The DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup takes place this weekend in Hamburg, Germany, with both a men’s and women’s draw in action, with play streamed live on the PSA Challenegr Tour YouTube channel.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been restricted to only cross-border participation, with players from several European nations involved this weekend.
The majority of the top seeds in the men’s draw are playing on home soil this week, with Yannik Omlor the top seed for the event. He is joined by Valentin Rapp in the top four, along with Dutchman Roshan Bharos and Egypt’s Tarek Shehata.
The women’s draw is headed up by World No.34 Milou van der Heijden, who will be featuring on the Tour for the first time since the Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week event in March 2020.
She will be joined in the draw by Saskia Beinhard, Aylin Gunsav and Katerina Tycova, the German trio who will make up the rest of the top four seeds. We spoke to the Dutchwoman ahead of the event in Hamburg, and she is looking forward to getting back into tournament play for the first time in over a year.
“It’s one of the reasons I’m playing this event. Luckily I’ve been able to train well during these past 14 months, but mostly with junior boys. As good as they are to train with, it’s very different to the women’s game. So this weekend will be good to see where my game is at,” the Dutch No.1 explained.
“Mostly just the competition, I’ve definitely missed that. Of course there will be a lot of restrictions to make sure it’s safe for everyone, so it won’t be a ’normal’ tournament. I’m curious to see what that feels like as well.
“Being the top seed always adds some pressure, but it’s also something you need to deal with when being a professional squash player,” she said.
“So it’s actually good to have that this weekend, as it’s been 14 months since I’ve felt that kind of pressure. It will take some time to get used to again, because this is not something you can practice really.”
Van der Heijden made it inside the top 30 in the World Rankings at two separate stages of 2019, and once she finds her feet again on Tour, her goal is to reach that level again.
“[The] main focus for me now is to get back into playing PSA events regularly. Hopefully the PSA World Tour will return to normal soon, and only then I feel I can start focussing on breaking that top 30 again.”
The event takes place from Saturday 22 to Monday 24 May at the Sportwerk Hamburg in Germany, where Milou van der Heijden is the top seed for the women’s event. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.
Action from Sportwerk Hamburg will be streamed throughout the week on the PSA Challenger Tour YouTube channel, where you can watch Challenger Tour action, and interviews with rising stars.
Men’s Draw: DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup
 Yannik Omlor (GER) – [Bye]
Julius Winkler (GER) v  Norman Junge (GER)
 Lennard Hinrichs (GER) v Fabian Igelbrink (GER)
 Tobias Weggen (GER) – [Bye]
 Willi Wingelsdorf (GER) v Youssef Elgammal (GER)
Paul Ecker (GER) v  Jan Wipperfurth (GER)
 Max Plettenberg (GER) v Felix Gobel (GER)
 Valentin Rapp (GER) – [Bye]
 Tarek Shehata (EGY) – [Bye]
Simon Wolter (GER) v  Dennis Welte (GER)
 Carsten Schoor (GER) v Nils Schwab (GER)
Paul Wingelsdorf (GER) v  Fynn Schuck (GER)
 Julius Benthin (GER) – [Bye]
Nils Herzberg (GER) v  Hendrik Vossing (GER)
 Christoph Bluhm (GER) v Florian Stoger (GER)
 Roshan Bharos (NED) – [Bye]
Women’s Draw: DSQV Sportwerk Series: Esche Cup
 Milou van der Heijden (NED) – [Bye]
Mai-Ly Nguyễn (GER) v  Ella Galova (FRA)
 Lea-Iris Murrizi (GER) v Lucie Mahrle (GER)
Laura Goulding (GER) v  Katerina Tycova (GER)
 Aylin Gunsav (GER) – [Bye]
Anna Karina Moreno Kopp (GER) v  Naomi Notar (NED)
 Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) v Lisa Seidensticker (GER)
 Saskia Beinhard (GER) – [Bye]