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Rui Soares in action at the Qatar QTerminals Classic

Swiss Open & Uster Cup Preview: Soares Happy For Qatar Opportunity

The Swiss Open and Uster Cup begins on Wednesday at Squash Arena Uster, with both a men’s and women’s event taking place at the Challenger 5 & 3 level tournaments.

The event starts on Wednesday, with the first two days focusing on the 32-strong men’s draw, before the field of 16 women begin their event on Friday morning.

A trio of home favourites, in Cindy Merlo, Nadia Pfister and Celine Walser, will lead the way in the women’s draw, with Frenchwoman Taba Taghavi as the final member of the top four seeds.

Scotland’s Katriona Allen, Spain’s Sofia Mateos, Czech Republic’s Eva Fertekova and one of several other Swiss players in the event, Alina Poessl, make up the rest of the top eight seeds.

Yannick Wilhelmi, Robin Gadola, Cedric Kuchen and Nils Roesch will all be among the seeded players, with all four aiming to win on home soil, while the likes of Hungary, England, Spain, Russia and Italy all represented.

Portugal’s World No.68 Rui Soares will be the top seed for the men’s event, and we spoke to him prior to the tournament, fresh off making history at the Qatar QTerminals Classic.

“I feel like I am playing well and most importantly enjoying my squash. Last couple of months I’ve played quite a few tournaments and overall I think I’ve done quite well. Hopefully I can keep the good momentum and keep that consistency,” he said.

In winning his first round match at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, the Portuguese No.1 became the first player from his nation to win a match at a Platinum level event. He then played World No.3 Paul Coll in the second round, an experience he enjoyed despite the loss.

“It’s always great when achieve something like that. It was very important for me because I haven’t been able to play many big events yet and am really happy to get my first win in a tournament like the Qatar Classic. Hopefully this will give me more chances to play in this bigger events,” Soares explained.

“I always like to play the top players because it’s a great opportunity to learn and get better. The experience of playing in the glass court in Doha, with someone like Paul Coll its invaluable and really learned a lot from it. It was my first time playing a PSA in Qatar and the organisation was unbelievable – definitely one of the best events I’ve ever played!”

Soares comes into the Swiss Open & Uster Cup as the top seed, and although he knows there will be pressure on him, he is looking forward to getting going.

“There is always pressure when you are the top seed of an event but I am just happy to be able to travel again and compete in tournaments. I’ve played quite a few times here in Uster and really like to play here,” he said.

“It’s a pretty strong tournament and there are many players that can win the event so I will just focus on trying my best and enjoying my squash during this week.”

The event takes place from Wednesday 27 to Sunday 31 at the Squash Arena Uster, where Portugal’s Rui Soares is the top seed for the men’s event. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Action from Uster 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.

Men’s First Round Draw: Swiss Open & Uster Cup
[1] Rui Soares (POR) v [WC] Joel Siewerdt (SUI)
[WC] Nero Harms (SUI) v [14] Nils Roesch (SUI)
[12] Stuart MacGregor (ENG) v David Maier (LIE)
[WC] Nils Herzberg (GER) v [6] Robin Gadola (SUI)
[5] Ivan Perez (ESP) v [WC] David Bernet (SUI)
Nilo Vidal (ESP) v [15] Makar Esin (RUS)
[16] Manu Paquemar (FRA) v Tobias Weggen (GER)
[WC] Nico Mathis (SUI) v [4] Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI)
[3] Nick Wall (ENG) v Jakob Kanel (SUI)
[WC] Campbell Wells (SUI) v [11] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA)
[9] Abhishek Pradhan (IND) v Fabian Igelbrink (GER)
Adam Sinkule (CZE) v [7] Vladislav Titov (RUS)
[8] Yuri Furneti (ITA) v Paul Gonzalez (FRA)
[WC] Marlon Bernegger [SUI) v [10] Cedric Kuchen (SUI)
[13] Javier Martin (ESP) v [WC] Noah Mannhart (SUI)
Luca Zatti (SUI) v [2] Farkas Balazs (HUN)

Women’s First Round Draw: Swiss Open & Uster Cup
[1] Cindy Merlo (SUI) v Varvara Esina (RUS)
Stella Kaufmann (SUI) v [8] Alina Poessl (SUI)
[5] Katriona Allen (SCO) v Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)
Maria Arseniev (RUS) v [3] Celine Walser (SUI)
[4] Taba Taghavi (FRA) v Tamara Holzbauerova (CZE)
Kate Gadola (SUI) v [6] Sofia Mateos (ESP)
[7] Eva Fertekova (CZE) v Polly Clark (ENG)
Caroline Bachem (SUI) v [2] Nadia Pfister (SUI)

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