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Bluenose Classic 2010
02-07 Feb, Nova Scotia, Canada, $40k

07-Feb, Final
Thierry Lincou - Bluenose Champion

Thierry Lincou and Daryl Selby had proved themselves the class of the field for three straight days, losing only a game apiece in three matches, and it was a fitting solution to the draw that they should be the last two standing.

With a ‘good start’ the common wish to any player in any match it was only Lincou who would see his granted as the early points of the first game were awarded. Selby was, to begin at least, a step slower than he seemed in his semi-final versus compatriot Peter Barker. A Lincou drop to the tin was the only blemish on a five point run to 5-1 up and it seemed that Selby was doing more reacting than initiating. The Englishman was awarded a stroke for his second point of the game but then suffered a rash of missed chances, collecting a lot of tin and leaving Lincou with the points. The game winning shot was a feathered drop at the front right that Lincou held perfectly to take it 11-2.

Through this start, and most of the match, there was almost nothing but the sound of shoes, racquets and a ball on court. Those three things were heard at a frantic pace, along with an appreciative crowd, but there was barely a sound from the players themselves, completely absorbed by the task.

In game two a more confident Selby found his shots and began to step up. Lincou was forced into a few more errors and the score sheet demonstrated that parity with never more than a point between up to 5-4. A brilliant rally of alternating advantage was ended as Lincou held a perfect length drive until the last moment, the depth of which Selby couldn’t quite reach. Selby’s sportsmanlike call on his own low shot was second in a run of four Lincou points to go to 8-5 and it seemed that the best of advantages, a 2-0 lead in games, was within his sight. The prospect galvanized something in Selby and he narrowed his sights with a number of inch perfect drops and volleys that Lincou could not fend off more than once up to 10-9. Game ball was earned by Selby on a volley drop to the nick and was punctuated with an emphatic yell. Lincou immediately found the nick himself and extra points beckoned. An unfortunate pop out to the centre from a front wall nick cost Lincou a stroke and then an uncharacteristic length-only rally ended with an errant tin by the Frenchman. For all the work and tension of the game it was a muted winning point, but not undeserved.

There is no such thing as an unimportant game three and both players recognized it with their play right away. Offense and defense mixed seamlessly and the rallies swung quickly back and forth. From an even 3-3 score line then it was Lincou who generated his own good fortune. He took the next six points, only one a gift by Selby error, and was imposing his own ideas to end some really entertaining rallies. As in the second game though the Englishman mounted a comeback and, using up his one point buffer, was the one threatening even while serving 8-10 down. It was a battering blow then when he went for a sly midcourt boast during the next rally and tinned it heavily. A relieved Lincou left the court up 2-1 while Selby took a walk around the court to consider the advantage he had surrendered.

Able to collect his thoughts in the brief time allowed between games Selby promptly jumped out to the lead in the fourth while it was now Lincou sounding the tin. At 4-0 an observer might have guessed Lincou was content to go to five games and at 6-2 it was beginning to look like his start had cost him the choice of anything else. What followed then was a shining example of diligent focus and adherence to the old mantra of taking one rally at a time. Lincou missed two drops but claimed six points of his own from a variety of tight and lean shots. He tied things at 8-8 with an aggressive rally that looked to have been his at least three times before it actually was. Selby was always in it but wasn’t the determining touch on the ball, for better or worse, until three lets worth of patience were squandered on an open shot error to put Lincou at game ball, 10-8. It was one more reversal that had Selby tie it up again at 10-10 but Lincou’s second chance to close it out, at 11-10 on a volley winner, was punctuated by a loud shout that gave rare voice to the tension built up behind his focus. The ref’s judgment of a “no let” to Selby in the next rally ended the suspense as the crowd erupted amid the waves of jubilant relief and crushing disappointment that were rolling off the court. Both players took a few seconds of introspective consideration for the result and the 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is now in the books.

The 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is again supported by contributions from founding sponsor Zal Davar, also Eric Kitchen, Paul Hopkins, Bill Presse and Martin Clouthier as well as returning corporate sponsors: Truefoam Limited, Benchmark Investing, Dr. Chris Petropolis Dentistry, Opa Taverna, National Leasing, Canadian Diagnostic Centres, Domus Real Estate, Coady Filliter, Lifemark Physiotherapy and Mil-Aero Electronics. The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is now also generously sponsored by Marsh Canada Ltd., 20 Vic Management Inc., Owens MacFadyen Group, RoyCom Inc. and Deloitte. Players and referees are staying at The Lord Nelson Hotel. Squash Nova Scotia is the sponsoring provincial association and the Bluenose is an official test event for the squash venue for the 2011 Canada Games.


Ref (for Lincou): "Yes let."
Selby: "That was a perfect shot. There was no way he was going to get that back. Even if I wasn't in the way, there's no way he would get that back."

Ref (at 10-8 Lincou in game 3): "Yes let."
Selby (thinking 'no let'): "That was so close."

A call from the crowd: "Let's go Europe."

2009    2008


Draw & Results

Bluenose final as it happened  ... 

Bluenose Classic2010
02-07 Feb, Nova Scotia, Canada, $40k

Round One
04 Feb
05 Feb
06 Feb
07 Feb
[1] Peter Barker (Eng)
11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4 (68m)
[Q] Jan Koukal (Cze)
[1] Peter Barker
11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (57m)
Shahier Razik
[1] Peter Barker

8-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-5 (105m)

[4] Daryl Selby

[4] Daryl Selby

11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10

[3] Thierry Lincou

[8] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11-8, 11-7, 11-1 (42m)
Shahier Razik (Can)
[4] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (46m)
[Q] Martin Knight (Nzl)
[4] Daryl Selby
11-5, 11-9, 11-2 (55m)
Aaron Frankcomb
[7] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col)
11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7 (98m)
Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
[Q] Ryan Cuskelly (Aus)
11-7, 11-9, 11-5 (52m)
[5] Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
[5] Azlan Iskandar
11-6, 11-7 rtd (33m)
[3] Thierry Lincou
[3] Thierry Lincou

11-8, 11-5, 2-11, 11-7 (60m)

[2] David Palmer

Chris Ryder (Eng)
11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (40m)
[3] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
David Phillips (Can)
11-4, 14-12, 11-4 (36m)
[6] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
[6] Ong Beng Hee
11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (57m)
[2] David Palmer
[Q] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
[2] David Palmer (Aus)
03-Feb, Qualifying Finals:

Martin Knight (NZL) bt Robin Clarke (CAN) 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (50m)
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Scott Arnold (AUS) 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 (59m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Adil Maqbool (PAK) 11-4, 9-11, 11-0, 11-6 (41m)
Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (79m)

02-Feb, Qualifying Day 1

Robin Clarke (CAN) bt Mike Smeltzer (CAN) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3 (18m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Josh Rudolph (CAN) 11-8, 11-3, 11-3 (27m)
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Maxym Leclair (CAN) 11-9, 14-12, 11-1 (22m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Matthew Serediak (CAN) 11-5, 11-7, 11-3 (28m)
Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Fred Reid (CAN) 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (28m)
Adil Maqbool (PAK) bt Thomas Brinkman (CAN) 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 (34m)
Wade Johnstone (AUS) bt David Vidal (ESP) 11-6, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7 (45m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Matt Bishop (CAN) 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (36m)

06-Feb, Semis
Upset Times Two,
Selby and Lincou are Through

The PSA rankings system never rests and to maintain the top ten status that the biggest names have so long defined requires a constant diet of rankings points, the kind only available in the latest stages of a tournament. The two semi-finals at this year’s Bluenose were staffed by some of those names and all four competitors could easily see themselves playing for the lion’s share come Sunday. With Peter Barker and David Palmer on opposite sides of the draw the prospect of a rematch championship was there, but Daryl Selby and Thierry Lincou, confident in their own intentions, made the day theirs.

Barker vs. Selby

Having competed against one another several times over the course of junior squash, British national play, and PSA events, countryman Daryl Selby and Peter Barker are no strangers to each other’s style of play. This was quite evident in game one of the semifinals of the Bluenose Classic as the match began as a back and forth event with long rallies and an even exchange of points. Early on, Selby pushed the limits of Barker’s agility with precision length and accurate shot placement while Barker tested Selby’s endurance through an impressive display of anticipation and retrieval which contributed to very long rallies. Midway through the first with the score at 5-5, Selby went ahead by one on a hold and drop that landed in the front corner nick. Barker countered back with a crisp forehand drive that caught the sidewall nick to again tie the score at 6-6. A volley drive into the tin from Barker followed by a stroke against Selby kept the score tied at 7-7. Over the next exchange of points both players traded winning shots ending long rallies – again bringing the score even at 8-8. During the next point, an aggressive volley boast from Selby found tin to put Barker ahead 9-8. Over the next two points, pressure from Barker forced both of Selby’s shots into the tin for a marathon thirty four minute 11-8 game one win.

Similar to the first, the second game began with long rallies comprising an entertaining display of shots and retrievals as the score remained close at 4-4. With a couple of strokes called against Barker supplemented by well-placed winners, Selby claimed the bulk of the next seven points as he took a 9-6 lead. Barker responded back with a pair of boast and cross court winning shots to close the gap by one point at 8-9. A drop into nick and “no let” call against Barker moved Selby to 10-9 and serving for the game. Over the next point, Barker hit a cross court ball that innocently caught the back wall nick to even the score at 10-10. A pinpoint front court drop put Selby ahead 11-10 and serving for the game. The next rally – Selby clipped tin for 11-11. Over the next three exchanges, Barker continued to stave off game point as the score remain tied at 13-13. Selby pulled ahead 14-13 on a stroke called against Barker. In his sixth game ball attempt, Selby slammed a forehand down the wall for a marathon thirty five minute 15-13 game two win.

To start game three, a sequence of tight upfront drops and pair of tin errors from Selby, enabled Barker to quickly build a 5-1 lead. A deceptive backhand drop and off-speed winner from Selby brought the score to 3-5. Just past the midway point in the game, Barker maintained a 7-4 lead. Both players continued to exchange points with Selby making steady progress in catching up to Barker. At 9-8 for Barker, the momentum began to shift toward Selby – who had trailed for the entire game – as he hit a sharply executed cross court in the back corner for a 9-9 tie. The next point was a long rally with Barker striking the tin for a 10-9 score. At game point, Selby hit a tight-to-the-wall sidewall shot that handcuffed Barker for an 11-9 game three win.

The fourth game saw Barker come out extremely flat as Selby mounted a commanding 8-0 lead. Backed by encouragement from the crowd, Barker took the next point to get on the score sheet. With increased confidence and the lead, Selby stayed the course of solid and consistent play as he exhibited throughout the match and muffled any attempts by Barker to get back into the game. Selby took the fourth by an 11-5 score to advance to the finals. -KB

Lincou vs. Palmer

At the top of the mountain the differences between rankings are very fine, reversible any given day. While ranked ahead of Lincou in the world top ten as of the tournament seeding Palmer would not have allowed himself the conceit of entitlement in this clash of marquee names.

Palmer got the quick start, 2-0 up, then 4-2. Variety was his weapon of choice at the outset, with drops, drives and volleys all contributing to the bottom line, aided by a couple of misses as Lincou struggled with his range. If it could be judged at this early stage Palmer appeared quite relaxed, more so even than through yesterday’s quarter-final match. Lincou’s focus remained on his own needs and he never strayed further than two points off the pace, recalibrating his instruments to meet the Australian at an even 6-6. There was little time spent on one side of the court without a visit to other, both players searching to force a gap between themselves and their opponent. With Lincou now up at 8-7 a critical “no let” in his favour put him two from Palmer and two away from the 1-0 lead. In a moment of drama Palmer hid a beautiful boast under the guise of a drive from mid-court and Lincou slipped on the way to the ball, almost a full sprawl at the T. This didn’t unsettle the Frenchman as it could have and instead it was Palmer who was wrong footed into the back left. With a stroke against the Australian in the next rally Lincou was up 1-0.

As would happen more than preferred at various times in the match a couple of front wall nicks started the second. These were both judged to be strokes for Lincou and he went all the way to 5-1 in relatively short order on the strength of that beginning. Needing a reset Palmer clarified a few things with the officials and then clawed back to only 6-4 down. There were a number of lets creeping in to the fabric of the match and it was a shame at this point to have a huge rally of equal recovery and attack be called as such. On the restart, via a Palmer service from the left box, Lincou tested a “change up” serve return that died short and wide ahead of the server. It was a pattern to repeat itself three to four times elsewhere in the match and a real momentum killer after a hard won Palmer point. Three points adrift at 8-5 down the climb back was made virtually impossible when Palmer tinned an open volley from just off the T and then his frustration peaked with a stroke against for Lincou game ball. The next rally was never played as the ref judged Palmer’s reaction conduct stroke worthy – 2-0 for Lincou.

A quick collision to start the 3rd might have distracted Lincou but Palmer, knowing his back was against the wall, pushed through to a solid 7-1 lead. Lincou potted a hard volley for his second point of the game but thoughts were already on the fourth game and the last three points were well executed formality for Palmer.

The fourth game was fast and hard out of the gate – both players unloading. Palmer’s will to fight – never in question – was aggravated by the many lets that were popping up in both directions and betrayed by a couple of open volley errors. Lincou dented the tin to sit only 5-4 to the good amongst it all but soon accepted a couple of earned strokes and might have comfortably contemplated the end. Palmer seized a flash of momentum to get to 8-7 down but an error on a drop and then one of Lincou’s that was glued to the wall put match ball in his hands. It was an attempt at a serve return nick that Palmer couldn’t quite get to roll that Lincou then pounced on and drove deep out of reach for the match. The crowd was thrilled and the players tired – a great combination at a squash match.


Ref (after what seemed a full 3 minute rally for the first point of the match): "1-0"
Barker (already dripping with sweat and smiling): "They're not all going to be that boring, I promise."

Ref (at 13-12 Selby in the 2nd game and after a Selby miss): "Not up."
Barker: "If that had been up what would have been your decisions?"
Ref: "We're not discussing that."
Barker: "Why not, it's only a bit of fun."

Call from a wit in the crowd during extra points in the 2nd game: "Let's go England."

Palmer (in first minute of the match, moving toward tight Lincou drop): "Let."
Ref: "Yes let."
Lincou (disbelieving, to Palmer): "Did you ask?"
Palmer: "Yeah."
Lincou: "Why?"
Palmer: "Not sure..."

Lincou (after a let to Palmer at 5-3 in the 1st): "That's three mistakes already."
Ref: "Careful."

Lincou (to the ref after Palmer just misses a pick up): "C'mon, ball was down."
Ref (to Palmer after a couple of beats): "Your ball was down."
Palmer: "I know that, just wanted to see if you guys know it."

2009    2008


05-Feb, Quarters
Top Four Will Be The Last Four

This evening the four top seeds bore out the status they were accorded at the close of registration for the 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic. The minefield of the first two rounds was successfully navigated by Barker, Palmer, Lincou and Selby, but nothing was taken for granted and their opponents all took their shots at the unexpected.

Barker vs. Razik

The Bluenose quarter-finals are familiar territory to both Peter Barker and Shahier Razik. Each has actually seen their way through to the finals, albeit in different editions, but only one would have that chance this year.

Barker started the match by stepping into everything he took a swing at. Two quick points by the Englishman served notice to Razik that this was not intended to be a long night. To his credit though, Razik weathered the early storm and went about the difficult work of establishing some influence over the flow of the game. Drawing close at 6-5 down Razik seemed to have struck a balance. Barker had surrendered a couple of points on errors and things tightened up with lets to either side now playing a part. The race to end it was hard fought from both, Razik doing well to neutralize Barker’s attempts to dictate pace by pushing him to the back corners more than he wanted. Barker never slowed however and got the crucial points to take it from 8-8 to an 11-9 win.

At 3-3 in the second Barker was doing the directing, cutting off most of what was previously going deep. Razik had to make a stand, took the upper hand at 7-6 and then suffered two tough “no let” calls to reverse the advantage. From there the Canadian never settled but ran out of room on the score sheet as Barker hit a serve return nick for the game point at 11-9.

Having played positively and smartly for two games but with nothing to show for it, Razik still pushed for a change in the tide. Things had loosened somewhat over the break however and the precision that was necessary to contain Barker had been breached. At 5-0, after thoughts strayed to the possibility of replacing the ball, Razik was victimized for four points in about a minute and a half and looking at the wrong end of a 9-0 score line. 11-3 was the final game score. The final match score of 3-0 doesn’t do the effort justice. -PK

Selby vs. Frankcomb

Daryl Selby quickly began with a 3-0 start against Aaron Frankcomb. Selby continued to build his lead to 7-2 as he maintained pace and accuracy with a portfolio of crisp drives and well placed drops. The Aussie held his own throughout the rallies, but only manage an additional three points in the remainder of the game as Selby took game one 11-5.

Again in game two, Selby had a positive start with the score at 3-1 in his favour. Frankcomb rallied back with a couple of winning cross court drives combined with a pair of tins errors from Selby to take a 5-3 lead. Over the course of several long rallies, Frankcomb was able to outlast Selby by ending numerous points with tight boasting and drops to maintain the lead at 9-7. An overly aggressive back court drop from Frankcomb found tin to reduce the lead to 9-8. In the next rally, Frankcomb again found tin to tie the game at 9 apiece. A perfectly hit drive from Selby and an errant tin shot from Frankcomb ended game two 11-9 for Selby.

Selby dominated the third game as he quickly jumped out to a 7-2 lead. Having done the majority of running throughout the match, Frankcomb was unable to shift the momentum as Selby continued to build his lead to 10-2. At match ball, Selby and Frankcomb had an entertaining exchange of lobs and upfront drops with Selby being one shot better – an 11-2 score and 3-0 match win for a semifinal match up against countryman Peter Barker. -KB

Lincou vs. Iskandar

Less than one week ago, Thierry Lincou of France and Mohd Azlan Iskandar faced off in the semis at the Motor City Open where Iskandar took the marathon match in five games. The quarter finals of the Bluenose Classic saw the two players again cross paths in what was built up to be an adrenaline filled rematch. With an impressive display of power and accurate drives, Lincou was off to a 4-1 advantage early in game one. Iskandar matched Lincou shot for shot as both attacked and countered attacked to exchange points with Lincou able to maintain a three point lead at 8-5. Two of the last three points of the game were loosely hit balls from Iskandar that resulted in “stroke” calls for Lincou as he closed game one 11-6.

In the second, Iskandar upped the pace as he began with a 3-0 lead. Lincou responded back to tie the score 3-3. Throughout the game, there were several long rallies where both players were pushing each other to the limit of front and back court retrieval. The game remained close as both players traded winners. At 7-7, Lincou hit a blistering cross court winner just out of Iskander’s reach to bring the score to 8-7. The next rally was long and eventually brought to an end by Lincou with a perfectly executed hold and drop into the front corner nick – Isklandar’s attempt to retrieve the shot appeared hampered as he walked slowly back to the tee. At 9-7, Iskandar hit the ball out as he was experiencing difficulty with moving around the court. In the final point of the game, Lincou hit a very retrievable backhand length shot that Iskandar could not reach for an 11-7 game two win. At this point in the match, Iskandar was in obvious discomfort from a leg injury and wisely decided to retire. A match win for Lincou and berth in the semifinals against David Palmer. -KB

Ong vs. Palmer

Game one between Ong Beng Hee and David Palmer got off to a dream start for the defending champion. Palmer was 7-1 up before the contest had taken on any character. It was only during a period of lets and strange bounces from 7-1 to 8-4 that Ong seemed to be taking a bit of control back. Throughout this period was played some astounding squash – pickups and reactions on full display as both players moved effortlessly for some brilliant shots. The lets did taper off at the end of the game and Palmer closed the door with a perfect drop for the 11-6 win.

With the favorite ahead by one it was the second game that was Ong’s chance to react. He got to 5-5 after some work in the trenches of the court – all four corners in full use – and then the tension of the effort became no less than 8 straight lets, a quick stroke in either direction, then 4 more lets.

The crucial nature of this point in the match was obvious to all in attendance, and most acutely to the players, as a 1-1 tie was the last thing Palmer wanted while a 2-0 hole would be deep enough that Ong might never get out. As he had in the first, Palmer did his best work at the end, sealing the 11-8 win on a no let to Ong.

His range must have been left outside the court at the break, Ong could not find the handle on a number of drop shots in the third that took the tin. These had been landing in the first two games but he never recovered his touch as Palmer piled on with the advantage in a relatively quick game that ended 11-3. -PK


2009    2008


Ref: "No let"
Barker: "I was there at the ball, and I took him with me."

Razik (stops, thinking the ball is broken, which it turns out not to be): "Can we get a new one?"
Barker: "No thanks."

04-Feb, Round One

Quarter-finals Decided for the 2010 Bluenose
Eight men into the quarter-finals of the 2010 Bluenose, but only five nations represented. There are strength in numbers for Malaysia, Australia and England, two players in the last eight each – Canada and France with one apiece rounding it out.

Barker vs. Koukal

Game one saw Peter Barker take an early 4-1 lead over Jan Koukal. Koukal rallied back to tie the game at 5-5. Over the next two points, Barker patiently set up two upfront winners to go ahead 7-5. Koukal managed to keep the score close, but it was Barker taking game one 11-8.

In the second game Barker got out to a solid 5-0 lead. Koukal managed to pull within one point at 4-5 assisted by three unforced errors from his opponent. Barker countered back by taking the next three points and widening his lead to 8-4. Koukal managed just two more points before Barker claimed game two by an 11-6 score.

Game three saw a shift in momentum. Although Barker began the game with a 3-1 lead and held the lead throughout the majority of the game, Koukal’s perseverance paid off. At 9-6 for Barker, Koukal went on a five point run to take game three 11-9.

In the fourth, Barker quickly mounted a 5-2 lead. This time he would not allow it to collapse as he controlled the majority of play throughout the game to take the game by an 11-4 score for a 3-1 match win. -KB

Razik vs. Lavigne

Returning to Halifax after a missed year in 2009, Canadian #1 Shahier Razik was looking to upend the seedings somewhat by putting down French stalwart Renan Lavigne. With a shared history stretching back over ten years (to Albuquerque in 1999), but totaling only four matches, there wasn’t any hard evidence on which to place a bet.

Lavigne got a great start against a sportsmanlike Razik, sitting 3-0 and 6-2 in front. Both players were playing deep into the corners but accepted any opportunity to go short and it started to pay off more and more for Razik, who finally drew even on a perfect boast at 7-7. Everything was up and down the backhand wall as Lavigne pushed to regain his advantage but, despite some stellar rallies the points went to Razik and he accepted a stroked at game ball.

Lavigne brought energy into the second game but the start was more even, then Razik went on a four point run at 6-3 to hold game ball. Lavigne knew this was last real chance and held off for three more points but then went down 2-0 on a Razik drop to the front left nick from the center back of the court.

The final game was a formality as Razik got up quickly. Lavigne played aggressively where he could but the points didn’t come – final to Razik 11-1. -PK

Rodriguez vs. Frankcomb

There is usually a match up somewhere in the draw where the first few rallies have you thinking it will be five games no matter what. This was that match. After almost 100 minutes Aaron Frankcomb won his first ever meeting with the higher ranked Miguel Angel Rodriguez. Both players gave it all.

Rodriguez can scramble when in trouble like few others and he found himself that way for stretches, but gave as good as he got.

The two best runs of the match belonged to the Columbian, six and five points respectively in the 2nd and 3rd games, the two he won, but everything else in both directions was singles and doubles for five full games. No one could sustain momentum on the score sheet in the face of the other’s will to resist and there were parts of the match where the stalemate seemed permanent with more than a couple of lets.

Although he was undone in the third by a brilliant Rodriguez comeback from 10-7 down, Frankcomb stifled another in the fourth and then cemented things in the fifth with his own solid play from 7-6 up to 11-7. The last two points were both no let decisions, one to each player. Tense and exciting stuff – a lot of heart built on exceptional skill and athleticism -PK

Selby vs. Knight

To start game one, Daryl Selby and Martin Knight had several long rallies with Selby registering the bulk of the winning shots to pull ahead by 4-1. Knight found tin over the next three exchanges to allow Selby to move into a comfortable 7-1 lead. Knight managed to collect a few additional points on upfront winners before Selby closed out the game by an 11-4 score.

Early in game two, Knight and Selby exchanged winners as the score was tied a 4-4. In the second half of the game, Knight hit several tin while Selby displayed notable accuracy with his drops and volleys. Selby took the game by an 11-6 score.

In game three, Selby started off with a 3-1 lead. A stroke call against Knight combined with a few errant tin moved Selby’s lead to 6-2. Late in the game Knight began to mount a comeback, however counter pressure from Selby in the last rally forced Knight’s backhand into the tin. Selby closed game three 11-8 for a 3-0 match win. -KB

Lincou vs. Ryder

With crisp length and precision touch in the front of the court, Thierry Lincou started game one with a 6-1 lead over Chris Ryder. Ryder made several winning drops in the front, but attack pressure from his opponent was immense as Lincou took the first by an 11-6 score.

The second game was close as both players traded a series of winners and unforced errors. At 6-6, Lincou pulled ahead by three points from two cross court winners and a drop that brought the score to 9-6. Ryder managed two more points before Lincou’s back hand drive up the wall ended the game 11-8.

Similar to the previous game, game three remained close. At 4-3, Ryder managed to grow his lead to 6-3. Two forehand winners from Lincou cut Ryder’s margin to 6-5. At 9-8, Ryder was awarded a stroke and in a position to serve game ball. At 10-8, Ryder’s shot found tin and the next point saw Lincou hit an overhead drive into the nick to tie things at 10-10. Both players then traded points for an 11 all score. The next two points belonged to Lincou as Ryder hit the tin and Lincou finished the game with a drive into the back corner for a 13-11 score and 3-0 match win. -KB

Iskandar vs. Cuskelly

As one of the qualifiers Cuskelly would not have been picked against the Malaysian #2 but that didn’t dissuade him from standing in all the way through the match. Early momentum was Iskandar’s as he pushed the tempo faster than Cuskelly was ready for. The Australian couldn’t seem to cut anything off as he did the necessary work in the back corners, but that changed at 8-4 down when he plainly took the initiative and stepped up to. His last point of the game was a serve return to the nick to 7-10 down, but Iskandar replied with the same to end it, 11-7.

It was neck and neck in the second, some great counter-drops at the front right by Cuskelly to 4-4, and then he sped out to a 7-4 lead with some determined effort in trying to even things. The pendulum headed back the way it came at that point, and an unintentional drive that connected with Cuskelly’s knee left Iskandar very apologetic but one point ahead at 8-7. Cuskelly refused to lie down though and they battled up to 10-9 for Iskandar, who finally put it away with a volley winner just above the tin.

Game 3 started poorly for Cuskelly and he couldn’t recover, 6-0 down to begin – three game balls saved, but to no avail. Match to Iskandar. -PK

Adnan vs. Palmer

In game one, David Palmer got off to a quick 6-1 lead as Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan found several tin while trying to find his range early on. Adnan rallied back with a combination of cross court, boasts, and upfront winners to close Palmer’s lead by one with the score at 7-6. Adnan kept the game close, however Palmer was able to maintain his slight lead and close game one by an 11-9 score.

The second game began with both players trading a pair of upfront winners and tin as the score was tied at 2 apiece. At 4-4, Palmer’s ability to retrieve and successfully counter attack pushed the score to 7-4. Adnan made several tight shots that tested Palmer’s quickness, but it was Palmer who took the game by an 11-6 score.

Throughout game three, the score remained close as Adnan and Palmer exchanged points over several long rallies. At 6-6, a “no let” call put Adnan ahead by one. Palmer won the next two rallies to go ahead 8-7. Not to be outdone, Adnan took the next two points to go ahead 9-8. The next three points belonged to Palmer as he claimed game three 11-8 for a 3-0 match win.

Ong vs. Phillips

The second Canadian in the main draw, and now five time Bluenose entrant, David Phillips, of Montreal, was the event wildcard and foil for the final piece of the Malaysian Invasion, Ong Beng Hee.

Both players started their way into the match slowly with some length amid the adjustment of it being the first match for both. Phillips was faster to get oriented with the three first points as Ong fought to get up to speed. When he did things started happening faster and it was 4-4 soon after.

An unfortunate run of three errors for Phillips punctuated equally damaging winners off the racquet of Ong as he took the rest of the game’s points to an 11-4 win.

The second game would have to be where Phillips made his case for an upset – getting ahead at the start and then matching the Malaysian all the way up. Ong looked to be pulling away when he lost his racquet, recovered it and still won the point to go 9-7 up.

Phillips held his resolve and three rallies later was holding game ball, 10-9, on a perfect counter-drop. Unable to close with that one he gave himself two more chances at 11-10 and 12-11 with some brilliant movement from both. That proved to be the last opening though as two errors and a stroke to Ong sealed a 2-0 lead in games.

The final game was all Ong, starting with some inch perfect boasting and reaching 9-1 on the way to a final score of 11-4. -PK


The 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is again supported by contributions from founding sponsor Zal Davar, also Eric Kitchen, Paul Hopkins, Bill Presse and Martin Clouthier as well as returning corporate sponsors:

Truefoam Limited, Benchmark Investing, Dr. Chris Petropolis Dentistry, Opa Taverna, National Leasing, Canadian Diagnostic Centres, Domus Real Estate, Coady Filliter, Lifemark Physiotherapy and Mil-Aero Electronics.

The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is now also generously sponsored by Marsh Canada Ltd., 20 Vic Management Inc., Owens MacFadyen Group and RoyCom Inc.

Players and referees are staying at The Lord Nelson Hotel. Squash Nova Scotia is the sponsoring provincial association and the Bluenose is an official test event for the squash venue for the 2011 Canada Games.

The Bluenose Squash Classic, a not for profit event and part of the Canadian Squash Circuit, is being initiated and organized by the Nova Scotia squash community in memory of Marcella Davar (May 8, 1954 – July 21, 2004).

2009    2008


Marker: "Not up."
Razik: "Appeal. 100% appeal."
Ref: "Play a let."
Lavigne: "No! ... That's too easy, to do that."

Fan (after Lavigne dominated a rally for the point): "Let's go Shahier."
Lavigne: "I'm not Shahier."

Frankcomb (body language asks for let, expectation of stroke given obvious)
Ref: "Yes, let."
Frankcomb: "What?"
Ref: "Side wall."
Frankcomb: "Winner."
Ref: "Let."
Frankcomb: "I'll show you."
(Goes and gets the ball, demonstrates the winning shot he thought he had to the front wall.)
Ref: "Play on please."

Ref: "Yes, let"
Frankcomb (expecting a stroke to be given): "No. How do you want me to play that ball?"
Ref: "By taking another step towards it. Play on please."

Ref (to Cuskelly after a pause): "No let."
Cuskelly: "Why don't you call it straight away?"
Ref: "Okay, I will."

Ref (for Iskandar): "Yes, let."
Both players (in disbelief): "What?"
Cuskelly: "Why is it a let?"
Iskandar: "I thought it was a stroke!"

03-Feb, Qualifying Finals

Four Top Qualifiers Through to Main Draw at Bluenose

Eight qualifiers started the day with a chance to make an appearance in the main draw at the 2010 Bluenose and world rankings were borne out as the top four ranked qualifiers claimed the available spots.

Knight vs. Clarke
Two Bluenose veterans started the night off – Martin Knight of New Zealand, and Robin Clarke, the last Canadian left in qualifying. Clarke got off to a quick start, up 2-0 on a cross court and some tight length.

He seemed to be reading the ball a little better than Knight at the beginning of game one, making the Kiwi do a little more scrambling than he would have liked. Both players were satisfied to hit to the back corners almost exclusively, with maybe one or two drops and boasts through to 5-5 when Clarke caught Knight with a drive from the back right.

That was the last point of the game for the Ottawa native as a couple of errors, a couple of winners for Knight on well held drives, as well as a sportsmanlike call by Clarke that he had carried the ball trampled the score sheet to an 11-5 win for Knight.

Knight continued his steady play in the second, getting out ahead to 4-2, with a couple of uncertain Clarke errors helping along the way. Up to 5-4 for Knight there were two very long and even rallies in a row that signaled that something in the rhythm had changed. Clarke chose to make a stand here to prevent digging a 2-0 hole in the match and found the right mix of easy movement and pressure on Knight to pot the next five points – including an uncharacteristic reverse boast.

With momentum and parity in games beckoning Clarke got too optimistic with a backhand drop, caught the tin, and while nothing was given for free in the rallies it was Knight who took things back to even at 9-9 and then ultimately sealed the game with a tight re-drop that Clarke couldn’t pull out.

Game three was hard fought but Knight had the upper hand and completed runs of three and six points in a row, to Clarke’s single markers each time, and the final game score rested at 11-3. Knight floated the serve return on match ball into the nick and it was time to shake hands. The match was fair tempered to the end with complementary movement the norm and few lets overall. Knight advances to face Daryl Selby. - PK

Koukal vs. Arnold
In game one, Scott Arnold quickly advanced to a 7-1 lead as his boasts and front court drops were pinpoint accurate. Jan Koukal had many opportunities to win rallies, however several of his shots found tin. Late in the game, Koukal’s accuracy began to improve as he rallied for three points, but it was too late as Arnold took game one 11-6.

Similar to game two, Arnold got off to an early lead at 3-1. A backhand drive from Koukal into the nick coupled with an Arnold miss hit brought the score to 3-3. Throughout numerous long rallies, both players exchanged a series of impressive shots and displayed high-caliber retrieval skills that kept the game close. At 10-10, Arnold hit a deceptive cross court drop to serve for the game. Koukal countered with a winning forehand drive that was just out of Arnold’s reach to tie the score. At 12-11 Arnold hit a loose ball that Koukal rocketed up the wall for a 13-11 game two win.

Game three began with Koukal taking a 3-0 lead. Arnold countered back and the score was soon tied at 4 all. Koukal rallied for four points on two well placed front corner drops combined with two errant tin shots from his opponent to take an 8-4 lead. Koukal continued to add to his lead while taking game three by an 11-7 score.

The fourth game started slowly for Koukal as Arnold got off to a 4-1 lead. Koukal managed to pull within one point at 3-4 before Arnold again pushed his lead to 8-4. Three consecutive tin shots from Arnold followed by a winning cross court drive from Koukal tied the game at 8-8. At 9-9, Arnold clipped the tin on a drop – Koukal now had a 10-9 lead. During match point, Arnold made an incredible diving lunge to return a Koukal cross court drive – unfortunately he lost the grip on his racket resulting in losing the point. Koukal won game four 11-9 for a 3-1 match win to earn his place in the main draw.

Cuskelly vs. Maqbool
To start game one, Adil Maqbool was slow to find his range as unforced errors from drives into the tin put Ryan Cuskelly out to an early 4-0 lead. Maqbool rallied for two points on a crisp length shot and front sidewall drive that caught the nick to close the gap by two. The next five points were dominated by Cuskelly with Maqbool continuing to find tin as the lead grew to 9-2. Cuskelly closed game one with a cross court drive for an 11-4 win.

In the second game, Maqbool and Cuskelly had several long rallies where both players equally exchanged winners and unforced errors as the score remained close and neither player lead by more than a point. At 8-8, Maqbool pulled ahead to 10-8 on two crisply hit and well placed shots. Cuskelly again managed to pull within a point before Maqbool hit another sharply hit ball up the side wall that caught Cuskelly anticipating in the opposite direction. Maqbool took game two by an 11-9 score.

The third game was witness to a significant swing in momentum as Cuskelly’s shot selection and execution was flawless as he quickly handed Maqbool an 11-0 loss.

With confidence and momentum in his favour, Cuskelly picked up from where he left off and began game four with a 4-1 lead. Throughout several rallies Maqbool upped the pressure on Cuskelly – however many of his shots continued to find tin. Cuskelly won game four 11-6 for a 3-1 match win to secure a place in the main draw. - KB

Adnan vs. Johnstone
Match of the day, for duration and determination on both sides, came in the 8:00 timeslot. Wade Johnstone of Australia fought his way into the main draw of the 2009 Bluenose with a dogfight of a match that ended 11-8 in the fifth. He came close to duplicating the feat tonight, just losing a squeaker to the higher ranked Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-9 in the fifth.

It was back and forth for the whole 79 minutes as first Adnan would have the advantage and then Johnstone would find his attack. Both players found a couple of strings of errors in the four games they split and these directly affected the outcome. For Johnstone, when his boasts were working they were sometimes outright winners and certainly pressure producing shots, but when they deserted him for stretches of a given game it was an uphill battle. For Adnan the biggest rash of unforced errors came in the second when he gave two easy ones back for every hard one he earned.

At 7-4 down in the fourth game, trailing the match 2-1, Johnstone looked to be done but put together a solid comeback to tie it up, only to yield two more points to rest at 9-7 down. There were some contentious discussions between players and ref at this point and the fourth was heavy with lets, but it was a string of four errors that left Adnan shaking his head after losing 11-9 and headed for a fifth game.

The fifth was nothing but effort from both sides. Exchanging points evenly all the way up Adnan seemed to get the boost he needed with a stroke for a 7-6 advantage, but then three straight Johnstone winners brought him within two of finishing it. Adnan promptly turned the tables and ended things with three straight of his own – the last a hold and snap drive for the win - a heartbreaker for the Aussie faithful.


The 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is again supported by contributions from founding sponsor Zal Davar, also Eric Kitchen, Paul Hopkins, Bill Presse and Martin Clouthier as well as returning corporate sponsors:

Truefoam Limited, Benchmark Investing, Dr. Chris Petropolis Dentistry, Opa Taverna, National Leasing, Canadian Diagnostic Centres, Domus Real Estate, Coady Filliter, Lifemark Physiotherapy and Mil-Aero Electronics.

The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is now also generously sponsored by Marsh Canada Ltd., 20 Vic Management Inc., Owens MacFadyen Group and RoyCom Inc.

Players and referees are staying at The Lord Nelson Hotel. Squash Nova Scotia is the sponsoring provincial association and the Bluenose is an official test event for the squash venue for the 2011 Canada Games.

The Bluenose Squash Classic, a not for profit event and part of the Canadian Squash Circuit, is being initiated and organized by the Nova Scotia squash community in memory of Marcella Davar (May 8, 1954 – July 21, 2004).

2009    2008


Hey, REF !!!

Koukal: "Was his pick up good?"
Ref: "Yes."
Koukal: "You don't know which one I was talking about."
Ref: "They were all good."

Cuskelly: "Let?"
Ref: "No let."
Cuskelly: "Why?"
Ref: "You have to go get that."
Cuskelly: "I did get it."
Ref: "No let."
(next rally)
Cuskelly: "Let?"
Ref: "Yes, let."
Cuskelly: "That was the same one."
Ref: "Nope."

Ref (after obvious stroke): "Stroke to Adnan."
Johnstone (turning around and looking straight past Adnan, smiling): "Where is he?"

Adnan vs Johnstone

Ref: "Yes, let."
Adnan: "Why, he's going nowhere."

02-Feb, Qualifying Round One

Canadian Luck Runs Thin

Ottawa’s Robin Clarke was the only Canadian to make it to the second round of qualifying as the Bluenose Squash Classic opened play in Halifax, Nova Scotia. All matches followed the seeding via a draw which spread home hopes almost evenly across the eight match lineup.

Knight vs. Rudolph
One of the first matches of the qualifying round of the 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic featured local player Josh Rudolph against Martin Knight of New Zealand. Knight was last year’s wild card entry in the main draw and has participated in every Bluenose event since its inception in 2006.

With support from the local crowd, Rudolph held his own against Knight as both players traded winning front court shots with Rudolph getting out to an early 4-2 lead. Rudolph continued to work the front of the court as he pulled further ahead 7-3. In response, Knight maintained the model of textbook squash – hitting tight length, moving his opponent around the court, and patiently waiting to execute opportune winners. His approach worked – the next eight of nine points belonged to Knight as he closed off game one 11-8.

In games two and three, Knight continued where he left off taking quick 3-0 leads. Throughout numerous rallies Rudolph was able to maintain pace and counter attack, however Knight’s ability to retrieve and up the pressure with each swing of the racket lead to his domination of points throughout the match. Knight claimed games two and three with the same 11-3 score for a 3-0 match win. - KB

Clarke vs. Smeltzer
The other opening slot of the evening put local player Mike Smeltzer against Robin Clarke of Canada. In game one, Smeltzer jumped to a 2-0 lead on a winning volley and drive in the first two rallies. Clarke responded back with a series of winning volley drops and drives as he moved into a commanding 8-4 lead in the second half of the first. Momentum continued as Clarke closed out game one 11-6.

Game two was similar to the first with Smeltzer taking a 2-0 lead. Again, Clarke countered back with a sequence of winning drops and length to take a 4-2 lead. Smeltzer was able to earn two additional points with Clarke taking game two 11-4.

In game three, Clarke began with a 2-0 lead and was able to hit several winning drops and length combined with some inopportune errant tins from Smeltzer on his way to an 11-3 game and 3-0 match win. - KB

Koukal vs Leclair
The 7:00 match time pitted Bluenose returnee Jan Koukal of the Czech Republic against Maxym Leclair of Montreal, Quebec. Leclair started strong, jumping to a 3-0 lead as Koukal was a bit slow out of the blocks. He then got going with a bit of luck in a mishit winner off the rim to get to 3-2 down but Leclair pressed back to a 5-2 advantage. The game was aggressive and fast, Leclair pushing and Koukal made to hurry and respond, up to 8-8. Two more for Koukal gave him game ball, which Leclair staved off with a great pickup for 9-10, but a cross court drive put the game away for Koukal, 11-9.

The second game then was where Leclair sought to make his stand, the game beginning with an all-corners-all-shots rally, Leclair retrieving everything but still finding himself down 4-2 on a perfect Koukal lob that died at the back. The Canadian scraped his way up the scoreboard though, drawing even at 9-9 and then getting a quick winner from a reaction shot at the front that went off the rim of the racquet. Koukal won parity but then gave game ball back to Leclair on a serve out of court. The Czech #1 was able to even yet again and this time carry the momentum through to a 14-12 win. Leclair would have felt unlucky not to have brought the match back to level with three game balls that couldn’t be capitalized on.

The court tilted the way of the higher seed in the third game as Koukal was able to reap the rewards of Leclair having put everything into the first two. Final score was 11-1 and Koukal moves on. - PK

Arnold vs.Serediak
In a repeat match up from last year’s qualifying round, Scott Arnold from Australia faced Matthew Serediak of Canada. The first rally of game one was long as both players tested each other’s ability in the front and back of the court.

Arnold’s notable ability to retrieve well placed shots from Serediak contributed to his 3-0 start in game one. Arnold continued to be one shot better at the end of several extended rallies to grow his lead to 7-3. Serediak made some deceptive winning drops which caught his opponent flat footed, however not enough to make a difference as Arnold took game one 11-5.

Game two began with Serediak obtaining a 3-1 lead. The game remained close as Arnold was able to hit back-to-back winning drops up front to even the score at 3-3. At 5-4, Serediak hit three balls into the tin to hand Arnold an 8-4 lead. Again at 9-7, Serediak found the tin twice and Arnold closed game two 11-7.

With momentum from the first two games in his favor, Arnold started game three with a commanding 4-0 lead. Serediak could find no payoff on the longer rallies but managed three points in the final game as Arnold went on to take the third 11-3 and match 3-0. -KB

Cuskelly vs Reid
With 165 ranking positions between them Ryan Cuskelly of Australia had the upper hand on paper over Ontario’s Fred Reid. The match started on a much more even footing though, as Cuskelly sought to get comfortable and Reid tried to be aggressive right out of the gate.

Things were neck and neck up to 5-5 before Cuskelly put together four in a row. A drop to the tin was his only error in the back half of the game, putting it away at 11-6.

Reid maintained his high pace / high risk / high energy strategy up to a 6-4 advantage in the second game. There were a couple of nick winners that he looked for and found to get the upper hand to that point but a carbon copy four point run by Cuskelly turned the tables. While it took work to realize it, the Australian found himself again with game point and slotted home a drop to the front left to go up 2-0.

With the longest possible road via which to come back Reid started the third optimistically by taking a 5-1 lead on three clear winners. The lower percentages were on his side but switched allegiances for a couple of points to keep Cuskelly in range to 5-3 down. The give and take carried on to an 8-6 lead for Reid but an energy drop ultimately surrendered momentum and Cuskelly took the last five points for the match – entertaining stuff. - PK

Maqbool vs. Brinkman
From the start of game one it was clear that the match up between “hard hitting” Khawaja Adil Maqbool and “quick retrieving” Thomas Brinkman from Canada was going to be entertaining. In the opening game, Maqbool displayed his hitting and placement skills as he thoroughly tested Brinkman’s retrieval agility. Early in game one Maqbool hit several crisp winners to take a 5-2 lead. Brinkman made several impressive retrievals on near winners from his opponent to keep many rallies going, but could not prevent Maqbool from closing game one 11-6.

To start the second game, Brinkman countered with a combination of winning drops and deceptive boasts to for a 5-0 lead. Maqbool responded with a series of well placed shots as he cut the lead to 5-3. Throughout the majority of the game, Brinkman was able to hold the lead – attributable to his ability to anticipate, retrieve, and successively counter attack against Maqbool’s crisp shots. Brinkman took game 2 by a score of 11-9.

Game three saw Maqbool rely on accurate shot placement as he moved Brinkman around the court to begin game three with a 2-0 lead. Brinkman was able to tie the score at 3-3, however Maqbool controlled the game as he kept moving Brinkman around the court throughout several rallies to patiently set up winning opportunities. Maqbool won game three by an 11-5 score.

Similar to game three, Maqbool relied on his shot placement abilities to run his opponent and start game four with a 5-1 lead. Maqbool never surrendered the lead throughout the game and held a 9-5 lead late in the match. Despite a late comeback effort from Brinkman, Maqbool was able to close out game four 11-8 for a 3-1 match victory. -KB

Adnan vs. Bishop
Provincial #1 Matt Bishop was always going to have his hands full and Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan, the second seed qualifier, made it apparent when he went up 5-0, then 8-1 in the first game. Bishop was trying to find his range and pace while working to stay in the side to side rallies, finally getting a foothold for recovery on a misdirect winner to get to 2-8 down. A mini comeback on an Adnan error and Bishop nick brought cheers from the partisan crowd who made no bones about openly supporting the cause of the home underdog. Optimism spiked as Bishop saved two match balls on cross court drives to get to 10-6 down, however, Adnan took the one game lead at the break.

The positive trend for Bishop at the end of the first was short lived as he pushed one out of court to start the second. Things didn’t get any better for home hopes up to 5-0 for the Malaysian #3, but Adnan was working for his points and the match as a whole was the second longest of the night. As with the first Bishop was able to get his game going on the score sheet only at 8-1 down, after Adnan had the inside track. The Canadian did well on a drop from the back center to the front left, then sent Adnan the wrong way for another. With plenty of breathing space at game ball, 10-3, Adnan gave up three quick errors – boast, drop, drop, all too low – but put a flat boast just above the tin for a winner and ultimately went for a drink 2-0 up.

The third game started with the full support of the crowd urging Bishop to the task but Adnan stayed on script and built a generous cushion. As with the first two games there was no lack of competition in the rallies, but the points fell to only one side. At 10-2 up, match ball beckoned and Adnan stayed patient. Then, after a lots of work and little reward came Bishop’s best run of the match. He took four pure winners – hold and flick, hold and flick, drive, drop – added a couple of opportune Adnan boast errors on top of those and was quickly in range, 8-10 down. The crowd ate it up but the higher seed saw his opening on an angled drive and ended the match with a nick. 3-0, Adnan advances. -PK

Johnstone vs. Vidal
The first game between Wade Johnstone of Australia and David Vidal of Spain began as a seesaw battle with both players evenly exchanging winners as the score was score was tied at 6-6. In the second half of the game, Johnstone hit four consecutive winning shots followed by a drive into the tin from Vidal to claim game one 11-6.

To start the second, the score remained close at 4-4. A winning reverse boast by Vidal and two unforced errors from Johnstone moved Vidal into a 7-4 lead. Vidal continued to run up his tally and held a commanding 10-5 lead. This was short lived as Johnstone turned the momentum in his favour and evened the score at 10-10. The last four points of the game comprised several long rallies and amazing retrievals from both players with Vidal managing to recover from his earlier collapsed lead and take game two 13-11.

Game three saw Johnstone get off to a commanding lead and work the score to 9-5 as he dominated many rallies and hit several well placed mid and front court drops that often caught nicks. Johnstone took game three by an 11-5 score.

In game four, there was an increased pace to the rallies as both players were in attack mode. Johnstone built a 3-1 lead before proceeding to hit four consecutive tin to hand over a 5-3 lead to Vidal. Over the next two points, Johnstone countered back with drop and cross court winners to tie the score at 5 all. Both players continued to exchange winners as the score remained tied a 7-7. The last four points belonged to Johnstone as his two volley drop winners combined with two errant tin shots from Vidal gave Johnstone an 11-7 game and 3-0 match win.

The 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is again supported by contributions from founding sponsor Zal Davar, also Eric Kitchen, Paul Hopkins, Bill Presse and Martin Clouthier as well as returning corporate sponsors:

Truefoam Limited, Benchmark Investing, Dr. Chris Petropolis Dentistry, Opa Taverna, National Leasing, Canadian Diagnostic Centres, Domus Real Estate, Coady Filliter, Lifemark Physiotherapy and Mil-Aero Electronics.

The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is now also generously sponsored by Marsh Canada Ltd., 20 Vic Management Inc., Owens MacFadyen Group and RoyCom Inc.

Players and referees are staying at The Lord Nelson Hotel. Squash Nova Scotia is the sponsoring provincial association and the Bluenose is an official test event for the squash venue for the 2011 Canada Games.

The Bluenose Squash Classic, a not for profit event and part of the Canadian Squash Circuit, is being initiated and organized by the Nova Scotia squash community in memory of Marcella Davar (May 8, 1954 – July 21, 2004).

2009    2008



2010 Bluenose Squash Classic
Ready to Launch ...

With only two days to the start of qualifying there isn’t much left to do at the Saint Mary’s University courts here in Halifax but play some squash.

Some of the best male squash players on the planet will be taking their spots February 4th in the 16 man main draw that features 11 players from the top 40, Canadian wildcard entry David Phillips and the four to-be-determined qualifiers.

The squash pedigree of world #8 David Palmer, returning champion, pride of Australia, and France’s world #9 Thierry Lincou has been cast over a decade plus at the top of the men’s pro game. They will need to draw on all of that experience to topple top seed, and world #6, Peter Barker of England.

Barker’s countryman, world #13, Daryl Selby rounds out the top four slated to make it to Saturday’s semi-finals, but it is earned passage only for all concerned. Atlantic Canadian squash fans are primed to bear witness ...

Exceptionally Strong Draw
for 2010 Bluenose

Three of the world’s top ten ranked squash players will be heading the main draw at the 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic this February 4–7 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The fifth edition of the Bluenose is looking forward to its strongest field ever with England’s Peter Barker, finalist in 2009 and current world #6, arriving in Canada at the head of the list to pursue a share of the $40,000 US prize pool.

Projected to meet top seed Barker in the event’s final match is the defending Bluenose Champion, David Palmer. The Australian’s 2009 trip to Halifax showed off a progressively stronger brand of tight attacking squash through the week to take the title, and he will be gunning for a repeat performance.

France’s Thierry Lincou, world #9, is scheduled to make his first trip to the competition, and he will have his own expectations to satisfy.

As core members of each of their country’s perennially strong national programs Barker, Palmer and Lincou are of the sport’s elite with resumes to match. Barker has been a World Men’s Team Champion with England while Palmer and Lincou have both held the world #1 ranking and been World Champions. This year’s Bluenose will be squash at its highest caliber.

Always planning for an upset the rest of the draw runs deep with international talent as well.

Past World Junior Champion Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia, and countryman Azlan Iskandar will be representing the other side of the planet against the likes of French veteran Renan Lavigne and Canadian stalwart, and 2007 Bluenose Champion, Shahier Razik.

A full draw of 16 qualifying players will compete on February 2-3 to vie for one of the four remaining spots in the main draw. These matches will be free to public viewing.

Tickets for the main draw are available for pre-paid purchase at The Tower at Saint Mary’s University – 902-420-5555.

Prices, availability and match times are featured on the event website at

The 5th annual Bluenose Squash Classic is again supported by contributions from founding sponsor Zal Davar, also Eric Kitchen, Paul Hopkins, Bill Presse and Martin Clouthier as well as returning corporate sponsors:

Truefoam Limited, Benchmark Investing, Dr. Chris Petropolis Dentistry, Opa Taverna, National Leasing, Canadian Diagnostic Centres, Domus Real Estate, Coady Filliter, Lifemark Physiotherapy and Mil-Aero Electronics.

The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is now also generously sponsored by Marsh Canada Ltd., 20 Vic Management Inc., Owens MacFadyen Group and RoyCom Inc.

Players and referees are staying at The Lord Nelson Hotel. Squash Nova Scotia is the sponsoring provincial association and the Bluenose is an official test event for the squash venue for the 2011 Canada Games.

The Bluenose Squash Classic, a not for profit event and part of the Canadian Squash Circuit, is being initiated and organized by the Nova Scotia squash community in memory of Marcella Davar (May 8, 1954 – July 21, 2004).

2009  2008  2007   2006

5 Years of Top-Flight Pro Squash in Atlantic Canada

The 2010 Bluenose Squash Classic is bringing pro squash to the edge of the Atlantic for the 5th consecutive year.

This year’s competition will be a 4 Star PSA event, to be held February 4th - 7th at the brand new squash courts of The Tower at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Competitors from around the world will take their places in the 16 player field to fight for the winner’s share of the $40,000 US prize pool.

Last year’s final pitted two of the world’s top ten against each other in a clinical display of world class squash. David Palmer, Australian legend of the sport and two-time World Open Champion, defeated England’s Peter Barker to add his name to the growing history of the event as the 2009 Bluenose Champion. Local hopes have Palmer returning to defend his title – a steep proposition at the tip of the pyramid of men’s professional squash.

General admission tickets for this year’s event went on sale December 14th and are available for pre-paid purchase at The Tower (in person or by credit card, 902-420-5555).

Prices, availability and match times are featured on the event website at www.squashns.ca . The two qualifying rounds are open for free to public viewing on February 2-3rd.


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