost for the sport we love.
“On a personal level, it was a great honour for me not only to be representing my country, but also to be part of the team hosting international players, most if not all, visiting my beautiful country for the first time.”
Global Relocations Israel Open, Ra’anana, Israel. Final Result:
 Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-0  Christophe Andre (FRA) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (68m)
 Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-1  Tom Ford (ENG) 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3 (82m)
 Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-0  Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 11-1 (42m)
 Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-0  Ollie Holland (ENG) 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 (48m)
 Tom Ford (ENG) 3-0 [Q] David Haley (WAL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-1 (43m)
 Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 3-0 [Q] Bart Ravelli (NED) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (42m)
 Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-1  Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9 (63m)
First Round Results:
 Kristian Frost Olesen (DEN) 3-0 [Q] Rui Soares (POR) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (35m)
 Ollie Holland (ENG) 3-0 [Q] George Parker (ENG) 11-7, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)
[Q] David Haley (WAL) 3-0  Wojtek Nowisz (POL) 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (37m)
 Tom Ford (ENG) 3-0 [WC] Roee Avraham (ISR) 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (32m)
 Geoffrey Demont (FRA) 3-0 Anthony Brindle (GIB) 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 (28m)
[Q] Bart Ravelli (NED) 3-1  Daniel Poleshchuk (ISR) 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 (45m)
 Christophe Andre (FRA) 3-0 Claudio Pinto (POR) 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (33m)
 Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-0 Phillip John Bull (ENG) 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (26m)
Pictures courtesy of the Israel Open