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Emily Whitlock (centre left) and Nicolas Mueller (centre right) with the Czech Open trophies

Czech Open: Whitlock & Mueller Victorious In Brno

Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller and Welshwoman Emily Whitlock were the victorious pairing at the Czech Open in Brno this week, with both taking home their first titles of 2021.

The Challenger 20 level tournament was held at Centrum Viktoria in Brno, Czech Republic, with 48 players from 17 nationalities aiming for glory over the five-day event.

Welshwoman Whitlock was the top seed for the women’s draw, coming into the tournament after moving back inside the top 20 in the World Rankings for the first time since April 2018.

After receiving a bye through the first round due to her seeding, the World No.18 then got the better of Germany’s Saskia Beinhard in straight games, before going the distance against England’s Lily Taylor in the quarter finals.

The British duo battled it out for almost an hour, with Taylor fighting back after Whitlock had taken a two game lead. The Welshwoman was able to recover the momentum, though, to win it 11-9 in the fifth to advance.

She then defeated Marie Stephan in three in the semis, before coming up against another Frenchwoman in the final, in No.2 seed Melissa Alves. Once again, Whitlock took the first two games, before Alves fought back to level the contest. Unfortunately, the World No.21 had to retire through injury early in the fifth, with Whitlock taking the win, and the title, her first since the Nash Cup in 2018.

Like Whitlock, the Swiss No.1 received a bye through to the second round of the competition, before getting the better of Austrian No.1 Aqeel Rehman in straight games.

His good form continued over the next two rounds, as he defeated Czech No.1 Daniel Mekbib and Frenchman Sebastien Bonmalais to make it through to the final in Brno.

Mueller came up against Swiss teammate Dimitri Steinmann in the final on Friday at Centrum Viktoria, and once again, the World No.31 was able to come through in straight games, finishing the tournament without dropping a single game, and claiming his first victory since the Liechtenstein Open in 2020.

Results: Czech Open
Men’s Final
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [3] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (42m)

Women’s Final
[1] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt [2] Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-2: 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 1-2 rtd (57m)

Men’s Semi-Finals
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [4] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) 3-0: 14-12, 11-2, 11-7 (44m)
[3] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt [2] Lucas Serme (FRA) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5 (66m)

Women’s Semi-Finals
[1] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (25m)
[2] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Cristina Gomez (ESP) 3-1: 11-3, 0-11, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)

Men’s Quarter Finals
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt [7] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-4 (29m)
[4] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) 3-2: 2-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5 (76m)
[3] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt [5] Bernat Jaume (ESP) 3-1: 9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-6 (58m)
[2] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Robert Downer (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (56m)

Women’s Quarter Finals
[1] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Lily Taylor (ENG) 3-2: 11-5, 11-5, 11-13, 9-11, 11-9 (59m)
Marie Stephan (FRA) bt Anna Kimberley (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 (33m)
Cristina Gomez (ESP) bt Grace Gear (ENG) 3-0: 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (30m)
[2] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 3-1: 12-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (39m)

Men’s Round Two
[1] Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 3-0: 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (AUT)
[7] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) bt [WC] Marek Panacek (CZE): Walkover
Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt [6] Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 3-2: 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5 (61m)
[4] Sebastien Bonmalais (FRA) bt Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (36m)
[3] Dimitri Steinmann (SUI) bt Valentin Rapp (GER) 3-0: 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (28m)
[5] Bernat Jaume (ESP) bt Yuri Furneti (ITA) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-5 (49m)
Robert Downer (ENG) bt [8] Martin Svec (CZE) 3-1: 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6 (43m)
[2] Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Ivan Perez (ESP) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (44m)

Women’s Round Two
[1] Emily Whitlock (WAL) bt Saskia Beinhard (GER) 3-0: 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 (32m)
Lily Taylor (ENG) bt [7] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 3-1: 12-10, 12-10, 11-13, 11-5 (34m)
Anna Kimberley (ENG) bt [8] Nadia Pfister (SUI) 3-1: 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 14-12 (50m)
Marie Stephan (FRA) bt [4] Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (20m)
Grace Gear (ENG) bt [3] Enora Villard (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Cristina Gomez (ESP) bt [6] Anna Serme (CZE) 3-0: 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt [5] Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-1: 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8 (38m)
[2] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Celine Walser (SUI) 3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 (21m)

Men’s Round One
Aqeel Rehman (AUT) bt Joeri Hapers (BEL) 3-1: 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7 (41m)
[WC] Marek Panacek (CZE) bt Viktor Byrtus (CZE) 3-2: 10-12, 13-11, 11-13, 11-0, 11-3 (57m)
Juan Camilo Vargas (COL) bt Ondrej Uherka (CZE) 3-0: 11-7, 11-2, 11-1 (29m)
Yannick Wilhelmi (SUI) bt [WC] David Zeman (CZE) 3-1: 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-6 (48m)
Valentin Rapp (GER) bt Roshan Bharos (NED) 3-0; 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 (38m)
Yuri Furneti (ITA) bt Sean Conroy (IRL) 3-1: 11-3, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 (62m)
Robert Downer (ENG) bt Miles Jenkins (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 (43m)
Ivan Perez (ESP) bt Vladislav Titov (RUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7 (52m)

Women’s Round One
Saskia Beinhard (GER) bt Eva Fertekova (CZE) 3-0: 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (21m)
Lily Taylor (ENG) bt Sofie Hausknotzova (CZE) 3-0: 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 (15m)
Anna Kimberley (ENG) bt [WC] Teresa Siroka (CZE) 3-0: 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 (24m)
Marie Stephan (FRA) bt Sofia Mateos (ESP) 3-0: 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (25m)
Grace Gear (ENG) bt Elise Romba (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-1 (21m)
Cristina Gomez (ESP) bt [WC] Tamara Holzbauerova (CZE) 3-0: 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (18m)
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) 3-0: 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (20m)
Celine Walser (SUI) bt Katerina Tycova (GER) 3-2: 8-11, 12-10, 11-3, 7-11, 12-10 (54m)

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