l Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open l 12-17 March 2017 l London, UK l


 2017 Tournament Reports

Wed 15-Mar, QUARTERS:
Top four seeds through to semis

If round one witnesed a series of upsets, it was a case of 'normal service resumed' on quarter-finals night at Wimbledon as the tops four seeds all beat their 'surprise' opponents to reach the semi-finals.

[1] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 Joe Lee (Eng)
             12/10, 11/5, 11/5 (47m)
[4] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-1 [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
            11/8, 10/12, 11/7, 11/5 (49m)

[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind)
           11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (48m)
[2] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 3-1 [Q] Vikram Malhotra (Ind)
            12/10, 11/7, 8/11, 11/8 (52m)

the 2017 Squash Squared AUCTION

Quarters:        Fram reports from Wimbledon     photos by Mark Westwood

[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-0 [Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (48m)

Tom on fire, Mahesh getting closer.

I know that Mahesh was disappointed with his performance: he shouldnít be. They both played a superb squash today, fast, intense, great variation of pace and height.

Tom, so hungry after a few months hindered by hamstring injuries, was flying on there, and Mahesh was matching him shot for shot from the word go: 4/4, 5/5, 7/7. The Indian having made a lot of work has a little drop of focus, Tom zooms up 10/7, but Mahesh is right on his hills, clawing back to 9/10 to finally lose it 11/9.

The second sees a great start from the Indian that seems in control, well planted at the front of the court, from 2/0 up, 3/3, 4/4, again he goes up 7/4, 8/5.A few errors at the wrong time for the young contender coming from the qualifying, 10/8 for Tom. Again Mahesh wonít go quietly, and forces a decider, that Tom snatches again, 12/10.

Mahesh will keep on playing lovely counterdrops and counter attack, never letting Tom be comfortable really, he even goes up 4/1, only to be caught up 4/4, 5/5. A big push from Tom,9/5, to finally close it 11/7.

Great game, nice pace, lovely ball circulation for sure!

Reasonably happy with the way I played tonight. He played well, we have a bit of a similar game, we both like to volley to put pressure on our opponent.

Of course, there are a few things that need to be looked at like I was down on every game, and thatís not good enough. I shouldnít have to rely on grinding my way back in.

He had a tough match yesterday, and in a way I think it freed him up, he was moving very well, and all credit to him, although he was tired, he kept pushing very hard.

I really wanted to reach the final you know. I recovered well from yesterday, I was not tired. Today is not a problem of physicality, but of bad tactical choices. And if I was by chance playing the right choice, at the right time, then I would make the unforced error.

My tactic was simple, but I seemed to arrive a bit too late on the ball, and then, I kept making the wrong choices, and especially at crucial times.

I feel I should have been up 2/0, which would have given me a big confidence booster. But at the end of the games, I became so passive, which is sad after doing all the work.

Iím not satisfied with my game at all, especially losing 3/0 for the third time in a row. But Iím happy with the way I am learning to deal with pressure. I have done a lot of work on it, and I am looking forward to work some more this summer.

[2] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 3-1 [Q] Vikram Malhotra (Ind)   12/10, 11/7, 8/11, 11/8 (52m)

Never comfortable for Wan

And the third Indian on tonight, Vikram, didnít fail to impress the knowledgeable crowd. Playing the man in form Wan who had some pretty impressive results lately, playing definitely the best squash of his life since he moved back to the UK, he truly took the game to the Malaysian, keeping the suspense till the last shot.

A first game as close as it comes, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, 6/6, 7/7. The crowd is loving it. Wan seems to have the control finally, 9/7, but no, we are back at 9/9, both moving extremely well, and finding some astonishing attacks/retrieving. 10/9 game ball, ending in a tin for Wan, 10/10.

And Vikram serves out bless him.

11/10, a no let, and itís 12/10 Wan. That was hot and close babyÖ. Crowd is buzzing!

The second is pretty close up to 6/6, but this time, Wan is able to close the points rather quickly, 11/7.

Back in contention in the 3rd, Vikram seems to have gone up a notch in his squash: relaxed, intense, he moves his opponent beautifully from side to side, a few unforced errors from the Malaysian and itís 11/8 for the Indian. We now have a match!

What a fourth. The other match being finished, all the spectators are squashed on the court 2, trying to watch the last match of the night. And they are rewarded! Intensity, drama, a few strange calls, but that didnít have any incidence on the outcome of the game thank God, so close! 2/2, 3/3, 5/5, 7/7. Experience talks at the end, with Wan able to handle the pressure better I feel, but Vikram never putting a foot wrong.

Best match of the day, ending 11/8 for the MalaysianÖ.

In the first game, I was only thinking about wining quickly, not thinking too much about today, more about tomorrow! And that was a big mistake. I know that Vikram goes for his shots. And today, they all went in!

All the games I won, I played simple, not going for too much too early, waiting for the opportunities to play the right shot.

But my squash was way much better than yesterday, way better from a mental point of view, more consistent.

In the first game, I was too tense, thinking about wining, then went up 2/0 and went the whole other side of the spectrum, far too relax in the 3rd! I just couldnít find the balance between the two, too relaxed or too tense!

In the 4th, I mixed the pace rather well, playing fast, but then when I was under pressure, slowing it down, a more controlled pace.

Tomorrow, Iím playing Tom. I think we played once in Qatar, and he beat me 3/2. I am thinking positive, so Iím hoping it will be a great match, that I will win 3/0!

I think I could have done better. It was a decent match. He had a great year coming to this event, and today again, he played really well.

I didnít execute the game plan well enough, and that cost me a lot. But thatís part of the learning, part of the experience: Iím growing in confidence, moving and playing better.

Onwards and upwards from there.

[1] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 Joe Lee (Eng)               12/10, 11/5, 11/5 (47m)

First game was crucial

A packed house and a strong Ė logical Ė support for Joe Lee against Top Seed newly married Saurav Ghosal, the second of the Indian trio in the quarters.

A high quality match, truly superb Ė even ridiculous amazing stunning Ė squash at times, with a first game dominated at first by the Indian that is on every ball really, from 1/1, 2/2 to 7/3. But gradually, Joe is getting used to the fast pace imposed by the India, and start to put him under tremendous pressure: 6/8 then 8/9, even forcing errors out of the Indian racquet on game ball, 10/8, 9/10, 10/10. Another ridiculous rally on the Indianís third game ball, ending by a little clipping of the ball for the Englishman, and itís 12/10 for Saurav.

From that moment on, Joe is putting so much pressure on himself trying to finish the points, he finds just a few too many errors to be able to take Saurav out of his comfort zone: the Indian has got too much time to adjust his shots and Joe is making more and more work. Still a superb match, the crowd is disappointed, but diverted for sure.

Winning a tie-break is always crucial, especially the first game as itís a confidence booster. But I feel today I was not as loose as I would have liked to be, not hitting my targets as I would have liked to do, either at the front or at the back.

But he played some great squash, he was reading my game well, guessing it right more often than not, putting me under even more pressure.

But from the middle latter of the second game, I got a bit more comfortable, feeling the ball better, moving the ball better. And thatís why the second and third were not as close, although there were some top rallies, he kept on playing very well, putting away the ballÖ

[4] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-1 [Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)         11/8, 10/12, 11/7, 11/5 (49m)

Jaymie as dangerous as ever

The home favourite Ė Jaymie plays for the Wimbledon Surrey Cup Team who was playing Colets for the title tonight actually Ė took a great start, being extremely positive, taking the game to an Alan that was a bit on the backfoot to start with: 3/1, 6/3, with the Scot coming back 6/6, 7/7, 8/8. Jaymie kindly gives 3 unforced errors to his opponent, Alan takes it 11/8 Ė the longest game of the match for sure.

Alan has got a bit more attacking and looks good in the second, 7/3, 10/6, when Jaymie just plays the best squash he can: volleying everything, finding superb short game that Alan cannot retrieve all, forcing the Scot to make a few uncharacteristic errors. And we are in the tie-break, a squeeze on the backhand plus another tin from Alan Ė the reverse of the first game really, and Jaymie equalises 12/10, 1/1.

Alan tightens up his game in the third, 6/2 up, Jaymie is still very much alive, 6/7, but a few nice shots in a row from the Scot, 11/7. Heíll keep the momentum going, 7/3, 11/5Ö.

All the games were tough, until the middle of the games where he was a bit more tired, but still it was very tough to put the ball away on this bouncy court, but then again, he seemed to managed to get the ball away pretty well! He played quite a few attacking shots on there tonight.

Lately Iíve been playing well, a very positive squash, I feel I didnít do that enough tonight, I need to be back trusting my game.


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