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Jan Koukal makes history in Gibraltar

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Jan Koukal (right) and Claudio Pinto after the final
Jan Koukal (right) and Claudio Pinto after the final

Jan Koukal makes it a lucky 13 in Gib
By SEAN REUTHE

 

World No.130 Jan Koukal became the first player to win PSA World Tour titles in 13 consecutive years after defeating Portuguese qualifier Claudio Pinto in the final of the Gibraltar Squash Association Gibraltar Open, PSA M5 tournament.

Koukal, who was looking to win his first Tour title of 2016, was a losing finalist in the City of Prague Open just three weeks previously and was looking to win his first tournament since the Madeira International in July 2015.

Meanwhile, Pinto was the tournament’s surprise package after battling through qualification and, after overcoming fifth seed Sam Gould in round one, went on to recover from 2-1 down to beat top seed Jan van den Herrwegen in a shock quarter-final victory, before beating Dani Pascual in the next round to reach his maiden PSA World Tour final.

Despite a strong performance from 20-year-old Pinto, Koukal’s experience proved invaluable as the man from the Czech Republic, who turned 33 five days prior to the final, stormed to an 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 victory to secure his 34th PSA World Tour title.

That tally sees Koukal overtake luminaries such as three-time World Champion Nick Matthew, legendary Egyptian Amr Shabana and current World Champion Gregory Gaultier to become the sole occupier of third place on the list of the most successful active players on the PSA World Tour – just three titles behind four-time World Champion Ramy Ashour, who is in second place.

PSA M5 Gibraltar Open 2016, The Squash Centre, Gibraltar.

Final:
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [Q] Claudio Pinto (POR) 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (41m)

Semi-finals:
[Q] Claudio Pinto (POR) bt Dani Pascual (ESP) 11-6, 13-11, 11-13, 11-9 (77m)
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [2] Mark Fuller (ENG) 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8 (71m)

Quarter-finals:
[Q] Claudio Pinto (POR) bt [1] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) 11-9, 10-12, 6-11, 14-12, 11-5 (97m)
Dani Pascual (ESP) bt [4] Rui Soares (POR) 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 (49m)
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [7] Tristan Eysele (RSA) 11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3 (84m)
[2] Mark Fuller (ENG) bt [Q] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-2 (21m)

1st round:
[1] Jan van den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [Q] James Peach (ENG) 11-3, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
[Q] Claudio Pinto (POR) bt [5] Sam Gould (USA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (20m)
Dani Pascual (ESP) bt [6] Ben Coates (ENG) 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-2 (35m)
[4] Rui Soares (POR) bt Charlie Lee (ENG) 14-12, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9 (63m)
[3] Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [WC] Adam Auckland (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (35m)
[7] Tristan Eysele (RSA) bt [Q] David Haley (WAL) 9-11, 4-4 ret. (17m)
[Q] Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) bt [8] Emyr Evans (WAL) 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 4-11, 15-13 (75m)
[2] Mark Fuller (ENG) bt Jakob Dirnberger (AUT) 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 (50m)

Qualifying finals:
Claudio Pinto (POR) bt Matthew Broadberry (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 11-0 (35m)
Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) bt Bradley Masters (ENG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6 (33m)
James Peach (ENG) bt Phil Nightingale (ENG) 12-10, 5-1 ret. (18m)
David Haley (WAL) bt Owain Taylor (WAL) 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10 (63m)

1st qualifying round:
Claudio Pinto (POR) bt Adam Smart (GIB) 11-2, 11-5, 11-7 (22m)
Matthew Broadberry (ENG) bt Anthony Brindle (GIB) 16-14, 11-4, 11-8 (40m)
Vincent Droesbeke (FRA) bt Lenny Westover (SUI) 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6 (33m)
Bradley Masters (ENG) bt Colin Davis (GIB) 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (20m)
Phil Nightingale (ENG) bt Christian Navas (GIB) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (25m)
James Peach (ENG) bt Neill McCarron (GIB) 11-5, 11-2, 11-2 (22m)
Owain Taylor (WAL) bt Ian Clark (GIB) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (21m)
David Haley (WAL) bt Mark Tewkesbury (GIB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-1 (16m)

Picture courtesy of PSA 

 

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