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Jakub Solnicky

Ostrava Squash Open Preview: Solnicky Aiming To Build On First Nationals Crown

The sole event on the Challenger Tour this week will be the Ostrava Squash Open, which will take place from Wednesday, August 3 to Sunday, August 7 at the Sportovni Centrum Fajne in the Czech Republic.

The Challenger 10 level competition will feature 24 men, several of those featuring on home soil. Brazil’s Diego Gobbi will be the top seed for the tournament, with Jakub Solnicky being the highest seeded Czech player in the draw.

We spoke to the Czech player ahead of this event on home soil, and after featuring at the World Games and winning a first Czech National Championships title over the last few months, he is ready to go in front of a home crowd.

“I had a nice two weeks without the racket, preparing for the World Games, which was a great experience, and the Schraglage Squash Open where it didn’t go well for me but I’m ready to push myself to show the best squash I can play in front of my home crowd,” he explained.

“It feels amazing, I had never won a Nationals in juniors or seniors so it was my first National title ever, which was just perfect. It was third time lucky for me as I lost the 2017 final against Czech legend Jan Koukal and the 2019 final against four-time champion Daniel Mekbib so I felt a bit of relief.”

Not only will Solnicky be playing on home soil this week, be he will also be playing at his home club, a fact that means even more to him, and he admits he would be ecstatic if he was to win the title in Ostrava.

“It would mean a lot to me, I would take any title but in my home club and in front of my fans it would be more special for sure!” he said.

After reaching the top 100 in the latter half of 2021, Solnicky now occupies the World No.126 slot in the rankings, and with the Tour now pretty much back to its full capacity following the COVID-19 pandemic, he is looking to get back inside the world’s top 100 once again.

“The last two seasons were really hard with COVID-19 but I trained really hard and had some good results,” he explained.

“I just have to continue train hard, play more tournaments, try not to think about points or results as I did before, enjoy my squash and my ranking will be higher soon and maybe I can get back to into the world’s top 100 again.”

Solnicky will be one of four Czech players among the top eight seeds on home soil, joined by Marek Panacek, Viktor Byrtus and David Zeman, with Welshman Owain Taylor, England’s James Peach and Spaniard Marc Lopez making up the rest of those seeds.

In total, there will be 11 Czech players featuring in the event in Ostrava, with wildcards Ondrej Uherka and Alex Kalar among them. Austrian Lukas Windischberger, Egypt’s Abdelrahman Nasser and Colombian Nicolas Serna will all be the sole representatives of their respective nations this week in the Czech Republic.

The event takes place from Wednesday, August 3 to Sunday, August 7 at the Sportovni Centrum Fajne in Ostrava, where Brazil’s Diego Gobbi is the top seed for the tournament, and Jakub Solnicky will be the leading home hope. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Action from Ostrava will be streamed throughout the week on the PSA Challenger Tour YouTube channel, where you can watch Challenger Tour action, and interviews with rising stars.

First Round Draw: Ostrava Squash Open
[1] Diego Gobbi (BRA) – [Bye]
[WC] Alex Kelar (CZE) v [9/16] Lewis Doughty (ENG)
[9/16] Lukas Windischberger (AUT) v Adam Sinkule (CZE)
[8] Marc Lopez (ESP) – [Bye]
[5] Viktor Byrtus (CZE) – [Bye]
Heiko Schwarzer (GER) v [9/16] Nicolas Serna (COL)
[9/16] Vini Rodrigues (BRA) v Pavel Bodis (CZE)
[4] Marek Panacek (CZE) – [Bye]
[3] Owain Taylor (WAL) – [Bye]
Lubos Walter Jr (CZE) v [9/16] Noah Meredith (ENG)
[9/16] Ondrej Vorlicek (CZE) v Petr Nohel (CZE)
[7] David Zeman (CZE) – [Bye]
[6] James Peach (ENG) – [Bye]
Aron Astray (ESP) v [9/16] Jordan Warne (ENG)
[9/16] Abdelrahman Nasser (EGY) v [WC] Ondrej Uherka (CZE)
[2] Jakub Solnicky (CZE) – [Bye]

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