15-20 Oct, Halifax, Nova Scotia, $35k
Final in Halifax:
Rodriguez comeback foils Selby again
final match between Miguel Rodriguez of Columbia and Daryl
Selby of England marked the 8th edition of the Bluenose Squash
This was Selby's third final in four years and he was hoping to
capture his first Bluenose title tonight. Selby was coming off a two
hour marathon match against Laurens Jan Anjema last night which had
a few fans betting the odds in the final moments leading up to the
Rodriguez has matured before the Bluenose fans over the four years
he has been coming to Halifax. He’s been known as an acrobatic
retriever, but this year he has been showing patience with his game,
setting up rallies, and mixing his front court attack with back
Could he continue his tight execution tonight against the
tournament's number one seed? Squash fans in Halifax were about to
 Miguel Rodriguez (Col) bt  Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1
In the first game, Rodriguez got off to a nice start going up 3-0.
Neither player was aggressively attacking the front of the court,
instead opting for the long, back court rallies hoping to capitalize
on any mistakes of the opponent.
type of game favours Selby's style of play and Rodriguez's lead was
whittled away by Selby's persistence. In fact, Selby's unflappable
patience allowed him to wait for the right opportunities to hit a
combination of winning drives and drop shots scoring him eight
consecutive points en route to an 11-4 game one win.
After the match Rodriguez commented, "I was playing at the back of
the court and retrieving too much in the first game," which
generally is symptomatic of this sort of result.
In game two, Rodriguez changed tactics. Instead of waiting for the
opportunities to present themselves, which they do infrequently when
you are against a player of Selby's caliber, he went on the
offensive. It began with a tight boast that Selby couldn't reach,
followed by a drop, and another drop as he went on an eight point
spree. Selby countered back to get on the score sheet for a 1-8
score. Relief was short lived as the precision of Rodriguez’s drops
continued as he had turned things around to take the second game
The third game was a mirror image of the second. Rodriguez hit drop
after drop into the nick until he held another commanding 8-1 lead.
Selby's veneer was beginning to show a few cracks as he threw in a
handful of unforced errors in an attempt to find one floorboard, any
floorboard at all outside of the nibble Columbian's reach, but to no
avail. Rodriguez closed out the third game with an identical 11-2
In the fourth game, Rodriguez's had so much confidence in his drop,
the first two points were secured in drops executed in exchanges
immediately after the serve. Another three perfectly executed drops
and Rodriguez grew the lead to 5-0. He could smell a championship
within his reach. But as sometime happens in these situations, the
player in the lead inadvertently allows their opponent back in the
game. Selby crept back in to the game as the rallies became longer.
At 3-7, Selby claimed another point at the end of a 100+ shot rally
to further close the gap 4-7. However, there was no way Rodriguez
was going to let this opportunity slip away. He was just playing too
well to let that happen. He scored another point off a drop,
followed by a cross court nick, leaving Selby helpless to respond or
achieve any momentum. In the ensuing war of attrition, the players
traded points, but by this time, it was too little, too late as
Rodriguez continued his dominance to take the fourth game 11-6 for a
3-1 match victory to claim the 2013 Bluenose Squash Classic
In a post-match interview with Neil Harvey Selby discussed his play,
"I didn't play badly today and played well in the first game. Credit
to Miguel, he played unbelievable squash after that. He upped the
intensity, and did it absolutely perfect. I take my hat off to him,
and he definitely deserved to win."
When asked whether he was disappointed having lost in the final
now three time, Selby responded, "it will definitely keep me coming
back, however, one more loss and it's not bad luck is it?"
In Miguel's post match interview he pronounced the match as "one of
the best matches I've ever played. I was ready to play this match."
Indeed he was and the squash fans of Halifax are thrilled to have
him crowned as the 2013 Bluenose Squash Classic Champion.
Blair Cook Reporting
Draws & Results
15-20 Oct, Halifax, Nova Scotia, $35k
 Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-2, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
 Daryl Selby
11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (46m)
 Daryl Selby
111-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2
 Laurens Jan Anjema
 Daryl Selby
4-11 11-2 11-2 11-6 (58m)
 Miguel Angel Rodrigues
Eddie Charlton (Eng)
11-8, 7-11, 2-11, 11-7, 14-12 (112m)
Steve Finitsis (Aus)
Shaun Le Roux (Rsa)
11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (37
Campbell Grayson (Nzl)
11-7, 11-8, 13-11 (62m)
 Laurens Jan Anjema
Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (34m)
 Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
 Miguel Angel Rodrigues (Col)
11-8, 11-7, 11-3
[Q] Arturo Salazar (Mex)
 Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-3, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5 (51m)
[Q] Eric Galvez
 Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)
 Alister Walker
Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas)
11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8 (127m)
[Q] Eric Galvez (Mex)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10
[Q] Jan Koukal (Cze)
6-12, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7 (78m)
 Alister Walker
[Q] Lucas Serme (Fra)
16-14, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6
 Alister Walker (Bot)
16-Oct, Qualifying Finals:
Jan Koukal (Cze) bt Greg Lobban (Sco)
5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6 (60 m)
Eric Galvez (Mex) bt Arthur Gaskin (Irl)
11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5 (65 m)
Lucas Serme (Fra) bt Andrew Schnell (Can) 11-8 7-11
11-5 11-7 (68 m)
Arturo Salazar (Mex) bt Fred Reid (Can)
11-8, 14-12, 11-8 (25 m)
Qualifying Round One:
Eric Galvez (Mex) bt Mike McCue (Can)
11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4 (55m)
Arthur Gaskin (Irl) bt
Colin Ramasra (Tri)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (23m)
Greg Lobban (Sco) bt Matt Bishop (Can)
11-9, 11-2, 11-5 (25m)
Schnell (Can) bt Graeme Schnell (Can) 11-7,
4-11, 11-4, 11-8 (60m)
Fred Reid (Can) bt Mike Buchannan (Can)
11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (21m)
Semis in Halifax:
Selby survives, Rodrigues upsets
With the top seeds advancing from the quarters, it was sure to
be a competitive evening of play as four of the top 20 players
in the world faced off to determine who will be the last two to
advance to the finals of the 2013 Bluenose Squash Classic.
In a sold out event, fans filled the stands to cheer on the
final four in a fast paced and entertaining evening of
 Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt  Alister Walker 3-1
hard to pick a favourite in this matchup as Walker and Rodriguez
are seeded consecutively in the event and ranked 15th and 16th
respectively in the world. In fact, the very first rally lasted
107 shots and 3 minutes as evidence of the parody. Rodriguez won
the opening rally and the ensuing three points to take an early
4-0 lead. Walker countered with a few tight drops of his own
narrowing the deficit to 3-5, but that's as close as it got. In
the first game, Rodriguez's play was impeccably clean and well
controlled. He diligently forced the rallies and went on to take
the first game 11-3.
In the second game, Walker found focus and success at the front
corners and quickly built up a 3-0 lead. From there, the players
swapped points all the way to an 11-8 finale giving Walker the
second game. In the post-game interview, Rodriguez commented
about the second game, "I was going too early to the front and I
knew I had to change things up."
And change things up he did in the third game. Rodriguez began
mixing the pace of the rally, at times forcing the pace, and at
others opting to build position. "Alistair is a very strong
player from the T and likes to take the ball early. I was
playing a fast pace and trying not to give him the chance to
slow down the rally," Rodriguez commented after the match. This
constant pressure lead to five unforced errors by Walker that
gave the third game to Rodriguez with an 11-5 margin.
In the fourth game, it was all going Rodriguez's way as Walker
coughed up 4 more unforced errors to fall behind 1-6 within a
matter of minutes. Walker was able to find momentary focus to
mount a slow comeback to 5-6, however, his concentration seemed
to be short lived as he then gift wrapped Rodriguez's ticket to
the finals by hitting three more unforced errors. The other two
points Rodriguez won outright. The final score of the fourth
game put Rodriguez on the good side of the ledger 11-5, yielding
him a 3-1 match victory. This is Rodriguez's fourth trip to
Halifax, but his first berth to the final.
Blair Cook reporting
 Daryl Selby bt  Laurens Jan Anjema 3-2
first game started off with some long rallies with Anjema
jumping out to a 4-1 lead on the strength of three nicks. Selby
pushed the pace over the next two rallies forcing Anjema to hit
tin bringing the score to 4-3. The game remained close
throughout with Anjema holding a slight lead until Selby got
ahead 8-7. At that point Anjema attempted a kill shot into the
nick, but missed, giving Selby the opportunity to make him pay
for the miss, which he did. They battled hard for each point,
including a bit of pleading with the referees for “strokes” to
be awarded when the referees were only willing to give a “let”.
On game ball at 12-11, Anjema had Selby on the run before he
drove a backhand past him for a winner, giving a triumphant yell
and fist pump for a 13-11 thirty six minute marathon game win.
Game two saw Anjema go out to a 5-3 lead. He managed to maintain
his lead and at 8-5 Selby hit two tins to make it 10-5 for his
opponent. Anjema finished off the game with a boast winner to
close the game 11-5. The second game was twenty minutes long and
it seemed as though Selby had made the majority of unforced
errors whereas Anjema was noticeably more consistent.
Once again, in the third game, Anjema jumped out to a lead and
at 4-1 it was beginning to look like the match would soon be
over. However, it seems that Selby was foreshadowing today's
events in yesterday’s post-game interview, when he stated
"you’ll never see me give up on any point...and more so now."
From 4-1, Selby hit two nicks and quickly tied the game at 4-4.
More tight drops and a stroke against Anjema and Selby was ahead
9-5. Anjema continued to put up a strong fight including
debating with the referee for what he thought he deserved for
points in his favour when he said "it was the best point I've
played all week", to referee Graham Waters. Waters responded,
"well, he still would have got to it". In the end, Selby took
the game 11-8 in 23 minutes.
Game 4 was the first one that Selby took an early lead, 2-0, but
Anjema quickly evened it 2-2. Selby got back in front at 4-2.
Anjema hit a perfect length to tie the game 5-5. They traded
points until 8-8 and there were many calls throughout this game
facilitated by referees that mostly resulted in "yes let" calls.
At 9-8, Selby had Anjema on the run, with Anjema making many
dramatic retrievals before hitting the tin. At game ball, Selby
got a stroke to win the game 11-8.
The tide seemed to have turned in the fifth game, as once again
it was Selby to take an early 3-0 lead. He continued with a
perfect volley drop to go 4-0 up. His lead only got bigger.
Selby was awarded two strokes to make it 8-1 and then he made
another perfect drop to go to 9-1. Selby wrapped it up with a
stroke awarded at 11-2 for a marathon 3-2 match win.
Farley MacLeod reporting
Quarters in Halifax - Top Seeds Advance
Despite very impressive efforts from the quarter final
challengers, all top seeds have advanced to the semifinals of
this year’s Bluenose Squash Classic. In a packed venue, squash
fans enjoyed an evening of highly entertaining and competitive
play as the tournament’s draw was narrowed down to four.
 Alister Walker (BOT) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 3-2
the first match of the evening, Alister Walker of Botswana,
world ranked 15th, faced off against Martin Knight from New
Zealand, world ranked 47th. With 32 ranking positions separating
the two opponents, it might have been assumed that the match had
potential to be a lopsided affair. From another perspective,
there was potential for a major upset.
In game one, it was obvious that Knight’s adrenalin was pumping
as his speedy court movement and precise shots quickly put him
in front 6-3. Midway through the game, Walker started to shake
off the slow start as his consistent shot execution began to pay
off as he rallied back to tie things up at 6-6. A stroke against
Walker on a mishit up the middle put Knight ahead by one. Knight
took full control of the second half of the game with an
exhibition of patience and shot making for an 11-6 win.
The second game began with an even exchange of points as the
score was tied at 3-3. Walker, who appeared to be playing with a
deeper level of intensity than the previous game, executed three
outright winning shots to pull ahead 6-3. Knight responded with
a winning volley drop into the front nick, however Walker
countered back by claiming another three consecutive points to
widen his lead 9-4. Walker went on to take the game 11-7.
With games tied at one apiece, the third game saw both players
display consistent focus and shot execution as the score
seesawed throughout the game. At 7-7, Knight ended three rallies
with well-placed length shots for game ball at 10-7. Walker
replied back with two front court drops supplemented with a
Knight forehand into the tin to tie the game. At 10-10, Knight
hit a pair of blistering back-to-back tight sidewall drives
leaving Walker flat footed to capture the third 12-10.
In the start of game four, Knight appeared very sluggish as
Walker quicker mounted a 5-0 lead. Facing elimination, Walker
seemingly upped the pace and grew the lead to 9-2. Knight
collected one additional point before Walker claimed game four
Game five saw both players enter the court with a heightened
sense of intensity and focus. With everything on the line, the
scored remained close throughout the game. At 2-2, Knight
slammed a cross court drive to go ahead 3-2. Walker responded by
forcing Knight to hit tin to even the score 3-3. The exchange of
points continued as the score was deadlocked at 7-7. At this
point, it appeared that the match could go in either direction.
A stroke against Knight put Walker ahead 8-7 and this is when
things began to unravel for Knight. During the next three
rallies, overly aggressive attempts at winning shots landed
Knight’s ball into the tin. Walker took game three 11-7 for a
hard fought 3-2 match win.
In the post-match interview with Neil Harvey, Walker acknowledge
his opponent’s ability and play throughout the match. “Martin is
constantly improving and adding more shots to his weapons. He
kept me unsettled throughout the match,” he commented.
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) 3-1
was a fun match to watch as both players are quick on their feet
and have beautiful touches at the front. However, Galvez was
coming off a brutally draining match the night before so it was
unknown whether he could challenge the world number 16 Rodriguez
who is renowned for wearing down opponents. The first game
lasted a mere six minutes as Galvez came out flat and Rodriguez
had his way en route to an 11-3 victory.
In the second game however, Galvez found some footing.
Capitalizing on four unforced errors by Rodriguez, and stringing
together a series of winning shots, Galvez stormed back to take
the second game 11-8 to square the match.
The third game was fantastic as the athleticism of both players
was well showcased. Both players had the same strategy, to work
the rally to set up the drop shot and if they couldn't get it
done or got in trouble, to lob the ball to the back of the court
and repeat. The two players traded points along these lines all
the way through the third game; however, it was Galvez with the
first game ball. The favoured Rodriguez was not yet ready to
pack it in and fought back to take the game to extra points. In
the climatic final rally, Galvez caught Rodriguez out of
position at the front of the court, but in spectacular form,
Rodriguez dove from the T to the back corner to save the rally.
The irony of his spectacular save was that moments later, Galvez
slipped on the sweaty stain on the floor costing him game point
to give Rodriguez the third game 13-11.
Galvez returned to the court and quickly got ahead 4-2 in the
fourth game on 3 consecutive feathery touches at the front of
the court. The acrobatic between the legs and behind the back
shots by both players had the crowd cheering throughout the
match. But in the next couple of rallies, it became obvious that
Galvez had hit the wall with his stamina after four grueling
days of competition. From there, Rodriguez cruised to victory by
winning the fourth game 11-5 and the match 3-1.
 LJ Anjema (NED) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0
the third quarter final match of the night, 4th seed and crowd
favourite LJ Anjema (WR 18) from the Netherlands took on
Campbell Grayson (WR 41) from New Zealand. The match lasted just
over an hour (1:02) with Anjema earning his place in the
semifinals after a convincing 3-0 victory.
The match was a solid display of technical squash and
athleticism with patience displayed by both players in the first
game. Despite Grayson’s ability to maintain pace, Anjema
maintained a lead throughout the game to come away with an 11-7
Anjema started the second game with an extra boost in his step
for a 4-1 lead. Grayson made an impressive mid-game comeback to
capture a 7-5 lead, but Anjema countered to retake the lead 8-7.
From there, it went back and forth for another two points with
Anjema staying ahead and coming out on top 11-8.
In the third, Anjema looked determined as he controlled play to
take a rapid 5-1 lead. Grayson, with an equal look of
determination, patiently fought back to earn a 7-6 lead. Both
players continued to exchange points with Grayson pushing the
game to a tie break. Anjema maintained a rock-solid composer in
his play to take the final game 13-11 for a 3-0 match victory.
During the post-game interview, Grayson said it was a
challenging match “I felt like I was always one step behind and
there was a lot of pressure”, he commented. Anjema acknowledged
his opponent’s strength and style of play “the last time I
played Campbell in Guatemala I was struggling, he has a good
technique and you never know where the ball is going till the
last second”. He went on to further say, “sometime you use your
skill sometime you use you athleticism – today I used the
latter”. Anjema ended the interview with “he (Grayson) made some
mistakes at some key points, but squash-wise we were very even”.
Anjema will now face the winner of the Daryl Selby and Eddie
Charlton match in the semifinals.
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 3-0
first game was played largely at the back of the court, with
Selby taking a 3-0 lead. However, Charlton fought back to tie it
3-3. The score remained quite close until 7-7. Toward the end of
the game, Selby hit two drop winners and the game ended with
Charlton chasing a ball and crashing into the back wall as Selby
claimed the first 11-8.
In Game 2, Selby demonstrated his steadfast demeanor on the
court, and showed his fluid movement. He seemed to never have to
hurry to get a ball, remaining in control. Late in the game,
Selby showed more flair, hitting an overhand cross-court nick
winner at 10-2, followed by a cross-court drop to win 11-2.
Selby went out to a 4-1 lead in the third game. A variety of
errors and winners on both players’ parts played out through the
course of this game. They both showed a deft ability to change
the pace from crushing drives to light lobs and soft drops. The
players had a light-hearted, playful banter with the referee
throughout the match. In the end, Selby prevailed 11-8 to take
the match 3-0.
Round One in Halifax
There were plenty of excited squash fans gathered at Saint Mary’s
University SMUfit squash facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the
tournament’s top 16 professionals faced off as the main draw of the
2013 Bluenose Squash Classic got underway.
 Alister Walker (BOT) bt [Q] Lucas Serme (FRA)
The first match of the evening saw world number 15 Alistair Walker
taking on qualifier Lucas Serme and world number 76, but through
more than half of this match, you'd never be able to distinguish the
rankings differential. "Coming in I had heard that he likes to hit
cross court nicks," confirmed Walker after the match when asked
whether he was surprised by all the no bounce winners hit by his
opponent. But let's walk you through the full story. Walker appeared
to have the first game well at hand up 10-6, but Serme fought back
to even the game. The two exchanged points all the way to a 16-14
eventual finish which favoured Walker. Despite the scare, all was
right in the world - that is until the second game.
The second game was as tightly contested as the first, both players
patiently placed shots at the back of the court waiting for
opportunities to attack. The back and forth continued until 7-7, at
which point the aforementioned flair for hitting cross courts nicks
gave Serme a couple of crucial points. This slightest of edge earned
him the second game 11-8. It was anyone's match.
In the third game, Serme picked up where he left off hitting his
crowd pleasing cross court nicks giving him a 3-2 lead. But the 40
minutes of head-to-head physical, attacking squash began visibly
taking its toll on Serme. Losing his focus he coughed up 7 straight
points and the third game to the seasoned Walker 11-4.
The crowd was wondering whether Serme could mount a comeback in the
fourth game and in the early game he looked either desperate or
brilliant hitting three consecutive cross court nicks giving him a
4-2 lead. But that was all he had in the tank. Walker still looked
fresh while Serme's fourth shirt of the evening still couldn't
conceal his exhaustion at that point. From that point, Walker
pressed Serme relentlessly to finish off matters winning the fourth
game 11-6. Still, an impressive outing for the young French man who
doggedly plays through everything, which may be perhaps the reason
he tired more quickly than Walker. Walker, the tournament’s second
seed, is now off to the quarter-finals tomorrow night.
Martin Knight (NZL) bt [Q] Jan Koukal (CZE)
The second match of the evening featured Martin Knight from New
Zealand who has played in every Bluenose Squash Classic tournament
since its inception back in 2006 against Jan Koukal from the Czech
Republic who is also no stranger to the event.
From the start of the first game, it was obvious that both players
were going to test each other’s fitness level as the majority of
rallies lasted for several minutes. Knight managed to maintain the
edge throughout the first game by getting off to a 5-2 lead. Koukal
was able to keep the game close, but Knight was successful in
muffling any attempt by Koukal to take the lead as his perseverance
in the second half of the game converted into an 11-9 win.
The pace and style of play of the second game was almost a carbon
copy of the first with Knight playing an even tighter game as he
cruised to an 11-4 win. The third game saw a switch in momentum as
Koukal mounted a 4-1 lead. Both players continued to force long
rallies as one exchange appeared like it would never. At 9-7, Koukal
hit a winning cross court slam followed by an off-speed shot
catching Knight flat footed to take the third 11-7.
Early in the fourth game, Knight came out aggressive to take a 5-1
lead. Koukal countered back to draw within one at 5-4. Both players
continued to exchange points with Koukal tying the game at 8-8. The
trend continued as the score went to 10-10. An out-of-court lob
called against Koukal was the turning point as the next rally was
short in length with Koukal hitting tin on a backhand giving Knight
a 3-1 match win.
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Arturo Salazar (MEX)
The match between Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Columbia and Arturo
Salazar of Mexico was a display of quickness and aggressive play. In
contrast to other matches throughout the evening, the rallies were
relatively short and the majority of play was at the front of the
To start the first game, Salazar’s shot execution was near perfect
as he began with a 6-0 lead. Rodriguez seized back the momentum as
he closed the gap by a single point to bring the score to 6-5.
Salazar hit a drop into the front corner nick for a 7-5 lead.
Rodriguez’s speed and keen sense of anticipation contributed to a
four point run where he took a 9-7 lead and then proceeded to close
game one 11-8.
The second game closely resembled the first with both players
attacking with aggressive upfront shots. Salazar worked hard to
mount a 7-5 lead before a total collapse that allowed Rodriguez to
go on a six point streak for an 11-7 win. The third game was
dominated by Rodriquez as Salazar appeared sluggish with his shot
making lacking any of the zest shown in the previous two games.
Salazar was able to scrounge up three additional points before
Rodriguez cruised to an 11-3 win for a 3-0 match victory.
[Q] Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (MAS)
The first game started out with a fast pace and in favor of Galvez
he jumped out to 6-1 and 8-3 leads. Azan attempted many backhand
cross courts, with a couple rolling out of the nick, but more ended
up being loose, and putting himself under pressure. Galvez won the
first 11-7. The second game was riddled with frustration from both
players with regard to contact when moving to the ball. Glavez
continued to play more patiently and won 11-7.
The third game more closely resembled ice hockey than squash with
excess contact, lets, and bodies flying. Azan took an early 4-2 lead
with Galvez tying it at 8-8 before Azan managed to pull out a 13-11
The players settled through the first half of the fourth game with
Galvez going ahead 7-2. The latter half of the game saw more players
strewn about on the floor before Galvez took the match with an 11-8
score in the fourth to take the match 3-1.
Campbell Grayson (NZL) bt Shaun Le Roux (RSA)
Both players showed a good deal of athleticism through the match,
but it was Grayson who prevailed in each of the three games in this
relatively short match. Grayson took an early 5-0 lead in the first
before Le Roux fought back to tie it up. Grayson went on another
roll to claim the first 11-7. In the second game, Grayson dominated
play taking this short game 11-2.
Similar to the first game of the match, Grayson took another early
5-0 lead in the third, before Le Roux strung four points together.
Le Roux seemed to tire somewhat towards the end of the game, however
Grayson maintained his energy level and pace as he rolled to an 11-6
victory for a 3-0 match win.
 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) bt Rex Hedrick (AUS)
The 2008 Bluenose Squash Classic champion (and crowd favorite),
Laurens Jan Anjema from the Netherlands and Rex Hedrick from
Australia was an entertaining match that displayed the intensity,
shot striking power, and on-court presence of Anjema.
In the first game, Anjema and Hedrick had several ball pounding
rallies with Anjema taking a 6-2 lead. Hedrick was able to maintain
pace and dominate his fair share of rallies, however he continued to
come up short as Anjema was moving around extremely well and his
shots were finding the mark. At 9-4, Hendrick started to have some
success as he closed Anjema’s lead to 9-8. Both players exchanged
points with Anjema winning the next point with a powerful front
corner drive for an 11-9 win.
Games two and three were dominated by Anjema who began to more
noticeably take control of play. Despite his efforts, Hedrick was up
against a formidable opponent. Anjema took both games two and three
by an 11-2 score for a 3-0 match win.
 Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Cesar Salazar (MEX)
In one of the last matches of the evening, tournament top seed and
previous two time Bluenose Squash Classic runner up, Daryl Selby
from England, squared off against Cesar Salazar from Mexico.
Game one began with long intense rallies as both players were
gauging their opponent’s shot making tempo with Salazar taking a
slight edge with a 2-1 lead. Both players moved efficiently around
the court displaying impressive retrieval capabilities.
Unfortunately for Salazar, a couple of points was the best it would
be for him as Selby strung together 10 consecutive points to take
the first 11-2. The second game was back-n-forth as both players
traded points on an equal mix of outright winners and errors as the
score was locked at 7-7. Selby pulled ahead and had an opportunity
to serve for the game at 10-8, but Salazar battled back hitting a
pair of winning drives to again tie things up at 10-10. Patience
throughout the next two rallies paid off for Selby as he closed the
In the third game, it appeared that Selby was in control as he
commanded an early 5-2 lead. Salazar was not ready to surrender as
he went on a four point spree to go ahead 6-5. In Selby fashion, his
patience throughout long rallies paid off as he dominated the next
five rallies to take game three 11-6 for a 3-0 match win.
Eddie Charlton (ENG) bt Steven Finitsis (AUS)
The first game started off with some patient squash being played
mostly at the back of the court. At 4-4 they traded nick winners.
The rest of the game continued to be traditional squash, with
Finitsis making a couple more errors at the end, as well as a "no
let" call on game ball, and Charlton taking it 11-8.
The traditional squash continued in the second game, although both
displayed their retrieving ability as well. Toward the end, Charlton
got more aggressive, and also made a few errors, and Finitsis took
Finitisis came into the third game looking like the Energizer Bunny,
while Charlton looked more flat. It was a fast game as Finitisis won
Finitsis ran out to a 6-1 lead in the fourth. However, Charlton
fought back to tie it at 7-7, and proceeded to go ahead 10-7 on two
errors by Finitsis and a nick. He hit a ball past Finitisis for the
game winner. 11-7 Charlton.
Fittingly, some of the longest rallies occured in the fifth game.
Finitsis made three errors in a row, giving Charlton a 4-1 lead.
Finitsis started to channel his frustration with the referee, and
was going for more high risk kill shots, with mixed success. He
started to make his way back into the game, down 5-7, but two errors
followed to make it 9-5 for Charlton. Charlton hit a winner to make
it 10-5. Fintisis fought and tied it 10-10, then was awarded a
stroke to make it 11-10. He hit the tin to make it 11-11. Finitisis
hit a perfect lob to make it 12-11. After about 5 lets, he hit the
tin, 12-12. Charlton hit a nick winner to make it 13-12, and then
Finitsis hit a boast into the tin on match ball, after 112 minutes.
Galvez wins 2hr+ epic
Eddie outlasts Finitisi
Top seed Selby through
Round One Photos
Qualifying complete in Halifax
final round of qualifying play for the 2013 Bluenose Squash Classic
was intense and highly entertaining as a large crowd of squash
enthusiasts sat elbow-to-elbow for an evening of adrenalin filled
match-ups to see which players would secure one of the four
available places within the tournament’s main draw.
Eric Galvez (MEX) bt Arthur Gaskin (IRL)
What a great match up this was as Eric Galvez world number 82 only
marginally favored over Aurthur Gaskin world number 92! Both players
enjoy forcing the pace and finding opportunities to work the front
of the court. The opening game saw plenty of action – long rallies,
and spectacular digs to sustain play. Gaskin held the slimmest of
margins at 9-8, but was denied by Galvez who pulled off three
consecutive points to close the first game 11-9. The second game was
more of the same, only this time Galvez held the 9-8 edge before
Gaskin scored three consecutive points to win the second game win
11-9 to square the match.
It was a dead heat and anyone’s call midway through the third game
as neither player was able to seize momentum from the other. With
the game sheet favoring Gaskin 5-4 in the third game, Galvez
aggressive attacking style finally started to pay dividends as he
rattled off 6 straight points taking the third game 11-5. The fourth
and deciding game went the same way as the third game with an
identical score of 11-5 favoring Galvez and propelling him into the
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Greg Lobban (SCO)
With only eight ranking positions separating the two opponents, Jan
Koukal, world ranked 78 and Greg Lobban, world ranked 86 were both
ready for a highly competitive match.
To start game one, Lobban was hitting the ball crisp, his shot
placement was near perfect, and he was moving extremely well around
the court as he mounted a 4-0 lead. Koukal managed to get a handful
of points, but Lobban controlled the majority of play as he went on
to take the first 11-5. The second favored Koukal as he managed to
re-work his strategy and force his opponent to do the majority
running as he built a 7-2 lead. Patience throughout several long
rallies continued to reward Koukal as he took game two 11-3.
In the third game, Lobban started strong as he hit a series of
outright winning shots to lead 6-2. However, Koukal did not veer
away from his strategy of patience and he was rewarded at the end of
several long rallies as he stole the lead 9-7 and went on to take
the game 11-8. Game four saw Koukal quickly grow a 7-2 lead as
Lobban appeared to be tiring from Koukal’s pressure that had him
doing some intense running. Koukal closed game four 11-6 for a 3-1
match victory and place in the main draw.
Lucas Serme (FRA) bt Andrew Schnell (CAN)
Hard hitting, impressive retrieval speed, and intensity best
describe both Lucas Serme of France and Andrew Schnell of Canada
style of play. In a fast paced match it was obvious that both
players did not want their tournament to end. In game one, there
were a number of long rallies as both players exchanged points with
the score tied 8-8. Serme was able to come out on top of some
intense rallies to take the first game 11-8. Again, throughout the
second game, there were a number of long hard fought rallies with
both players exchanging points as the score was tied 4-4. Schnell
was rewarded for several well placed drives and drops as he went on
to claim the game 11-7.
Throughout the third and fourth games, Serme appeared to lift his
game another notch as he was able to control the majority of play
and maintain the lead. Despite Schnell’s self-motivation, he came up
short as Serme claimed these two games 11-5 and 11-7 for a 4-1 match
win and his position in the main draw.
Arturo Salazar (MEX) bt Fred Reid (CAN)
The match between Fred Reid, world ranked 107 and Auturo Salazar,
world ranked 74 was a display of two different styles of squash with
Reid’s more aggressive approach to go for a winning shot early in a
rally versus Salazar’s more patient approach to wait for the right
opportunity over the duration of a longer rally. In the first game,
Salazar made very few unforced errors as he quickly commanded a 9-4
lead. Within a four point run, Reid drilled a couple of front court
nicks to bring the score to 9-8. Salazar kept Reid in the back
corners over the next two points forcing two errors to take game one
To start the second, Reid completely owned the court as he hit an
impressive array of deceptive drops and other well positioned shots
to run up a 10-4 advantage. From there, things stalled as Salazar
fought back to tie the game at 10-10. Reid tried to salvage the
game, but Salazar had rediscovered his groove to take game two
14-12. Throughout the third game, Salazar was in control of the
majority of play, however Reid was able to dig down midway through
and tie the game 8-8. Salazar had no plans for a fourth game as he
dominated the last three rallies to close game three 11-8 for a 3-0
match win and secure a place in the main draw.
Day Two Photos
Qualifying under way in Halifax
The first round of qualifying play for the 2013 Bluenose Squash
Classic featured high quality and intense squash professionals
competing for a coveted place within the tournament’s main draw. The
crowd enjoyed high paced action as all the top qualifiers advanced
to the next and final round of qualification play.
Arthur Gaskin bt Colin Ramasra 3-0
This match kicked off the 8th annual Bluenose Squash Classic pitting
92nd ranked Gaskin against world number 196 Ramasra. In the early
going, both players were getting used to each other and the courts,
exchanging points in patient rallies until 4-4, but that’s as close
as this match would get. Gaskin rattled off 7 consecutive points to
close the first game 11-4. Gaskin success in the match was his
ability to force the pace of the rally an increment beyond Ramasra’s
ability to keep up. Gaskin covered the court beautifully forcing
Ramasra into a role of covering and retrieving. This left Ramasra
with few opportunities to mount a sustained offense against his
higher ranked Irish opponent. The first game initiated a trend in
the ensuring games that ended with a matching pair of 11-3 outcomes
to seal the victory for Gaskin and a berth in the second round of
qualifying on Wednesday.
Eric Galvez bt Mike McCue 3-1
The second match of the evening featured Eric Galvez from Mexico,
ranked 82nd in the world, square off against Michael McCue from
Canada, ranked 116th in the world. Galvez controlled the pace
throughout the first game with well-placed drives and constant
pressure on McCue to take the first game 11-5. In the second, McCue
countered back as he combined hustle and focus to anticipate
Galvez’s play as he took the second game 11-8. The third and fourth
games belonged to Galvez as he kept the pace very intense and
constantly pressured McCue with a mix of deceptive drives and
extremely well executed shot selection to take both games by the
same 11-4 score for a 3-1 match win.
Greg Lobban bt Matt Bishop 3-0
The third match of the first round of qualification play saw
Atlantic Canada's number #1 Matt Bishop playing 21 year old Greg
Lobban from Scotland. Lobban, ranked 86th in the world, defeated
Bishop in three games 11-9, 11-2, 11-5. Greg Lobban tweeted after
the game “Having 40/50 people watching your first round qualifying
match is pretty unheard of and pretty cool!” Lobban will playing Jan
Koukal from the Czech Republic in the final round of qualification
play. If their previous two encounters is indicative of what is to
come, Halifax squash fans will be in for a great match as Koukal has
won their last two matches with Lobban keeping the last two meetings
competitive and now seeking a potential upset win.
Andrew Schnell bt Graeme Schnell 3-1
Calgary siblings Andrew Schnell (WR#98) and Graeme Schnell (WR#275)
played an intense 60 minute match in the first round of the
qualifiers. Andrew took the match 3-1 (11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8) in
what was a great display of sportsmanship amongst brothers. Andrew
tweeted after the game “Never easy playing your bro but I snuck past
Graeme 3-1. Looking forward to playing Lucas Serme tomorrow.”
Fred Reid bt Mike Buchannan 3-0
Fred Reid (WR#112) played local Atlantic Canada squash player and
Prince Edward Island #1, Mike Buchannan. There were plenty of
intense rallies and Buchannan managed to maintain pace, however
Reid’s shot placement and dominance of games kept him in control of
the match. In 21 minutes on the court, Reid won his opening
qualifying match 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3). Reid will be playing Arturo
Salazar (WR#79) in the second round of qualifying vying for a spot
in the main draw.
Day One Photos
Players arrive for Fiera Properties Bluenose Squash Classic in
Halifax - Some of the best squash players in the world are
descending on Halifax this week for the 2013 Fiera Properties
Bluenose Squash Classic Tuesday- Sunday, Oct 15-20 at the Saint
Mary’s University Homburg Centre for Health and Wellness.
The PSA tournament is attracting top-20 ranked squash athletes from
around the world.
“Squash is one of the fastest, high-voltage sports out there,” said
Zal Davar, chair of the Bluenose. “Squash is a combination of high
athleticism and chess like thinking on the court.”
There are 27 athletes participating in the tournament. They include
top seeds and Bluenose veterans Daryl Selby, UK, Miguel Rodriguez,
Colombia, and LJ Anjema, The Netherlands.
Also playing are Alister Walker of Botswana, Shawn Delierre,
Montreal. Campbell Grayson, NewZealand, Cesar Salazar, Mexico, Shaun
Le Roux, South Africa, Martin Knight, New Zealand Steven Finitsis,
Australia, and Eddie Charlton, UK.
Local player Matt Bishop of Halifax is in the qualifier on Tuesday,
along with Islander Mike Buchanan of Charlottetown.
Qualifying rounds take place Oct 15-16 and are free of charge to the
public. The main draw will be played Oct 17-20.
Tickets are available through the ticket office of the Homburg
Center for Health and Wellness, Saint Mary’s University and will be
available for purchase in person, at the Service Desk, or over the
phone by calling 420-5555 with a credit card.
The Bluenose is now in its eighth year. Davar attributes the success
of the tournament to a number of factors, one of which is an
enthusiastic local squash community which continues to open up its
homes and hearts to players.
“The Bluenose Classic and Nova Scotia are known on the PSA circuit
for being one of the friendliest tournaments anywhere.”
Another factor is world-class squash coach Neil Harvey who moved to
Nova Scotia from England in 2007 to work with the charity Coalition
for Kids. Coach of former world No.1 squash player Peter Nicol (UK),
Harvey has promoted the Bluenose and Nova Scotia on the
international PSA circuit.
Harvey is now coach to a number of Nova Scotia junior players
training for the 2015 Canada Games squash team, including Halifax’s
Emma MacGillivary, 14, who is nationally ranked 8 in Canada in
Ladies U15 (under 15) and has been playing for 3.5 years.
Davar said the Bluenose has also benefited from the legacy of the
2011 Canada Games which contributed almost $250,000 to the
refurbishment of the squash courts at Saint Mary’s.
Davar founded the tournament in memory of his wife Marcella who
passed away in 2004 from cancer. He continues to sponsor the
tournament each year.
will be available through the ticket office of the Homburg Center
for Health and Wellness, Saint Mary’s University starting on
September 11th and will be available for purchase in person, at the
Service Desk, or over the phone by calling 420-5555 with a credit
October 15: Qualifying Rd 1 – 5pm (8 matches) FREE ADMISSION
October 16: Qualifying Rd 2 – 5pm (4 matches / Player Meet and
Greet) FREE ADMISSION
October 17: Main Draw Rd 1 – 5pm (8 matches). Tickets available for
October 18: Main Draw Quarter Finals – 5pm. Tickets available for
October 19: Main Draw Semi Finals – 3:30pm. Tickets available for
October 20: Main Draw Finals – 5pm. Tickets available for purchase
Gearing up for 2013 in Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia- Preparations continue for the 2013 Bluenose
Squash Classic – presented by Fiera Properties.
Many of the players returning this year will be very familiar to the
local squash community. Three of this year’s top 4 seeds have
competed in multiple Bluenose events in the past.
Daryl Selby, a ﬁnalist in the 2012 Bluenose Classic will
headline this year’s draw as number one seed. Selby currently
maintains a world ranking of 13.
The 3rd and 4th seeds are fan favorites Miguel Rodriguez and
LJ Anjema respectively.
Making his ﬁrst trip to Halifax, and earning the 2nd seed is
Alister Walker of Botswana who currently is ranked 15th in the
With the top four seeds all ranked between 13 and 18 in the world,
we are likely to see some of the closest matches in Bluenose Classic
The 2013 ﬁeld will be rounded out by Shawn Delierre, Campbell
Grayson, Jonthan Kemp, Cesar Salazar, Shaun Le Roux, Martin Knight,
Steven Finitsis, Eddie Charlton, and four qualiﬁers to be