Czech number one Jan Koukal made squash history this weekend when he upset top seed Chris Ryder in the final of the COURTWALL Romanian Open in Bucharest to become the first ever winner of an international Tour event to be held in Romania.
The PSA World Tour Challenger 5 event final, featuring the event’s top two seeds, brought to a climax the championship which attracted players from 12 countries to the new five-court AERO Squash Club in the Romanian capital city.
Both players had testing semis – English favourite Ryder needing 52 minutes to get the better of Dutch qualifier Sebastiaan Weenink and second seed Koukal taken to four games in his encounter with fourth-seeded Frenchman Yann Perrin.
The final marked Ryder and Koukal’s third Tour meeting of all-time, but their first for more than five years.
But despite being ranked eight places below Ryder, world No80 Koukal (pictured above, foreground, in action with Ryder) maintained his unbeaten record over the 33-year-old from Leamington Spa with his 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 title triumph in 42 minutes.
The win marks the latest milestone in Koulal’s distinguished 14-year memberships of the PSA. The final was the 44th of his career and the victory marked his 24th Tour title.
And the indefatigable 30-year-old from Prague is one of the Tour’s most active members, having already competed in 18 events in 13 countries this year!
RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 COURTWALL Romanian Open, Bucharest, Romania
 Chris Ryder (ENG) bt Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4 (66m)
[Q] Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) bt  Jens Schoor (GER) 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9 (78m)
 Yann Perrin (FRA) bt [Q] Robert Downer (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (47m)
 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Reuben Phillips (ENG) 11-5, 11-9, 11-8 (38m)
 Chris Ryder (ENG) bt [Q] Sebastiaan Weenink (NED) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (52m)
 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt  Yann Perrin (FRA) 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-1 (48m)
 Jan Koukal (CZE) bt  Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-2, 11-6, 11-9 (42m)