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Saudi International 2009
Qualifying - 25th-26th August, St George's Hill, Surrey

Tuesday, Day One: After Monday's single-round World Open qualification, 32 players once again descend on St George's Hill in Surrey, but this time they will need to win two matches to claim one of the eight qualifying spots in December's Saudi International ...

Framboise reports....


French Corner Day 2           Draws, Results and LL

I was very tense all the match through, we always play 3/2s', and I'm desperate to get up in the rankings, so I needed those points of qualification.

In the first game, I was just not concentrating on the game, and Amr is really good with his length and pretty dangerous at the front too!

Then it was close all the way, although I managed to put more and more pressure on him.

I would like to thank Sir Ziad to organise that tournament for us, and I hope to make him proud by winning in the first round!

The legs weren't good to start with, but it got worse and worse as we advanced in the match, and there was nothing left by the end....

I was exceedingly loose in the first game, then decided to play the game I can play, tight and accurate, and I cruised through!!!!! Only joking...

I'm much happier in my life now, my personal life is now in place, just moved in my house, after 18months of delays, I'm much more settled now, and it just shows in my squash, that I now enjoy fully...

For some reason, I just switched off at the end of the first game, and I was not able to get back in, I never felt comfortable physically or mentally on court.

When I can figure out what happened, and why that was, I'll get back to you!!!!

We started play at 12, with 2 courts running from midday to 3pm. Again, all my apologies for any spelling mistakes, presentation errors, bad photos... On my own, Steve being still unavailable...

[3/4] Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
                                   11/8, 11/6, 11/4 (44m)
[2] Omar Mosaad bt [9/16] Amr Swelim (Ita)
                                   9/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/4 (47m)

No, it's not a typing error, Amr Swelim now plays for Italy.
His dad, Vincenze, is actually Italian, and Amr was approached to play under the Italian shirt from these coming up World Team events. They are also rumours that Stéphane Galifi could also play for that team, while Bradley Hindle have signed with Malta.... More on that later....

When Omar and Amr play, it's always a close match, and even if Mosaad always managed to win so far, he was pretty nervous to start the match with.

Honestly, it showed that they train often together, the first game was actually in a training mode, no urgency at all, just routine, length, no real stretching, reading each other's game too well for that.

But losing the first game was like a wake up call for Omar, who suddenly remembered that he could hit the ball pretty hard, speed up the game, and put his opponent under extreme pressure, rally in rally out.

The work that Amr did in the first two games suddenly fell on him in the third. The 4th was pretty close, although the score doesn't reflect it. Too many unforced errors for Amr, but not a focus problem, this time, the energy tank was just empty...

Omar was clearly relieved to win the match. And Amr, well, will have to try again to beat that Gentle Giant of Mosaad...

Joey Barrington didn't made one of his marathon today. Short and sweet, didn't take any prisoner. Of his own admission, the South African admitted that he just switched off at the end of the 1st, and never was able to come back in the match.

The Englishman was precise and determined. The break he took since May after his injury made him a heck of a good.

For some reason, I just switched off at the end of the first game, and I was not able to get back in, I never felt comfortable physically or mentally on court.

When I can figure out what happened, and why that was, I'll get back to you!!!!

[9/16] Ali A. Reda (Egy) bt [5/8] Tom Richards (Eng)                      8/11, 11/4, 6/11, 11/8, 11/6 (81m)
[5/8] Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt [9/16] Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/3, 11/3, 11/3 (26m)
I just couldn't discipline myself today, I was just hitting silly shots, I couldn't do the right thing.

I know I was a bit anxious, that if I was playing a good constructed squash, I had a good chance to beat him. But I was pretty poor at playing good squash!

It's so frustrating, I'm working so hard at it, I know it's the first match of the season, but that's no excuse, I'm fit, I'm strong... Immensely frustrating....

In the first game, he was playing better squash than I, he was controlling everything, I was just returning the ball.

I decided to speed up the pace in the 2nd, and that worked well until the middle of the 3rd, when I decided to change my game at 6/5. Suddenly, I was less positive, I kept on expecting him to make a mistake.

I was able to change my game back in the end, but that was close! Tom is so good in the middle, he's got in particular one of the best hold on the backhand, and I did my best to avoid giving him the ball there.

I'm so happy to go to Saudi for the first time...


I got chopped....

Chris definitely didn't play as well as he can. As far as I was concerned, I was trying to play as well as I could, not thinking too much about it.

I've been working extremely hard this summer, mentally and physically, and made an average of only 5 unforced errors per match, which I'm very proud of.

I could see from the start that Julien was tired, not moving as he normally does.

I was up for it, I've admired the way he plays, his length, his attacks, he had a couple of good victories, including one against Beng Hee in the World Games.

I thought I would attack a lot and try and dictate the play. Pretty simple tactic, but it worked....

[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)
11/7, 11/2, 11/1 (38m)


With two heavy matches in the legs, the Frenchman was not at his best, and really was dominated by the Indian Speedy Gonzales that never let him settle in the match.

Julien tried to slow down the pace, but ended up not putting enough pressure on his young opponent, who grew more and more confident as the match unfold. The Frenchman actually avoided a hard 11/0 in the third by getting a point at 9/0.

A day to forget for the French, but a good qualification for the young Leeds Student, one of James W's sparring partners. The hard work he's doing in Pontefract is paying dividends...

Stéphane Galifi (Fra) bt [3/4] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
                          11/9, 11/4, 11/8 (47m)
[9/16] Aaron Franckomb bt [5/8] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
11/8, 11/6, 9/11, 3/11, 11/9 (93m)


As James Willstrop would say, this game is such a mental game it's a joke. Never more than today for Davide and Julian.

Davide lacks matches. He was delighted to qualify yesterday, more for having a chance to play another match than to try and qualify I believe. He was not confident on court, on a colder court on top of that, a treat for the French Galif', as we nickname him. That boy is a magician with his racquet, honestly. His racquet more is, I don't know, different, so head open, and he's got a funny way to get to the backhand too, must be so difficult to read.

But what a delight of a match, with those two knowing and appreciating each other for years and years, Galif has got some Italian roots and speaks fluent Italian. They played fairly, giving each other lets instead of strokes. To the point where in the 3rd, Stéphane was up 8/4, broke his racquet. Only has one. Got one from somebody in the crowd. Davide wouldn't have it, and gave him one of his own Dunlop.

I know that Davide can be a bit loud sometimes - look who is talking -  but his heart, his brain, and his generosity are in the right place. Still, you can't take anything away from Galif in this match. "It was a pure French master class", told me one of the English players. And it was.

Now, for Julian. Again, confidence with the body that was lacking. The American got a series of injuries on his right ankle, and was not confident either with his movement, his body, or his fitness. The first two games, he looked more like in training than his normal fiery self.

Still, down 2/0, he got rid of his strapping, got all caution to the wind, took the 3rd only just, got Aaron a bit mentally down in the 4th, and the fifth was a real battle, never more than a point between those two.

Lucky is the word that Aaron describe himself in the end. And yes he freaking was! At 8/8, he gets a lucky nick. 9/8. Then get a serve in the nick! 10/8. How is that for luck! Still Julian saved a match point, that Aaron actually thought he won! Nope, but the victory was to come 3 rallies later (a few lets...) to the delighted ecstatic Australian...


                    Yes, I won, No I did not, YES I DID!!!!

I'm so glad I qualified for Saudi....

You know, Davide and I know each other since we are 12, I know how to play him, and so does he with me. But today, I could see he was tired, and when I saw him very far away from the drop shots, I kept on pushing my short game.

I was much more relaxed than he was, which allowed me to get my shots in, and honestly, a 3/0 victory against Davide, I'm happy with that.

It's such a pleasure to play against him, he is such a fair player, and when I get on court with him, I just want to be fair, and play squash. We corrected each other some calls, the spirit of the game was really what we like with Davide.


How lucky was that!!!! That shot at 8/8, then that serve at 9/8 to set up match point!

I think I was finding a better length in the first two, and that he was playing better than me after that. I just kept hanging in there.

I knew I needed to close it in 3, gave it a big push, but he was just better than me in the end. He got an excellent start in the 4th, and I hit a few errors, I decided then to keep a bit of energy for the 5th...

So lucky, soooo lucky....

If it was warm the previous days, it's actually pretty cold on there now!

As ever, qualifying for Saudi is never, never easy! Even being theoretically qualifier seed one, I had to work hard yesterday, and very hard today!

I didn't play my best squash, but this is my first PSA match in four months, and today, Chris took the ball early from the start. Normally, he is a fit boy, and rely a bit more on his fitness, getting his length in first. But today, he went for shots from the first rally! And found 3 or 4 outright winners too...

The second game was very important, it gave me confidence, I manage to close it up, and not go 2/0 down.

Oh well, I've got now 4 months to get my squash right...

[1] Daryl Selby bt [9/16] Chris Simpson
6/11, 12/10, 11/5, 11/3 (46m)

Tom R, Paul Selby, André DelhosteChris nearly got away with it today. He took Daryl completely by surprise by attacking straight away, bit like his mate Tom Richards does, instead of relying on his fitness to set up the game. Well, Chris has been a bit under the weather recently, and I guess he didn't fancy a 2h marathon today.

Taken off guard, Daryl was frustrated, couldn't find a length, was late on the ball, and Chris took the first one really easily, finding some lovely winners on the way.

And in the second, we were pretty much on the same path, with Chris ahead 4/2, but Daryl finally got into the match and 5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9, 10/10. The rallies were as furious and fast one than the other, and Chris came that close to take the second one and set up a comfortable lead 2/0 that would have made Daryl REALLY edgy.

But it wasn't to be. Chris had to come back to basics, length, patience, and he just couldn't win at that game today.

To be noticed that at the start of the third, one of the few gallery spectators actually got hit in the eye from one of Daryl's shot - he was trying to return from the back wall, but missed the wall! Play was interrupted, Daryl couldn't apologise enough during and after play. But the only thing that great squash fan told him "Great play, man, good match!".

God bless our fans....

Take I      
Draws & Results     French corner

Adding insult to injury.... Chris S lucky band... All the way from Kuwait... Meeting with Jens...

Talk about adding insult to injury!!! When you lose, not only you get the joy of the defeat, but also, you get to be the PSA representative in the Three Refs system. I suspect that's one of the main reason that pushes players to win!

Still, look at our Davide. He won, but still, didn't mind giving a hand for the afternoon session as one of the last losers of the morning session were not available. Is our Italian great or what....

Did you notice that
hair band on Chris Simpson's head? Doesn't it make you think about the ones Bjon Borg, my hero, used to wear?

Well, spot on, people. Chris bought it for his birthday from the Borg Collection on Ebay. "It's my lucky band", he told me proudly. Well, it did help him today....

All the way from Saudi.... We had a certain Richard Wade today, listed as "local", as he lives in Saudi, although he is English by birth, who came to play Joey Barrington, and had a really good match. I was chatting with his dad earlier today, who was kindly billeting Scott Arnold, and he mentioned that they just came back to live back in the UK.

"Funny", he said "for so many years, we only saw Saudi Squash Tournaments, and now we are back, what is the first tournament we get to see? The Qualifications for Saudi Open!" Yes, I guess you just cannot escape your destiny...

Meeting with Jens Schoor.... That's a name that may ring a bell. Well, Jens had the great surprise to receive a phone call a few days ago from his sponsor, telling him that he had been awarded a wildcard for the British Open.

"At first, I thought he was pulling my leg! You are joking I told him, no, seriously!" explains Jens.

"I'm extremely happy to have the chance to play Shabana on the show court on the opening night, it's such an honour, and that's my chance!!!! No, it will be a fantastic experience for me..."

That 22 years old young man has got his head firmly planted on his shoulders. "My aim is to get to top 50 by the end of the year, but after that, I won't set up another target until I reached that one".

And not only fi
rmly planted that head, but with a brain too! Do you know what he is studying? Economatics. Exactly, what the heck.... It's a Science matter, between Economics and Mathematics.

I knew that.

Jens doesn't see himself doing anything else than squash. "I wouldn't picture myself working in an office, or in a bank. It's always been my dream to become a squash player".

Yes, since he was 7, when his dad took him a bit by chance as he was himself discovering squash, Jens hasn't stopped working hard. And he so loves his squash... "It's enjoyable, competitive and full of passion".


Nicolas Mueller & Jens Schoor


Draws & Results

French corner

This is such a experience for me, this is my first proper PSA!

Apart from the fact that he made me feel like a midget, the man is fantastic! He plays at a pace, it's amazing.

I thought I played well, considering, I kept on pushing, but his power is such, he hit his cross courts so low, no chance you can pick them up.

Well, I'm only 17, and a lot to learn, I've got plenty of time. Would I do it again? OH YES!!!!

I was a bit impatient today, I felt a bit tired from the start, and thought I should end it rather quickly. I know I'm got a tendency to do unforced errors, but tonight, was just too much.

He played extremely well tonight, his movement is really good, and he kept up picking up shots I didn't expect to get back. Plus, he played at a slower pace, preventing me to play my game fully.

Something I would like to change about my game? Stopping the errors, and learn patience.

[2] Omar Mosaad bt Charles Sharpes (Eng)
                 11/6, 11/7, 11/5 (20m)
[9/16] Amr Swelim (Egy)
bt Joe Lee (Eng)               9/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7, 11/9 (68m)


First, all my apologies to the players of the matches I couldn't see. It happens that I was writing my quickies from St George's take II, that unfortunately got erased as I was putting them on the site. That, plus the long match of Renan/Julien, and I just missed three sets of matches!

Pfff, not good enough woman.

Anyway, for Omar Mosaad, no surprise, Charles played his part to perfection, finding some nice shots, and running well, but Omar is way up there with the top guys, but Charles thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and experience. "I'm young, I'm here to learn", he concluded. That's the right spirit!

Joe, Joe, Joe. What a match. The Local Boy came so close tonight, helped by an Amr that kept on giving him between 5 and 6 points per game with sweet unforced errors, so generous that Amr, isn't he...

And I'm surprised that the match only lasted 68m, I would have said 80 +, as the rallies went on. They went on, but at a very very fast pace indeed, until the 5th, where Joe seemed to become wiser, and concentrate on his length more than getting the ball early at all costs.

Amr was playing his normal game, as in tight drives, waiting for the opportunity, attacking at will, and doing it all over again if needed. But a bit of impatience kept the English boy right in the game.

Joe played the best I ever saw him play, and I believe that a mixture of realising he could beat a strong Egyptian 3/1 plus a good drop of energy after all the hard work done that cost him the game and match in the 4th. 5/0  to be caught up at 6/6 to lose the game 11/7, too typical to be anodyne...

The fifth kept us on our toes all the way through. Joe kept in it, 1/1, 3/3, 6/6, 9/9, to finally lose in short rallies, where experience I think played a big role.

But what a way to finish the day. The best match, from far, if not the longest...

[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Ben Ford (Eng)
                  11/3, 11/9, 11/4 (33m)
Julien Balbo (Fra) bt [5/8] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/4, 11/9, 8/11, 6/11, 11/5 (87m)


Between the first match, "easy" in 3, 33m, and the second one, 87 freaking minutes, in 5, there was a world of difference.

Only resemblance, I truly believe the victory went to the one who really wanted it more. Saurav, for instance, is hungry for the climbing up of the ladder. Ben is at the end of his career - well, he did retire at some point! - and pretty tired from an over 80m match yesterday. Still, the Englishman found some lovely shots as ever, volleyed a lot, but Saurav, another Speedy Gonzales, was forcing him to win the rally so many times it eventually had to put more and more pressure on Ben.

Now for Julien against Renan, all different ball game. Long history between them two, last two matches went to Renan, in particular the one in NY for the TOC, good friends most of the time, except when they do play squash against each other, with a Renan that has got a definite ascendant over Julien.

So many times Julien could/should have won, but Renan, with his tenacity, his experience, succeeds to get into Julien brain, and get right under his skin. And today was no exception.

Julien started extremely well, calling the shots, literally, against a Renan that just didn't move. I believe he just arrived from the US, and that showed. But Julien did slow down a bit in the second, taking the second only just.

Renan was tired in the 3rd, and Julien was running away with the score, 8/5, and thought that he was going to win 3/0. A clean, short victory against Renan, his "old frienemy". Just too much for the challenger, who just froze, stringing tin after tin till he just gave the game away, 11/8.

Julien took a whole game to come back from there, Renan was in front, despatching good length and good attacks. Julien just wasn't there.

But he came back with a vengeance in the 5th, and this time, although we know Renan, he never ever give you an easy point, an easy ball even, Julien was completely in control, 9/3, to finally take the game and match 11/5.

A polite handshake, and another long match on the record. No doubt the next one will be also a lengthy one...

Not too bad for the first match of the season, but Ben moves pretty well, he takes it short very early.

I'm lucky I guess he had a long match yesterday, but it works both way, I got myself with the short straw often enough...

I feel I'm playing very well in patches, but aren't able to keep that level of game consistently long enough, that was my assessment at the end of my season.

I had a few good games, against Nick and Wael for example, and I think I just need a good win, to make people a bit more weary of me. And that needs to come sooner rather than later!

I'm not playing small events anymore, I give my preference to bigger ones, where I can play against to players. In the US Open, I'm playing Adrian first round, then Greg in the British. And training with James day in day out is a fantastic opportunity too. Just looking at those guys, I'm improving my game.

But right now, I need a win...

I felt fine up to the 3rd game. I played very well today, but he was just too good, too fast. He is the fastest player I've ever played!!!!


"That's was "short and sweet", if only it could be like that all the time!

To be honest, I think that Simon had to be tired from his final against Chris Ryder, what, three, four days ago?
He was not as performing as he normally does, he was not patient enough, especially on a warm and bouncy court. He was attacking a bit too early, and gave me the opportunity to counterattack him, and get a few points there.

I'm really happy to get through, I didn't expect to win, Simon was a tough draw to get..."

Stéphane Galifi (Fra) bt [9/16] Simon Rosner (Ger)
                            11/9, 11/3, 11/5 (28m)
[3/4] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
bt Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)                             9/11, 11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (62m)

"To start with, I didn't have the best of feeling on court, didn't feel comfortable with my shots or my movement. I think he was actually sharper than I was, maybe because he got to play on those courts yesterday.

I'm so happy I won the third, coming back would have been pretty tricky from 2/1 down, I don't think I would have made it.

I'm really in need of matches, so tomorrow is another match, that's excellent..."

"I prefer the court I played on today to the one I played - well, sort of played! - yesterday....

I really thought I was going to win the third, hence the match, as I could see he was struggling physically at the end of the game.

But I always seem to get myself in that kind of situation, I'm on the verge of winning, I work hard to be in the winning position, and I find myself making stupid errors, and losing the match!

I've been making so many changes to my game, I came from a basic game to attacking much more, I need a few matches. Training with Galifi and his coach, Richard Pons, helped me a lot, it's like a completely different kind of game. I just need to get a few good results, a few more matches, and I should be fine...

[9/16] Aaron Franckomb (Aus) bt Adam Fuller (Eng)
                                11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (42m)
[5/8] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
bt Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
                                11/7, 8/11, 11/7, 11/8 (58m)
"I only got my racquets from Dunlop on Friday, but they actually sent me the wrong one! Mind you, I got some pretty good shots out of it, but you know what it is, when it's not the right feel to it...

I trained very hard at the start of the summer, and I guess I over did it a bit, and had several ankle problems. That forced me to rest a bit, only doing rehabilitation work, and I've only been back on court for the past two weeks.

So, happy with today, for the first match of the season, you never know what you are going to get! I had a little drop of energy in the second, but eventually had him at the end of the rallies from the third on.

Shame we don't have top players to train with in NY, we had Ali Walker and Scotty Arnold lately, but it would be awesome to have people of that calibre all the time...

This is my third time trying to qualify for Saudi, and I got beaten every time in the second round. Amazing thing is that it's the same thing for Aaron, who I'm playing tomorrow. So at least, this story will have a nice ending..."

"I feel that I probably backhand crosscourted a bit too much today, as he was there every time with his great forehand volley.... Aaron was reading well my game, he is quick and strong....

I think I'm getting tighter on my backhand, but still too loose on the forehand side, that's where he got most of his points..."

Draws & Results

"I couldn't find a length, but thank God, I was moving well today, as he played very well!"

"I thought I gave a good account of myself, and held in the rallies well. But Daryl plays at a different pace, and even when you rally from the back, you get to work very hard indeed.

The match was played in an excellent spirit I thought, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I wish Daryl good luck for tomorrow..."

[1] Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Alex Ingham (Eng)
11/5, 11/8, 11/8 (39m)
[9/16] Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Scott Arnold (Aus)
              11/9, 11/7, 10/12, 11/7 (58m)


No, not as in 3/0, but as in tight against the wall game... Three English out of four, plus an Australian, we were bound to see that kind of play...

For Daryl, he got a bit more work that he expected I believe. Alex Ingham, who has grown up in inches, has also matured in his squash. He takes the ball very early, volleys it very well for a not too tall boy, and finds some lovely nicks indeed.

Daryl was not at ease with his length today, got penalised so many times as the ball came right on him, but was very concentrated on the match, not giving Alex a chance to breathe.

A very watchable game really to start the day with.

Now, coming to Scott. What can I say? That he got more and more frustrated with his own mistakes? That Chris' tight game was preventing him from volleying and forcing him to attack from the wrong position, that he didn't seem to read his opponent's short game that well. Mind you, the Englishman was holding pretty well.

Scott won't be happy with himself this week. Already yesterday, he was saved by Aqeel's realisation that he was going to beat a top 50 player. Today, his pride gave him the energy/skill/ determination to save wo match balls in the third to force a fourth, but again too many errors - three tins from 8/7 - came and slashed his chances for a decider. 

"Scott played well, his strength is that he plays a very straight game, and that, like Bozza, he hits hard and low, which means that the ball is going downward, and you can't volley it. But his weakness seems to be his movement. So I thought that if I could counterattack his short game I would have a chance.

I had a little drop of energy at the end of the third, I guess the price you pay after a hard summer training...!!!"



It's the first time actually I'm living that kind of situation, as in two qualifications in a row! Good thing is, feels like a real tournament, as you come to see the next day players you've watched the day before, plus the addition of a few higher ranked players, joining the fun!

Well, forgotten the Worlds, on to the 2009 Saudi International, set for Al Khobar from 13-18 December and offering $250k prize money. Yummy... And we have the traditional set up, as in 32 players who'll be competing over two rounds for eight qualifying places to be determined tomorrow.

So, another 16 matches today, from 12h00 onwards (draw at 10.30). The conditions are much better for me today, as I've now found a connection, still up the stairs, but with less stairs to climb up and down! Chuckle all what you want, but you'll see when you are my age and have my knees, you silly people...

Anyway, I should be able to put the draw on much quicker today. Hopefully. Inshallah, as they say in France. Yes we do!


Oh boy.... What were the chances.... Like in the ToC last year, Renan Lavigne is meeting with his team mate Julien Balbo. The famous match that ended something like 16/14 in the 5th and lasted 2H40m, only joking but you see the drill, is about to be replayed, maybe for a revenge?... Anyway, one chance over 16 last year, then 1 chance over 16 this year, that's probability wise, 16x16 chances for it to happen twice in a row... Should they start playing the Lottery, you think...?

Mind you, what about Wan? Poor thing, yesterday, he played his training partner, Max Lee - they train with Peter Genever in Pimlico, Dolphin Square, London. And today, he picks Tom Richards, his other training partner!... Not to mention that Tom and Wan are actually playing for St Georges, like our first match on, Daryl and Alex... Add to that Joe, that makes 5 players for Danny Lee's club.... Not to bad hey...?

What about Charley...? I saw that little boy, sweet as possible, peeping out of the window yesterday while we were doing the draw. And today, he was exactly at the same place, but inside. Well, he's got a good reason to be here, his dad is named Danny, and his brother Joe.....

And to finish, thanks to Roy Gingell to have asked that we get a second session start at 5.pm, as yesterday, it was a 4.30, and that we never got even a second of break. Bad enough for little me, of course, but what about the refs, who actually ref ALL the matches, non stop, from 12 to 8pm. No wonder they fluff here and there. Wouldn't you?????


Wendy and Dean

French Corner

Danny Lee and Daryl Selby


[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Julien Balbo
11/7, 11/2, 11/1 (38m)

Dès le début du premier jeu, on sent que Julien n’a pas les jambes des deux jours précédents.

Les matches serrés contre Bennett en qualification du world open et contre Renan hier ont laissé des traces. Pour ne rien arranger, l’Indien met un rythme très soutenu dans la rencontre obligeant Julien a s’employer sur la plupart des balles.

Julien a comme stratégie de ralentir le rythme de Ghosal et d’accélérer dès que l’ouverture se présente, malheureusement, il manque d’explosivité ce jour pour pouvoir prendre la balle tôt sur les rares ouvertures qu’il se crée.

Malgré une bonne résistance, il s’incline dans le premier jeu. Les second et troisième jeux sont une démonstration de vitesse de la part de l’Indien qui accélère de plus en plus au fur et à mesure que le match s’approche de la fin.

Julien ne peut rien contre cette déferlante, de plus, les coups gagnants qu’il tente accroche tous le haut du tin. Le score des 2 derniers jeux est sans appel, 11/2, 11/1.

bravo a steph, pour sa victoire, en ukraine il etait vraiment impressionant au niveau de son jeu malgré sa défaite contre ryder. Pas en forme a cause de son long voyage du retour d'Inde. allez Steph jusqu'au bout ^^ ... Florent Pontière....

Julien Balbo bt [5/8] Renan Lavigne
11/4, 11/9, 8/11, 6/11, 11/5 (87m)

Comme l’année dernière, les deux équipiers se rencontrent au premier tour des qualifications du Saudi Arabia. Les chances de tomber de nouveau ensemble au premier tour sont d’une sur 256 et pourtant…
l’ironie veut que ce soit un autre Français qui ait tiré le nom de Julien pour affronter Renan.

Julien fait un premier jeu très agressif, volleyant beaucoup et mettant beaucoup de rythme, Renan, fait énormément de fautes directes et d’imprécisions qui lui coûte le jeu sur un score sévère 11/4.

Le second jeu est totalement différent, Renan est beaucoup plus présent, et Julien ne parvient plus à mettre autant de rythme que dans le premier jeu. Ce jeu reste très indécis, Julien l’emporte finalement 11/9.

Le troisième est très disputé, aucun des 2 joueurs n’arrivant à se détacher vraiment, jusqu’à ce que Renan mène 5/3 en prenant l’ascendant tactique. Julien joue les 5 prochains échanges parfaitement pour lui permettre de mener 8/5, puis il fait 4 fautes directes inexplicables sur les 6 échanges suivants, qui permettent à Renan qui ne lâchait rien de revenir dans la partie et de remporter le 3ème jeu, 11/8.

Dans le quatrième jeu, c’est Renan qui mène les débats, et se détache rapidement pour ne plus être rejoint.

Dès le début du cinquième, c’est Julien qui reprend l’ascendant pour se détacher et prendre 4 points d’avance. Il ne sera plus rejoint et l’emporte en 5 jeux.

Les 2 joueurs auraient mérité leur place dans ce second tour des qualifications, le tirage au sort en aura décidé autrement. Julien n’aura pas la tâche facile demain face au très véloce Indien Saurav Ghosal, pour une place dans le tableau final du tournoi le plus doté du monde après les Monde au Kuweit...


Saudi International 2009
[1] Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/5, 11/8, 11/8 (39m)
Alex Ingham (Eng)
[1] Daryl Selby
6/11, 12/10, 11/5, 11/3 (46m)
[9/16] Chris Simpson
Scott Arnold (Aus)
11/9, 11/7, 10/12, 11/7 (58m)
[9/16] Chris Simpson (Eng)
[9/16] Aaron Franckomb (Aus)
11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (42m)
Adam Fuller (Eng)
[9/16] Aaron Franckomb
11/8, 11/6, 9/11, 3/11, 11/9 (93m)
[5/8] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11/7, 8/11, 11/7, 11/8 (58m)
[5/8] Julian Illingworth (Usa)
[3/4] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
9/11, 11/6, 12/10, 11/7 (62m)
Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind)

[3/4] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
11/9, 11/4, 11/8 (47m)
Stéphane Galifi (Fra)
Stéphane Galifi (Fra)
11/9, 11/3, 11/5 (28m)
[9/16] Simon Rosner (Ger)
[9/16] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
14/12, 13/11, 11/7 (58m)
Martin Knight (Nzl)
[9/16] Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
8/11, 11/4, 6/11, 11/8, 11/6 (81m)
[5/8] Tom Richards (Eng)
Mohd. Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
11/6, 11/9, 8/11, 11/6 (54m)
[5/8] Tom Richards (Eng)
[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11/3, 11/9, 11/4 (33m)
Ben Ford (Eng)
[5/8] Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11/7, 11/2, 11/1
Julien Balbo (Fra)
Julien Balbo (Fra)
11/4, 11/9, 8/11, 6/11, 11/5 (87m)
[5/8] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
[9/16] Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy)
13/11, 11/6, 11/3 (40m)
Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
Stephen Coppinger (Rsa)
11/8, 11/6, 11/4 (44m)
[3/4] Joey Barrington (Eng)
Richard Wade (Eng)
11/9, 11/6, 12/10 (28m)
[3/4] Joey Barrington (Eng)
[5/8] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
11/1, 11/5, 11/3
Neil Hitchens (Ang)
[5/8] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
11/3, 11/3, 11/3 (26m)
[9/16] Chris Ryder (Eng)
Phil Nightingale (Eng)
11/5, 11/4, 12/10 (28m)
[9/16] Chris Ryder (Eng)
[9/16] Amr Swelim (Egy)
9/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7, 11/9 (68m)
Joe Lee (Eng)
[9/16] Amr Swelim (Ita)
9/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/4 (47m)
[2] Omar Mosaad
Charles Sharpes (Eng)
11/6, 11/7, 11/5 (20m)
[2] Omar Mosaad
Lucky Loosers :
Davide Bianchetti... Steve Coppinger... Chris Ryder.... Julien Balbo... Amr Swelim.....

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