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PSA de Normandie 2023


$3,000 Men's PSA de Normandie 2023, Art Sport Cafe, Le Havre, France
(also known as Le Havre Challenger), PSA Challenger Tour 3
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PSA de Normandie 2023
Men's Draw
13 - 16 Apr
Le Havre, France, $3k

[4] Miko Aijanen (FIN) bt [1] Rowan Damming 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7 (67m)

[1] Rowan Damming (NED) bt [3] Ondrej Vorlícek (CZE) 11-9, 11-5, 11-2
[4] Miko Äijänen (FIN) bt [2] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) 13-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8

[1] Rowan Damming (NED) bt [7] Laouenan Loaëc (FRA) 11-6, 11-4, 1-11, 11-7
[3] Ondrej Vorlícek (CZE) bt Brett Schille (CAN) 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (40m)
[4] Miko Äijänen (FIN) bt [5] Macéo Lévy (FRA) 13-11, 13-11, 11-9 (47m)
[2] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) bt Will Salter (ENG) 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5 (53m)

1st round:
[1] Rowan Damming (NED) bt Miguel Mathis (SUI) 11-2, 11-6, 13-11 (35m)
[7] Laouenan Loaëc (FRA) bt [WC] Axel Diet (FRA) 2-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9 (45m)
Brett Schille (CAN) bt [8] Manu Paquemar (FRA) 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-2 (52m)
[3] Ondrej Vorlícek (CZE) bt Sven Stettler (SUI) 11-6, 4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9 (59m)
[4] Miko Äijänen (FIN) bt David Bernet (SUI) 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (30m)
[5] Macéo Lévy (FRA) bt Aaron Allpress (ENG) 11-3, 11-7, 12-10 (36m)
Will Salter (ENG) bt [6] Lewis Doughty (ENG) 11-8, 11-1, 11-3 (33m)
[2] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) bt Baptiste Bouin (FRA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9 (35m)

PSA de Normandie 2023
Women's Draw
13 - 16 Apr
Le Havre, France, $3k

[4] Lowri Roberts (WAL) bt [1] Caroline Lyng (DEN) 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8 (27m)

[4] Lowri Roberts (WAL) bt [1] Caroline Lyng (DEN) 8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8
Maria Tovar (COL) bt [2] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 3-11, 11-13, 12-10

[1] Caroline Lyng (DEN) bt [8] Lilou-Brévard Belliot (FRA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (17m)
[4] Lowri Roberts (WAL) bt [6] Ana Munos (FRA) 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (20m)
Maria Tovar (COL) bt [3] Ella Galova (FRA) 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 (52m)
[2] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) bt [5] Polly Clark (ENG) 11-9, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7 (35m)

1st round:
[1] Caroline Lyng (DEN) bye
[8] Lilou-Brévard Belliot (FRA) bt Rose Lucas-Marcuzzo (FRA) 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6 (35m)
[6] Ana Munos (FRA) bt Catherine Holland (SCO) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 (25m)
[4] Lowri Roberts (WAL) bt Inès Guyot (FRA) 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7
[3] Ella Galova (FRA) bye
Maria Tovar (COL) bt [7] Amelie Haworth (ENG) 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-3
[5] Polly Clark (ENG) bt Sofie Hausknotzová (CZE) 11-2, 11-3, 11-2
[2] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) bye
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Roberts and Aijanen Victorious

Lowri Roberts with the PSA de Normandie title

Wales’ Lowri Roberts and Finland’s Miko Aijanen were the PSA de Normandie victors at the Art Sport Cafe in Le Havre on Sunday afternoon.

The Welshwoman came into the Challenger 3 level competition as the No.4 seed, and defeated the tournament’s top seed in the semi-finals. She had started with comfortable wins over the French duo of Ines Guyot and Ana Munos, before facing Denmark’s Caroline Lyng in the last four.

The Dane, the top seed for the event, won the opening game of their semi-final 11-8. However, Roberts fought back, winning the second game comfortably. She then carried that momentum throughout the third and fourth games to book her place in the final.

She came up against surprise package Maria Tovar in the final on Sunday. Tovar had defeated two of the top three seeds en route, and she saved a match ball in the third game of the final to stay in the contest, going on to win it 12-10. However, Roberts regrouped, and won the fourth game 11-3 to secure her maiden Tour title at the age of 25.

Finland’s Miko Aijanen also came into the competition as the No.4 seed, and started his week with back-to-back straight games victories. He beat Switzerland’s David Bernet and Frenchman Maceo Levy to make it through to he semi-finals of the tournament.

In the last four, the Finnish No.1 came up against Toufik Mekhalfi, the No.2 seed. He won the opening game on a tie-break but then found himself 2-1 down. A quick fourth game sent the match to a decider, where he went on to defeat the Frenchman 11-8 to move through to the final.

Aijanen took on the tournament’s top seed Rowan Damming in the final. He was too games to the good, but the Dutchman showed why he was the World Junior Champion, battling back to send the match into a deciding game. The Finn would not be denied, though, and he won the fifth 11-7 to claim his first Tour title since 2019.

Baltayan Excited For Challenger Debut

Lauren Baltayan in action during the Black Ball Open in March 2023
Lauren Baltayan in action during the Black Ball Open

The PSA de Normandie is the last tournament to get underway this week, and Frenchwoman Lauren Baltayan will be featuring on the Challenger Tour for the first time.

The Challenger 3 tournament is taking place at the Art Sport Cafe in Le Havre, France, and will feature both a men’s and women’s draw over the four-day competition.

The 15-year-old was on SQUASHTV screens for the first time last month, as the tournament wildcard at the Black Ball Squash Open. She lost out to American Sabrina Sobhy on the day, but she took a lot from the experience of taking on a top 20 ranked player.

“I was a bit stressed at first but very happy and honoured to play in front of my coaches and my teammates at Black Ball. Sabrina [Sobhy] is a great player that i look up to, the 15-year-old said.

“In my heart I knew I wouldn’t win, but it was the occasion to really let my squash free and actually enjoy myself in the glass court. Playing in a prestigious tournament at the age of 15 isn’t something that happens everyday, I am aware of that and it makes me very proud.”

Baltayan represents France, but is proud to live in Cairo, due to her connections to Egypt. Although she plays under the ‘Tricolore’, the 15-year-old says she is both Egyptian and French, and that she pays for both while she is on court.

“Honestly, when I’m in Egypt, I feel Egyptian. My father is Egyptian and my mother is French. We have lived there our whole life! I started playing squash in this country at the age of 6, trained hard and fought hard to find my place in the Egyptian national rankings. Competition is tough, training is tough and for that reason it brought me at this level,” the 15-year-old explained.

“10 years ago, we met Philippe Signoret [French National Coach] at a PSA tournament in Egypt and have kept close contact ever since. First with my big brother, then with me. I would like to thank him and the French Federation for all the help they gave me. And of course, it would be wrong for me not to mention my coach, Ahmed Effat for his effort and believing in me everyday! Representing France and somehow Egypt on the court is an honour!”

This will be Baltayan’s first appearance on the Challenger Tour, and she will be the No.2 seed for the competition. She feels that she is ready to go this week on home soil,

“I feel well prepared for the upcoming tournament, comfortable with my squash and my form. Plus, since the tournament is in my home country, I am excited to reveal my progress!” Baltayan said.

“I am very excited to make my first appearance on the Challenger Tour. This is a great opportunity for me, playing for France and living in Egypt to show my skills and prove myself on the court. I have worked very hard for this moment and I am looking forward to giving it my all and playing my best squash.

“I will try my best to go as far as possible without putting any pressure on myself. After all it’s only my 2nd PSA event and I can’t wait for it!”

Denmark’s Caroline Lyng will bee the top seed for the women’s event, with Baltayan joined by three other Frenchwoman among the top eight. Ella Galova, Ana Munos and Lilou Brevard-Belliot will all be in action this week on home soil.

Welshwoman Lowri Roberts and the English duo of Amelie Haworth and Polly Clark make up the rest of the seeds. Scotland’s Catherine Holland, Colombian Maria Tovar and Czech Republic’s Sofie Hausknotzova will also be in action as the other non-French players in the women’s draw.

In the men’s event, reigning World Junior Champion Rowan Damming will be the top seed, with Frenchman Toufik Mekhalfi as his nearest competitor. Maceo Leevy, Laouenan Loaec and Manu Paquemar add to the French continent in the eight seeds for the men’s competition.

The Czech Republic’s Ondrej Vorlicek, Finland’s Miko Aijanen and England’s Lewis Doughty will also be seeded in the draw. Will Salter and Aaron Allpress add to the English interest, with Canada’s Brett Schille joining a trio of Swiss players in the draw.

For more information on the event, Where available see the PSA Live Scores page, or follow on PSAChallengerTourLivestreams, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & TikTok. Selected events will also be streamed live on SQUASHTV.

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