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


 2017 Tournament Reports

Tue 14-Mar, Round ONE:
Top seeds through to face
unexpected opposition ..

After two days of qualifying it was time for the main draw, which started with three qualifiers beatins seeded opponents!

Indian duo Vikram Malhotra and Mahesh Mangaonkar won through to the quarter-finals with wins over Mohamed Reda and Ivan Yuen - Mangaonkar spurning match balls in the third and fourth games before finally claiming the upset.

Jaymie Haycocks was the third qualifier to win, prevailing 13/11 in the fifth against Abdullah al Tamimi, and recent British Nationals finalist Joe Lee beat Declan James in straight games to make it four upsets out of four.

The last four matches saw each of the top four seeds win though, as Alan Clyne, Tom Richards, Saurav Ghosal and Nafiizwan Adnan all booked their places in the quarter-finals against unexpected opponents.

Round ONE:

[Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-2 [8] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
          11/6, 12/10, 10/12, 10/12, 11/7 (107m)
[Q] Vikram Malhotra (Ind) 3-0 [7] Mohamed Reda (Egy)
         11/8, 11/4, 11/2
Joe Lee (Eng) 3-1 [5] Declan James (Eng)
          15/17, 11/6, 11/4, 11/7
[Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 3-2 [6] Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qat)
          11/6, 7/11, 11/8, 5/11, 13/11
[4] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-0 [wc] Robert Downer (Eng)
          11/2, 11/7, 11/4
[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-0 Mazen Gamal (Egy)
          11/6, 11/7, 11/6 (36m)
[1] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 Olli Tuominen (Fin)
           11/4, 11/9, 11/8 (32m)
[2] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 3-1 [Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
            11/6, 5/11, 11/4, 11/9 

Round One:                           Fram reports from Wimbledon

[Q] Vikram Malhotra (Ind) 3-0 [7] Mohamed Reda (Egy)      11/8, 11/4, 11/2

Vikram played at a fast pace

It was a very good first game, extremely high quality squash to be honest, a game I would have come a long way to watch. Both hitting the front corners beautifully, both great length, and both retrieving superbly.

But at the start of the second game, quickly, it became obvious Takashi was struggling physically, and was going for too much and finding the tin too often. The third was about the same unfortunately for the Egyptian….

I knew he would come at me very very hard from the start, and basically, I had to weather the storm.

Last time we played, it didn’t go too well for me, so I was up to get one back….

The difference between the two matches is last time, I just opened the court too much and gave him too many cheap points. But today, I was very focused, my shots were very calculated, and I’m happy with my game plan, I didn’t make much unforced errors today….

Same routine, I studied his game, devised a tactic with Thierry and felt pretty strong physically. And that’s the key. When you feel strong physically and you move well on court, the rest just follows.

If yesterday, I had my ups and downs, today I felt in control and really felt good out there: I stayed disciplined, and I played the right shot at the right time, it was very effective.

Not happy with my game, I was playing fine and feeling fine, but suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my calf. So you start focusing on that and you are not concentrating on your match anymore.

I trained more than for Canary Wharf, and I feel that I played even worse than at CW! So I feel I need to regroup, get myself sorted out physically….

[Q] Mahesh Mangaonkar (Ind) 3-2 [8] Ivan Yuen (Mas)
                           11/6, 12/10, 10/12, 10/12, 11/7 (107m)

Mahesh must stop thinking

How many times have I wrote those words: do not THINK boys! You are not equipped….

It was so characteristic. The Indian was playing superb squash, truly playing the Malaysian under tremendous pressure, playing nice lines and accurate squash. First game is rather straight forward for Mahesh, 11/6.

But from the 2nd on, the same pattern again and again. The Indian comfortably up (10/8 in the second), but Ivan managing to sneak in some great attacking shots as Mahesh squash would go wuiiiiiiiiiiii out of the window. 12/10 in the second.

Third, exactly the same, 10/8, match ball, and again, Mahesh brain that come into action while Ivan finds his best squash of the match, hitting so hard, then lovely feathery long drop shot.. 12/10 for the Malaysian.

Annnnnd the same story in the 4th would you believe!!!! Mahesh, match ball 10/7 annnnnd again, same story, Ivan digging in, patiently never panicking and it’s 12/10 for Ivan.

In the decider, Ivan is finally a bit tired bless him, and he makes a few errors from the middle of the game that give Mahesh another good lead, and from 6/6, it’s all about Mahesh, who finally takes the game and match, on his 6th match ball bless him, and 107 m….

Never in doubt.

Every time I got myself to match ball, I behaved like a stupid IDIOT, thinking “how I’m going to win the point” instead of building the rally and creating opportunities.

Up to match balls, I was in the zone, playing good squash and following my tactical plan. I got also lucky as he played some unforced errors at crucial times. But again, when I was at match ball, the thoughts would come in “can I do it?”

The harder the matches will get the more pressure I’ll have. Shawn Moxham told me “the pressure is only what you put on yourself”. I have to learn to balance it better.

I feel I have the game, the discipline, the fitness, the squash, but now, I have to stop THINKING about the winning points, and PLAY the winning points…

So much work to be done….

[Q] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng) 3-2 [6] Abdullah Al Tamimi (Qat) 11/6, 7/11, 11/8, 5/11, 13/11

He played two unbelievable shots to get to match ball, then offered me two superb tins to give me the match…

This is my highest win on PSA, this year, I managed to beat players I never did beat before, that’s what keep me going.

I played him last week in practice so I knew what to expect, you’ve got to try and not get too frustrated as you know he is going to play incredible shots, as you know there are a few unforced errors that could follow…

When I had the chances today, I was pretty clinical…

I’m sorry for Stacey and the Team here. I play here for the Surrey Cup, I’m used to the courts, and I won’t be able to play tomorrow for the Surrey Cup decider against Colets. Sorry guys.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and a big thank you to Rob Owen and all the boys at ROA…

[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-0 Mazen Gamal (Egy)          11/6, 11/7, 11/6 (36m)

Not one for the fainted hearted!

Jzzz those two love to hit, run, retrieve, find their targets at the front, and visiting the courts in all directions!!!!

Tom must be over the moon to be able to move that well on the court. He was put under a lot of pressure by the Wadi Degla coach who told us in Canary Wharf that he was happy to do a few matches to get his full fitness back. Well, that was one of lungs openers I’m sure he’ll be happy to have played!

A very pleasant match indeed, both playing in a good spirit, but today, Tom being more assertive and fitter really, but a very entertaining match indeed.

If it was coming down to fitness today, I think I was a bit stronger. I love playing at a fast pace, so when players try and outpace me, it’s normally not easy for them.

I hadn’t seen much of him, only 2 m on youtube, so not much to go on. So I focused more on what I was supposed to do, to make it tough, and not giving him anything easy. And I think except in the middle of the second, I managed to do that rather well.

I had a little loss of focus in the 2nd, I was up 2/0 and found myself down 6/2! Due to lack of mental focus, maybe a bit of match fitness too. This match had the potential to become a bit of a large scrappy round around match, but it’s not easy to play perfect squash in those bouncy conditions.

I take it match by match of course, but you know I have a few ambitions for this event, and that was a good first round performance, and a good run as well!!!

Joe Lee (Eng) 3-1 [5] Declan James (Eng)             15/17, 11/6, 11/4, 11/7

A very tough first game

I arrived at 10/7 game ball for Declan in the opener. About 15m later, we were still fighting hard for the win of that game!!! Declan had 3 game ball to start with, Joe forced a tie-break, then had two game balls of his own, and Dec again, with 4 more, finally clinching it 17/15!

But from that point on, it was like Joe found his groove, and although the rallies were disputed and fast, Declan found himself at the wrong end of them.

A clean and intense encounter between those two very fair players even if there were a few calls during the match today…

I didn’t feel comfortable AT ALL to start with. Only got comfortable as the match went on…

I think a long first game didn’t do me any harm, it was long and physical, but then I realise now I found my game in the next three games, so it helped me in a way.

Declan and I train during the summer with England Squash Squads, and I go sometimes up to Manchester and do a fair bit of training with him.

I think our game sort of cancel each other out, as we are denying each other what we want to do, and sometimes it can get a bit scrappy…

It was a hard first game, I was playing better than I did last week I thought but I just got a bit tired in the end, we had a pretty tough schedule recently too!

[1] Saurav Ghosal (Ind) 3-0 Olli Tuominen (Fin)              11/4, 11/9, 11/8 (32m)

Olli has been playing very well indeed, he had that great win in Oregon, so I knew it was going to be an even tougher match that it would normally be as he is playing that well at the moment. So it’s good I was able to play the way I did, and get through in 3 especially with the way he is playing.

I’ve been training hard since the wedding, three and a half weeks. First in Chennai with the two boys that reached the BJO final this year, and Hari. And also one week in Pontefract, working hard with Malcolm. Also having a few games with James.

I feel like one with the court, the racquet, the ball…. I enjoy the hard training, and I feel mentally and physically really good.

Nothing happens overnight, it’s all about hard training, trying to create, to enjoy as much as I can…

I haven’t recovered fully from the other matches really. It’s a shame because I think I was playing ok recently and I feel quite good with the racquet.

I just hope I’ll be recovered for my next event, the 25k in Montreal….

[4] Alan Clyne (Sco) 3-0 [wc] Robert Downer (Eng)          11/2, 11/7, 11/4

I started off really well, kept my discipline – not just going up and down the wall, but positive game plan, taking it early.

But in the second, he played better, taking me in, in particular on the forehand, and I got a bit passive. But I think I played better in the third…

I was concentrated on the areas I want to play the ball, but I completely forgot about the quality of the targets really: good plan, but not playing very well!

It was a learning curve that I learned during the match. I think I played enough to put into it in the second, I was playing better and better as the rallies went along, as I was figuring the rallies out, enjoying it.
I knew it was going to be tough, with his retrieving abilities, but he is such a great player to play against for somebody like me. He is such a fair player, you can see the difference of level and you know what you have to work on.

Chuffed to have been awarded the wild card again, thanks to Stacey and the Team. And as I have now moved to the area last week, the WTC is now officially my home club, and it was great to have the support of the crowd… 

[2] Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas) 3-1 [Q] Youssef Soliman (Egy)
            11/6, 5/11, 11/4, 11/9 

There is nothing wrong with Youssef’s squash…

A very high quality squash that last match was. Wan had to play his best squash to shake off the 20 years old player that displayed some great squash today.

In my opinion, fitness made the difference today. Picture in your brain a puppy: runs runs runs runs for hours on end. Then suddenly falls on the floor and sleeps for a few seconds. And runs runs runs again! Well, that’s my little Youssef for you.

Of course I’m caricaturing, and of course, it was not as simple as that. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with Youssef squash. He’s got the shots, the brain, the great movement, and the racquet flying high for Egypt… Just a few energy drops at crucial times.

Wan showed today how solid he has become: a few months ago, he would have tinned the ball about 6 or 7 times per game as Youssef would have put him under pressure. Today, 2 errors per game. And that makes him lethal, as his shots are so close to the tin, and his retrieving as sharp as it gets.

I think that Wan/Vikram could be one of the highlights of the quarters…

I’m happy with not making too many errors, as it’s my new mode of squash you know. I concentrate on making the rallies, each and single one, very hard, and not giving away any cheap points or going for silly shots.

The bouncy court sort of make our level similar, but the difference I feel tonight was the mental aspect: I feel I was a bit stronger mentally than he was, and I was quite focused the whole time.

He played very good squash, and the great thing about him, he doesn’t care who he is playing against, he is just going for those shots…

I never saw Vikram play, but he had some good results this week, beating Reda, so he must be playing very well. I’m looking forward to the match, I’m sure it will be a good one.


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