FINAL: James Willstrop
(Eng) bt Anthony Ricketts (Aus) 6/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/3 (58m)
What a beautiful
final that was ...
Framboise from Islamabad
I didn't know what to expect when those two boys came on court this
afternoon, as they had never played each other before ... no
To start with, let me congratulate Anthony Ricketts, the
'used-to-be-boiling' Australian. His behaviour in this tournament has
been exemplary. He didn't lose his temper once, he didn't argue with
the referee, he didn't get frustrated with himself or his opponent ...
and god knows, he was under pressure a few times ... long and disputed
games with Darwish, Gaultier, Power ...
No, Anthony, I told you today, and I'm repeating it here, you have
improved so much, and it's good for you, it's good for squash, and
it's good for the spectators who can now enjoy the superb quality of
your squash without the distractions.
Anthony did start very well today. Firmly planted on the T, he was
pushing the young James Willstrop to the back, again and again,
imposing his game, not giving him any chances to attack, forcing him
to attack from insecure positions and to find the tin, the tin, too
many times ...
The rally at 2-all lasted for ever, and I mean for ever ...
James was patient but his shots were slightly loose, whereas Anthony
was precise, his cross-courts were deep and at a perfect angle,
preventing the tall young man from volleying.
At 4-all James quickly found the tin on an attempted volley drop, and
it was a sort of liberation for the Australian who started adding
point, after point, after point, to finally win the first 11/6, in 16
beginning of the second was still Anthony's, but James started to find
some exquisite backhand drop-shots instead of the tin. And it was like
something clicked in his head. Confidence came back. His shots became
heavier, he was now controlling the rallies, pushing the Australian to
the back, dropping, then slowing down, pushing Anthony more and more
out of his comfort zone, who now had to work harder and harder to pick
up the lethal attacks ... up and down the court, again and again.
4-4, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, another great backhand drop-shot from James,
That's when James won the heart of the packed audience.
Anthony placed an extraordinary length that James should never have
got ... but he did. Anthony sends the ball to the front, and James
gets it ... again, and again and again. Eventually, to the great joy
of the spectators, James wins the point and he ends up winning a very
close game indeed, 11/9 in a long 17 minutes.
third was pure magic. When you have two great players, one with length
and winning shots, the other with the angles and retrieving magic, the
result is squash with a capital S.
And trust me, the spectators in
Islamabad know what squash is all about, and they appreciated every
During the whole game, there was never more than two points between
the players. A combination of volley-drops and drop-shots from James,
retrieving and lobs from hell from Anthony, lengths, drives,
cross-courts ... we had it all.
Ricketts had three game balls, at 10-8, 10-9 and 11-10, but James's
backhand drops were just shaving the tin, forcing his opponent to dig
deep into the physical reserves he didn't have any more ...
17 minutes of pure perfection, and 13-11 for the tall boy ...
final game lasted only 8 minutes, as Ricketts was now paying for the
long matches he had during the tournament.
And with the last 11-3, James Willstrop had become the sixth champion
of the Pakistan Open, after Amjad Khan, Peter Marshall, Jonathon
Power, and of course, of course, Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan.
The young man's joy was so great ... his smile said it all.
At twenty-one, another player from the Pontefract pool is making
Framboise on a great week in Pakistan ...
Framboise on a great
week in Pakistan
you needed to know ...
James in Islamabad
Thoughts of a Champion
Framboise's great day in Islamabad
Official Site from Islamabad
how many points I'm going to lose next year, between the World
Open and winning the Pakistan Open!!!!!
“I think I was lucky, well, maybe I also played well enough to
get rid of my opponents quickly, like I did against Nick in
the semis. And I knew that Anthony had a much harder run, and
although he is the spitting image of fitness, he is not
superman, and I knew he couldn't go on playing at that level
day in day out forever.
“So, I knew that, if I could hang on in there, be patient, he
would eventually tire. And he did.
“I want to thank two people back home who have helped me,
Damon Brown, who has helped me get fit, and my brother David
And of course, my coach, my father, the man who has made me
the player that I am, Malcolm Willstrop.
Also big thanks to sport england and the EIS who have given me funding and
physio and massage support. And my mum, she is always with me,
she inspires me in every match I play.... ”
think he played the right game. He managed to get winners in
there I couldn't do anything about. And I felt physically
flat, after all that court time (5 games v Darwish, 4 v
Gaultier, 5 v Power), and they were all hard games. I had a
couple of game points in the third, that normally I would
have taken, but today, I was just flat, out of energy...
“He played very well, he took the ball early, he kept the
pressure, whereas I hit too many loose balls.
“I think James has the potential to get to number one, like
another 6 or 7 players. A few of us that have the potential,
but sometimes the draw can make a big difference.
“I'm happy that I managed to control myself much better now. At
the moment, I still have to think about it, but I'm sure that
in a few months, that will be me...
“I haven't been home since July, I can't wait! But now, I'm on
my way to India...
Alfalah Pakistan Open
December, Islamabad, Pakistan, $85k
David Palmer (Aus)
11/2, 11/3, 11/2 (14m)
[Q] Khayal Mohammed (Pak)
11/9, 11/8, 3/11, 11/8 (45m)
5/11, 11/7 (50m)
11/9, 13/11, 7/11, 1/11, 11/7 (79m)
6/11, 11/9, 13/11, 11/3 (58m)
11/6, 8/11, 11/10(2-0), 4/11, 11/9 (65m)
Mansoor Zaman (Pak)
11/5, 6/11, 11/6, 11/5 (43m)
Peter Barker (Eng)
11/7, 11/5, 11/4 (38m)
Mohammed Abbas (Egy)
11/9, 11/5, 11/5 (27m)
Hisham Mohd Ashour (Egy)
 Karim Darwish (Egy)
11/4, 11/4, 11/8 (26m)
Shahier Razik (Can)
9/11, 11/6, 13/11, 11/13, 11/2 (62m)
11/7, 5/11, 11/5, 11/6 (54m)
Anthony Ricketts (Aus)
11/2, 11/8, 11/4 (19m)
[Q] Jonathan Kemp (Eng)
Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11/9, 11/9, 11/4 (46m)
[Q] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11/5, 7/11, 11/4, 8/11, 11/9
Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/8, 11/7, 11/8 (32m)
Yasir Butt (Pak)
10/11(1-3), 11/7, 11/3, 9/11, 11/7 (66m)
 Ong Beng Hee (Mas)
11/7, 11/4, 11/1 (19m)
11/9, 11/7, 1/0 rtd (22m)
11/4, 11/5, 11/5 (30m)
11/9, 9/11, 11/5, 11/3 (41m)
 James Willstrop (Eng)
11/9, 11/5, 11/10(2-0) (31m)
 Mark Chaloner (Eng)
11/5, 11/7, 11/6 (25m)
11/9, 9/11, 11/8, 11/9 (37m)
 Amr Shabana (Egy)
[Q] Shahid Zaman (Pak)
6/11, 11/10(3-1), 11/4, 4/11, 11/3 (69m)
 Adrian Grant (Eng)
11/9, 11/7, 11/3 (39m)
11/13, 11/3, 11/6 (62m)
11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (18m)
 Joe Kneipp (Aus)
Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak)
11/6, 4/11, 11/7, 8/11, 11/4 (38m)
 Azlan Iskandar (Mas)
Shamsul Islam Khan
11/5, 11/5, 11/8 (33m)
11/8, 11/3, 1/0 rtd
 Nick Matthew (Eng)
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Zubair Ali Khan (Pak) 11/4,
11/6, 9/11, 11/2
Khayal Mohammed (Pak) bt Majid Khan (Pak) 11/2 10/11
(0-2), 11/8 11/7
Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus) 4/11, 11/8,
9/11, 11/5, 11/2 (44m)
(Pak) bt Gavin Jones (Wal) 7/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/10(2-0),
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Arshad Iqbal (Pak) 11/9, 11/5,
Shahid Zaman (Pak) bt Wakeel Khan (Pak) 11/6, 11/4,
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) v Saeed Hassan (Pak) 11/9, 11/9,
Amjad Khan (Pak) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) 11/6,
11/9, 11/9 (33m)
First Round, 04-Dec:
Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Aaqib Hanif (Pak) 11/6, 10/11(0-2),
11/7, 11/6 (43m)
Zubair Ali Khan (Pak) bt Safeerullah (Pak) 8/11, 11/8, 11/4, 6/11,
Majid Khan (Pak) bt Asghar Khan (Pak) 11/6, 11/7, 11/10(2-0) (23m)
Khayal Mohd (Pak) bt Waseem Shad (Pak) 11/10(2-0), 11/9, 11/9 (44m)
Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Khalid Atlas (Pak) 11/4, 11/7, 11/5 (22m)
Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) bt Mubashir Gul (Pak) 3/11, 11/4, 11/5,
Gavin Jones (Wal) bt Jehanzeb Masood (Pak) 11/2, 11/6, 11/4 (18m)
Farhan Mehboob (Pak) bt Farhan Moeen (Pak) 11/3, 11/4, 11/3 (15m)
Arshad Iqbal (Pak) bt Mohd Ateeq (Pak) 11/8, 11/3, 11/2 (17m)
Joey Barrington (Eng) bt Bilal Zaman (Pak) 11/1, 9/11, 11/2, 11/6
Wakeel Khan (Pak) bt Naveed Atlas (Pak) 11/4, 11/6, 11/8 (31m)
Shahid Zaman (Pak) bt Waqar Mehboob (Pak) 11/8, 11/3, 11/4 (17m)
Saeed Hassan (Pak) bt Aman Gul (Pak) 11/5, 11/6, 11/7 (16m)
Jonathan Kemp (Eng) bt Basit Ashfaq (Pak) rtd
Amjad Khan (Pak) bt Farrukh Zaman (Pak) 11/10(2-0), 7/11, 11/7, 11/8
Khawaja Adil Maqbool (Pak) bt Bradley Ball (Eng) rtd
Khalid Atlas Khan bt Adnan Khan 11/8, 11/6, 11/3 (18m)
Jehanzeb Masood bt Adil Atlas Khan 7/11, 11/10, (4-2), 11/5, 11/8
Amajd Khan bt Alamzeb Jnr 11/7, 11/9, 11/4 (18m)
Asghar Khan bt Shoaib Hassan 4/11, 8/11, 11/8, 11/4, 11/7 (31m)
Mubashir Gul bt Maqbali Khan 11/6, 11/7, 11/3 (21m)
Aqib Hanif bt Kashif Khan 11/9, 11/3, 11/5 (20m)
Waqar Mehboob bt Jehangir Khan Jnr 11/5, 11/1, 11/7 (15m)
Aman Gul Walk over
Pre-Qualifying First Round, 02-Dec:
Khalid Atlas Khan bt Naveed Alam 11/5, 11/6, 11/5 (17m)
Adnan Khan bt Muhammad Waseem 11/2, 11/8, 11/6 (17m)
Jehanzeb Masood bt Alamgir Rehman 11/3, 11/7, 11/7 (15m)
Adil Atlas bt Adnan Gul 11/6, 6/11, 11/3, 11/2 (15m)
Amajd Khan bt Fahim Gul 11/8, 11/2, 11/8 (20m)
Alamzeb Jnr bt Fahad Zaman 11/7, 11/5, 7/11, 11/8 (27m)
Asghar Khan bt Muhammad Ilyas 11/4, 11/4, 11/5 (11m)
Shoaib Hassan bt Sheikh Saqib 11/2, 11/3, 11/6 (14m)
Maqbali Khan bt Muhammad Naveed 11/8, 11/7, 11/10 (3-1) (20m)
Mubashir Gul bt Ikramullah 11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (14m)
Kashif Khan bt Faizan Nawaz 7/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/3 (16m)
Aqib Hanif bt Asghar Ali 11/3, 11/5, 11/3 (13m)
Jehangir Khan Jnr bt Naveed Nasir 11/8, 10/11(5-7), 7/11,
11/7, 11/0 (32m)
Waqar Mehboob bt Bilal Khan 11/3, 11/1, 11/1 (7m)
Aman Gul bt Khalid Khan 11/3, 11/3, 11/0 (10m)
Wakeel Khan bt Asif Khan 11/7, 11/2, 11/7 (23m)
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