Iván Pérez reaches final of 2023 PSA Gibraltar Open

July 01 2023

Iván Pérez of Spain fought valiantly against Velavan Senthilkumar of India in the final of the 2023 PSA Gibraltar Open before eventually being denied 18-16 11-8 11-7 at the Europa Sports Centre.

The two finalists, who are training partners at Europe’s leading squash academy Barcelona Global Squash, produced a high quality 65-minute contest.

Senthilkumar, hailing from Chennai and ranked World No.117, claimed the sixth PSA World Tour title of his career with a hard-fought 18-16 11-8 11-7 victory over Pérez in a thrilling encounter lasting 65 minutes.

The opening game of the final was an epic battle lasting 32 minutes, characterised by both players exchanging game balls before Senthilkumar finally emerged victorious in a lengthy tie-break.

A sequence of uncharacteristic errors from Pérez allowed Senthilkumar to establish an early 5-1 lead in the second game, which he extended to 8-1. Although Pérez staged a recovery to narrow the gap to 8-6, Senthilkumar earned his first game ball at 10-6 and sealed the game with the third attempt, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third game, the Indian player showcased his dominance by storming into an impressive 8-2 lead, subsequently extending it to five championship balls. Pérez managed to save two of them, but ultimately could not deny Senthilkumar as he closed out the victory.

With this remarkable achievement, Senthilkumar adds another significant milestone to his career, solidifying his reputation as a rising star in the world of squash.

PSA Gibraltar Squash Open 2023, Europa Sports Centre, Gibraltar
Men’s Final:
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [2] Iván Pérez (ESP) 18-16, 11-8, 11-7 (65m)

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UNSQUASHABLE players Iván Pérez of Spain and Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic produced a spectacular and entertaining 62-minute semi-final at the PSA Gibraltar Open before the Spanish 2nd seed eventually advanced to the final with the hard fought 11-9 11-5 10-12 11-5 victory.

Well played Daniel Mekbib & congratulations Iván Pérez … #teamunsquashable

UNSQUASHABLE player Iván Pérez will play Velavan Senthilkumar of India in the final of the PSA Gibraltar Open Final … both players are based at Europe’s leading squash academy Barcelona Global Squash.

Unseeded Velavan Senthilkumar rallied from behind to defeat No.3 seed Emyr Evans in the opposing semi-final. Despite Evans saving all five game balls in the opening set, he narrowly claimed it 13-11. However, Senthilkumar's determined performance enabled him to level the match in the second set and take the lead with an 11-6 triumph in the third. Senthilkumar continued his dominance in the fourth set, establishing an 8-5 advantage and winning three consecutive points to secure his place in the final.

PSA Gibraltar Squash Open 2023, Europa Sports Centre, Gibraltar
Men’s Semi-Finals:
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [3] Emyr Evans (WAL) 11-13, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (56m)
[2] Iván Pérez (ESP) bt [6] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5 (62m)

UNSQUASHABLE players Daniel Mekbib and Iván Pérez will meet each other in the semi-finals of the PSA Gibraltar Open after contrasting quarter-final victories at the Europa Sports Centre.

6th seed Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic produced a near-faultless display to beat 4th seed James Peach of England 11-6 11-9 11-9 in 40 minutes, whilst 2nd seed Iván Pérez of Spain was forced to dig deep to overcome 8th seed Owain Taylor of Wales 11-6 5-11 11-4 8-11 11-9 in 74 minutes.

Fellow #teamunsquashable player Miles Jenkins of England was denied 11-13 12-14 11-7 12-10 11-6 by Velavan Senthilkumar of India in a tightly contested 69-minute quarter-final.

In the upcoming men's semi-finals of the tournament, we will witness an intriguing matchup between the unseeded Indian player Velavan Senthilkumar and the Welsh No.3 seed Emyr Evans. On the other side of the draw, UNSQUASHABLE pair Daniel Mekbib and Iván Pérez will face off against each other.

Senthilkumar faced a formidable opponent in UNSQUASHABLE player Miles Jenkins during his last match, as the unseeded Englishman had previously caused a major upset by defeating top seed Martin Svec in the opening round.

Initially, Miles Jenkins seemed to be in control of the match, taking a commanding 2-0 lead with narrow game wins of 13-11 and 14-12. However, Senthilkumar mounted a remarkable comeback, winning the next three games with scores of 11-7 12-10 11-6. As a result, Senthilkumar secured his place in the semi-finals, where he will face Evans, who overcame Spain's Edmon Lopez with an 11-6 11-9 11-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Daniel Mekbib earned his spot in the final four by delivering a dominant performance against the English No.4 seed James Peach, defeating him in straight sets. Iván Pérez, on the other hand, faced a challenging contest in his quarter-final match against the Welsh No.8 seed Owain Taylor, narrowly prevailing with a 3-2 victory.

Overall, the semi-finals promise to be fiercely competitive, with Senthilkumar, Evans, Mekbib, and Pérez battling for a place in the final. Fans can expect thrilling displays of skill and determination as these players vie for a chance to claim the tournament title.

PSA Gibraltar Squash Open 2023, Europa Sports Centre, Gibraltar
Men’s Quarter-Finals:
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt Miles Jenkins (ENG) 11-13, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6 (69m)
[3] Emyr Evans (WAL) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 11-6, 11-9, 11-1 (32m)
[6] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) bt [4] James Peach (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 (40m)
[2] Iván Pérez (ESP)
bt [8] Owain Taylor (WAL) 11-6, 5-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9 (74m)

UNSQUASHABLE players Miles Jenkins, Daniel Mekbib and Iván Pérez have all progressed to the quarter-finals of the PSA Gibraltar Squash Open following 1st round victories of the championships being staged at the Europa Sports Centre.

Miles Jenkins of England produced the shock of the opening day with a 4-11 11-6 11-5 11-5 victory over top seed Martin Svec of the Czech Republic, whilst Daniel Mekbib & Iván Pérez advanced with victories over Robin Gadola and Manu Paquemar respectively.

Currently ranked World No.161, Miles Jenkins pulled off a stunning upset by defeating top-seeded Martin Svec. The 28-year-old Englishman showed great resilience as he battled back from a game down, ultimately securing a hard-fought 38-minute victory. The win has earned Miles a spot in the quarter-finals, where he will face India's Velavan Senthilkumar, who overcame the 7th seed Toufik Mekhalfi.

Tournament 2nd seed Iván Pérez of Spain began his campaign with a comeback win against Switzerland's Robin Gadola. After dropping the first game, Iván rallied back and clinched victory by winning three consecutive games, each decided by a tie-break, winning 7-11 13-11 12-10 14-12 in 64 minutes. His next challenge will come from eighth seed Owain Taylor.

Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic defeated Manu Paquemar of France 11-6 11-6 11-4 in 29-minutes and will face 4th seed James Peach of England in the quarter-finals.

Fellow #teamunsquashable players Elliott Morris Devred and Klara Møller were both beaten in their respective 1st round matches, with Elliott Morris Devred falling to fellow Welshman Owain Taylor 11-4 6-11 10-12 11-7 11-7 in 60 minutes and Danish No.1 Klara Møller being denied by Katriona Allen of Scotland 9-11 13-11 13-15 11-5 11-7 in 53 minutes.

PSA Gibraltar Squash Open 2023, Europa Sports Centre, Gibraltar
Men’s 1st ound:
Miles Jenkins (ENG) bt [1] Martin Svec (CZE) 4-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (38m)
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) bt [7] Toufik Mekhalfi (FRA) 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5 (54m)
Edmon Lopez (ESP) bt [5] Perry Malik (ENG) 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)
[3] Emyr Evans (WAL) bt Jakub Solnicky (CZE) 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 (49m)
[4] James Peach (ENG) bt Stuart MacGregor (ENG) 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 14-12 (61m)
[6] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) bt Manu Paquemar (FRA) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (29m)
[8] Owain Taylor (WAL) bt Elliott Morris Devred (WAL) 11-4, 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 (60m)
[2] Iván Pérez (ESP) bt Robin Gadola (SUI) 7-11, 13-11, 12-10, 14-12 (64m)

Women's 1st Round:
[1] Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP) bt Lowri Roberts (WAL) 11-4, 11-9, 12-10 (32m)
[7] Lauren Baltayan (FRA) bt Emilia Korhonen (FIN) 11-6, 15-13, 11-6 (26m)
[5] Saran Nghiem (ENG) bt Caroline Lyng (DEN) 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 (22m)
[3] Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP) bt Siena Hall (GIB) 11-3, 11-1, 11-0 (13m)
[4] Jacqueline Peychär (AUT) bt Sofía Mateos (ESP) 11-13, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7 (57m)
Katriona Allen (SCO) bt [8] Klara Møller (DEN) 9-11, 13-11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7 (53m)
[6] Kiera Marshall (ENG) bt Marie van Riet (BEL) 11-4, 11-6, 11-3 (23m)
Hana Ismail (EGY) bt [2] Torrie Malik (ENG) 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 12-14, 11-8

UNSQUASHABLE players Iván Pérez, Daniel Mekbib, Elliott Morris Devred, Miles Jenkins & Klara Møller will all compete in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Gibraltar Squash Open to be staged at the Europa Sports Centre in Gibraltar from the 28th June to 1st July.

In a highly anticipated first round of the men's competition, the second seed, Iván Pérez from Spain, will square off against Switzerland's Robin Gadola. Meanwhile, third seed Daniel Mekbib of the Czech Republic will face off against France's Manu Paquemar. Elliott Morris Devred will take on fellow Welshman Owain Taylor, whilst Miles Jenkins from England will go head-to-head with the top seed, Martin Svec from the Czech Republic.

In the women's draw, Danish No.1 Klara Møller will start her campaign by against Scotland's Katriona Allen.

Iván Pérez vs Robin Gadola
Daniel Mekbib
vs Manu Paquemar
Elliott Morris Devred vs Owain Taylor
Miles Jenkins vs Martin Svec
Klara Møller
vs Katriona Allen

The highly anticipated 11th edition of the PSA Gibraltar Squash Open is set to take place from the 28th of June to the 1st of July at the Europa Sports Centre in Gibraltar. As a prominent fixture on the PSA Challenger Tour, the event has grown in stature since its inception in 2012, and last year it expanded to include a women's draw, adding to its allure.

Renowned players such as Germany's Raphael Kandra, England's Nick Wall, and France's Sebastien Bonmalais have all emerged victorious in previous editions, showcasing the tournament's competitive nature and attracting top talent from around the globe.

In the 2022 edition, Spain's Edmon Lopez and Egypt's Rana Ismail claimed the titles in their respective categories. This year, Lopez returns as the defending champion, bracing himself for another exhilarating battle at the Europa Sports Centre. He joins the esteemed 9/16 seeding bracket alongside his compatriot Iván Pérez, who holds the prestigious position of the competition's No.2 seed. However, it is the Czech Republic's Martin Svec who stands as the top seed, while Welshman Emyr Evans and England's James Peach complete the formidable top four seeds.

The Challenger 5 level competition features a strong lineup of contenders, with England's Perry Malik, Frenchman Toufik Mekhalfi, Welshman Owain Taylor, and the Czech Republic's Daniel Mekbib securing their places as the remaining seeds in the top eight.

Shifting focus to the women's competition, Spain's Marta Dominguez Fernandez assumes the role of top seed, carrying the weight of expectations into the tournament. Meanwhile, England's Torrie Malik, aiming for her seventh title of the season, occupies the No.2 seed position, aspiring to establish herself as a leading force on the Tour.

Supporting their compatriots, Saran Nghiem and Kiera Marshall secure their spots as seeds in the women's draw. They are joined by Singapore's Au Yeong Wai Yhann, Austria's top-ranked player Jacqueline Peychar, France's Lauren Baltayan, and Denmark's No.1 player Klara Møller, forming a diverse and talented field of competitors.

With thrilling matches and fierce rivalries on the horizon, the 2023 PSA Gibraltar Squash Open promises to captivate fans worldwide, as athletes vie for glory and cement their names in squash history.

Professional Squash Association (PSA) Gibraltar Squash Open, Europa Sports Center, Gibraltar.
Men’s 1st Round Draw:
[1] Martin Svec (CZE) v Miles Jenkins (ENG)
Velavan Senthilkumar (IND) v [7] Toufik Mekhalfi (IND)
[5] Perry Malik (ENG) v Edmon Lopez (ESP)
Jakub Solnicky (CZE) v [3] Emyr Evans (WAL)
[4] James Peach (ENG) v Stuart MacGregor (ENG)
Manu Paquemar (FRA) v [3] Daniel Mekbib (CZE)
[8] Owain Taylor (WAL) v Elliott Morris Devred (WAL)
Robin Gadola (SUI) v [2] Ivan Perez (ESP)

Women's 1st Round Draw:
[1] Marta Dominguez Fernandez (ESP) v Lowri Roberts (WAL)
Emilia Korhonen (FIN) v [7] Lauren Baltayan (FRA)
[5] Saran Nghiem (ENG) v Caroline Lyng (DEN)
Siena Hall (GIB) v [3] Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)
[4] Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) v Sofia Mateos (ESP)
Katriona Allen (SCO) v [8] Klara Møller (DEN)
[6] Kiera Marshall (ENG) v Marie Van Riet (BEL)
Hana Ismail (EGY) v [2] Torrie Malik (ENG)