Hungary’s Farkas Balazs is the Austrian Open champion after he came from behind to defeat the tournament’s top seed, Czech Republic No.1 Daniel Mekbib, in a four-game final encounter in Salzburg.
Held at the Tenniscourt Sud in Salzburg, the Austrian Open allowed players living in ten nations to compete, thanks to the limited cross-border participation due to COVID-19 protocols in place in Austria.
To reach the final, Balazs had to overcome two seeded players in the 16-man draw. After downing Cedric Kuchen in the first round, the Hungarian then defeated No.7 seed Valentin Rapp and No.4 seed Yannik Omlor, the former being part of the German quartet at the 2019 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship, to reach the final.
The final was the third meeting between Balazs and Mekbib on the PSA World Tour, having faced off against each other twice in a month in late 2017. Mekbib held a 100% record over the Hungarian coming into this one, but it was Balazs that took the victory.
The World No.99 fell behind after the first game, as the Czech No.1 took the early advantage, but he was able to fight his way back into the match with a tie-break win in the second game.
From there on, he kept the intensity high, and allowed Mekbib just six points across the next two games, securing the victory and the title after four games, winning out 10-12, 14-12, 11-1, 11-5 in 56 minutes to claim the fifth title of his professional career.