Saturday 9th, Final:
 Jonathon Power (Can) bt 
Lee Beachill (Eng)
11/7, 11/4, 11/2 (48m)
Framboise on the final
If somebody had told me an hour before the match that, after half an hour
of play, Jonathon Power would be up 2/0 against Lee Beachill,
I would have advised him to seek professional help…
No disrespect to Jonathon, of course, but come on! Lee was physically
fresh, he played the whole tournament like a knight caracoling through
hordes of infantry, leaving his opponent with a “there was nothing I could
do…” bitter taste. Imperial. Unattainable.
On the other hand, Jonathon had battled mano a mano with Grégory Gaultier,
Thierry Lincou and John White, three five setters, 4h30m of squash in
three days. When I talked with him in London, for the Canary Wharf
Classic, he told me that he couldn't play more than two hard matches in a
row, that his body, his back in particular, wouldn’t hold it anymore.
Fragile. On the edge.
Sorry, Jon, but apart from yourself and Martin, your massage therapist and
biggest fan, very few people believed you could physically win the match.
And it started.
a few minutes, Power was up 5/2, then increased his advantage to 8/3.
Power was not playing fancy or flamboyant, no, just perfect length, and
cutting edge crosscourt. Absolute perfection.
And Lee started to make errors. Uncharacteristic errors. He even
challenged the ref, and that my friend, is a very rare occurrence indeed.
He just … wasn’t himself really. That’s the only way I can describe what I
Power took the first game 11/7.
OK. That was a very good game for Jonathon, but now, surely Lee is going
to react I thought, and probably, the Canadian will run out of fuel
5/2 for Power, then 8/3. Long rallies.
Very long rallies. Power is in control. Moving so fast, his rubber wrist
dispensing punishment. Lee trying to find his marks, varying the pace,
good length, but his attacks seemed to glide onto the Canadian's racquet.
Two no lets in a row against Lee. 10/4 game ball. A superb backhand volley
drop shot. 11/4.
After 34 minutes, Lee is down 2/0.
Surely, surely, now…
The third is just torture for Lee. He
is playing well, he will make only two unforced errors in the whole game.
But Power is just stringing together point after point. And here we are,
7/0 for Jonathon.
I still believed that the Englishman could win the match. It reminded me
the final of the World Cup 98 France v Brazil. Even at 2/0 we
thought the Brazilians could still beat us. It took the third goal at like
10 minutes from the end to persuade us that France was now World Champion.
Well, yes, I honestly thought a comeback was still possible. The rally at
7/0 lasted forever. And I mean FOREVER. The crowd was murmuring,
astonished. How long could they keep it going? How long Jonathon could
And all that for a let.
And another very long rally. We are all holding our breath. And the
Magician, out of nowhere, finds the nick.
11/2. Power shouts "it's about f... time". Lee is as usual graceful in
defeat. Speaks with the press. Professional. Impeccable. No nonsense.
After his victory, the Canadian explained his game plan: To wear Lee down.
Excuse me? Who has had like 20 hours of squash in three days? Who has been
injured so many times? Who should be going for cheap points and fast
But you know what? It worked. He did wear him out. Not physically though.
Du grand art, Jonathon, du grand art…
"My game plan was to wear him out, because the people who succeed to
beat him are usually the very fit players, like Lincou or Palmer, so
I wanted to make the rallies last as long as possible. So I kept it
simple, the four corners, keep moving, and not go for any winners,
and that was hard for me…
"If Martin, my massage therapist, hadn’t been here, I couldn’t have
been able to continue. I wanted to win this tournament, so I did
everything it took to win it, including having Martin with me day in
day out, and it made the whole difference.
"I prepared for the tournament by going to train with Graham, and
also played in Peter’s tournament in London, Canary Wharf, which did
me a hell of a lot of good, playing all those great players for five
days, with no real pressure, that was very good for me…
"I didn’t want to let this week go to waste… I felt relaxed, I
didn’t panic with my shots. My body has been at the best it's been
for a couple of years at least. I can’t believe that I was able to
play a whole tournament at last without hurting. I managed to play
five matches, and that didn’t happen for a long time…It feels good,
it feels really good…"
Framboise: "It was just a
fantastic performance from Jonathon."
Peter Nicol: "Jon thoroughly deserved that win, he was
hitting winners from the word go and was just far too good from
start to finish."
Martin Brisette: "I’m so happy Jonathon didn’t have any
physical problem other than being exhausted."
Stafford Murray: "Power hit seven winners and no errors in
the third game ... that's a winning statistic."
Lee Beachill: "Jon played very well, he just didn't allow me
to play the kind of game I wanted to play."
Jonathon Power: "It's about **** time!"
didn’t play well. He did. He constantly played to the back of the
court, an outstanding length throughout I thought, and he didn’t
allow me to play the kind of game I wanted to play."
"Maybe this was just a match too far for me, maybe I played so well
last night that I didn’t have enough left in me tonight. A bit of
lack of confidence, maybe.
"I didn’t play well the first game. And after that, every time I was
trying something, he seemed to be dealing with it very well…
"Jonathon had some very hard matches, but he improved after every
match. Maybe I didn’t have enough hard matches, maybe, I don’t know…
"But at the end of the day, he played too well the final. I’m not
looking for any excuses, I’m not blaming anybody, not even myself.
He played too well, there is not much more I’ve got to say on the
so happy Jonathon didn’t have any physical problem other than being
exhausted, but that’s normal after the week he just spent.
"Beachill is such a great player. It’s just incredible. It's moments
like this where he truly deserves the nickname of “Magician”.
"It was Jonathan at his very best…"