6:34 am
17 Jun 2024

Eain Yow Ng & Dimitri Steinmann Set Up Shock German Open Final

7 Apr 2024

A shock men's final will bring the 2024 German Open Presented by Sportwerk to a close after Switzerland's Dimitri Steinmann ousted the No.3 seed and Malaysian Malaysia's Eain Yow Ng toppled top seed Joel Makin in a 73-minute thriller in the PSA World Tour Bronze event at Sportwerk Hamburg in Hamburg.

Belgian favourite Nele Gilis will face England's No.3 seed Georgina Kennedy in the women's final.

Despite a quick start for Welshman Makin, who took a 4-1 lead in the first game, Yow Ng quickly levelled the match and the pair looked inseparable to 8-9, with the Malaysian winning with a backhand cross-court nick to restore parity in the game. The No.4 seed had the first chance at taking a 1/0 lead, and despite after a contentious decision in which Yow Ng believed Makin's get went over the court lines on the front wall, the Malaysian converted the game at 13-11.

Yow Ng looked strong as he entered the second game, comfortably handling the brutal physicality of Makin, winning a thrilling rally at 4-2 with an impossibly tight squeeze on the right wall. The rallies continued to be long and attritional, but Yow Ng kept narrowly ahead and won 11-8 to go within a game of a place in the final.

Makin looked revitalised at the start of the third, and after Yow Ng mishit an overhead shot at 1-0, Makin seemed to have the mental advantage as he pushed to a 7-1 lead. The Malaysian did fightback to 4-8, but the gap in points was too great to overcome as the top seed converted his lead 11-6 to halve his deficit.

The two players traded points to 8-8 in the fourth game. A tin hit from Makin at 8-8 after a particularly attritional rally saw Yow Ng yell out, and the Malaysian won two more points in quick successive to take out the top seed.

"You could see that I was trying to contain my emotions throughout the match and not show too much emotion," said Yow Ng after the match. "Against someone like Joel you can't over attack to the front and today I was really free and I was hitting a lot of shots to the front myself. I can't get over-excited - at the start of the third I got it wrong and he punished me. I had to make sure I got my lines right. At 7-4 down he came back and yesterday he was down he came back and he's shown with his reputation how tough he is and, to be honest, I think he was carrying a bit of an injury as well today."

In the last semi-final, Switzerland's Dimitri Steinmann defeated Egypt's Mohamed ElSherbini to progress to the first PSA World Tour final of his career. Mohamed ElSherbini took an early 6-3 lead, but the 'Jet' fought back quickly, with a forehand kill to make it 4-6, and after he marched into the lead, the Swiss player sent ElSherbini the wrong way to take a 9-7 lead. Steinmann stayed ahead as he pushed to a 11-8 first game win.

The No.6 seed looked dominant in the second game, taking an 7-4 advantage as the Egyptian seemed to struggle with Steinmann's shot combinations, and the Swiss player scored four unanswered points to take a 2/0 lead. ElSherbini asked for a physio as he left the court, and after a prolonged break, Steinmann won four successive points to make it eight points in a row for the No.6 seed before ElSherbini won his first rally of the third game. From there, Steinmann controlled the game, with ElSherbini unable to keep up, as he won the final game 11-1.

In an exciting third semi-final of the day, No.1 seed Nele Gilis defeated Egypt's Salma Hany. In a 12-minute first game, Gilis showed strong signs in the opening phases, managing to nullify the threat that Hany possesses, and pulling the Egyptian into the front of the court to suit the Belgian's game style. The Egyptian responded well, firing four unanswered points to start the second game. Despite a fightback from Gilis from 4-8 to 7-9, the Egyptian held her lead and levelled the match at one-all.

Hany took an early 6-3, but the top seed pushed back to level pegging despite a dramatic double dive from the Egyptian. The top seed's physicality was too much as Gilis overcame the deficit to take the lead in the match after a close-fought tie-break. The fourth game wasn't as close, with the Belgian went ahead from the outset. Hany fought back to 10-10, but Gilis' quality and athleticism made the difference in the end as she took the game 13-11 and booked her place in the final.

In the first match of the day, England's Georgina Kennedy defeated Wales' Tesni Murphy in four games to reach her second final of the season. Kennedy looked in control of the match from the beginning, covering the court with ease as she pulled Murphy around the court and converted her advantage at 10-5 to take the lead in the match before repeating the feat (again winning 11-5) in the second game.

Murphy, finally managing to contain the quality of Kennedy, started finding her targets in the third game and surged to a decisive 7-2 lead. The Welshwoman pushed on and converted the game 11-4 to bring life back into her final hopes. In the first closely-contended game of the match, both players traded points to 6-6, but the quality of Kennedy shone through to collect four consecutive points, winning the match at the third time of asking.

"I think that's my issue - I don't underestimate her, so even when I'm 2/0 up I'm so aware of what she's capable of but it makes me really nervous!" said Kennedy after the match.