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Celine Walser in action

3rd Silvester Trophy Preview: Walser Confident After Nationals Victory

The only event on the Challenger Tour on European soil this week will be the 3rd Silvester Trophy, which takes place from Thursday, February 17 to Monday, February 21 at Squash Arena Uster in Switzerland.

The Challenger 5 level men’s and women’s event was postponed from the week between Christmas and New Year, with largely the same fields taking to the court in Uster this week.

The men’s event will see a 32-man draw led by England’s Robert Downer, with New Zealand’s Lwamba and Temwa Chileshe, along with Switzerland’s Robin Gadola, among the top four seeds.

Italian No.1 Yuri Furneti, Dutch No.1 Roshan Bharos and the Czech pairing of Marek Panacek and David Zeman make up the rest of the top eight seeding bracket, with Spain, France and Germany among the other countries represented in the draw.

England’s Lily Taylor leads the 24-strong women’s event, with compatriots Lucy Beecroft and Alicia Mead, along with Swiss No.2 Nadia Pfister, inside the top four seeds.

Celine Walser, another of the Swiss contingent inside the top 100, is joined by Anna Kimberley and the Frenchduo of Lea Barbeau and Taba Taghavi in rounding out the top eight seeds.

We spoke to Walser prior to the tournament starting, and after winning the Swiss Nationals for the first time in December 2021, she comes into her first event of the year with much more confidence in her game.

“I am feeling really good on court at the moment. Winning the Swiss Nationals back in December has increased my self-confidence, and I’ve been enjoying my game a lot more and hence playing well recently, and I hope to continue to do so for the upcoming tournaments,” the World No.88 said.

“I am very excited to compete in my first tournament of the new year, and especially in a tournament at home. Uster is an amazing club, I have started to train there a few times a week and I also play for their team in the Swiss league. I am really looking forward to playing my first match there on Friday.”

Walser is one of four Swiss women inside the top 100, with Cindy Merlo leading the way at World No.38. Nadia Pfister and Ambre Allinckx, along with Walser, are all pushing up the rankings, and that is something the 23-year-old is proud of.

“It's amazing being part of such a young group of girls that are inside the top 100, I am really good friends with all of them and I train with them a lot, especially Nadia. We all support each other but also push each other to be better, since we are all on about the same skill level,” she explained.

Walser is currently at her highest World Rankings, but due to the way the rankings work, she knows that she will suffer a drop with some of her best results coming off her profile over the next few months.

However, the current World No.88 knows what is coming and is already planning to return back to her position and beyond, with a clear goal in sight for the end of 2022.

“It feels great to be at my highest world ranking of World No.88 at the moment, but unfortunately my ranking is going to take a severe hit and drop rather massively after this month because the points of my two best tournaments are going to drop off,” she explained.

“Therefore my goal for the next twelve months will be to try to get my ranking back to where it is currently and hopefully push it further and break into the world's top 60.”

The event takes place from Thursday, February 17 to Monday, February 21 at Squash Arena Uster, and you can follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Men’s First Round Draw: 3rd Silvester Trophy
[1] Robert Downer (ENG) v [WC] Andreas Dietzsch (SUI)
Rohan Mandil (FRA) v [12] Joel Arscott (NZL)
[10] Stuart MacGregor (ENG) v [WC] Fabian Seitz (SUI)
[WC] Lasse Widmer (SUI) v [8] David Zeman (CZE)
[7] Roshan Bharos (NED) v [WC] Fabian Igelbrink (GER)
[WC] Nico Mathis (SUI) v [13] Nilo Vidal (ESP)
[9] Simon Herbert (ENG) v David Bernet (SUI)
Baptiste Bouin (FRA) v [3] Robin Gadola (SUI)
[4] Temwa Chileshe (NZL) v Heiko Schwarzer (GER)
Brice Nicolas (FRA) v [16] William Donnelly (NZL)
[14] Nils Roesch (SUI) v Maceo Levy (FRA)
[WC] Noah Mannhart (SUI) v [6] Marek Panacek (CZE)
[5] Yuri Furneti (ITA) v Jakob Kanel (SUI)
Marc ter Sluis (NED) v [15] Miguel Mathis (SUI)
[11] Cedric Kuchen (SUI) v [WC] Silvan Oertli (SUI)
[WC] Sven Stettler (SUI) v [2] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL)

Women’s First Round Draw: 3rd Silvester Trophy
[1] Lily Taylor (ENG) – [Bye]
Polly Clark (ENG) v [9/16] Alina Poessl (SUI)
[9/16] Rana Ismail (EGY) v Kara Lincou (FRA)
[8] Taba Taghavi (FRA) – [Bye]
[7] Lea Barbeau (FRA) – [Bye]
Kate Gadola (SUI) v [9/16] Ella Galova (FRA)
[9/16] Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) v [WC] Areli Zayes (MEX)
[3] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) – [Bye]
[4] Alicia Mead (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Andrea Fjellgaard (NOR) v [9/16] Aylin Gunsav (GER)
[9/16] Ninon Lemarchand (FRA) v Ana Munos (FRA)
[6] Anna Kimberley (ENG) – [Bye]
[5] Celine Walser (SUI) – [Bye]
Stella Kaufmann (SUI) v [9/16] Kiera Marshall (ENG)
[9/16] Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP) v [WC] Stephanie Muller (SUI)
[2] Nadia Pfister (SUI) – [Bye]

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