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24 Jul 2024

Koukal Ousts Azan In Nash Cup Upset

19 Sep 2013

Former champion Jan Koukal celebrated his fifth successive appearance in The NASH Cup, presented by the Roberts Nash Advisory Group in perfect style when he beat fourth seed Muhd Asyraf Azan in the biggest upset on the opening day of main draw action in the PSA World Tour Challenger 15 squash event at London Squash Racquets Club in London in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Described as 'match of the day' by tournament spokesman Dave Morrish, the clash lasted for 82 minutes and delighted the packed crowd.

"All the rallies were long, explosive and exciting," continued Morrish. "At 9-9 in the third, it was clear the crowd had a real game on their hands. Jan finished the game off by hitting a tin and hitting out on the lob, making it 2/1 to Muhd. They shared points to 6-6 in the fourth before Jan took a small advantage of 8-6 and 9-7 before taking it 11-8.

"So to a fifth! Muhd built a 5-2 lead and it looked like Jan was down and out. The crowd were behind him and he went from 2-5 to 9-5 - seven points in a row - and managed to close it out 11-8. Popular victory from the Czech!"

After his 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 victory, the 2010 champion from Prague progresses to meet Ben Coleman, the world No85 from England who acknowledged that he probably played his best ever squash in overcoming higher-ranked Frenchman Lucas Serme 11-8, 11-7, 11-3.

England's Declan James became the only qualifier to survive the first round after recovering from a game down to beat compatriot Joel Hinds 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 in 63 minutes.

James, the 20-year-old former European Junior Champion from Nottingham, now faces another fellow countryman Joe Lee, the top seed who needed 40 minutes to overcome rising Canadian star Nicholas Sachvie, the wild card, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6.

Home interest in the event is led by second seed Shawn Delierre and No3 seed Shahier Razik. Delierre, the world No38 from Montreal, defeated compatriot Andrew Schnell 11-3, 11-9, 11-3, while 2011 champion Razik, the world No50 from Toronto, fought back from a game down to beat fellow countryman David Letourneau, a qualifier from Calgary, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Joe Lee (ENG) v [Q] Declan James (ENG)
[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) v Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY)
Jan Koukal (CZE) v Ben Coleman (ENG)
[2] Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Eddie Charlton (ENG)

1st round:
[1] Joe Lee (ENG) bt [WC] Nicholas Sachvie (CAN) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (40m)
[Q] Declan James (ENG) bt Joel Hinds (ENG) 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (63m)
Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt [Q] Scott Arnold (AUS) 12-10, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
[3] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt [Q] David Letourneau (CAN) 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 (43m)
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt [4] Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS) 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (82m)
Ben Coleman (ENG) bt Lucas Serme (FRA) 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 (66m)
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt [Q] Lewis Walters (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 13-11 (58m)
[2] Shawn Delierre (CAN) bt Andrew Schnell (CAN) 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (42m)