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PSA: Busy Koukal takes Czech title

Czech this out! Jan Koukal kisses the trophy

Home Title Completes Koukal’s Busy Year

24 December 2011

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 SYNOT TIP Open, Prague, Czech Republic

[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) 11-7, 12-10, 13-11 (47m)

Czech squash star Jan Koukal has completed an historic year on the PSA World Tour in the best possible style – by winning the inaugural SYNOT TIP Open in his home city of Prague.

It was after making squash history by competing in his 25th PSA Tour event of the year that the 28-year-old world No52 then reached the climax of the PSA Challenger 5 event at the Squash Club Praha to clock up his tenth final appearance of 2011.

Top seed Koukal battled for 47 minutes against third seed Kashif Shuja before clinching an 11-7, 12-10, 13-11 victory over the New Zealander to record the 19th Tour title triumph of his career.

“I won in three – but it was a very close and tough match,” said the jubilant Koukal at the end of his remarkable Tour journey. “Kashif played very well, but I managed to stay cool at the crucial points and play them a little better!”

Koukal began his remarkable 2011 campaign in January in New York at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, the first PSA World Series event of the year. He went on to play in five further Tour events in the USA over the next two months before moving on to Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Netherlands, Kuwait and Slovakia before returning home to round off the year in the city of his birth.

“I’m so happy to end this incredible and long year with a win, especially here in Prague at home in front of my friends and family.

“I don’t think I ever looked so forward to Christmas as this year – as it means a rest for me!”

23 December 2011

RESULTS: PSA Challenger 5 SYNOT TIP Open, Prague, Czech Republic

1st round:
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Roman Svec (CZE) 11-8, 11-9, 11-6 (28m)
Fabien Verseille (FRA) bt [Q] Chris Ferguson (SCO) 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 (64m)
Steven London (ENG) bt [Q] Frank Hartkoren (NED) 6-11, 16-14, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6 (101m)
[4] Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt [Q] Mohd Essam El Sherif (EGY) 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 (62m)
[3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt [Q] Robert Downer (ENG) 11-5, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9 (35m)
Petr Martin (CZE) bt Adrian Dudzicki (CAN) 11-7, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7 (40m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Andre Haschker (GER) 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7 (66m)
Ondrej Ertl (CZE) bt [2] Bradley Hindle (MLT) 12-10, 21-19, 5-6 ret. (78m)
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Fabien Verseille (FRA) 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (30m)
[4] Joan Lezaud (FRA) bt Steven London (ENG) 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (46m)
[3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Petr Martin (CZE) 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (27m)
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Ondrej Ertl (CZE) 11-7, 11-2, 11-8 (36m)
[1] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [4] Joan Lezaud (FRA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 (43m)
[3] Kashif Shuja (NZL) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3 (70m)

Czech squash star Jan Koukal celebrated the return to his home city of Prague at the end of a historic year on the PSA World Tour by notching up his tenth final appearance of 2011 at the SYNOT TIP Open.

The 28-year-old world No52 is making squash history this week by competing in his 25th PSA Tour event of the year.

But his 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 victory over France’s fourth seed Joan Lezaud in the semi-finals of the PSA Challenger 5 SYNOT TIP Open at the Squash Club Praha takes Koukal into the 33rd Tour final of his career – and the tenth of the year, which also included final appearances in USA, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Canada and Slovakia.

Koukal, the top seed, will face third-seeded New Zealander Kashif Shuja, the world No95 from Auckland who resisted a spirited fightback from Lucas Serme to beat the unseeded Frenchman 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3 in 70 minutes in the other semi.

Shuja, aged 32, is celebrating his 20th Tour final appearance.

Despite both players having a world ranking history stretching back to the beginning of the last decade, the Prague final will mark Koukal and Shuja’s first ever meeting.



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