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Fiera PropertiesBluenose Classic 2013
15-20 Oct, Halifax, Nova Scotia, $35k
Final in Halifax:
comeback foils Selby again

The final match between Miguel Rodriguez of Columbia and Daryl Selby of England marked the 8th edition of the Bluenose Squash Classic.

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 first serve.

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 court pressure.

Could he continue his tight execution tonight against the tournament's number one seed? Squash fans in Halifax were about to find out.

[3] Miguel Rodriguez (Col) bt [1] 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.

This 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 11-2.

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 win.

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 Championship.

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

Finals photos

Bluenose Classic 2013
15-20 Oct, Halifax, Nova Scotia, $35k
Round One
17 Oct 
18 Oct
19 Oct
20 Oct
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-2, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
Cesar Salazar (Mex)
[1] Daryl Selby
11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (46m)
Eddie Charlton
[1] Daryl Selby

111-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (109m)

[4] Laurens Jan Anjema

[1] Daryl Selby


4-11 11-2 11-2 11-6 (58m)


[3] 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)
Campbell Grayson
11-7, 11-8, 13-11 (62m)
[4] Laurens Jan Anjema
Rex Hedrick (Aus)
11-9, 11-2, 11-2 (34m)
[4] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodrigues (Col)
11-8, 11-7, 11-3
[Q] Arturo Salazar (Mex)
[3] Miguel Angel Rodrigues
11-3, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5 (51m)
[Q] Eric Galvez
[3] Miguel Angel Rodrigues

11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (51m)

[2] 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)
Martin Knight
 6-12, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7 (78m)
[2] Alister Walker
[Q] Lucas Serme (Fra)
16-14, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6
[2] 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)

15-Oct, 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)
Andrew 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 professional squash.

[3] Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt [2] Alister Walker 3-1

It's 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

[1] Daryl Selby bt [4] Laurens Jan Anjema 3-2

The 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

Semis Photos

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.

[2] Alister Walker (BOT) bt Martin Knight (NZL) 3-2

In 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 11-3.

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.

[3] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [Q] Eric Galvez (MEX)  3-1

This 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.

[4] LJ Anjema (NED) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 3-0

In 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 win.

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.

[1] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Eddie Charlton (ENG) 3-0

The 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.

Quarters Photos

2012 Event | 2011 Event | 2010 Event

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.

[2] 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.

[3] 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 court.

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 win.

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.

[4] 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.

[1] 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 second 12-10.

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 it 11-7.

Finitisis came into the third game looking like the Energizer Bunny, while Charlton looked more flat. It was a fast game as Finitisis won 11-2.

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

The 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 main draw.

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 11-8.

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

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.

Tickets 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 card.

Event Schedule:

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 purchase $25

October 18: Main Draw Quarter Finals – 5pm. Tickets available for purchase $45

October 19: Main Draw Semi Finals – 3:30pm. Tickets available for purchase $55

October 20: Main Draw Finals – 5pm. Tickets available for purchase $50

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 world.

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 History.

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 determined.


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