• CLIC Sargent • PSA Squash Classic 2015 • 19-24 Oct, St George's Hill •






Today ] SEMIS ] [ QUARTERS ] Round ONE ] Qualy Finals ] Day ONE ]
  TODAY                                                         daily reports from St George's

Thu 22-Oct, Day FOUR, Quarters:

[1] Daryl Selby
(Eng) 3-1 [Q] George Parker (Eng)
             12-14, 11-6, 14-12, 11-5  (68m)

[4] Lucas Serme (Fra) 3-0 Charles Sharpes (Eng)
             11-2, 11-6, 11-2 (33m)

[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-2 Jens Schoor (Ger)
              3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-1 (52m)

[2] Chris Simpson (Eng) 3-2 [Q] Kristian Frost (Den)
               5-11, 11-2, 12-14, 11-4, 11-4 (82m)

Top seeds through to semis at St George's

Top seed Daryl Selby was the first player to reach the semis of the inaugural CLIC Sargent PSA Classic as he got the better of qualifier George Parker in four games that took over an hour to complete, the teenager putting up a great fight before Selby's experience told in the end.

In the semis he'll play fourth seeded Frenchman Lucas Serme, who looked very sharp as he breezed past Charles Sharpes in just over half an hour.

An upset looked on the cards as Jens Schoor took a two lead over third seed Tom Richards, but the St George's man struck back and completed the comeback in style 11-1 in the fifth.

Second seed Chris Simpson also needed the full five games to get past determined Kristian Frost, falling behind twice before easing through the final two games against a tiring opponent.

Photo & Video Galleries

[1] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1 [Q] George Parker (Eng) 12-14, 11-6, 14-12,  (68m)


If you look at the Players info sheet, kindly offered to us by Squash Stats Bible SquashInfo.com, you will see that Daryl was the top of the list, while George was the bottom! As in, George could not have done worse in terms of bad luck, bless him.

I have mentioned it already, the fact I’ve been extremely impressed by some of the young English players I’ve seen this week, and in particular by George, who I discovered on this tournament.

Once again, one has to pinch oneself to not forget the boy is only nineteen. 19 going on 30 if you ask me. Not only physically, he is a superb young man who could chose a career as a model instead of a squash pro. But also by his maturity. I’m told he was a bit of a cheeky chatty bordering nasty on court. Well, if that’s the case, he has had a complete change of personality, cause he was a perfect gentleman this week, with only one racquet flying when he qualified on Tuesday…

What struck me the most was that when I was analysing his squash at the start of the match with Daryl, like he should volley more, take the ball a bit earlier, and go for his backhand volley drop shots winners more, well, he basically did just that as the match progressed, as if he relaxed, or just inspired himself from playing with a top boy, learning from Daryl as he went along: proof of a “sponge” ability that is the sign of possible greatness.

I counted, and recounted my notes, but I could only find one decision, 9/9 in the 3rd, a no let to Daryl. I have to stress that it’s also due to the extreme respect Daryl imposed on the match, as the Essex Man chose several times to play the ball – to his detriment sometimes – instead of asking for lets, allowing a fluid and flowing squash to develop, a truly and utterly joy to watch.

Whether Ben Coleman yesterday, or George today, it was obvious that the young English players have not only respect but total admiration for the former UK National Champion, and it really produced some very hard fought battles, but in the fairest of attitude/atmosphere. And that’s the squash I revere.

First game was a superb start for Daryl, 4/0, only to see George score the following 5 points. Daryl again takes the lead, long rallies mid pace, with a lot of diagonals being run and a good variation on the front wall from both players, 9/5 Daryl, but again George scores 5 points to get his first game ball, 10/9. Daryl gets the tiebreak, even a game ball himself, but Georges clinches the 22m first game on his third attempt, 14/12.

The second is “quickly” dominated by Daryl, 11/6, but again in the third, we have a huge battle that will last 23 minutes, again a superb start from Daryl, 5/0, 6/3, 7/4, but George, who looked extremely tired at the start of that game, suddenly finds his second wind, 8/8, 9/9, again game ball 10/9!

But this time, errors start creeping in – he was pretty much immaculate up to that stage – and he’ll finally bow 14/12. That’s the game he needed, both physically and mentally.

Daryl dominates the 4th completely, 8/2, to take the game and match 11/5.

But what a beautiful battle, fair and intense, only one advice, have a look on the SquashTV replay and like me, you’ll discover a young player that could definitely be the new face of English Squash in the coming months/years.

"He didn’t surprise me, no. I have been watching him improve over the years, as we play for the same PSL team. His attitude tonight was perfect, like Ben yesterday, a lot of respect on the court, and like I say often, when those boys concentrate on playing squash only, they show how good their squash can be.

I thought I played well, I let myself down in the 1st game, I was up 9/5, that’s not good enough, and I could have made my life easier. Of course we all want a 3/0. But it’s all credit to him and how well he can play.

He may feel his touch at the front let him down a bit today, but then again, mine was not great either!

I think the court conditions were different from yesterday, the ball was not dying at the back like it did yesterday, my length was good, but I couldn’t find that dying length like I did yesterday.

He is 19, he is one of our best prospects, he can play top 25, he proved it tonight, it’s all a question of believing in himself, like a few other players, they can challenge the Egyptians, it’s all a question of belief…

I really enjoyed playing this match, I really did, onwards now to tomorrow…

Daryl Selby

[4] Lucas Serme (Fra) 3-0 Charles Sharpes (Eng)  11-2, 11-6, 11-2 (33m)


Well, that was a fast affair indeed! 33 minutes, and I feel that somebody was taking a flight or felt that they would have to pay for the use of the court, and wanted to stay on there as little as possible!

Lucas and Charles are the same age, 23, although there is a bit of a ranking gap, 43 for Lucas (Best was 40) and 61 for Charles (best was 59).

The first game was over in a flash, with Charles just not touching base really, 4/0, 8/1, 11/2 in a few minutes! Extremely fast pace, very accurate and attacking squash, with Charles making 3 errors in the first 4 points, a total of 4 in the game.

The second, Charles managed to slow down the pace a bit, lobbing the ball very well. That made a big difference really, much closer game, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 5/5, some great rallies and good shot variations for the English boy.

Then again a couple of tins for Charles who was, like Lucas mentioned, probably tired as he was coming from the qualifying and a hard match yesterday.

Another game with 4 tins, but to Charles' credit, he kept trying and running, with an excellent attitude, respect to both his opponent and the officials. The third, Charles never showed up, 6/0, 9/1, 11/2.

He was tired, I could see how laboured his movement to the front was at times, when we played before, although I always won, he would never let go and make me work very hard indeed.

So I used it to my advantage. For once, I was not afraid to go to the front, and that really freed me.

I have been playing against Charles since the juniors, so I know how well he can play and also that I needed to stay focused at all times, not getting involved with the ref and accepting to replay the point.

Lucas Serme

[3] Tom Richards (Eng) 3-2 Jens Schoor (Ger)
              3-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-1 (52m)


For the first two games, Jens just couldn’t put a foot wrong. He found some amazing attacking shots, his length was immaculate, he was moving so well, and flying all over the court, 11/3 in the first, not an unforced error from either player.

The second again, was dominated by the German, 3/0, 7/2, although Jens made a few mistakes (5), he still managed to stay ahead, 8/5, 9/6 to take the game 7/11, Tom haven’t done an error yet though, but getting frustrated with the decisions that don’t seem to go the way he would like them to go…

But I guess the extremely fast pace Tom imposed finally paid dividends, as he was able to step in front of his opponent finally from the 3rd game on.

A close 3rd still, 3/3, 4/4, 6/6, but from that point on, Tom in control, with Jens maybe deciding to rest a bit for the 4th, 11/7.

The first is the crucial one/turning point. Excellent start from a rested Jens, 4/1, but Tom is now mentally in charge, and believing in his game again, maybe feeling the German is starting to suffer a bit physically, not having as much time as previously to adjust his shots.

He comes back to 4/4, 6/6, 7/7. And that’s the turning point really, with Jens who’ll score only one more point for the rest of the match. Crowd very pleased – Tom plays for PSL here – and Tom’s mum delighted and relieved …

We had a few traffic problem I thought in the middle of the court in the first two games…

My game plan was to make it tough for him at the beginning, hoping he would get tired, and I should stop doing that, because when I do, I just get negative, and only play the ball to the back, just deep. His backhand really worked well tonight, he picked me off a few times.

After losing the first two games, I didn’t panic, I always thought I could win, I have come back from 2/0 a few times recently, and if of course I’d rather be 2/0 up, 11 points is a long way for a lower ranked player sometimes.

So, like Danny was saying, I just relaxed a bit and played a bit more positive, change my mentality.

It’s not just a question of attacking at the front, but just being more positive with my length, with my whole game really. And that’s when I tend to play my best stuff.

Tom  Richards

[2] Chris Simpson (Eng) 3-2 [Q] Kristian Frost (Den)
               5-11, 11-2, 12-14, 11-4, 11-4 (82m)


I must say this event has been rather refreshing. First of all, because apart from the little hiccup of the first days with internet, the tournament organisation has been a dream and quite surreal when you think it’s only a $25k.

But mostly because the matches have been extremely open, with some huge battles, with underdogs really making the “old guard” suffer to get to the next round.

And Kristian has been one of those.

On his own admission, Chris Simpson was never comfortable tonight. Kristian put him through the mill, and it’s only in the 5th, after a hard battle, that we saw the Danish put knee on the floor and bow to Chris' shot variation.

But Chris really, really suffered tonight. First game in particular, Chris just didn’t see what the heck was hitting him! Kristian led 8/2 for crying out loud, and if you think that the Englishman is WR28 while the Dane is 65, you can realise how that fact was not expected! Chris finally got a few points, to only lose 11/5, and with the momentum, truly walked through the second, 11/2.

But after speaking to John Williams on the phone, his coach based in Switzerland, Kristian was back in the groove of his “new squash”, a more attacking game, powerful squash that really causes problems to his opponents. The third was close the whole way, after a 3/0 start from the Danish. 3/3, 4/4. Chris takes a slight advantage, 2 points, but again, 8/8, 9/9, 10/10, 11/11, 121/12, with Chris having one chance to take the game while Kristian finally closed it on his third, 14/12.

The fourth is like the 2nd, not much impact from the Dane in that one, 11/4 Chris, but the 5th started very well for him, 3/0! But that was his swan song, he would only score one more point after that, having not much energy left in the legs with all the squash he had played since Monday.

Still, a superb effort, and an bleeping entertaining and fair game, with very few discussions from Kristian, a massive, massive, massive improvement for this young player, who has worked extremely hard to change not only his squash, but also his behaviour on court. A+ in both categories. Well done young man.

In the first game, I didn’t feel the ball very well to start with, but to be honest, he surprised me. He surprised me a lot. And the worst of it all was that I knew he changed his game, I saw him play against Rafa, and I was expecting to play the way he did. But still, I just couldn’t react fast enough.

I didn’t enjoy it at all. I really didn’t. I didn’t have the control of the ball at all. I’m not sure it’s because it was one of those days… Yesterday, I felt really well, and in control, last week too while I was training. But today… It shows it’s really down to your opponent.

You know, generally, I win the length battle. But today, he won the length battle in the 1st and in the 3rd. And that snapped my confidence completely. Not just about the back of the court game, but for my boasts, my drop shots, I thought, ‘how can you hit a winner if you can’t hit a length’.

The fifth, the fact he gets tired, is probably partly because he had to qualify. I know, I’ve been there hundreds of times and I’m so glad I worked so hard and that I don’t have to qualify anymore. Because it may be only 2%, but those 2% make a big difference.

And it’s also partly because in the 4th and in the 5th, I controlled my emotions better, and was able to choose better shots.
As for tomorrow against Tom, I would have liked to be a bit fresher, but then again, he had some pretty heavy matches too! Every time we play with Tom since we are that high, it’s always been 3/2, or it feels like it! It’s always very hard battles, but we know it’s going to be a fair game, generally a quite enjoyable game, and hopefully that will be the case tomorrow.

Chris Simpson

Round One reports

Today ] SEMIS ] [ QUARTERS ] Round ONE ] Qualy Finals ] Day ONE ]


twitter: @StGgeSquash