En Bref #3
Streaming and Videos
Thu 1st Oct, Day FIVE:
Top four through to the Semis ...
No upsets today as
the top four seeds asserted themselves to reach the semi-finals.
The day opened with a treat for the crowd as Jonathon Power took
on Amr Shabana, but top seeds Egypt still came through easily
enough. The will face Australia who, at the other end of the
day, saw off Pakistan.|
In between those matches old foes England and France set up yet
another meeting as they ended the hops of Italy and South
Australia 3-0 Pakistan
David Palmer 3-0 Farhan
11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (35m)
Stewart Boswell 3-0 Farhan Mehboob 11-5,
12-10, 11-5 (46m)
Cameron Pilley bt Mansoor Zaman
11-6, 11-7 (17m)
DAVID SOARING, BOZZA TESTED
If the Marine made very few errors, and dominated his subject,
if you pardon me the expression, Bozza was tested by Yasir who
at times, was playing very fast and very hard, with some
stunning shots close to the tin that surprised the tall
Australian again and again.
Yasir injured himself at the British Open and was not at his
best tonight apparently, and game was actually stopped at 8/5
for Australia in the second for 3 min, when Yasir twisted his
ankle on his own, hence 3 min injury time…
Still, when he came back, having found a bit of air as well
along with a bit of relief for his pain, he started to play
extremely well from 10/6 game ball down to force a tie-break,
10/10. The Australian eventually found some tight length that
Yasir couldn’t retrieved, 12/10 to Australia.
Yasir was still very much in the match, still playing at a very
fast pace, but hit the wall at 5/5, and just never score another
point, giving a sweet 3/0 victory to Stewart who was tested
enough but not too much before tomorrow’s semi against Mighty
Shame for Pakistan, with Aamir off on injury, their number 1
player – as in Speedy Gonzales – and Yasir not as his best, it
was a courageous but unlucky Pakistan team that has nothing to
be ashamed of this week….
"Yes, I felt very comfortable today
on there, it’s hard to play on traditional court, I always
prefer to play on the glass court
"Mentally, he was in and out constantly, so I kept pushing, as
the message we wanted to send today was, there is no way through
us today, and I think that’s what I did…
"He was firing a lot, but I eventually got enough balls back and
picked up a few, forcing unforced errors from him….
"Hopefully, Stewart can get a quick match in too, giving us a
good crack at Egypt tomorrow in the semis. He didn’t have any
big matches, but he seems to be moving well, and on a glass
court, on his day, he can beat pretty anybody…
"The focus is on Egypt, England and France, we have nothing to
lose tomorrow, let’s play and see what happens…"
"I felt ok
tonight, there is always a bit of edginess when you play for
Australia, so on one hand, I didn’t made as many unforced errors
I can normally do, but on the other hand, there were a few shots
I didn’t hit hard enough…
"Glad that both David and I both
got them off 3/0, that is exactly what we wanted….
"But it was a good test for me, he hit a lot of kills that
forced me to take off and run, which is exactly what I need to
get back at the top level. I got used to that change of pace
today, but there will be even more pace change tomorrow…"
"Happy to give the point to the Team….
"These are tricky matches, where you’ve got to stay on the ball
at all times, because although there is a gap ranking wise,
those players have nothing to lose, no pressure, and with the
team spirit of South Africa, could create a real upset…
"Honestly, I could never play my game… Shame for the loss, I
guess the dream had started forming in our little heads, but….
"Too fast, too strong, too accurate…. That the one and only
Thierry Lincou we know and love….
James Willstrop 3-0 Marcus Berrett
11-3, 12-10, 11-6 (25m)
Peter Barker 3-0 Amr Swelim
11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (29m)
Adrian Grant v Jose Facchini
11-5, 11-9 (24m)
England sail past Italy
It was a 'blast from the past' for James Willstrop today
as the Yorkshireman took on Marcus Berrett, Italy's new
recruit who must have played James countless times before moving
to Italy from Yorkshire three years ago.
Willstrop was taking no prisoners in the first game, and
although Berrett, promoted to number one as Davide Bianchetti
was rested, challenged in the second Willstrop closed the game
out and pulled away from the middle of the third to put England
Peter Barker sealed the defending champions' place in the
semi-finals with an untroubled victory over Amr Swelim.
The Italian was unable to reproduce the form he showed in
yesterday's decider against New Zealand as Barker cruised to a
3-0 South Africa
Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Rodney Durbach 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 11-5
Thierry Lincou 3-0 Jesse Engelbrecht
11-6, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
Julien Balbo 2-1 Clinton Leeuw
7-11, 11-0, 11-5
RODNEY ON FIRE…
The South African captain was at his best today, no pressure, no
expectation, and he made the best of it. Against him, Greg
Gaultier, as we know by experience, not as his best during team
events, the pressure he feels is enormous, he is so conscious of
his role, the fear of letting people down makes him extremely
nervous and to the border of being fragile…
And Rodney took his chances in the second, a bit of stress from
Greg, tins and all, Rodney up for it, going to great shots and
volleying very well, and zoom, you have a happy South African,
and a Frenchman starting to build up against the refs…
Third, no trouble, Rodney a bit fried really, but in the fourth,
at 9/3, one more call that Greg doesn’t like, makes that fact
obvious to the refs, and he goes out of the match a bit, focus
wise, finding two tins and a conduct warning for descent in the
process. Still, Greg gets his head back in place and some shots
soon after, 11/5 for France in the fourth….
thought I played really well today, but I guess the excitement
got to me… A few years back, when I was still playing, you learn
to control those things, but I must have forgotten how… I
started to try to speed up the pace and match his pace. Rushing
a 26 year old when you are 37 is probably not the best tactic
"Oh well, shame not to win, but it’s alright…. And you know, out
of the six world team events I’ve played, this is definitely one
of the top two. We all get on very well, there are no
individuals here, and that doesn’t always happen…"
Amr Shabana 3-1 Jonathon Power 11-9, 4-11, 11-6,
Ramy Ashour 3-1 Shahier Razik
11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7 (38m)
Wael El Hindi 2-1 David Phillips
7-11, 11-6, 14-12 (39m)
Top seeds Egypt moved smoothly enough into the semi-finals,
despite resting number one Karim Darwish, although Canada
managed to take a game off the favourites in all three matches.
WHAT A TREAT
I’m going to make you a little confidence… During team events,
at the early stages anyway, some matches can be a bit, well,
tedious. Then you have great encounters like we had last night,
New Zealand losing closely to Italy, and South Africa clinching
a place in the top eight at the expense of the USA.
And today, I arrive, and who is warming up on the glass court –
at last, I can actually see him – the Magician himself, whereas
nobody expected him to play after he’d led his team to the top
eight, against the Prince of Egypt.
People, I had a ball, and so did the people of the audience,
nearly packed with most of the players not playing, all came to
watch Jonathan play. And we were not disappointed. Of course, he
lost the match, but he still gave a good run to Shaabz in the
second, 11/4. The fact that the Prince made six tins helped a
is still there, he’s got the shots, he’s got the length, he’s
got the brain, he’s got the mouth, he’s got the falls, he’s got
the attitude, ok, he doesn’t have the fitness, and in the
fourth, the legs were completely gone from 4/4, although he
never gave up.
Why did he play today? I think it’s because he was not happy
with his performance yesterday, having to battle five games
against a player he should have, in his mind, stayed 30m on
court with. And with the pride that great Champion has, he
wanted to prove who is was, still is, and always will be.
One of the Greatest Champions that Squash has borne ...
was great playing Jonathan one more time, and putting the Head
to Head back in order at last!!!!!
"He surprised me in the second, I made him work hard in the
first, and I thought he was going to let that one go, but no, he
came out firing… And it didn’t help I made a lot of unforced
"He is such a shot maker, if you let him play the way he wants
at the front, you are in trouble, so I had to make sure that I
kept controlling the rallies…
"It was a great pleasure playing him today, I really enjoyed
RAMY NOT SETTLED
The World Champion never really settled today on court, although
the score seems to imply otherwise. Ramy was all over the place,
like he was in Cairo, I could see him talking to himself, being
Legend Ramy for a few rallies, and then losing the focus, and
why he was on court.
Shahier didn’t come on court to play second fiddle, and was
ready to fight for a precious point, and it was good to see how
mentally strong he was, and motivated. The Canadian has changed
his game, he plays a more positive squash, less waiting for the
other to die out of oxygen-deficit kind of game, and that
enriched his squash tremendously.
He was able to put Ramy under pressure enough today to make the
Egyptian doubt, but not enough to take him out of his comfort
zone, and the result was as expected, 3/1 for Egypt. But I know
Ramy enough to know he won’t be happy with his performance.
was a good match for Shahier, he played well, but I didn’t. I’m
not sure why, but like you said, I’m playing junior squash at
the moment, I’m not enjoying my game, I’m unable to send the
ball to the front.
"I don’t want to talk about too much, because it’s always big in
my head, and I don’t want to make it bigger than it’s already
"Well, for example, I have trouble being two people, one who is
a nice bloke, smiling and laughing off the court, and then being
aggressive on the court. That’s one of the issues I’m working
wasn’t able to pace myself well enough today, I pushed in
patches, but when we got to the third, I was a bit flat. I
started to have my second wind in the fourth, but by that time,
it was too late.
"9-all in the first, it could have made the difference, Ramy won
the big points that’s for sure…"
Dan Zilic reports
Power played against Shabana, which took a lot of us by surprise
since we had expected that Power would not be playing, but I
guess Shabana and him are good friends (as far as I know) so
perhaps the prospect of playing against one another was too
The crowd was not disappointed.
The first two games were not that spectacular, in game one
Shabana kept catching Power with some excellent boasts which the
Canadian was not able to pick up, while in game two Power
dominated and Shabana seemed to concede the game after Power had
built up a high enough lead. Game three and four really had it
all though - Power was really in the game and was, given
yesterday's tough match, very quick to the front of the court.
He had the crowd in awe with some exceptional backhand flicks.
Shabana at this point was taking no prisoners and was hunting
down every drop of Power's and returning them with interest.
Some of the best rallies featured some incredible reaction
volleys from Power, especially when Power had played a slightly
loose drop Shabana tried to hammer the ball past him but Power
miraculously got his racket to it several times. Of course there
were also countless lets and strokes and even more complaints
from Power, in which he showed his usual wit and great sense of
The funniest moment was following one rally in which Power took
advantage of a loose length of Shabana's by backing into the T
and playing a dying volley-length. Shabana ran into the slight
wrong direction and then into Power and asked for a let, thereby
losing his shoe.
While Shabana put on his shoe the referee announced a let, to
which Power strongly objected. Shabana was still putting his
shoe on when Power kept on about the bad decision and the
referee asked him to shut up, at which point Power said: "What?
He is putting on his shoe, I am putting on the show!"
Another great moment was when Power commented on his inability
to pick up a ball saying something like "shit shot" for which he
received a conduct warning (another!). Power told the referee it
should not have been one since shit is in the dictionary.
In short, everyone was having a great time, Shabana was playing
along but the show was mostly Power's, who played some
remarkable shots which seldomnly really fooled Shabana, despite
purposely missing the shot on one swing and then playing the
ball in a completely different direction.
Power told Shabana it should not be a let since he should really
be running over there after the first shot he had pretended to
play. It ended 3:1 to Shabana in what, for many, will be a
moment to remember.
Both players stand for something special and many non-pros will
have seen them on court for the first time. And it ended in a
warm half-hug, too.
Dan Zilic reports
After watching Shabana v Power I moved on to watch the last game
between Rösner and Clyne, Rösner being 2:1 up and
7:1. Clyne kept on running and running but Rösner can play at
almost any pace too and he handled the bundle of energy that is
Alan Clyne very well. Rösner's shots, from what I could tell in
the few rallies that I saw, were just that that more purposeful
and exact so that he emerged the winner in a tough 3:1 to put
Germany 1:0 up.
In the meantime Rob Sutherland had beaten David Vidal
of Spain 3:1 and Peter Creed was battling it out with
Spain's Alejandro Garbi. I arrived with Peter Creed being
7:2 down in the fifth. Rob informed me that at 1:1 and 12:11
Peter was refused a stroke after the ball actually hitting Garbi
straight on (the referee explaining that hadn't he hit it, it
would have been a stroke).
Peter lost that game finding himself 2:1 down but he recovered
to take game four but was in an almost hopeless situation. Garbi
is a great player and had almost beaten Campbell Grayson before
and here he was relying on his deadly backhand to conjure up
point after point. It went from 7:1 to 8:2 to 9:3 when Peter
clawed his way back into the match.
Peter, who trains with Rob, is one of these never say die
players and was running his heart out. He was covering
incredible ground and was diving all over the place and got
miraculously took a 10:9 lead, only for Garbi to play a
crosscourt nick off Creed's serve. I think it was the next rally
that was the best rally I have seen this week: Both players
dived twice in the rally and it was just incredible to see what
dedication they had.
The balls were hopeless to get but these two guys were having
none of it and kept the ball in play somehow. Peter managed to
win that rally and closed the match after that, in what was
another superb five-setter and a good win for Wales.
Germany in the meantime also sealed their victory over Scotland
when Jens Schoor managed to beat Stuart Crawford
in five similarly tough games. Stuart was 2:1 up and will be
unhappy to lose a tight fourth game. After that Jens took the
lead in the fifth game and while Stuart did defend a matchball
or two Jens took the match with a stroke to Germany.
Dennis Drenjovski 0-3 Hardeep Reel 6-11, 0-11, 8-11 (27m)
Daniel Zilic 0-3 Hartaj Bains 8-11, 10-12, 11-13 (36m)
Ivan Djordjevic 3-1 Joseph N Karigithe 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7
Crucial at the bottom
Dan Zilic reports
For us this was going to be important because it was likely to
be the final of the non-pro teams and a play-off for what is
likely to be the third from bottom place.
Dennis played against Hardeep Reel - who as far as I know - used
to play professionally and trained three months in England prior
to playing here. Today he was too good for Dennis, who started
very well in a steady first game but found no answer to
Hardeep's precise back-court game and his delicate drops. Dennis
hung in there until the end but went down 3:0 after a faultless
display by the Kenyan number one.
I was next on court playing against Hartaj Bains, an awkward
left-hander with a double-handed backhand. I fancied my chances
against him and was eager to level the score and set Ivan up for
a decider. But, I didn't have the nerves today. I lost the first
game 11:8, then managed to defend 5 game-balls in game two only
to then lose the next two rallies in the tie-break. The third
game was going really well and I established a 10:6 lead. But
then I rushed it too much and was going short too early, which
proved costly and I lost the game 13:11. Really annoying,
especially as Hartaj told me how tired he was in that last game
and how he thought I was looking in good shape. Aaah well.
Ivan restored some Serbian pride by beating Joseph N Karigithe
3:1. Joseph, a speedy fellow, took the first game and surprised
Ivan with his pace and solid backcourt game. But Ivan stepped up
his game and attacked with more purpose after that and was
rewarded with a 3:1 win.
Despite the loss we will give it our all against the Japanese
tomorrow. A bit frustrated, okay, but the Kenyans are a very
nice bunch and are here with a small entourage. None of them are
playing pro but Hartaj informs me that they have a good
competitive league going on in Kenya as well as two PSA
We both uttered our disappointment that not more smaller nations
were playing (and that oddly enough the European Nations' Cup is
taking place on the same weekend), as this means that teams like
ourselves are battling not to finish last!