Squash » Montreal 2014

  Tumblr Highlights
  News Archive

  Squash Camps
  Carte Blanche
  SquashSkills Blog
  French Sister Site
  Tumblr Highlights
  SquashSite News
  Fram's Corner
     Press Alerts
     YellowDot Pages
     Yes I remember it
     SquashSite Egypt
     Events & Posters
     Tweets of the Week
     Daily Photo

SquashSite HOME
Financière Banque Nationale 2014
19-24 Oct, Montreal, Canada $35k

24-Oct, FINAL:

[4] Mathieu Castagnet [Fra) 3-1 [3] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)
           11/7, 14/12, 9/11, 13/11 (100m)

Marathon man Matt claims biggest title yet

Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet claimed the biggest title of his career to date as he won yet another marathon match to overcome Miguel Rodriguez 13/11 in the fourth after 100 minutes.

Castagnet's four matches on the way to the title comprised 17 games at an average of over 22 minutes each !

"I can't believe I won and got the title," said Castagnet afterwards.

"I have to give huge thanks to all my sponsors and my staff for all the support they give to me. I'm looking forward to celebrating this win back in Marseille."

Vadim di Pietro reports

Only 6 ranking spots separate the two finalists, but Miguel Rodriguez almost never loses to a player outside the top 8 and Castagnet faced a number of grueling matches to get to the finals, including an epic 127 minute quarterfinal.

Indeed, Rodriguez raced out to a 5-1 lead and everyone at the historic Montreal Forum thought we were in for a quick night. But Castagnet is a fighter and had other plans for the capacity crowd. He dug in, played patient rallies and waited for the Columbian to misfire. The strategy worked and the Frenchman won 9 of the next 11 points to set up game ball, which he quickly converted to take the first game 11-7.

Rodriguez made a conscious effort to extend the rallies in game two. Unfortunately for the Columbian, Castagnet was ready to play out 10-minute rallies like they were going out of style. Indeed, almost every rally is now lasting between one and two minutes. Some longer. Castagnet is playing zero attacking shots and calmly waiting for the Columbian to tin. The strategy is still working and the Frenchman earns himself 2 game balls at 10-8. But Rodriguez saves those two and pushes the game to 12-all. An error gives Castagnet another game ball, which he converts on a tight counter drop.

Game 3 was an entirely different affair. Castagnet starts attacking early, perhaps because he is tired, or because he has a flight to catch in about an hour. In any case it’s not working and he is hitting tin after tin, and probably thinking to himself “this is why you shouldn’t attack!”. But the Columbian is also having a lot of interaction with the tin, and the game remains tight.

At 9-all Castagnet misses a rare counterdrop handing the Columbian his first game ball, which he converts on a wild boast. After winning game three the Columbian threw his racket into the backcourt, not something you usually see after a player wins a game. It just goes to show how frustrating it can be to play a patient retriever like Castagnet.

In game four Castagnet returns to his patient self, playing skin tight length and is rewarded with a 6-2 lead. But now the Columbian is desperate and goes on overdrive, routinely smashing himself into the back glass wall retrieving Castagnet’s dying length, and claws his way back to 5-6. But the Frenchman is too sharp and is now mixing in patient play with well-timed attacking winners. 10-6 to Castagnet and 4 match balls for the trophy.

But Castagnet tins and 2 Rodriguez winners later and we are at 10-all and the crowd goes nuts. Another Castagnet error gives Rodriguez game ball. This is not the first time the Frenchman has blown match balls in a final.

After the match Castagnet admitted thinking to himself “if I lose this match I will stop playing squash.”

Not ready to look for another job yet, however, he dug in and saved that game ball. He set up another match ball with a soft forehand volley winner. Good pressure on the next point forced Rodriguez to hit out of court and the Frenchman let out a well-deserved shout of joy.

Congratulations to Mathieu Castagnet for an incredible week of squash and winning the Groupe Financière Banque Nationale Montreal Squash Open.


Je suis très heureux d'avoir remporté ce tournoi PSA $35K de Montréal.

Pour être honnête, je n'arrive toujours pas à realiser !!

Les 4 matchs ont été très intenses sur les plans mentaux et physiques. Je pense sincèrement prendre un peu de repos avant d'optimiser pour les championnats du Monde au Qatar.

Cette concrétisation est due en grande partie à mon Staff de qualité et je souhaite les remercier. Le travail paye toujours !

Merci à mes sponsors (Craft, Salming, Ashaway, Black Knight, sportfun, Idea et Leclerc sport) pour leur soutien au quotidien ainsi qu'à Thierry Jung du squash club de Mulhouse.

Merci aux personnes qui me soutiennent, ma famille, mes amis et Laura.

Merci à Yvon, aux bénévoles et aux sponsors du tournoi gestion de patrimoine de Montréal !

A bientôt,

Mathieu Castagnet

Financière Banque Nationale 2014
19-23 Oct, Montreal, Canada $35k
Round One
21 Oct
22 Oct
23 Oct
24 Oct
[1] Borja Golan (Esp)
 11/4, 11/2, 11/5 (23m)
[Q] Shahier Razik (Can)
[1] Borja Golan
11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (44m)
[7] Grégoire Marche
[1] Borja Golan

11/6, 11/6, 10/12, 11/13, 11/4 (107m)

[3] Miguel Rodriguez

[3] Miguel Rodriguez

 11/7, 14/12, 9/11, 13/11 (100m)

[4] Mathieu Castagnet

[7] Grégoire Marche (Fra)
11/7, 11/5, 11/8 (34m)
[wc] David Baillargeon (Can)
[8] Alister Walker (Bot)
14/12, 11/8, 9/11, 11/8 (90m)
 [Q] Diego Elias (Per)
 [Q] Diego Elias
11/2 11/7 , 11/8 (33m)
[3] Miguel Rodriguez
[3] Miguel Rodriguez (Col)
11/8, 11/3, 11/6 (30m)
Shawn Delierre (Can)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
9/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/4 (67m)
[4] Mathieu Castagnet
[4] Mathieu Castagnet
9/11, 12/10, 17/15, 14/16, 11/1 (129m)
 Alan Clyne
[4] Mathieu Castagnet

11/8, 6/11, 11/7, 12/10 (85m)

[5] Cameron Pilley

Alan Clyne (Sco)
6/11, 11/7, 11/7, 7/11, 11/3 (70m)
[6] Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
[Q] Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
14/12, 11/1, 11/8 (40m)
[5] Cameron Pilley
[5] Cameron Pilley
13/11, 13/11, 11/9 (61m)
[2] Daryl Selby
[Q] Dane Sharp (Cam)
11/8, 11/4, 11/4 38m
[2] Daryl Selby (Eng)

20-Oct, Qualifying Finals:

Shahier Razik 3-2 Chris Gordon     11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5 (77m)
Dane Sharp 3-0 Joe Chapman                        11-8, 11-4, 11-6 (51m)
Diego Elias 3-0 Matt Serediak                       11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (28m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan 3-1 Hussein Barakat 11-8, 11-9, 11-13, 11-3 (40m)

19-Oct, Round One:
Chris Gordon 3-0 Eric Dingle                                              11/7, 11/5, 11/5 (27m)
Shahier Razik 3-0 Calvin Wren                                           11/3, 11/7, 11/4 (23m)
Dane Sharp 3-0 Michael Mehl                                               11/7, 11/3, 11/2 22m)
Joe Chapman 3-2 David Phillips                       12/10, 6/11, 8/11, 11/3, 11/8 (49m)
Diego Elias 3-1 Otsbye                                              11/6, 11/7, 9/11, 11/0 (31m)
Matt Serediak 3-0 Maxime Blouin                                      11/3, 11/2, 11/4) (22m)
Hussein Barakat 3-2 Wilson                              11/7, 9/11, 11/8, 6/11, 11/7 (59m)
Muhd Asyraf Azan 3-1 Maxym Leclair                        7/11, 11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (37m)

23-Oct, Semis:
Eric Dingle reports

Borja Golan v Miguel Rodriguez

The first semi-final match of the night was between the tournament`s first seed Borja Golan of Spain and third seed Miguel Rodriguez of Colombia. Both players had fairly comfortable wins in the quarterfinals, and it was clear from the get go that they were both prepared for a long, grueling match. The first game featured long rallies with neither player willing to make an error. Several rallies had the players battling at the front repeatedly hitting counter drops and showing off their excellent touch. Rodriguez, however, came out on top 11-6 the difference being made by a few extra winners.

The second game started with Rodriguez on a role making winners in all corners of the court on his way to a 5-1 lead. Golan let out several cries of frustration at the Colombian`s shot making and persistent gets. This seemed to push the Spaniard to tighten his game, as he went on to make 3 backhand drop winners on his way to nearly leveling the game 5-7. Rodriguez countered this with two dying length winners to extend his lead and then unforced errors on both sides gave him a 10-6 lead and game ball. He only needed the one chance as he went on to win the second game 11-6.

Golan started the third game in control. He had his opponent moving all over the court and struggling to make gets as he took a 3-1 lead. Rodriguez powered through the barrage though, and, with a few winners paired with a few errors by Golan, evened the game at 5-5. Both players had stayed away from making risky drops at this point, and the rallies were long battles to the back with the occasional boast. The players then traded the next 4 rallies going 6-6 and 7-7, but Rodriguez then pushed ahead 9-7 with an unforced error and a winner. Golan was desperate at this point, and he was audibly trying to pump himself up to say in the game. Again this worked for him as he forced an error and hit a winner both in the front right hand corner to even the game at 9-9. T

his brought the game to a very important rally, and Golan showed his experience putting Rodriguez under immense pressure and then finally hitting a backhand volley drop into the nick to take the rally, preventing his opponent from getting a match ball. 5 straight lets followed with Rodriguez making some incredible gets to stay in the rally and finally hitting a perfect backhand drop to even the game at 10-10. After several more lets and arguments with the refs, Golan managed to put in two quick winners to force a deciding fifth and win the third game 12-10.

Rodriguez regained his form at the start of the forth game shooting quickly out of the gate to go up 4-0. Golan again had to make an early comeback to make sure he would remain in the match, and he succeeded with some excellent length and winners to close the gap and even the game at 7-7. It was at this point that Golan made two uncharacteristic errors to give Rodriguez the 9-7 lead. Golan saved one rally with a skillful winner, but Rodriguez replied with a dying length in the forehand back corner to take the game to 10-8 and double match ball. Golan saved one match ball with a talented backhand hold drawing Rodriguez to the front left while the ball went to the back right, and he saved a second match ball with a low forehand kill!

Rodriguez countered with a backhand crosscourt drive into the nick to earn a third match ball at 11-10. Golan saved the third match ball with a tight forehand length forcing Rodriguez to hit out of court. A tight backhand drop then put Golan up 12-11 with his first game ball. Golan made sure that the rally was his as he moved Rodriguez around forcing him to make diving gets and eventually making a forehand drop winner to even the match at 2-2.

In the final game, Rodriguez reverted back to his earlier game making skillful short shots that gave him a quick 4-0 lead. Golan was really trying to stay in it, but most of the rallies weren't going his way and he made his frustration clear with several yells. Rodriguez was progressing smoothly through the game, and after hitting another winner to go up 8-1, he finally showed some expression with an excited fist pump.

It was here that Golan started to mount a come back. He started to move Rodriguez around the court more, and his aggressive shots were forcing the Colombian to make some demanding gets. He made his way back to 8-4, and it looked like he had the momentum in his favor, but then he made an unforced error that gave the momentum back to Rodriguez. Two quick points later and the Colombian had the game 11-4 to win the match 3-2 in 107 minutes of enticing squash.

Cameron Pilley v Mathieu Castagnet

The second semifinal of the night was between Cameron Pilley of Australia and Matthieu Castagnet of France. Pilley had a short quarterfinal compared to Castagnet who's had an over two hour long 5 game match against Alan Clyne. Castagnet, however, looked pretty fresh in the first game controlling the T and most of the rallies. The players traded points with pretty consistent but not overly flashy squash until 7-7. Then Castagnet made three quick rallies to go to 10-7 and have three opportunities to win the first game. Another error from Pilley was enough to give the Frenchman a 1-0 lead.

Hard hitting Pilley was eager to come back in the second. They traded points back and forth to 2-2, and then Pilley began to pull away eventually taking a 7-2 lead. Castagnet, not ready to give up, then played three tenacious rallies coming back to 7-5. Unfortunately his fatigue was starting to catch up to him and he made two straight unforced errors to go down 9-5. They traded the next two rallies giving Pilley a 10-6 lead and several opportunities to claim the game. He took the next rally and evened the match at 1-1.

Pilley started the third game with a good showing of touch making winners in both the front and the back and forcing Castagnet to make errors. He took a quick 4-0 lead. Castagnet turned things around with a few hard fought and long rallies, and just as quickly he had tied the game up at 4-4. In the words of Michelle Craig, "the tables have turned." The Frenchman continued his streak making another two points to lead 6-4.

Pilley countered by pushing Castagnet around the court and making an awkward drop winner and backhand kill to tie the game at 7-7. Castagnet showed his experience holding for three straight points to put the pressure on and go to game ball 10-7. Pilley made another unforced error to close out the game for Castagnet and give him a 2-1 lead.

The start of the fourth game was all Pilley, either making a winner or an error, with Castagnet just keeping the rallies going. This resulted in a pretty even spread of rallies all the way to 6-6. They traded a few more until Castagnet forced a no let, and then a mis-hit from Pilley on a tight backhand length gave Castagnet a 9-7 lead. Pilley earned the next point with a well placed backhand drop, but then he hit a backhand cross court lob out of court on the next. Castagnet had a 10-8 lead and double match ball, but Pilley didn't give up!

He won a short rally to save one, and then a perfect forehand cross court into the nick saved the second. Then, of course, he made another unforced error to give Castagnet another match ball. Castagnet was eager to finish the match, and he finally made a great winner faking forehand cross court and putting the ball in the back right corner. He showed his happiness with a big fist pump.


22-Oct, Quarters:
Pilley downs Selby

No joy for yesterday's giantkillers as Diego Elias was beaten by Miguel Rodriguez and Alan Clyne lost out in a 129-minute battle with Mathieu Castagnet. Top seed Borja Golan beat Greg Marche in straight games while Cameron Pilley surprised second seed Daryl Selby.

Vadim Di Pietro reporting

Match 1: Castagnet v Clyne

It took 3 lets and 6 minutes to get the first point on board and we knew we were in for a marathon match.

With Popeye-like forearms one might expect Clyne to crush the ball at every opportunity. But his greatest weapon was his feather-soft counter-drop. Time and again he caught the Frenchman off-guard at the front, which was the difference in a tight first game to Clyne 11-9.

Game 2 was even tighter than the first. But Castagnet was now anticipating the Clyne tight counter-drops, and feathering in his own even tighter counter-counter drops, much to the amazement of the crowd. Game 2 to the Frenchman 12-10.

Games 3 and 4 followed the same pattern with 90% of the points being decided in the drop, counter-drop routine. Castagnet took a dramatic game three 17-15, to take a 2-1 lead, while Clyne took game four 16-14, but not before saving 3 match balls. On more than one occasion the Frenchman thought he had won the match, only to hear the referee call a "yes let".

After two hours of play Castagnet looked exhausted and Clyne looked fresh heading into the fifth game. But looks can be deceiving, and to everyone’s surprise Castagnet ran away with the fifth 11-1.

After winning the match in 129 minutes he collapsed down in the middle of the court for a few minutes to enjoy a well-deserved rest, which he will certainly need for his semi-final match tomorrow.

Match 2: Selby v Pilley

Not much between these two, with both playing to their strengths: Pilley hitting hard, low, dying length, and Selby patient, retrieving (including a few spectacular dives and recoveries) and looking to counter-attack off loose balls. Pilley’s offense gets the better of Selby’s defense in the first two games, just barely, 13-11 and 13-11.

It takes a lot of energy to hit as hard as Pilley does, and the fatigue starts to show in game three as Selby builds a small lead. Pilley desperately wants to avoid going to a fourth and fifth game against the super fit Selby. A few Pilley dying lengths later and game three is tied at 9 all.

After some incredible retrieving by Selby, Pilley finally sets up match ball with yet another dying length. A Selby's tin hands the victory to the Australian three games to love.

Match 3: Rodriguez v Elias

The first few rallies were pretty evenly played out in the back of the court, but Miguel quickly imposed his game plan by mixing up his attacking shots to the front and getting very quickly on the ball, leaving Diego unable to get into his rhythm. Miguel kept showing the crowd his amazing hands and took a 9-2 lead. The game ended on two unforced errors from Diego.

The second game started the same way, as Diego seemed already frustrated by Miguel’s quickness and great hands. Miguel kept varying the attacking shots leaving Diego often moving in the wrong direction. At 4-1, Diego started focusing more, imposing longer rallies and closing out the court and got back to 7-7. The next few rallies saw Miguel diving around the court and retrieving some amazing shots by Diego, leaving the youngster probably a little quizzical as to how to win the rallies! Miguel wins the second 11-7.

The third game was very similar in style. Diego was moving Miguel around the court as best as possible, but Miguel was reading the play extremely well and was on the ball almost as soon as Diego hit it. The points were very fast pace with many volleys and few exchanges in the back and went back and forth to 8-8 with a few unforced errors from both players trying to end the rallies too quickly.

Then the rallies became the longest of the match, with little shots played to the front but Miguel finally finished the match with a perfect dying length at the back. Very good show from world junior champion Diego Elias, but Miguel Rodriguez was just too quick and accurate for the rising Peruvian today.

Geneviève Lessard reporting

Match 4: Marche v Golan

The last match of the night was between Gregoire Marche and last year’s winner Borja Golan. The first game was quite different from the previous, and up to 5-5, both players were patient, consistent and waiting for any opening from the other. Very few shots were played at the front but the pace was pretty high.

During a quick lack of focus, Gregoire gave two lose shots to Borja who put them away nicely with a kill and a drop. He then came back strong and extended the next rallies, with a few more lets being called, but Borja closed out the game after an unforced error from Greg and a perfect tight dying length on the backhand side. Borja takes the first 11-7.

Not much between the players in the second game, both playing a similar game plan. Up to 7-6 for Borja, points are won back and forth after very long rallies, on few errors and few shots put away after a lose one.

The crowd is getting into it with a few ahhhhs and oohhs during the next long rally, which sees amazing recovery from Borja and a very unforced error from Greg on the perfect opportunity to close the rally. That seems to get in Greg’s head as he tins in the next rally and follows with lose shots. Borja takes the opportunity and closes the second game 11-7 to go up 2-0 in games.

Borja starts the third with greater confidence, using a bit more accuracy to the front, going for nicks and getting more quickly on the ball. He gets up to a quick 5-2 lead, Greg now showing some frustration.

Then Greg got his mojo back and played some great rallies, but Borja was now clearly quicker on the ball and his execution was slightly better than Gregoire, making him run around the court a lot more and going for risky shots. Borja wins the third 11-6 and the match 3-0.


21-Oct, Round One:
Elias and Clyne join six seeds in quarters

While the top four seeds all made it safely through to the quarter-finals, Alan Clyne and Diego Elias both won marathon matches against seeds to join the quarter-final fun ...

Jason DeLierre reporting

Coppinger vs Clyne

Kicking off the first round of the tournament here at the beautiful of venue of the historical Montreal Forum, the first match of the afternoon session pitted the tall South African Steve Coppinger against the compact Scot Alan Clyne. This promised to be a touch match, both players known for their physical strength. In the first game, Clyne ran out to an early 4-­0 after some good steadying rallies, before Coppinger could assert himself to take his first point. Yet after, Coppinger was a man on a mission, as he was slowly able to take control of the 'T' and wouldn't let go, earning himself 7 straight points with well constructed squash. Clyne was able to put up a fight taking a few more points, but Coppinger kept his momentum to finish the game strongly 11-­6.

The second game started off much more evenly, players trading the first few points in some very long rallies, neither player going for too much but content settling into good fast-­paced rhythm. There wasn't much separating the two players, yet Clyne kept his nose ahead for much of the game, never more than a couple of points between them until 6-­5. Then, Coppinger seemed to buckle a little, giving away a few easy points as his concentration seemed to wane. Trailing 5­-9, he was able to pull a couple back, but Clyne gave a push to close out the game 11-­7.

The beginning of the third saw the players looking much more edgy, characterized by back and forth quick winners and quick mistakes, Coppinger making a few more of the latter as Clyne went ahead 7­-4. Towards the middle of the game, the rallies began lengthening a little, the pace picking up and becoming more physical, though both players known for their fairness playing through much of the contact. Again though, Coppinger just couldn't seem to get comfortable, again making silly mistakes and handing the game to Clyne 11­-7.

In the fourth, Clyne kept up his resilience, not giving away any points and looking fairly comfortable playing tight squash and retrieving as needed. Coppinger was visibly a little agitated, trying to rile himself into better squash, and it actually started to pay dividends as he was gradually able to speed up the pace, coming back from 3­-4 to lead 8­-5. At last, it seemed that Coppinger was finding the form that won him the first game, catching Clyne off guard with deft unreachable volleys, winning 11-­7 and forcing a decider.

The faster pace kept up in the fifth, however Clyne was up for the challenge this time, slightly faster in his movement, adapting to Coppinger's new tactics. The pressure was taking its toll on Coppinger, his agitation starting to show through again, but this time for the worse as shots that were winning points in the fourth were just clipping the top of the tin. Clyne would speedily run away to 7-­2, not showing any signs of slowly down. By the end, Coppinger was clearly looking fatigued and frustrated, staying in the rallies but not able to finish them anymore. Clyne would keep up his solid play to complete the upset, defeating his higher­ranker opponent 11­-3.

Castagnet vs Knight

The second match of the afternoon saw the younger french up-­and­-comer Mathieu Castagnet against the veteran kiwi Martin Knight. The first game started off at a medium pace, players moving the ball around court well with little to tell them apart. Completely evenly matched, the score steadily rising from 2­-2, 4­-4 to 6­-6. Castagnet seemed to impose himself a little more physically, his bouncier more youthful movement affording him a little ascendancy as he eased ahead 8­-6. However, with his experience Knight kept his cool and with few well-­timed drops took the game 11-­9.

The second game started much as the first, players trading good well constructed rallies up till 4­-4, neither making any errors, and both usually winning the points on immaculate drop shorts from the front. Each seemed unwilling to give their opponent an undeserved advantage, which being so closely contested could have meant the game. Knight managed to ease ahead to 7­-4 and 8­5, yet Castagnet rose to the challenge climbing back to 8­-8, and looking more confident and finished the game 11­-9.

In the third, Castagnet once again started to impose himself physically, with some of the pressure off of his shoulders relaxing into his squash. He seemed the faster on court now, seeing and taking the ball a little earlier and forcing Knight to run around him. Though Knight was able to keep it close until 4­-4, Castagnet hardly seemed threathened and just kept upping his game to reel off the next 7 points and take the game.

In the fourth, Castagnet maintained the confidence from the preceding game, continuing to work his senior foe around court. Knight no longer seemed able to keep up with the pace, and while still fighting admirably, couldn't shake Castagnet from his comfort zone. Racing ahead to 9-­1, after a few more exchanges the frenchman would take the game 11­-4 and the match in four games.

Pilley vs Azan

The hard-­hitting Aussie Cameron Pilley faced off against Malaysian Muhamed Asyraf Azan. From the word 'go', the unorthodox Azan came out firing, throwing in three straight winners to take the quick lead. Always on the back foot, Pilley seemed completely caught by surprise, a smile spread across his face for most of the game at the unusal style of his opponent and some of the comments on court. Azan continued his theatrical shotmaking throughout, but Pilley managed to level the boat to push the game to a tiebreak, and after saving a couple of game balls would steal the first game 14­-12.

In the second, Pilley started finding his stride. No longer caught off guard, he started picking up the tempo, tightening his game and finding the corners to neutralize the Malaysian's awkward tactics. At the same time, the wheels started to come off for Azan. His initial surge of adrenaline wearing off, he committed far too many mistakes, allowing Pilley to race away with the game 11­-1.

The third was much more tightly contested, Azan opting for more subdued tacticts, cutting out the extravagant shots and playing more traditional squash, but still throwing in the occasional odd shot when needed. Pilley maintained his solid gameplay, weathering the storm to lead 7­-5. Yet Azan managed to come back to tie up the game at 7­-7. After a few tough rallies, Azlan playing well, and leaving the ball too loose around the middle, Pilley took advantage to block his opponent out and volley in some hard straight kills. Finally, after a mad scramble, Azan dove to the floor but could not retrieve the final shot, Pilley finishing the game and match 11­-8.

Selby vs Sharp

In contrast to the last match, the players started off the first game with good basic squash, feeling each other out and getting used to the court. Sharp started well against the higher ranked Selby, matching him length for length, and showing great touch hitting perfect drops to finish rallies. Selby did not seem too fazed though, keeping his casual disposition and working himself into the match slowly. The score remained close throughout, Selby nonetheless maintaining a slight edge, from 4­-4 to 7­-4 to 9­-8. By the end of the game though, the Englishman was moving less and less, settling himself on the 'T' and forcing the Canadian to do most of the running, and finishing strongly 11-­8.

The second, began similarly to the previous game, good rallies with a lot of attacking. Still the Candian was doing much of the chasing, but he was staying in it and got his head in front 4­-2. Just like before though, Selby would keep tightening the noose, picking up the pace at will to put his opponent under too much pressure. Not looking overly troubled, he continued his gameplay without fault and would take the next 9 points to take the game, Sharp running out of breath and out of answers.

The pattern continued in the third, Sharp lengthening the court to move his opponent off the 'T', and firing in quick winners to get ahead 4-­2. In much the same fashion though, Selby put his foot on the pedal, changing gears to overtake his challenger. From then on, he was always one step ahead, and in a carbon copy of the previous game, taking control and winning next 9 points in a row to take the game 11-­4 and earn his place in the second round.

Michelle Craig reporting

Marche vs Baillargeon

To start of the night session, we had crowd favourite David Baillargeon, originally from Quebec City, now training in Montreal, taking on Gregoire Marche. The mood was festive and supportive as lots of the youngster's family and friends were here to cheer him on in his biggest professional match to date.

Big cheers from the crowd started off the first game as David took the first point on a tin-error from Gregoire. They continued to trade points back and forth, with Gregoire making a few errors as David put the pressure on him. Gregoire steadied, then started to put the pressure on David, moving him around the court and changing the pace to counteract David’s hard-hitting. Trying to do a little too much, David made two unforced errors in a row and Gregoire went up 7-5, on route to an 11-7 win in the first game.

The second game started off with Gregoire taking the first 6 points quickly. Both players were putting in lots of effort and the floor had to cleaned on more than one occasion due to their dives. Gregoire was making a lot of winners and was looking more at ease and relaxed than in the first game. A few errors by Gregoire and David made a late-game comeback to 5-9 yet the Frenchman closed down the court and took the second 11-5.

The crowd got behind David to start off the third game giving him a little more energy and pizazz. And that worked as he won the first two points! He continued his good fortune and after a frame drop winner went up 5-4. However, Gregoire started to move him all around the court and David's legs got heavier. Gregoire took the third game 11-8 and the match 3-0.

Eva Monson reporting

Golan vs. Razik

The second match of the night’s event featured Golan the Spanish number one and Razik the veteran Canadian. The first rally sets the tone for the match – Golan in control - quick and to the point. Yes, the tournament favorite came out strong and all business in the first game. While the rallies did lengthen throughout the game, Golan kept his play much in gist of Montreal’s fall weather forecast – clear and crisp. Razik finally got on the board at 1-6 but it was short lived due to an unforced drop into the tin. Golan, a forced to be reckoned with, takes the first 11-4 as Razik looks uneasy on court.

To start the second game a soft front boast by Golan ends the first rally just as quickly as in the first game. Keeping his command of the game, Golan takes the first 8 straight points. Rasik’s consistent length puts him on the board the next rally 1-8 and follows up with an unbeatable boast 2-9, but it’s to little to late. Stroke for Golan and then Rasik ends the game by sending a drive into the tin 11-2 and looks in pain grabbing his left thigh.

The third game starts with some lengthier rallies, yet Golan remains steady. He makes it look easy. Golan pushes some signature length taking back to back rallies 8-3 and then 9-3. At 10-4 Golan finishes it off with a backhand drop that is just too good to return. In the end, this match came down to Razik’s injury keeping him from hurting Golan’s control and consistency.

Michelle Craig reporting

DeLierre  vs Rodriguez

Number one in Canada and Montrealer Shawn DeLierre was up against fast Colombian Miguel Rodriguez in this seventh match of the day. The style of play was much different than the previous match, with both players playing a little less “up and down the wall” squash and more attacking entertaining squash. The two played a very evenly matched game and Rodriguez took the first game 11-8.

Rodriguez went out with lots of energy, and DeLierre with a bit less, to start off the second game. Rodriguez went up quickly 6-0 with DeLierre getting his first point of the game after a long rally where he moved Rodriguez all over the court. DeLierre kept hitting loose balls that Rodriguez was putting away at will and was made to run all four corners in most rallies. Rodriguez won the second game 11-3.

DeLierre came out with a little more enthusiasm in the third game and the two players traded points back and forth until Rodriguez pulled ahead 7-5. They were both making each other work hard and were forcing great gets at the front and the back of the court. After a backhand error at the front, we could all tell that DeLierre was getting a little frustrated. Rodriguez never looked back after he broke away and ended up taking the game 11-6 and the match 3-0.

Elias vs Walker

This game was highly anticipated, with Elias, current world junior champion going up against the much more experienced Walker. The game started off with very long rallies with both players being patient and waiting for their opportunities. Elias went up 7-5 and after a few let calls in one rally, it seemed as though both players were getting a little heated. The style of play changed a bit in the latter half of the game with more attacking shots from both players who were fighting to control the T. Elias served for the game at 10-7 but let Walker get back to 10-10 with a crowd-gasping backhand drop error. Yet Elias found again his resolve and took the first game 14-12.

The second game started off much quicker than the first marathon game. It looked as though Elias was going to get off to a roaring start but Walker came back to 5-6. The rest of the match was pretty even with more interference than the first game. Elias won this one 11-8.

The pace was quicker and the shots more deceptive in this third game. Walker was making Elias run much more and putting lots of pressure on him. Elias broke his racket at 7-7 and after the change Walker continued the pressure and kept going to win it 11-9.

A hard-hitting rally started off the fourth game with Elias winning on a little trickle forehand boast. Walker then pulled away, moving Elias around the whole court, forcing Elias to work very hard in each rally. Their shots were very tight and especially low on the drop shot. Elias hit Walker mid-rally at 7-7 and started to bleed under his left eye leading to an injury timeout that lasted 20 minutes. Once they were back on court Elias stayed strong and won that game 11-8 to take the match 3-1.


20-Oct, Qualifying Finals
Razik and Sharp boost
home interest in Montreal

Qualifying finals of the 2014 event in Montreal saw Dane Sharp and Shahier Razik add to home interest in the PSA $35k main draw. Also qualifying were Diego Elias and Muhd Asyraf Azan.

Eric Dingle reports

Muhd Asyraf Azan 3-1 Hussein Barakat

Local player Hussein Barakat, a Concordia University student originally from Egypt, earned his spot in the second round qualifying with a first round win over 6th seeded qualifier Kale Wilson. He faced Muhd Asyraf Azan of Malaysia in the first match of the night. Azan’s first round match was characterized by ups and down, making flashy winners followed immediately by unforced errors, and he continued in the same vain against Barakat.

The first two games saw Barakat playing consistently with Azan showing a seeming uncaring attitude towards the match, but his deception and occasional tight length proved too much for Barakat and he took a quick 2-0 lead.

In the third game, Barakat took a fast 4-0 lead with a couple winners and a few favourable calls from the refs. Azan quickly turned it around to come back to 5-5, but then dropped 3 straight points with lazy errors, which he then followed with 4 straight winners. Azan took it to match ball, but Barakat fought back to take the game in extra points.

Azan finally started taking the match seriously, and took the fourth game quickly 11-3 to finish the match 3-1.

Diego Elias 3-0 Matt Serediak

The second match of the night featured world junior champion Diego Elias against Canadian PSA regular Matt Serediak. Elias started the game with convincing skill, hitting three dying length winners on his way to a 5-0 lead. Serediak fought back taking a few points himself, but Elias didn’t give up the lead and took the game comfortably 11-4.

Elias started the second game in much the same way taking a quick 4-0 lead. Serediak fought back again playing some solid rallies and taking advantage of a number of unforced errors by Elias, coming as close as 8-6. Elias, however, got back into his groove and finished the game strong 11-7.

Serediak countered with a strong showing at the beginning of the third. He made a number of key winners to take a 7-4 lead. Elias wasn’t about to give up, and he confidently made his way back to 8-8. Serediak then won 2 long rallies to lead 10-8 and game ball. Elias, showing his comfort under pressure, hit a perfect crosscourt serve return winner into the nick to save one game point, and then held for 3 more to close out the game 12-10 and the match 3-0.

Dane Sharp 3-0 Joe Chapman

Canadian team member Dane Sharp took on Joe Chapman of the British Virgin Islands in the third match of the night. Sharp came out swinging controlling the early rallies and leaving Chapman frustrated to start the match down 6-1.

Chapman regrouped, rallying to 6-7, with many rallies resulting in lets due to blocking and pushing mostly initiated by Sharp. A few more long rallies, and Sharp took the first 11-8.

The second started evenly with hard fought rallies on both sides, but Sharp took control again edging away from a close 5-4 game. He made 6 straight points to change what started as a close game to a lop-sided 11-4 victory.

The beginning of the third saw both players making errors. Chapman appeared more flat footed than in his previous tough match, and it seemed like the constant interference created by Sharp was getting to him. Once again Sharp pulled away mid game taking an 8-4 lead. They traded a couple more points, but Chapman wasn’t able to come back from the deficit, and Sharp took the third 11-6.

Shahier Razik 3-2 Chris Gordon

The final match of the night was between US national champion Chris Gordon and Canadian PSA veteran Shahier Razik. The opening game was very smooth with both players hitting tight length and skillful winners.

While the game remained tight, Razik appeared to be in controlling the T while moving Gordon to all four corners of the court. The game ended rather suddenly with Gordon making 3 straight errors to give Razik the 11-6 win.

The second game had Gordon showing more dominance winning several long rallies and capitalizing on some uncharacteristic unforced errors from Razik. There was quite a bit more interference than in the first, with a lot of rallies ending in lets, and Gordon was mostly coming out on top reaching an 8-4 lead.

The interference died down, and Razik surmounted a come back to 8-9. This lead to an important and impressive marathon rally that Gordon ended with a deceptive forehand crosscourt winner and fist pump to go to game ball. After Gordon received a tough no let to bring Razik within 1 again, he powered on with a low backhand kill to take the game 11-9.

Razik started the third game with several well-earned winners leading 3-1 and then 6-4. Gordon then made 6 straight points to take what would become an insurmountable lead of 10-6. He won the third 11-7.

The players traded several drop winners to start the fourth leading to 3-3. Razik capitalized on three more short winners and three serve return errors by Gordon to take a 9-4 lead. He would take the fourth 11-4.

The match was turning into a marathon with Razik playing with a controlled and slow pace and Gordon struggling to regain his earlier dominance. Razik played flawlessly, moving Chris around the entire court and taking a 6-0 lead. Gordon pushed back with three straight, but Razik countered with 2 points of his own.

They traded two more each to give Razik a 10-5 lead, and several opportunities to win the match. Gordon then tinned a risky forehand crosscourt nick attempt to close out the game 11-5 with Razik taking the 3-2 victory.

This Month: Prev ] Next ]

HOME ] Calendar ] Rankings ] Search ] Archive ] Links ] Contact ] Jobs ] Tournaments ] Players ] Categories ] Rules ] Tumblr ]

©2014 SquashSite