Mon 13-Mar, Qualifying Finals:
All eight seeded players won their first round qualifying
matches on Sunday, so the qualifying finals promised some
great squash as the last four spots in the main draw are
The top three seeds - Egypt's Youssef Soliman and Indians
Vikram Malhotra and Mahesh Mangaonkar all won in
four games while England's Jaymie Haycocks produced the
upset of the round as he beat Denmark's Kristian Frost in a long
 Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0  Jan vd Herrewegen (Bel)
11/5, 11/9, 11/8 (52m)
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-1  Evan Williams (Nzl)
11/13, 11/4, 11/7, 11/6
 Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 3-2  Kristian Frost (Den)
6/11, 11/8, 11/7 8/11,
 Vikram Malhotra (Ind) 3-1  Jens Schoor (Ger)
11/9, 13/11, 9/11, 11/4
Sun 12-Mar, Qualifying Round One:
Seeds through as Qualifying
gets under way at Wimbledon
The 2017 edition of the Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open
kicked off at noon on Sunday with eight qualifying round one
Squash Director Stacey Ross was one of the early
starters, while at the end of the session former world #2
Peter Marshall made a rare PSA appearance.
Neither managed to record a win though as all eight seeds,
including favourites to qualify Egypt's Youssef Soliman,
Indians Vikram Malhotra and Mahesh Mangaonkar,
plus Denmark's Kristian Frost made it through to Monday
night's qualifying finals.
reports from Wimbledon
 Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-0  Jan vd
Herrewegen (Bel)nn11/5, 11/9, 11/8 (52m)
Jan had to do
a heck of a lot of work
The Belgium had to cover a lot of ground today, and
weathered the nick/attacking shots from the Egyptian for the
whole duration. Youssef made a few errors, but mostly his
shots were lethal, and I doní t know how Jan was able to
save and retrieve them, less alone counterdrop them
beautifully like he did, times and times again.
After a slow start, Jan played a great squash, coming back
from 6/2 in the 2nd, scoring 5 points in a row. Youssef
found some great pace to put the Belgium under pressure,
7/7, 8/8, 9/9, with the Egyptian clinching that decisive
game, 11/9 after two very heavy/intense rallies.
All to his credit, Jan never said die, kept fighting in the
3rd, taking a good lead 4/1, only to be caught out 5/5, the
hard work produced in the first two games started to feel
heavy in the legs. A few errors at the end of the game, and
itís 11/8 for Youssef, whoíll be delighted to save his
energy for tomorrow.
I was happy with my pace today, I kept the
pace very high, but like yesterday Sean, Jan started to mix
up the pace very well, and in the last two games, playing
nice lobs, slowing down the pace, and increasing his
His length was so good, he kept sending me in the four
corners, and Iím lucky to sneak the 2nd game. That gave me
the confidence I needed to win the third.
Last year, I reached the main draw too, I hope to do better
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-1  Evan Williams (Nzl)
11/13, 11/4, 11/7, 11/6
there, Mahesh too powerful
It was a good game that one, both working very hard indeed.
Mahesh took a great lead in the first game, 8/4, only to see
his lefthander opponent find his flicks and drop shots all
over the court, 8/8. 9/9. Evan got all the game balls Ė 3 of
them Ė and itís on the third he finally closed it, 13/11.
But somehow, Mahesh was physically stronger in the three
next games, and more importantly, more consistent. The New
Zealander had moment of brilliance, but cut off with errors
that frustrated him more and more as the match went along.
After taking the second 11/4 rather easily, Mahesh
concentrated his shots on Evanís backhand Ė and it worked Ė
6 unforced errors on that side alone (thanks Abdullah for
the stats): In the 3rd, Evan is quick off the blocks, 4/0,
6/2, but Mahesh patiently grinds him out, 7/7 to take the
The 4th looked folded for the Indian,5/2, but a sudden drop
of energy seems to hit him Ė very dark eyes out of the blue
Ė and the New Zealander senses it. A big push, 5/6, but
Mahesh found his second wind, scoring the next 5 points, to
close this out, 11/6Ö
Iím the fittest I ever been! But itís just
the pressure I put on myself that gets me tired. In
training, I do much more than that, seriously, and I hardly
breathe. The rallies donít get me tired, the pressure does.
After I started dropping in the rankings in 2016, I started
wondering if I was ever able going to get back where I was
or even higher. I think I can play top 30, but I have a
mental block when I play. I just do not attack. I find great
lines, great drives, open the opportunities, but I do not
Itís not the best of times for me, I am trying to get
better, trying to sort out my mind, and I just work as hard
as I can, every day, to try and get confidence back in my
 Vikram Malhotra (Ind) 3-1  Jens Schoor (Ger) 11/9, 13/11, 9/11, 11/4
I think I was controlling the rallies, but
thatís moments like that I feel Iím coming back from injury
Ė ankle Ė and Iím not as match fit as I would like. I made
just too many errors. Itís only my second tournament of the
season, and I feel that the more matches Iím playing the
better I feel and the more confident I get, my racquet work
It was very close, but I could feel I was making him do a
lot of work. What was reassuring, is that Iím back to my
fitness of before the injury, and after the two games, I was
not winded at all.
In the third, it was again close, and at 9/9, it was
anybodyís game, but I sent a shot sitter into the tin at
game ball: itís like Iím still thinking about my shot
instead of just playing it.
Iím lucky he got a bit tired in the 4th, but I think the
game plan that Thierry my coach put in place for me Ė with
lengthy texts Ė worked beautifully. He had played Jens last
year in a League match and he had fresh memories of it. So
he set it up for me. It was all about the disciplineÖ
 Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 3-2  Kristian
Frost (Den) 6/11, 11/8,
11/7 8/11, 11/8
game of two halves!
I didnít see anything for the first 2 games, and to be
honest, couldnít hear the decisions in the 3rd as the ref
was upstairs in the gallery for some reasons, hence mute to
us all downstairs! Apparently, Jaymie was up 7/2 Ė so many
discussions with the ref from Kristian, bless him. But the
Danish young dad managed to claw back to 7/7, only to see
Jaymie score the next 4 points 11/7 to take a 2/1 lead.
And then, at 4/3 Kristian in the 4th Ė I was watching the
other court that was a match ball Ė Kristian racquet got
right into Jaymieís left eyebrow.
Bleeding followed, thank Heaven we had a doctor on site that
had a good look, and recommended the match to be stopped for
the night, as the bleeding could resume Ė impossible to put
a plaster at the place apparently.
Nobody wanted the match to continue the next morning. So on
the advise of Lee Beachill, this is what was decided: on
agreement with Kristian, the match would resume, but if the
bleeding was to start again, no penalty would be applied to
Jaymie, and or they would try and stop the bleeding, or the
match would resume the next day.
Off we went then, back on court. The official ref had to
leave and catch his train, so Steve Richardson stepped in,
having asked Kristian if he was ok with him officiating Ė as
Steve had been coaching Jaymie at the start of the game:
there again, Kristian was as obliging as possible and
The 4th resumed, and it was a close game, but soooo many
stoppage, so many decisions, most of which Kristian was not
agreeing with. 6/6, 7/7, 8/8. Very long and gruelling
rallies, very up and down the wall at times, with Jaymie
going for high speed shots that Kristian always seemed to
get back in play! And itís the latter that levels it all
11/8, after being warned for ďmanhandling his opponentĒ on
ďThatís the first time I ever heard that expressionĒ, stated
the Danish upon his return on court.
Back to gruelling rallies on the backhand in particular,
both playing extremely high accuracy lines. 3/0 for Jaymie,
Kristian wonít have it, 3/3. But Jaymie seems to have found
the perfect balance between tight squash and attacking short
game: 7/3, 9/4. A big push from Kristian on match ball 6/10,
again a few calls but Jaymie finally clinches the decider
I was not positive enough in the first
game, he was in front of me, slowing the pace down nicely.
So I had to step in front of him, being more positive, speed
it up, and play kills across his body. Although I played so
many side wall nicks, you would have thought it was a
tactic, and got about 10 strokes in two games!
I think he was maybe getting a bit tired in the 4th, but
then we had like 45m of interruption for my blood injury, so
that took care of that!
Qualifying Round One:
reports from Wimbledon
What a start to the day !
 Youssef Soliman (Egy) 3-1 Sean
11/7, 11/13, 11/3, 11/3 (62m)
 Jan Van Den Herrewegen (Bel) 3-1 Stacey Ross
(Eng) 11/13, 11/6, 11/3, 11/3
It was not easy for either Jan VDH or Youssef Soliman first
round to say the least.
STACEY'S STILL GOT IT
A sentence, overheard while the Squash Pro and former PSA
player Stacey Ross was battling it on against Belgium Jan
VDH, says it all: return of serve in the nick, long drop
shot, excellent read and guessing of the ball, perfect
length and width, lovely lobs, yes Stacey still got it all.
I swear he had more grey hair at the end of the first game
than he had at the start of it though ďI think he is worried
it might get to fiveĒ smile a spectator. ďHe is worried it
might get to three!Ē retorted his mate.
It was never easy for Jan Ė who along with Abdullah Al
Tamimi Ė had a bit of a misadventure yesterday, as their
backback were stolen from their car, along with their
laptops, passports, and other precious things. Hope the rest
of the tournament will make them forget that terribly
yesterday, we came for 30m hit, and while the car was
parked, guys in motobikes broke the two back windows and
stole all our bags. Not great really, but not much you can
do about it.
As for the match, I never saw him play but I had heard about
him. I just couldnít break him down in the first, and he
made me work hard for it! How good is heÖ
But I just tried to keep the pace up, thinking that he might
run out of steam eventually, and thatís what happened, but
it was never easy.
SEAN MADE IT HARD
What a lovely match that was, played in the right spirit,
between two players that are patient enough to make it
structured, but who both like their shot game too, making it
a great show for the spectators.
The first game was very close indeed up to 5/5, a few errors
from the Irish, 8/5, 9/6 Youssef, 11/7. A good response from
Sean in the second, same close game up to 5/5 ,but this time
itís the Irish that finds his groove, 10/6 game ball.
Was not that simple, as it seemed like Youssefís arm went
relaxed and started finding nicks all over the four corners!
The Egyptian wonít manage to get a game ball though, and
itís the Irish on his 6th GB, 13/11.
The last two games saw the Egyptian dominate the middle and
Sean just couldnít contain him anymore, 11/3, 11/3. But a
truly entertaining and lovely game that was.
Iím trying new shoes, and I didnít feel comfortable in the
first two games, and he was playing so well, mixing the pace
beautifully, playing the right tactics, and I was not happy
with my movement.
In the 3rd, I took a bit of time off as my back was feeling
extremely sore, I was hoping it was nothing, and it was, I
was able to get back on court quickly.
In the last 2 games, I found my range, and controlled the
game better. I feel Iím in the tournament now.
Williams (Nzl) 3-2 Joe Green (Eng)
11/6, 12/14, 11/1, 3/11, 11/8
 Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-0 Ben Grindrod (Nzl)
11/7, 11/8, 11/6
IMPOSSIBLE TO CALL
It was the first time I think I saw Joe Green play and I
have to say I liked what I saw. An excellent mover out
there, really intense, he likes to hit low and hard,
retrieves beautifully and also took his chances when he set
the opportunities up.
He was playing against ďFlickĒ Evan Williams, from NZ, whose
major problem he admits is his lack of consistency. Very
weird match that was, with Evan dominating the middle and
making his opponent run a lot in the 1st, 11/6. Then a huge
second game, Evan game ball, 10/9, 11/10, 12/11, but soo
many errors, and itís eventually the Dig In Englishman that
takes the cake, 14/12 on his first game ball.
Itís getting weirder when Joe doesnít show up at all in the
3rd, 11/1 Evan, while the New Zealander doesnít show in the
4th, 11/3 for Joe!!!!
The 5th is anybodyís really, very intense between two
lefthanders that really want to win, a few too many calls on
that bouncy courts, at 8/8, a no let that truly upsets Joe Ė
donít ask me, I was writing the score down and didnít see Ė
the Englishman getting a conduct warning for ball abuse.
10/8 match ball, the Englishman has to change his racquet as
well, a let as we are not sure if the ball is out of court,
but itís finally Evan, 11/8, with a very unhappy and
unfortunately a reoccurring fact, last year, I was up 2/0
and 7/2 up and lost it in 5. I seem to often be up in a
match, and not able to finish it off. Iím trying to sort it
Iíve been working in Pontefract for the past 6 months, where
you work a lot of accuracy and tactic. Iím trying to play
faster and more aggressive, and at the moment, Iím caught
out between too fast and too slow!
But I would say the unforced errors are the biggest problem
for me. But a win is a win I guess Iíll have to take it.
A big thank you to my friends Ė all came from London, all
New Zealanders, the 12 of them! They made a big difference,
thanks for that guys.
The court is very bouncy, so
even when I was putting him under pressure, volleying a lot,
he would just lift the ball and play tight squash. So I had
to hang in there, and wait for him to break down, being
patient, instead of just going for silly shots and making
In the 3rd, it was fine up to 9/1, then I started to make
too many errors, up to 9/5, but I finally got away with it,
Haycocks (Eng) 3-0 Eain Yow Ng (Mas)
EXPERIENCE v YOUTH
It was never simple for Jaymie Haycocks
against former Junior Champ Eain Yow Ng. The young player
had the hands and golden touch of Beng Hee, thatís gives you
an idea how great he is playing.
Jaymie kept having to work extremely hard, any loose ball
would be instantly punished, and the Englishman will be very
pleased to take it on 3 today.
I know it was going to be tough, I heard about him, I had
seen little of him, but I knew he played well in the World
Champ in Cairo, and had a few good results too lately
against top 100.
So I got in front of him, played my game, hold him and push
him back, hold him and push him back, but if I was playing
at the front too soon, he would be all over it.
I lost concentration a few times during the match, and I was
lucky in the 3rd, I was down 8/5, he was playing very well.
Itís all about keeping your discipline really.
Iím glad to win in three, for sure.
 Kristian Frost (Den) 3-1 Dougie Kempsell (Sco)
11/8, 4/11, 11/3, 11/3 (51m)
The two first games were very tough, I knew he is playing a
traditional squash up and down the wall, and so do I, so it
was bound to be a hard battle.
I lost the second game, but I was not that worried as I knew
I had put a lot of work in his legs and it paid off in the
3rd and 4th, where I got a good lead in eachÖ.I was able to
put a bit more variation at the end of the match.
I have been trying to stay focused on the game, and nothing
else, which has been my goal for the past 10 yearsÖ.
Having a little boy changes your perspective on everything.
Suddenly, you are not number one in your home anymore. He
is. And you have got to protect him, and care for him. Itís
really, really, really niceÖ.
 Vikram Malhotra (Ind) 3-0 Peter Marshall (Eng)
11/4, 11/8, 11/4
PETER STILL DANGEROUS, VIKRAM PATIENT
It was a bit like the first match Stacey Ross versus Jan
VDH: we know who is going to win, but itís a bit like
playing John White in the qualifying first round of the US
Open!!! Tough job.
For those young kids who do not know who is Peter Marshall,
he was world number 2 and has got the particularity to play
a two hand backhand Ė ďhard to readĒ admitted VikramÖ
The Indian played some good rallies at the start of each
game to make sure he would put a lot of work in the 45 years
old man from Nottingham. And it worked, eventually. But
easy, it never wasÖ
I studied his game extensively. I learned a long time ago
something we are all aware of, unless stupid: nobody gives
you anything, and I knew Peter was not going to be easy to
What he lost in physicality, he gained on tactical awareness
and experience, especially when we would get to the 7, 8, 9,
mark: he had been there so many times, under the limelight.
I had to be aware of his capabilities of pulling through,
with his unique style of play, so deceiving: it was the
first time ever I was playing against somebody using two
hands for his backhand.
On my side, I am lucky enough to train with Thierry Lincou,
my coach, so Iím used to play a former world number 1, and
the way they move you around, Iím used to play an
experienced player. Plus, Thierry played Peter a lot, so he
was able to point out how Peter plays his game and devise
with me a foolproof game plan.
It was all about discipline today, and sticking to that game
plan, which was difficult for me as Iím an attacking player.
It was nearly like playing a conditioned game, where I was
not allowed to play certain shots. I managed to contain him
and prevent him access to his whole weaponry of lethal
I have an incredible respect for Peter, and I know itís
normally not really appreciated by the players when you say
that, but he is playing incredibly well for his age, and I
hope that one day, Iíll be like him.
It was an incredible experience to get on court against such
 Jens Schoor (Ger) 3-2 Lance Beddoes (Nzl) 9/11,
7/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/9 (70m)
THE WEIRDEST OF GAMES ...
It was probably the longest and certainly the weirdest of
matches that last one.
Lance Ė on fire and playing the best squash I ever saw him
play Ė seemed unbeatable in the first two games, up 8/0, and
7/0 in the second, saving 2 games balls in the first game
It looked like Lance was going to upset the seeding, but
Jens mentally came back in the game, finally taking the lead
2/0 in the 3rd, then a close game throughout, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4,
5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 9/9, with the German closing it on his first
game ball, 11/9.
Another close start in the 4th, but at 4/4, Jens feels that
his opponent is getting tired, and zooms to the finishing
post, 11/4, forcing a decider.
The 5th has got a few too many decisions, both of them being
a bit tired by then, and so was the ref, having done 4
matches on the trot without a break or a cup of tea!!!
Lance takes a good lead, 4/1, but Jens is finding some great
confidence shots, in particular two crosscourt volley nicks
and two backhand flicks that truly taxied his opponent. 7/5,
8/6 for the German, but Lance is still very much in it, 8/8,
Incredibly, Lance, who hasnít made a single error for 4
games, tins his drop shot at that precise moment. 10/9,
match ball, and a sidewall shot that shoots straight back at
Lance, and itís a stroke, 11/9. ..
Either he plays always incredibly well against me, or Iím
playing extremely badly when I play him, or he just loves my
game. And I think he just loves my game, that suits it very
In the first two games, when he was fresh and really sharp,
he played extremely well, I donít think I did much wrong,
his shots were just going in, and if I managed to get on
back, he would get the next shot right away.
He is one of those players that are not rhythmical, and very
hard to play in my book. He plays a few grinding rallies
then shoots out a few winners, then long rallies again. Itís
very hard to get into any kind of rhythm or getting used to
At 9/9, I told myself to go a bit defensive, not to make any
errors, and wait for him to make the error, or for him to
give me the opportunity to attack. He made the error, then
on match ball, a very good decision from the ref, who gave
me a stroke as the ball shot out of the corner straight on