Skip to content

HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Jaipur Leg winners

Weekend RoundUp: Wins for Elkabbani, Shiha, Van Den Herrewegen, Letourneau, Fiechter, Lake & van der Heijden

It was a busy week on the PSA Challenger Tour with six events taking place in total in all four corners of the globe.

Odense Open

Jan Van Den Herrewegen (left) Sam Todd (right)

Belgium’s Jan Van Den Herrewegen was forced to hold off a comeback from England’s rising talent Sam Todd as he claimed an 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8 victory in a mammoth 92-minute battle in Denmark.

16-year-old Todd had enjoyed a formidable week as he tore through the field, defeating the No.4 and No.5 seed en route to the final. However, he was unable to convert against a strong Van Den Herrewegen with the World No.106 utilising his experience to reach the finish line in an entertaining battle.

[2] Jan Van Den Herrewegen (BEL) bt [8] Sam Todd (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-8 (92m)

Seattle Open

Danielle Letourneau (left) Vanessa Chu (right)

The final of the 2020 Seattle Open treated fans at the Seattle Athletic Club to a showcase of the multifaceted nature of squash. Danielle Letourneau of Canada and Vanessa Chu of Hong Kong had both relied on exceptional athleticism in winning their relatively stress-free earlier rounds, but their ebb-and-flow final would hinge on tactics and racquet skills, with Letourneau taking the title in four games.

At the outset it looked like Letourneau might have an easy time of it, capitalizing on six Chu errors to take the first game, 11-5. But at the end of the opener Chu was having more success executing her attacking style, and she built on that momentum in the second. Her short game was suddenly flawless as, rally after rally, her winning shot was an unreachable drop or boast. She took the game 11-6 to even the match.

The third game started much like the second, with Chu establishing an 8-3 lead, but at that point the tide turned. Letourneau fought back, retrieving relentlessly and keeping her shots tight, while Chu’s error count began to rise. The Canadian would win eight of the next nine points to take the game. Her reestablished dominance carried through into the fourth, which she won 11-6 to earn the title.

“This morning I prepared with more focus and a clear plan,” Letourneau said. “I wanted to take away her angles and volleys. In the second game she was in control and hitting her shots. In the third, I turned things around when I told myself to simplify.

“I tend to overthink. When I refocused and stuck to the basics, things went the way I wanted.

“It was a great event, with a good atmosphere and a welcoming club. Good vibes bring out good performances.”

The win is Letourneau’s third and biggest PSA title to date.

[1] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) bt [3] Vanessa Chu (HKG) 3-1: 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (40m)

Savcor Finnish Open

Milou van der Heijden

Netherlands’ World No.34 Milou van der Heijden celebrated her eighth PSA title over the weekend as she defeated home hope Emilia Soini in Finland.

Top seed van der Heijden was in dominant form as she comfortably swept aside the No.4 seed by an 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 margin in their first meeting on the PSA Tour.

The title is the Dutch player’s first since the 2019 Annecy Rose Open in March last year.

[1] Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt [4] Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (27m)

E.M. Noll Classic

Youssef Ibrahim (left) Nathan Lake (right)

USA’s World No.36 Olivia Fiechter kept the E.M. Noll Classic title the USA hands after winning her second PSA Challenger title, while England’s World No.51 Nathan Lake claimed the men’s crown.

No.1 seed Fiechter was forced to come from two-games down as she staged a monumental comeback in the final of the PSA Challenger event to win 5-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 in 59 minutes.

Meanwhile, England’s Lake defeated top seed Youssef Ibrahim of Egypt to claim his fourth PSA title of his career.

[1] Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt [8] Hana Ramadan (EGY) 3-2: 5-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 (54m)
[3] Nathan Lake (ENG) bt [1] Youssef Ibrahim (EGY) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (55m)

HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Jaipur Leg

It was an Egyptian double at the HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Jaipur Leg as Ibrahim Elkabbani and Jana Shiha clinched the titles.

World No.417 Elkabbani completed a huge upset over top seed and World No.170 Pradhan to lift his first ever PSA Tour title.

The Egpytian held off a comeback from the home hope in the third game to claim an impressive 12-10, 11-3, 4-11, 11-5 win in 38 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the women’s event it was Shiha who won the all-Egyptian battle as she defeated compatriot Salma Eltayeb, who had enjoyed an impressive week defeating the likes of No.2 seed Nikki Todd and No.5 seed Ooi Kah Yan en route to the final.

However, she was unable to continue that good form as she fell to a strong Shiha by an 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 margin in the final.

[7] Jana Shiha (EGY) bt Salma Eltayeb (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 (30m)
Ibrahim Elkabbani (EGY) bt [1] Abhishek Pradhan (IND) 3-1: 12-10, 11-3, 4-11, 11-5 (38m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour