ē ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic ē 21st to 25th March 2011 ē London ē  




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TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic ...  

Wednesday 23rd March, Quarter-Finals:

[4] Peter Barker bt Stewart Boswell
              8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 17/15 (88m)
[2] James Willstrop bt Joey Barrington
              12/10, 11/5, 14/12 (44m)
[1] Nick Matthew bt Daryl Selby
              11/1, 12/10, 7/11, 11/5 (71m)
[3] Grťgory Gaultier bt Simon Rosner
               11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (52m)

LIVE updates   lots on the BLOG  photo Gallery   En Bref

Fram reports, Steve on the Shutter, Alan on the Blog

[4] Peter Barker bt Stewart Boswell             8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 17/15 (88m)


I must say I was impressed with the Australian start today. He was moving very well, his length was so accurate, tight and precise, and his volleying, well, as good as it gets. He was way up the court, comfortable with his movement, and really put pressure on Peter, forcing a few uncharacteristic errors out of him, taking the first game 11/8, after 23 long minutes.

In the second, well, a bit of an energy drop for Boswell, and Peter, finding himself calling the shots, standing right on the T, dispatching good crosscourt to keep Bozza in the back corners, forcing him to attack from bad position and therefore less effective.

In the 3rth, Peter is quite comfortably up, 4/1, then 7/3. A bit of loss of focus, and there we have an comeback from the Australian, but too little too late, game Peter, 11/7.

The fourth is close all the way, with Boswell finding a second wind, alert, moving very well again, offensive, and Peter, a bit on the back foot, but still present and willing. Stewart will get 7 game balls, none heíll be able to transform.

At 14/15, he gets a no let, then hits the ball out of court, offering Peter his first match ball. In my opinion a very harsh no let will give the Englishman the match, 17/15Ö

I started off really well, but in the 2nd and 3rd, I fell in a bit of a hole, he moved me too much from the T.

And in the 4th, I got so many chances to close it, I needed to take them. Disappointed, as Iím working very hard towards wining that kind of matches against those top guys, I need to take those chances, as they are not going to be there forever.

I feel I got a few harsh decisions, Boswell got a couple as well in the end, I just managed to keep my concentration.

In the first game, his length and width was just too good, there was not much I could do. After losing the first game, I tried and not to panic, and I told myself, that game was long [23mn], heís bound to get tired, win or lose. So I tried to get in front, and make him do more work, hoping the court would open up, and making it a bit longer.

In the 4th, I lost a bit of momentum, I didnít have many matches recently, so I lost a bit of concentration, and had a bit of a drop in energy, and he also played very well. Needless to say Iím very happy to get that 4th game, and not prolong the fun anymore!

Bozza was number 4 in the world, he came back in 2004, and since, heís been consistently in the top 20, his width and length is phenomenal, and his movement is pretty good tooÖ

Iím number 7, there are 6 guys in front of me, who are all pretty good, and I feel I still have to improve to beat them.

Squash is everything to me, but itís not the most important thing anymore [Pete is getting married in June] and thatís good to have something other than just squash to balance my life withÖ

[2] James Willstrop bt Joey Barrington             12/10, 11/5, 14/12 (44m)

Willstrop gets away with it        Steve reports

James Willstrop, three times the champion here, will be pleased to get past the always dangerous Joey Barrington in straight games, but my, didn't Joey make him work for it.

To be fair, to some extent the second seed made life difficult for himself, with unforced errors at times when he looked to be gaining control. But that's not to take anything away from Barrington's perseverance, and in the end he can count himself unlucky not to have taken at least a game, having held game balls in the first and the third.

Willstrop started well enough, opening up a 4/0 lead in the first, and extending it to 7/3 after a couple of errors had brought Barrington closer. By now Joey had warmed to his task though, and some determined play from him plus some more errors from James contrived to put Joey 10/9 ahead.

James saved that game ball with a measured dropshot into the nick, gave Joey another chance as he completely fluffed an attempted volley, but eventually took it 13/11 with a successful version of the same shot, this time into the nick.

That game took 14 minutes, the second just 6 as Willstrop led 6/2, 10/3, and wrapped it up 11/5.

For many that seemed to be that, and the opening exchanges of the third gave no warnings to the contrary. True, James made a few errors from winning positions, a couple of times trying too fancy a shot, but 4/2, 6/3 and 7/4 leads seemed good enough for him to build on.

Again though, Joey wasn't going along with that scenario. He's been saying this week how he's feeling much better about his squash after finally getting some quality training time, and it showed here as he more than held his own in some quality exchanges.

He thought he'd levelled at 7-all, but James took the video review and Joey's stroke was demoted to a let. He did level at 8-all as another James error found the tin, and went 9-8 as James tinned again. Joey got to game ball on a no let - upheld on review - but James forced extra points, this time on a no let to Joey, again upheld.

So, both had lost their single appeal for this game, but that wasn't the end of the upwards gazing at the big screen, oh no, they get one back for extra points. James got match ball with a drop, then punched in another volley for 12/10. Joey appealed - well you would, wouldn't you - and raised his arms aloft as the decision was overturned and a let granted.

It was only a temporary respite though. Yes, James did make his sixth error of the game as he hit an easy winner straight back into his own body, but that was his last error, and he finally subdued his opponent with a dying length followed by a precision long drop. Job done with a 19-minute final game and a relieved second seed.

I made it difficult for myself, I made too many errors, going for my shots, and them not going in. But thatís all credit to Joey, thatís the best heís played against me in a very long time, he put me under pressure.

And if I had a good spell in the second, I really had to fight in the first and the third, lucky for me I got away with it each time.

TV review is an excellent idea, I donít know of a game that it damaged, and Squash can only benefit from it.

I had my chances in both games. He beat me 9 times in PSA, itís always a fair play, in all corners, I really appreciated it. And itís just fantastic to play in this place.

I need more matches like that, hopefully, Iíll get them, there is still some life in the old dogÖ

[1] Nick Matthew bt Daryl Selby              11/1, 12/10, 7/11, 11/5 (71m)

Matthew gets his revenge

World champion Nick Matthew led a trio of Englishmen into the semi-finals of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic Ė and then described his England team-mate Daryl Selby as a ďgiant gnatĒ.

Matthew gained revenge after losing to Selby in the final of the National Championships in Manchester last month, winning in 71 minutes of punishing squash.

I donít know how Iím still alive!!!!!!

I played alright from the start, I didnít play any cheap shots, but Nick was just to strong, too accurate, so tight, and up for it, not that I wasnít, but, he just overpowered me, too strong.

Once my legs woke up, in the 2nd and 3rd, I played good squash, I got into my game plan Ė Iím not telling you, it seems to be working, so Iíll keep trying! Ė I took the control of the t a bit away from him.

I would have like to take the 2nd, I would have had maybe a chance, 2/0 down against Nick is very hard to come back from.

I kept on fighting in the 4th, but my legs werenít responding, and once he is on a roll, he runs away with the game, he is world number 1 you knowÖ

Obviously he started a bit slow, but once he got moving, he was like a gnat, he kept chasing everything down, I just couldnít get it off!!!!

I was playing well for a game and a half, I was 1/0 up, and 10/7 upÖ

At the end of the 2nd, there were a lot of stop start, and that broke a bit my momentum, and in the third, I was trying to lengthen the rallies, but I made a few errors in a row, just clipping the tin. He was playing really well, he pulled me into an up and down the wall game at which he excels.

He seems to get better when he is down, he seems to feed off what you are doing. And weíve all played big matches after a hard match the day before, thatís what we train for, and the training is much harder than the matches, so I knew he would back it up today!

Iím happy to get him off, I seem to have trouble against him, all credit to him, he is succeeding to get a bit of anxiety into my game.. Iím going to try and stay away from him for a while, he gets tougher each timeÖ

[3] Grťgory Gaultier bt Simon Rosner               11/7, 11/7, 11/6 (52m)


Greg is so happy to be on court, itís obvious, he is enjoying his time on there, and Simonís squash is exactly what he dwells on. Fast pace, nice attacks, Greg really enjoyed picking up those great attacks, finding counterattacks, varying the angles.

Simon played an excellent game today, he really was able to put the Frenchman under a lot of pressure, especially in the 3rd game, as Greg maybe went for a bit too much too soon, where he got a nice 4/0 start. The German was able to vary the pace extremely, introducing some excellent defensive lobs that sent the Frenchman nicely into the back corners.

In my opinion, maybe the key was at the back, Simon played  his attacks shots very wellbut was not enough to pass by Greg, unable to twist and turn him enough. And although Greg had to run and work hard today, I never felt that he was out of his comfort zone really.

That third game was a good test for Gregís mental state. He made a few errors at the start, but quickly came back, strong and focused. A few months back, he may have lost a few points too many there, even the game. This way, he is saving his energy, both mental and physical for his next match, heíll be happy with that.

I thought I played well today, better than yesterday. And Greg is such a great player, itís such a great experience for me to play him.

In the third, I felt I was a bit unlucky, but then again, he was playing too well, he was killing all the shots at the front, and there was not much I could do. I truly wish him good luck for tomorrow.

Iím happy to play well, and to feel well. I think we both played a good match, we both played at a fast game, I need games like that. I was happy to move well, I felt much better than yesterday, where we had to wait a long time to get on court.

In the third, I was attacking too soon, but I didnít panic, I didnít get annoyed with myself as I can do sometimes. I just reassess, and got back to basics, staying focused. But I was really happy with my movement, it was fluid, I didnít feel any pain whatsoever.

I was happy to see the other players on court, it gets me back in there, mentally, I can analyse the shots, it helps me, it helps my game.

Simon played very well, he played out of his skin really, heís got those little attacks shots, so dangerous, youíve got to be on your toes constantly. He has improved immensely, he plays much better than before, much more solid. And I was glad I watched him play yesterday, it helped me analyse those little shotsÖ

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