Skip to content

Victor Crouin with the Squash On Fire Open trophy

Squash On Fire Open: Gilis & Crouin Victorious In D.C.

Belgium’s Nele Gilis and Frenchman Victor Crouin were victorious at the Squash on Fire Open this week, with the latter securing his third title of 2021.

The Challenger 20 level tournament, which was held at Squash on Fire, the venue of the 2019 WSF Men’s World Team Championships, was only the second fully international event on the Challenger Tour since squash returned in September and there was a strong field in action, including six top-25 ranked players.

Gilis, the World No.14, was the No.2 seed for the women’s draw, behind only India’s Joshna Chinappa. She came through the draw with relative ease, dropping just a single game en route to the title.

After a bye through to the second round, she then defeated Marina Stefanoni, before overcoming No.7 seed Melissa Alves 3-1. She then got the better of another American, in World No.20 Olivia Fiechter to reach the final.

There, she came up against the giant-killing wildcard, Englishwoman Georgina Kennedy, but the Belgian was able to subdue the World No.105, winning the final in straight games to secure her first title in two years, since her victory at the Cannon Kirk Irish Squash Open in 2019.

Nele Gilis with the winner's trophy

The men’s title was taken by Frenchman Victor Crouin, who already had two wins under his belt this year, after successes at the PSA Challenger 10 Le Reve Nancy and the Cognac Open.

Like Gilis, Crouin came through the tournament relatively unscathed, dropping two games to win the crown. He started with a victory over Pakistan’s Asim Khan in the second round, before beating No.6 seed Mahesh Mangaonkar in the last eight.

Crouin got the better of Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas to reach the final, where he came up against former World No.1, and the tournament’s top seed, James Willstrop. The Frenchman claimed the title thanks to a 3-1 win, taking his third victory of 2021, and the 13th title of his short career so far.

Results: Squash On Fire Open
Men’s Final
[2] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [1] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-1: 11-5, 11-13, 11-7, 11-8 (51m)

Women’s Final
[2] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [WC] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 (34m)

Men’s Semi-Finals
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 3-1: 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (51m)
[2] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [8] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) 3-1: 10-12, 11-1, 11-4, 11-6 (46m)

Women’s Semi-Finals
[WC] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [4] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-9, 11-1 (26m)
[2] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [3] Olivia Fiechter (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (44m)

Men’s Quarter-Finals
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-6, 11-7 (33m)
Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt [5] Ivan Yuen (MAS) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, rtd (29m)
[8] Leonel Cardenas (MEX) bt Spencer Lovejoy (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 11-4 (43m)
[2] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt [6] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 7-1 rtd (37m)

Women’s Quarter-Finals
[WC] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [1] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-0: 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (32m)
[4] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 3-1: 11-7, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7 (46m)
[3] Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt [8] Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-0: 11-8, 16-14, 11-8 (37m)
[2] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt [7] Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-1: 3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (50m)

Men’s Round Two
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Emyr Evans (WAL) 3-0: 12-10, 11-8, 11-2 (37m)
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt [7] Shahjahan Khan (USA) 3-2: 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8 (78m)
[5] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 3-1: 17-15, 4-11, 13-11, 11-8 (78m)
Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) 3-2: 0-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (56m)
Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt [3] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 3-2: 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7 (59m)
[8] Leonel Cardenas (MAS) bt Nasir Iqbal (PAK) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 (48m)
[6] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) bt Christopher Gordon (USA) 3-0: 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (38m)
[2] Victor Crouin (FRA) bt Asim Khan (PAK) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 (32m)

Women’s Round Two
[1] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Ineta Mackevica (LAT) 3-0: 17-15, 11-4, 11-7 (32m)
[WC] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt [6] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (29m)
[5] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Lucy Beecroft (ENG) 3-1: 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (41m)
[4] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-6 (36m)
[3] Olivia Fiechter (USA) bt Rachel Arnold (MAS) 3-1: 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (33m)
[8] Lisa Aitken (SCO) bt Hana Moataz (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 11-9, 2-11, 11-7 (36m)
[7] Melissa Alves (FRA) bt Marie Stephan (FRA) 3-2: 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-1 (48m)
[2] Nele Gilis (BEL) bt Marina Stefanoni (UA) 3-0: 11-3, 12-10, 11-2 (27m)

Men’s Round One
Emyr Evans (WAL) bt Christopher Binnie (JAM) 3-0: 11-4 rtd (7m)
Addeen Idrakie (MAS) bt Faraz Khan (USA) 3-0: 11-9, 11-3, 11-2 (20m)
Mohammad Syafiq Kamal (MAS) bt [WC] Karan Malik (IND) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (27m)
Ryosei Kobayashi (JPN) bt [WC] Nick Sutcliffe (ENG) 3-1: 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-2 (36m)
Spencer Lovejoy (USA) bt Babatunde Ajagbe (NGR) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 (27m)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) bt Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT) 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (23m)
Christopher Gordon (USA) bt Timothy Brownell (USA) 3-1: 11-8, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8 (62m)
Asim Khan (PAK) bt Ammar Altamimi (KUW) 3-2: 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8 (65m)

Women’s Round One
Ineta Mackevica (LAT) bt Diana Garcia (MEX) 3-1: 9-11, 11-2, 12-10, 12-10 (39m)
[WC] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (28m)
Lucy Beecroft (ENG) bt Nicole Bunyan (CAN) 3-1: 11-1, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 (29m)
Emilia Soini (FIN) bt [WC] Maria Arseniev (RUS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 (21m)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt Wen Li Lai (MAS) 3-0: 11-3, 16-14, 11-6 (37m)
Hana Moataz (EGY) bt Amna Fayyaz (PAK) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-3 (17m)
Marie Stephan (FRA) bt Ali Loke (WAL) 3-1: 11-4, 8-11, 11-1, 11-5 (40m)
Marina Stefanoni (USA) bt Lily Taylor (ENG) 3-2: 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (47m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour